I don’t often use this space to comment on politics, but I think this story from my house offers hope for ending the partisan gridlock that seems to grip every level of our government.

I have been married to the woman of my dreams for almost 35 years, and for nearly the entirety of that time I have wanted a recliner. I finally got one about a year ago.

Why did it take so long? Because the woman of my dreams fought me tooth and nail over it from day one.

We have owned and replaced several sets of living room furniture in our time together. Our first set was borrowed, and when we had saved enough money we bought a couch and loveseat of our own.

This was the first time my wife denied me the pleasure of a recliner. She didn’t really have a reason. She simply didn’t want one. That was reason enough.

I’m not sure from where my wife’s anti-recliner prejudice originated. Maybe she had some childhood recliner trauma of which she’s never spoken, or an overbearing relative who scolded her for kicking the footrest out too often and too quickly. Maybe she simply didn’t want me to rest in weightless comfort like a king in my castle.

Whatever the reason, several sets of furniture have gone in and out of our house, and despite my desires a recliner was never part of the package. My wife always had some bogus counter argument every time I suggested a recliner would fit nicely in front of our television.

“A chair and ottoman would be just as good as a recliner,” she said. It wasn’t.

“We don’t have room.” We did.

It went on and on like this. Until last spring.

In what may be the cleverest move I have made in quite some time, I played the granddaughter card on my wife. We were at a large Madison furniture retailer when I said, “you know, if I had a recliner the baby and I could nap in it together when she comes over to visit.”

I had outmaneuvered my wife on two fronts. First, our granddaughter was a notoriously bad napper unless someone was holding her, and in our mid-fifties, there is only so long you can sit in an uncomfortable piece of furniture while holding a baby and still have blood freely flowing to all your extremities.

Secondly, my wife cannot refuse our granddaughter anything. I finally got my recliner.

The battle was not over, however.

For months, my wife boycotted my recliner, refusing to sit in it even once. In fact, she often sat as far from it as she could. This changed late in the summer.

While I no longer remember the cause, my wife was in pain. Her back ached. Her knee hurt. She could not sit comfortably on any of our furniture. Being the loving husband I am, I suggested she sit in my recliner.

At first she refused, martyring herself to her own cause, but in relatively short order she relented. With great effort she lowered herself into the chair, and I showed her how to use the electronic controls to recline to the position she wanted. I saw a smile cross her lips.

And that was the last time I had my recliner all to myself.

She sits in it all the stinking time! She reads in it. She watches television. She even naps.

If at the end of the workday she gets home first, I will find her carelessly reclined in my chair.

If she gets out of bed first, I can count on being blocked out of the recliner for the morning. There have even been times when we moved toward the living room together and she cut in front of me to capture the recliner for herself before I had the chance to sit down.

I’m starting to think I may need to buy a second recliner, or maybe one of those couches that recline on both ends, in order to have access to what I fought so hard for so long to get.

So what does any of this have to do with partisan gridlock? I hope it is obvious.

If my wife can overcome her stubborn ways and embrace a recliner, anything is possible. Maybe we should start by replacing the seats at the statehouse and the U.S. Capitol.

Karl Curtis is a City of Verona resident.

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