We have a new, padded, poofy, puffy, gleaming white, glacier-thick mattress. After two nights of sleeping on the behemouth, I can say our purchase was a smart move. We had been sleeping on a second-hand mattress for nearly ten years—which explains the look I had on my face most of the decade. Like the Gretchy-shaped groove I wore into the bed, the lines on my face from ten years of fitful sleep are permanent.
The damage can’t be undone, but who cares? I sleep!
Shopping for our mattress was oddly humiliating, however. The showroom reminded me of a car dealership. We were greeted enthusiastically, complete with handshakes and introductions. Tommy and Joel were shown to the children’s corner where they immediately attacked the Lego table. A movie featuring a yellow dog played on the ubiquitous little TV/DVD combo found in all businesses which believe children need to be distracted, lest they destroy the inventory. Before arriving I had visions of Joel leaping from mattress to mattress to mattress to mattress to mattress to mattress like a 40 pound flea, his size-nines leaving dirty treadmarks from the slushy parking lot. It was a relief knowing he would be occupied building giraffes and houses. We could concentrate on finding the perfect mattress.
After handing out pillows, he invited us to try Bed #1, encouraging us to position ourselves exactly how we sleep at night. It felt strained and unnatural, lying on a bed in a showroom wearing my winter coat and high-heeled boots. I tried, but something was missing. Nobody was shaking me, saying Mommy, is it breskit time yet? Waffles? Waffles? I couldn’t practice nursing Beatrix at 3am. I couldn’t take off my socks under the covers using just my toes, adding to the collection of 10 socks rattling around under the sheets. I felt odd about sucking my thumb. There was no sheet to pull up and over my exposed ear.
Consequently, the salesman got the impression I sleep on the tippy edge of the mattress with one foot hanging off, clinging a handbag to my chest as I nervously giggle.
“Comfy…?” I weakly offered.
We tried several more styles. Honestly, I couldn’t tell the difference between them. We settled on a mid-priced model, medium firm in the medium poofy-top. Pretty boring, but an easy sale. We arranged to have it delivered the next day.
I was torn about seeing the old bed hauled away. My back was happy, my heart was a little sad. Just like when we got rid of our old minivan—I thought about the happy memories we had while traveling, the night we went to the drive-in and watched “Cars” over the dashboard, the miles and miles we stacked on the odometer going to fun and mundane places.
The memories of the bed?
Better left unsaid.