Creaky Chairs and Those that Love Them (Daily Post Challenge)

In “Anecdotal Tales”, stories will be told. Some will be fun, some will not. Some will be great, some will be less so. Some stories are true, some are merely possible. This is one of them.

Creaky Chairs and Those that Love Them (Daily Post Challenge)

Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.” -Epictetus

Asking a person about their favorite possession can be tricky.  My first notion was to answer, “My cat”.  However, there are some, including my cat, who would state that a cat is a roommate, not a possession.  I don’t own her, especially since she was free.  (Mylar would also state that she is no one’s “thing”.  She is her own creature with plenty of attitude to show off.)  So I must share an anecdote about my favorite possession, one which Mylar happens to approve of.

Not my chair, but you get the idea.
From Wikipedia.

I once made a point of mentioning that I wanted my Dad’s rocking chair.  There are plenty of grand things in my parent’s house, but all I really cared about were the grandfather clock and rocking chair.  I like wood furniture.  Give me a bookshelf that I can hammer back together over a rusting metal rack any day.  However, waiting for my father to pass on is both morbid and requires more patience than I have in me.  So I went out and got my own dang rocking chair.

There is a furniture shop a few miles from where I live and they specialize in wood furniture.  That fact alone makes it my kind of place.  I stepped into the glass door and right near the front entry was a nice collection of rocking chairs all lined up like The Rockettes.  I was a happy camper.

Now, even as a young college student, I knew enough to respect the classic rocking chair.  I have no use for gliding chairs.  Chairs should sway back and forth soothingly on two long and curved slats of wood.  A rocking chair should not pivot to and fro on a parallelogram assembly.  Two horizontal pieces and two vertical pieces attached by metal screws constantly creating and changing angles as the wood yields weekly?  No.  That is not a rocking chair.  That is some cute little chair for tea parties.  I need solid wood construction.  I don’t want some pithy little twigs that are going to snap if they get bumped the wrong way and throw off the entire functionality of the chair.  Give me a classic rocking chair or nothing at all.

I’m a writer, not artist. Clearly.

I admit that I may be biased.  I was raised with a rocking horse that was really just one big runner with a flat seat and the wooden head of a horse attached.  In some morbidly macabre act of practicality, the handle for children to hold on to was not a piece of rope, but a pole crammed straight through the horse’s head.  “Hey kids, let’s all take a ride with Phineas Gage!”  Regardless, the seated see-sawing motion on this generations-old toy got me hooked on rocking chairs from an early age.

The salesman at the store was quite helpful.  I’m not sure what he thought of a guy in his early twenties buying a rocking chair, but he helped me find a simple one that I could afford and even carried it out to the car with me.  That’s when his skepticism began.

“How were you planning to get this home?”

“Oh, I’ll just put it in the back seat.”  I hadn’t actually thought the whole process through.  I somehow assumed that a four-foot tall piece of furniture with ski-like runners and no disassembly allowed would magically fit into my compact Dodge Neon’s rear area.  I knew it wouldn’t fit in the trunk, so it had to situate itself in the back.  What could possibly go wrong?

“I don’t know about this”, the man said as he turned it on its face and pushed.

I locked the front car seats as far forward as they would go.  The actual seat and back had plenty of room around it, but those runners that I cherished were troublesome.  Somehow, someway, the chair was the exact length of the back of my car, and the runners just barely fit inside the frame.  Okay, so the car window was pushed out a little bit.  It didn’t break, so I was content.

“That is the first time I have ever seen a chair like this fit in anything but a truck.”  I’m always glad to happily surprise seasoned salesmen.

That chair and I have bonded.  There is a blue scrape on its armrest from when I moved from one apartment to the next and my dresser got a little too frisky with its advances in the back of the truck.  I could try to scrape off the paint or cover up the abrasion, but why not let the chair have its war wound?  My cat has tried to show her affection for the piece of furniture by sharpening her claws on the lower pieces.  Happily, the finish is so slippery that she can’t get a good grip.  Her paws, much to her annoyance and my delight, just slide right off without leaving a mark.

I make it up to her though.  Whenever I am having my quiet time in the rocking chair, Mylar gets to hop up on my lap.  Together we enjoy the guaranteed world of calm.  She gets to have her ears and back scratched.  I get to blissfully rock back and forth.  Sometimes I let my head lean back on the highest point of the frame that is in the perfect position to rest comfortably on.  Other times I sit up straight and put my free arm on the armrest that rises up to meet my sleepy arm at exactly the right height.

If it’s good enough for Twain, it’s good enough for me. (Photo source: here)

No matter how I sit in it, my rocking chair gives off the proper amount of “creak”.  Everyone has heard the sound that should emanate from a well-made rocker.  It should softly and reassuringly greet the user with a “creak-crauk”.  One backward movement provides the “creak”, and forward movement creates the “crauk”.  Like the cousin of a frog, it sings you to a simpler, more peaceful place.  Gliding chairs don’t have that sound, and therefore they are less worthy in my sight.  Then there are the shabby, abused chairs that make nothing but sound.  Every gesture and adjustment in one’s posture creates a symphony of noise.  I can’t handle that.  I may live on the ground floor, but I still have neighbors (and my sanity), to think of.  No, a rocking chair should only make two different sounds; three if you count the sigh of contentment from the user.

Bean bags chairs are great, but hard to get out of.  Recliners, back-massagers; they all have their place.  But for me, when I want to escape the trials and tribulations of the world, nothing is more relaxing than closing my eyes and swooping to and fro in my reliable wooden rocking chair.  That is, except for the one time my cat put her tail under the runner.  (She’s fine; her lesson was learned.  Both possessions have learned to respect the other.)

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About anecdotaltales
He's a simple enough fellow. He likes movies, comics, radio shows from the 40's, and books. He likes to write and wishes his cat wouldn't shed on his laptop.

One Response to Creaky Chairs and Those that Love Them (Daily Post Challenge)

  1. Pingback: Weekly Writing Challenge: A Few Of My Favourite Things « The Laughing Housewife

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