Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Goldilocks and The Three Chairs

So as I think I may have mentioned in passing, my back went out on me about a month ago. It’s fine now, but I hadn’t had a back tweak like that in a looooong time. It’s just so tough when a writer can’t sit comfortably.

But have no fear, a white knight came to my rescue in the form of my dear mother, who insisted on buying me a new chair, specifically, an Aeron chair, as she had had one for some years and loves it a lot. She had actually made this offer a year ago, before my back went out, but I demurred, thinking it too extravagant, too chic, too I don’t know what. But Wednesday saw us at the local office furniture place, trying out chairs.

And can I just say but My! There are a lot of different chairs out there and a such an awful lot of different things to adjust on said chairs!

So I began trying them out. And trying them out, and trying them out. The Aeron was good, but so was the Mirra, but it didn’t have quite enough lower back support. There was another in-the-running, a Sitmatic, that seemed good too. Finally, after much agonizing, I selected an Aeron, due in no small part to my mothers (and others) high praises, and my mother wrote the check (I had to close my eyes while she did that part) and off we went.

Except when I got home and began using the chair, I realized there is a huge difference between sitting in a chair, and actually using it as you do every day. The expensive sucker I’d brought home with me was too big, too long in the seat specifically, and kept bumping (and therefore bruising) the back of my calves. You see, I don’t just sit in chairs, I scoot around in them like a deranged go-cart driver as I move from computer screen to bookshelf(for research) to the table behind me (where I have laid out plots and graphs and other notes.) This Father of All Chairs was simply not for me. It was too hard.

Now I don’t know about you, but I have return phobia. I loathe returning things. It makes me feel high maintenance and demanding and just generally like if I were really worth my salt I would have ended up with the correct thing in the first place. Even so, it was too much money to spend on a chair I couldn’t sit in. So my poor husband schlepps the chair back to the car, and off I go to the furniture store. They lug the old chair in, and I return to my other choices of the day before. But now I have a better idea of what I’m looking for, so I test for those things as well, making sure to scoot everything I sit in.

Surprise, the most comfortable chair is the Sitmatic. It’s missing a couple of features of the Aeron, but is cushier, and has a couple of more precise adjustments. I am somewhat dismayed that my backside prefers a chair that sounds like it could have been sold on a commercial during the Ben Hunter Movie Matinee, and if you CAALL NOW you will get free shipping and a special one time offer of a free attachment that will julienne your potatoes for you while your at it.

But so be it.

As he carries this second chair inside, my poor husband grunts, "This one is solidly made," which is codes-peak for this is a heavy sucker. But we get it inside, and I commence to try and get some frickin’ work done that afternoon.

Except…this chair isn’t right after all either. One of the things it doesn’t do is rock back, but I don’t rock back, or so I thought. My old chair had a very short back, and apparently I do stretch back over that quite a lot, so that sitting in a high back chair that doesn’t rock back feels a lot like having on a straight jacket. But I cannot return yet another chair. Can I? (See, this is why I don’t buy expensive things—the decisions! The pressure!)

But much to my deep chagrin, I do. I have to. It’s too much frickin’ money to not get the right one. I am sure that when the woman sees my car pull up in the parking lot, she runs and hides in the back. Which is actually fine because I can do all my test sitting alone and in private. Its down to the Aeron B and the Mirra. Back and forth I go. I prefer the Aeron’s lumbar support and slightly more fine-tuned seat adjustments, but I prefer Mirra fabric and the way the lip of the seat is adjustable.

When I finally settle on the Aeron B and the poor warehouse worker is yet again lugging a chair out to my car, I offer to bring him some scotch or vodka for his troubles, but the saleswoman informs me that he is a Jehovah’s Witness and doesn’t drink. Here’s hoping he likes See’s Candy!

The moral of the story:
Size does matter—especially with Aeron Chairs
Be sure and put a chair through it’s paces before you buy that sucker, a ten minute sit in a showroom is not a thorough test-drive!


dixie said...

I just came across this while I was browsing for your writing blogs.To hear the whole story in one piece is really wild!

Unknown said...

Just a few comments on the Sitmatic. Actually the Sitmatic has loads of options including a rocking back (they have 3 back control mechanisms). Plus, they have several back size options as well.

The dealer should have measured YOU FIRST before suggesting the model (I do that for all my clients and I've only had one return after 100s of Sitmatic Chairs delivered over 8 years).

windows for games said...

Being comfortable on your seats might be a plus factor in doing a good job. If you are comfortable of your sitting position and of course of the chair you are using, you can concentrate thoroughly on what you are doing. Sometimes your mind doesn't work well if you are not comfortable at all.