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Chairs

August 12, 2012

I am in the market for a comfortable, new living room chair. Something fairly traditional and cozy. One of those chairs that hugs your body, invites you to lean back and sigh with contentment! My sister has one of those chairs. It’s called a “chair and a half”……one big, soft chair but with good support, a large ottoman, nice big arms that you can balance your book or magazine on as well……and one that I can always fall asleep in for a long afternoon’s nap or an entire night’s sleep if I really wanted to. Maybe something like this……

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or this……

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You wouldn’t think that would be such a difficult proposition, would you? Well, you’d be wrong.

I started out this week end on my quest. The first place I went to was Pier 1 imports. My local store carries a very large selection of chairs, love seats, and sofas that are usually quite reasonably priced and very stylish. Sure enough, right in the front window display were two good looking chairs…..one very similar to the second one above, but in a chocolate and cream striped ticking that would go well with my two dark brown leather sofas. So I got the sales lady to drag that chair out of her window so I could sit in it and really look it over. It had nice legs….dark wood, and on casters, which is always handy. The fabric felt nubby and rich in my fingers and the back was hight enough to really lean into. I sat. No…..I sank! It was as if there was no cushion in that chair at all and it was so low to the ground that I wasn’t sure if I would ever get up and out of it again. I might have to just become part of the Pier 1 window display….one of those apple faced grandma dolls that you put out on your porch for fall and to scare away little kids at Halloween. No, this would never work.

I thanked the lady politely and said I would continue to browse. Ah ha….over in a corner sat another chair that caught my eye. This one was dark gold and similar in style to the first photo above. It even came with an ottoman which I really had hoped to find. Again, I sat. Thankfully, I did not need a sales person this time to watch me once again sink almost to the floor and wriggle around like some little old lady that I felt I must be fast becoming if I had such trouble getting out of a chair! These things were made for midgets…..and very light weight midgets at that. I honestly did not see how the average adult would find either of the chairs comfortable. I am only 5 foot and 3 inches. Imagine my 5 foot husband or my 6 foot 6 inch son try to sit in this thing. Their knees would hit their chins and I don’t know what sort of mechanism we might need to pry them out again.

So, I left Pier 1 without trying out their other three dozen sinking chairs, and wondered what I might find at the next place! This was a little corner furniture store that I had never been in before, but had been told that the proprietor was lovely and could order you any piece of furniture on planet earth. WOW! That seemed promising. I walked in. The door was open, after all, but I wasn’t sure anyone was there. Oh boy, had the place been robbed? Was I about to be kidnapped? I almost turned around and ran out. It was so dark, I really couldn’t see beyond the first few feet of the entrance, but then I heard somebody call out and after adjusting my eyes for a few seconds realized that there was a woman way in the back corner of the store. I walked toward her as she got up from her chair and she began to speak…..in a foreign language! It wasn’t Spanish, which is very common in Southern California where I have lived for 26 years, so even I recognize that language in my sleep and can say a few phrases myself. I doubted it was Greek, there not being a Greek community in my neighborhood that I was aware of. I believe it was an Indian dialect. The woman was dressed in a sari, draped in gold jewelry, and had a red dot on her forehead. She was stunningly beautiful, but I could not understand a word she said, and not seeing anything that caught my eye, I said my thank you’s, half bowed, and left rather quickly. This was a new one on me! How does this store stay in business? I don’t know……….again, we have no Indian community in our neighborhood that I am aware of.

Well, I was making no progress in a hurry, so drove over to Lazy Boy. I knew I would find something there. I just knew it!. And I did, but it was a rigorous process. As I walked through the door, a very, very tall young woman greeted me and as she towered over me she introduced herself as Stephanie and asked if she could help me. I introduced myself as Helen and told her I was looking for a comfy living room chair…fabric, not leather. Well, I had done it then! Stephanie proceeded to follow me from chair to chair, from room to room, to the powder room…..yes, she actually waited outside the restroom door until I came back out. I was tempted to just hide in there until her shift was over! She could not seem to stop herself from talking and I felt as if I had done a 5K by the time I had the grand tour. The moment I stopped to look closer at a chair, or sit in it, she would tap me on the shoulder and say, “Oh but look, you might like this better and drag me on to the next one. She insisted on calling me Beverly, although I corrected her several times, and finally just gave up. I have nothing against the name Beverly. I have several friends whose names are Beverly, but that is not my name! It was unlike any shopping experience I have ever had. I actually did find a chair and ottoman that I like a lot and proceeded to take out my cell phone and take a picture of it. Oh my! Stephanie got excited then. She wanted to take a picture of me sitting in the chair, looking at the chair, standing by the chair. I thanked her and said that would not be necessary and memorized the price and details and made a beeline for the door. She sprinted along with me and managed to get there before I did. I guess it was the Lazy Boy Olympic trials or something! I practically fell into my car and raced out of that parking lot before she could join me and follow me home! I actually called the store back after getting home and without giving my identity, got the rest of the details on warranties, delivery, and fabric treatment, etc.

Much as I really did like the Lazy Boy chair, I thought it to be a bit pricey and decided to check out some of the really big furniture stores down the road toward Los Angeles another day………..today! I got up, had a bowl of cheerios, grabbed a bottle of water, and was out the door, determined to do better today than yesterday! I checked out Levitz Furniture……too contemporary. I saw chairs like this…..

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and this……

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and this……

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It was all too much for me, so I drove down the block to Living Spaces. Not so great either. They had the Betsey power lift…..I needed that at Pier 1 the day before, but not so much in my living room!

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They had the power recliner (they were big on power), but this looked too much like it belonged in a man cave……

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They also had this……pretty, but leather, too contemporary and I’m looking for living room comfort, not sleek attorney office furniture!

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So…my last chance. Mathis Brothers. Ah ha! I walked into a beautifully designed show room, where a lovely mix of all styles of furniture greeted me. I was not apprehended by the Amazon woman. I did hear several sales people speaking to potential customers…..in English. And as I sat down in the first chair that appealed to me, I did not sink to the ground, my knees did not fly up into my face, and I got out with grace and my dignity still intact. Yes, this was the place for me. After browing the living room section, I found two chairs and ottomans that I truly liked. They were similar to the one I had found at Lazy Boy, but made by Broyhill and much less expensive. They came with lifetime warranties on the frame, five year warranties on the seating cushion, and a five year warranty on the fabric treatment which covered pet and human accidents (heaven forbid), blood, any liquid, cuts, tears, slits, etc. I found a cute Hispanic salesman who treated me with all the respect that a Chatty Grandma deserves, spoke flawless English, and offered me coffee, water, iced tea, or soda. Anthony was my man. Mathis Brothers was my store and when my chair is delivered early this week I will post a photo!

Never give up folks. The world is a big place full of craziness and wonder. Who knew chair shopping could be such an adventure. Here’s to cool summer evenings, comfortable chairs, and long life.

Chatty Grandma

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One Comment
  1. Shannon permalink

    What an adventure!

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