Creature comforts


While we continue to inventory and appraise all of the things Dad had in his office at the time of his death, my sister found the missing piece for my old articulating keyboard drawer, the metal plate that attaches to the bottom of the desk and works as a runner for the drawer to slide in and out of. Not only do I just generally prefer articulating drawers so I can angle my keyboard to my liking, but I needed a new keyboard drawer anyway. When I put together this desk I bought from OfficeMax about eighteen months ago or so, some of the screw holes for the keyboard drawer that came with the desk were too big. Eventually the weight on that side proved too much for the other screws to handle and they ripped themselves out of the desk, so for several months there half of my keyboard drawer was attached to my desk with little more than duct tape. It took me a while before I could find the time to install the articulating drawer, and I think I put the plate on at an angle, but all in all it’s been working out for me quite well.

This, however, created a new problem, because the chair I’d been using since I put this desk together — I’d used the edge of my bed as a “chair” until then — was too high, and it was never that comfortable. It was one of the spare, cheap office chairs Dad got for the old office, and it was hard to sit in it for long periods of time, especially since I could never get it to go down low enough to where I could use my keyboard drawer and monitor at comfortable heights. I needed a new chair, and for some reason I went back to OfficeMax even though I’d had those problems with the desk. (Although apart from the keyboard drawer issues, I admit that this desk has worked out fairly well for me.) I have to admit I didn’t quite test all of the chairs out as much as I should have, but when I went in the store was empty and I kind of felt self-conscious being alone in the middle of the store sitting in chair after chair. I got what was a fairly well-padded chair, but only when I got home did I realize that the chair didn’t recline, which was kind of a big issue for me. That in and of itself wouldn’t have been much of an issue, but then on top of that the chair was a total pain to put together because it was impossible to attach the back to the arms without putting all my weight on the chair back to line the screw holes up. Eventually those screws worked themselves loose about a week or so after I got the chair, and now the back of the chair folds back onto the seat if you do anything more than look at it.

I needed a new chair, again, and I didn’t know where to look. By a remarkable coincidence, I just happened to walk by the furniture department at Meijer this past week and saw that they had a budget glider for fifty dollars off. I tried the floor sample, and not only was it incredibly comfortable, but it reclined to just the right angle for me as well. I wasn’t sure whether or not to buy it for a while because I wasn’t sure if it was going to be the right height, but on Saturday I picked it up. (That in and of itself was troublesome because I couldn’t get anyone to help me with loading the box in my cart and then into my minivan; Meijer has gone downhill in a hurry since the nearby Wal*Mart expanded and became a Wal*Mart Supercentre.) Sunday I put it together — a difficult task because the instructions were kind of unlcear — but not only is it super-comfortable, but it’s just the right height. If I lean it all the way forward like I am now, I’m in a fairly standard typing position with my keyboard and monitor right where I like them. If I recline and pull the keyboard drawer forward, everything stays at the right height and I can take a load off while I work on here. Apart from the base of the chair being kind of big, making it hard for me to walk around it to get to my closet, this glider is absolutely perfect. (Once I have time for recreational reading again, I’m guessing that the reclined position wil be perfect for that.)

The only real problem I’m having is that the chair might be too comfortable. I’m still busy as all get-out with the items of business that came up after Dad’s death (which, in turn, caused me to fall way behind in getting my students’ work reviewed and returned, but I’m catching up there now), and even now that I’ve started drinking coffee on a regular basis again (which I don’t think I’ve done in a decade), I run out of energy far too quickly for my liking. In that regard, I think that having such a comfortable chair to work in might be working against me here, since it’s perhaps too easy for me to get comfortable and into a physical position where my body naturally turns on its "relax mode." I can’t afford to relax now; I’ve still got too much work I need to do before things can return to normal around here, or at least what will pass for normal after Dad’s death.

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