Having just returned from 24 hours spent in Eden (no, not paradise, but that’s an essay for another time, and for more wine) where mine hosts live outdoors from sun-up to well past mosquito time, using cheap and cheerful chairs scattered around in the sunshine and under pine trees to accommodate their guests and themselves, I have had time to reflect up Chairs.
I’m going to be frank. I have short legs and too much bum. Finding chairs is always a chore for me. My niece Betsy and her family had the PERFECT chair (it was a one-and-a-half person size, very squishy, very curl-up-able) but they sold it and now I am back to looking for the right chair in which to sit when I visit people.
Of choice, if this is in your house, or garden, I will gladly sit in it:
I don’t like reclining in a chair, unless I’m planning to take a nap and even then, why sit to sleep if there’s a bed or sofa nearby? Also, a ‘school’ chair like this one is much more likely to NOT cut me off at mid-thigh as well as permit my stubby little legs to reach aaaaallll the way to the ground! Plus, there’s just something solid about a chair like this one which offers my soul, if not my bum, comfort.
Were I to be a reclining sort of person, I would choose a chair like this one:
Americans call them ‘Adirondack’ chairs, Ontarioans call them ‘Muskoka’ chairs, but by whatever name they go, they truly are wonderful for sitting at the beach, on the deck, on the lawn and enjoying a little summer sunshine, a little summer drinkie.
Unless you’re me. If you’re me, drinking in a chair like this is nigh unto impossible unless, of course, you’re either wearing a bib, a bathing suit (possible, at the beach) or are naked & don’t mind the bugs trying to suck up a little nectar from your chest!
The Georgian Theatre Festival (late & much lamented of Meaford Ontario), by the way, used to auction off Muskoka chairs – painted with beautiful scenes by wonderfully talented local artists – as an important fundraiser for the company. Those chairs, even if I didn’t sit in them, were very welcome additions to many area gardens and decks over the years. Those chairs were beautiful to behold for the generosity and skill of the artists who donated their time, and for the generosity of the theatre patrons who paid a lot for the chairs! Go ahead. Ask me if I miss the theatre company.
Now here’s a chair that I would be tempted to use for kindling:
Of course I jest. It IS beautiful to look at, but once I get past the striking design, I can feel the pain in the back of my thighs, and I can feel myself somehow managing to tip the damned thing over. Trust me – if it can be tipped, I would be the tippee. For those of you who care about art and design, it is a Ron Aran Three Skin Chair (don’t ask me – I have no idea what skins he used making it.).
All this to come to my point about comfortable chairs and sitting outdoors. There is no such thing in my world. Oh, yes, you long-legged, bikini wearing nymphs will find any chair accommodating. You also find a celery stalk a satisfying meal (again, I jest! I am NOT making fun of any eating disorder, only my own luxurious bum!). But I crave substance. I crave distinction. I crave a chair on which to curl up under a big ol’ cooling, breeze-welcoming tree to read and sip a strawberry-chocolate mint-prosecco cocktail. I crave something like this:
It appears to have legs shorter than mine so, with a firm but yielding pillow behind me, I could sit up and converse with others, and yet ditching the pillow (and the others) could curl up and enjoy the passing of summer from whence we – The Chair & I are ensconced – under a tall, leafy, green & shady tree.
Nothing is perfect of course; I suspect a chair like would also require a very large cover for overnights and rainy days but still… should you happen to own a chair like this and would like to invite me over, I’d be happy to come. I’ll even bring the mixings for that happy little cocktail!