The above is a photograph of what until very recently was my permanent place of residence, and after performing above and beyond for almost two years my lockdown chair not unreasonably called time on its relationship with my bottom.
I knew that this parting of the ways was both inevitable and necessary at some point, but had remained largely ignorant of the unhealthy nature of our relationship until it was finally over. Such was the level of comfort provided by my armchair that I was seldom tempted to venture far from it with the exception of toilet breaks and to answer the door to receive a takeaway meal. However, once I had been forced to consider venturing outside again if only to select a replacement on which to park my newly expanded posterior, I started to discover the full extent of the consequences of chair dwelling.
First up I discovered that my feet could no longer be contained within the confines of normal footwear. My slippers had allowed my phalanges to spread into their expandable space and the act of standing up was not enough to convince them to shrink back to their former size.
Similarly, my clothes appeared to have shrunk since I wore them last too but then I have never been a fan of tumble dried garments. I solved this problem online by ordering replacements for my rogue attire from a plus-size clothing company though I had to send my early orders back until I finally found clothes and shoes that fit in sizes I didn’t even know existed.
The demise of any relationship is usually characterised by the negotiation of certain stages and I was now entering the ‘angry phase’. Whilst it had passed itself off as my support and place of sanctuary from Covid my trusty armchair had also posed as my dining room and homegrown entertainment centre. It encouraged my use of Netflix and accommodated a comfortable place for me to indulge all my excesses freely without any warning of the effects of doing so over two years.
Now before all of you who are not ‘armchair critics’ start pointing out the numbers who maintained healthy relationships with their furniture by walking, cycling and exercising during the pandemic I should point out that my armchair came to me via a charity shop. These origins probably meant that it was predisposed to be…well charitable. By indulging my every whim in return for my donation to the cause and for providing it with a new home in which to see out its final years it probably didn’t realise just how dangerous this laissez-faire attitude was to someone like me. We each fulfilled a need in the other and became unhealthily co-dependent as a result.
So here we have the entrance into a new phase in our breakup the stage of forgiveness. I can see now that my over-reliance on my armchair, though heavily manipulated by the use of really comfortable cushions perfect positions for plates, pint pots and wet wipes for washing so I didn’t even need to leave it for that function either, was all done with the best of intentions.
I also harbour some feelings of guilt now too. It took the suicide of my trusty companions springs to force me from my self imposed exile within its comfort to contemplate rejoining the world once more. I do not want that sacrifice to have been made in vain. Can I learn to perambulate again normally without a waddle, or work to reduce those heinous numbers on the labels of my clothing? I find myself at something of a crossroads at the moment. Do I simply exchange one comfortable armchair for another and live vicariously through Netflix or do I pick up my life as it used to be before Covid?
I think my current armchair is already showing me the way. It’s significantly less welcoming than its predecessor and shows none of its charitable tendencies either. Time to re-enter the world’s atmosphere folks…wish me luck!
This post is dedicated to a very loyal armchair…RIP old friend I will miss you and our time together.