I’ve often heard that over time married couples begin to resemble each other. Aside from the two whiskers that recently sprouted to the right of my upper lip, I have not noticed my appearance sliding in my husband’s direction. Now I would not mind one bit if my fluffy midlife thighs morphed into his muscular ones without my even having to mouth the word “Pilates,” though I probably would shave them. Well, in the summer, anyway.
More concerning, however, is the new behavior I have sprouted. All my adult life I have been a staunch opponent of the recliner for two reasons. 1) Despite Brooke Shields’ best attempts, I could never completely erase the image of the bulky 1970s Herculon models from my mind, which were anathema to my home decorating sensibilities. And 2) Recliners always represented old-people dozing and drooling to me. I’m a huge fan of the nap which is what a couch is for. Lie down and sleep like you mean it, dammit. Commit! But dozing off and on in a recliner, jaw gaping open, with a dried saliva streak down your chin—well, in my mind that was the was the stuff of nursing home nightmares.
For years I held the line against my first husband’s desire for a recliner in which to plant himself to watch racing on TV. Maybe that’s why the marriage broke up although I think it had more to do with his secretly quitting his job, losing all our money and subsequently running off with a stripper. But, who knows, my anti-recliner stance could have been a contributing factor.
At any rate, I’m talking now about my present husband whose sleep switch is activated the instant his butt touches down in an arm chair in front of the TV. For the first few years of our marriage, I tried to ignore his arm chair “dozing,” wherein his head would loll about from side to side, bob forward, chin to chest, and then violently jerk backwards, accompanied by a startled slurping sound each time. This became his nightly and weekend ritual, and not only did it drive me nuts, I also began to fear that one of those times his head would snap right off like the end of green bean.
I had to face the music and admit that it was time for a recliner. I turned to the internet and was pleased to find that Brooke was not joking when she touted the stylishness of the modern-day La-Z-Boy furniture lines. High style indeed, with a high price tag to match. Eventually, though, I found a recliner whose style and price fit my taste and budget, and I ordered it to surprise my husband.
As pleased as he was, the biggest surprise has been on me. I gave the chair a short test drive the first day to check its comfort, but readily handed the keys over to my husband. Then a curious thing began to happen. Arriving home before my husband each day, I found myself drawn to the recliner to watch the early news as it was so conveniently situated in front of the TV. I felt a bit conspicuous at first, but little by little, became more at ease (which is, after all, the point of this piece of furniture). After about a week of sitting upright, I thought how silly it was to have a recliner and not, well, recline, so I did it. One push and my torso magically tilted back and my feet lifted up, effortlessly and at the perfect angle. It was comfort heaven, and I felt a little giddy with the thrill of it all.
This became my secret ritual for a few weeks until the unthinkable happened—I dozed off! In the recliner! And my husband came home and caught me, drooled-faced and snoring! Oh, the shame and endless ridicule I endured. But, long story short, I am now rearranging the furniture to accommodate the second recliner I have on order. I’ve also ordered a pack of drool bibs. The process of merging two spouses into one has undeniably begun, and I’m really okay with it. I’ve accepted the two whiskers, and I’ve even accepted that I am a drooling dozer. Now if only my thighs would get with the program!