There are a few times in a man’s journey when he takes the “next step” in his dwelling life–that is, when he takes charge of certain furniture to either claim his territory or adjust to life after coupling, marriage, kids, or college.
For me, it took years of renting houses with college buddies and acclimating to any old couch before I could finally claim a sofa of my own. Before that there was a year or two of the same roommate’s futon we’d take from house to apartment. When we could afford a house rental, we lived with whatever furniture came with the house where six to nine of us raced each other home to claim that sweet relief of our very own “couch niche” after a hard day of work and classes.
Life with a futon was a rite of passage for us as college students and young 20s professionals, and we made good use of it for every event possible, whether it was an impromptu party or the seventieth viewing of Pulp Fiction, or whatever VHS we had laying around because we couldn’t afford cable.
Then came marriage where–only fifteen years into wedded bliss–I finally bought a headboard for our full bed, which turned into a king size a few years later–and the headboard was the one I promised since our fifth anniversary. Thankfully my bride was patient, and now we have the grownup peace of knowing that we could–if we wanted–read in bed. You know, like they do on tv.
The next step, once you have kids and then have an affordable budget is the armchair–or, as most households identify it–the “husband one-seater,” that is, the third piece to a set. This is monumental for any couple who didn’t start off living together with brand new furniture. This chair, more than the sofa or loveseat, is that one special relaxed place after a long day of work and kids. That relief you get from simply sitting down in that armchair washes away the stress as you settle in for the night. Now usually one spouse claims it as “my chair” for nightly sitting and all around dad throne. Whether it’s a recliner or just a soft armchair, it’s the one piece of furniture that most kids will grow up not being allowed to sit it unless dad’s not around. You know the drill. It’s perfect for reading or napping, but we all know you’re going to clean out the DVR from that sweet sweet cushion and armrest combination, and no one else can claim what’s yours.
At this point, your life is complete–at least furniture-wise. It will be years until you buy a new set–probably a few years after the last kid finishes college–but for now you have achieved what every adult aspires to–a chair to call your own, and the peace of mind to match.