Sunday, August 1, 2010

I'll Just Get A Hammock

I went mattress shopping yesterday. Aside from an eye exam when the doctor makes you look through those lens thingies and then quizzes you with the whole "Which is better? 1 or 2? And now? 1? 2? And how about now? This is 2. This is one." is there anything more confusing?

Many years ago, 19 to be exact, my beloved and I bought our first bed together. Previous to that, we slept on a bed that he bought from some guy he knew. And that bed had belonged to that guy's brother and sister-in-law. Squicked out yet? No? Let me help you. When the guy sold the bed to Patrick--along with some very lovely 1970's fiberboard furniture, a piece of which still graces our closet and serves a to hold my beloved's unmentionables--he told him "My brother and his wife made four kids on that bed." To which Patrick replied "It looks like they had four kids on that bed!" Yes. It was gross. But! We were young and had no money and didn't really care that we were living in other people's filth. Ah, youth!

So we were using this lovely bed when we moved into our first house. Our first home was built in 1940 and it had very narrow doorways and a very short doorway leading to the stairs that took you to the second floor. I guess people were shorter and skinnier in 1940. Anyway! We couldn't fit that bed upstairs to the "master bedroom." I put that in quotes because I don't think people really had master bedrooms in 1940 either. It was just the largest bedroom in the house, so we claimed it as the master. You see, the nasty bed didn't have a split box spring, so we could not in any way, shape or form get that sucker up the steps.

That didn't stop us from sleeping on it for 6 months though. Nope. We just threw that baby on the floor of one of the downstairs bedrooms and lived like college students. Albeit college students with good jobs and less beer soaked carpeting. What finally clinched the deal for us was my parents making the trek up to Minnesota to visit. We needed a bed for them to sleep on, so we bit the bullet and went out and bought a bed.

Seriously. That is about all the thought that we put into it, too. We went to some little bare bones mattress store with the big "SALE" banners that never changed in every window. We laid on some beds. We asked which ones had split box springs. We looked at prices. When we found one that met our requirements--namely a split box spring, cheap, and relatively comfortable--we threw our money at the guy and left. I am sure we got hosed. But! We had a bed and a guest bed and all was lovely.

[Aside: Guess which bed became the guest bed? Did you guess the nasty Mystery Stain Bed? You win! If you were ever a guest in our home in Minnesota, this is where I offer you my deepest and most heartfelt apologies. You may console yourself with the thought that I slept on it too and never encountered anything worse than a lumpy night's sleep. I am sorry. I promise that if you have slept in any of our beds since then, you are getting a clean Non-Mystery Stained Bed. We can account for every stain. Ahem.]

Fast forward to yesterday, 19 years later, when we hit some stores looking for a mattress. Because after 19 years of sleeping on the cheap, relatively comfortable bed things were becoming, well, uncomfortable. Didn't you know that I am a delicate flower, y'all? Well I am. Delicate, I say! My beloved says "HMPH!" Because he doesn't think that there is anything wrong with our queen-sized-19-year-old-lumpy-stabs-me-in-the-ribs-makes-me-sore-in-the-morning mattress. He thinks we could sleep on it for 19 more years. As for the size, he thinks that a king sized bed would give me "too much room to maneuver out of his reach." Heh. TMI? Sorry.

After doing some online research, we set off in search of our mattress. We entered Store 1 and were met by a saleswoman. She very politely showed us to the beds and gave us a briefing on the bed we were interested in. Then she suggested we lay on it. Well, naturally. So we did. And then she went all Zen on us. She was all "close your eyes and let your body sink in and let your body feel each sensation!" This caused me not only to open my eyes but also to start to snicker. Patrick and I gave each other The Eyebrows and tried not to laugh. Then she gently questioned us about our sleeping habits. Then she asked us to close our eyes and "let our bodies remember the sensation of the mattress" before we moved on to another mattress to compare. At this point she did the whole Lady Zen thing again and then asked my husband to roll on to his side and she asked me to roll on to my side and face his back. I think we were both starting to get a little worried, but we did as we were told. Then she asked me to notice his spine and the support it was receiving. I nodded my head enthusiastically while murmuring noises of agreement. To be perfectly truthful, I couldn't see Patrick's spine. He was wearing a golf shirt and it didn't fit him snugly enough to allow for that, but that woman, she was freaking me out a little so I just did whatever I thought would let us get off of that bed.

After taking Lady Zen's card and information about the mattress that we decided we liked, we set off to Store 2. There we were met by a polite but chatty saleswoman. By this time, I wasn't really interested in chatting so much. We had things to get home to and were in a bit of a hurry, but our Chatty Saleswoman was not to be deterred. She took us to an aisle that had beds of a different brand than we were interested in and proceeded to pummel us with information tell us everything we ever wanted to know about mattresses we weren't really interested in. It was delightful. Chatty Saleswoman informed us about the revolutionary inner coil system with individually wrapped coils wherein each coil was coated in fairy dust and bound with hair from a unicorn's tail and then encased in supertechnoviscoelastoplasmatic foam which would ensure not only an uninterrupted night's sleep, but also guarantee that we would sleep so deeply that we would only need to sleep every third night, thereby allowing us to have more hours in the day which would then allow us to climb the ladder of success while other people are sleeping and thus provide us the tools for world domination. Or something like that. She lost me after "revolutionary."

After enduring several more mattresses and the information Chatty Saleswoman needed to pass along, my beloved made the great mistake of asking about a frame. He missed the daggers I was shooting at him from my eyes, so we had to follow her over to the cutaway bed frame display and listen to her wax poetic over a metal bed frame for another 10 minutes. I thought we were through after that, but it is a looooong way out of the mattress department in Store 2, my friends. After giving us her card and information about our bed of choice (now known as "havemercychooseonealreadymyeardrumsarebleeding!") she regaled us with tales of $109 mattress pads. I have to say, if I spent $109 on a mattress pad, that pad better call me "pretty" when I wake up and then make the damn bed!

Once we escaped Store 2, we had to stop by Menard's for a sprinkler head for our sprinkler system. As we were walking through, guess what we saw? Did you guess mattresses? Because I couldn't believe it when I saw them! Who knew that Menard's sold mattresses?! I couldn't even bring myself to lay down on one. I just can't get past the idea that the same place that sells plumbing also sells beds.

But, they did only have one model, which kind of cuts down on the confusion. And not once in the couple of minutes that we stood there shaking our heads in amazement were we approached by a salesperson. So you know, they've got that going for them.

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