Why Smart People Tell Us To Lean In (And Not Back)


I’m not sure why you’d buy a patio chair at a store called Christmas Tree Shops. A patio chair, which evokes balmy summer evenings on the deck out back, has nothing to do with a winter holiday. Maybe they sell these so you can still get something to burn in the fireplace if the store runs out of Yule logs.

Seeing this reminded me (or should I say “made me recall”) a time our family was eating dinner at a neighbors house. It must’ve been in the Fall because we were inside. My mom, dad, and I sat with my friend and his parents, enjoying dinner. When we finished my friend’s mom offered us dessert. Being good neighbors, we accepted it. You know how that goes — she could’ve been serving batteries covered in motor oil and we would’ve accepted, because that’s what friends do.

My friend’s mom stepped over to the fridge and grabbed a cake. As she was walking back to the table my dad pushed backward on his chair. He got the thing up on its hind legs and started saying something about how good the meal was.

That’s when the legs snapped off. Dad plummeted to the kitchen floor and landed with a crash. The backrest broke and chunks of wood scattered. Our host parents stared in shock while me and my friend laughed. It’s strange how kids think the funniest things in the world are the ones that could render them parent-less.

Dad lay perfectly still for a moment. And then he said “I think I should probably skip the dessert.”

Thank you Hartford Courant for evoking this memory. I wish that when I snapped this picture I hadn’t cut off the Health News section. There was a great article on the health dangers of using a chair sold by a company that also sells Christmas fruit cakes.

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4 thoughts on “Why Smart People Tell Us To Lean In (And Not Back)”

  1. Gee, those look like my patio chairs! Now I know why it’s hard to get people to sit out there with me.

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