"The process of buying a new mattress is a little like marriage," I commented as I turned my face toward my husband whose head precariously lay on a furniture store display pillow.
"How so?" he asked as he stared at the ceiling.
"Well," I stated, "You have to try out a lot of models before you find one that feels right. Then you pick one and you’re still not really sure until you get it home and spend the night with it. Even then, it may take years before you’re sure you’ve got the perfect match and by then, it’s time for a new one."
He whispered in my ear, "I feel a little like I’m cheating on the other mattress we just laid on over there," he pointed to the other side of the department.
"Don’t worry about it," I hissed back. "I’m more concerned with how many foreign heads have laid on this pillow and whether or not they had head lice."
We both lifted our heads and smiled at the sales lady who stood inconspicuously at the end of the bed. She asked, "Just for fun, would you like to lay on a $6,000 mattress?"
I looked at my husband and he looked at me and we both jumped off the $350mattress at the same time. "Follow me," she motioned to a bed illuminated in spotlights and strobe lights.
"Do you sell many of these?" I curiously inquired.
"Surprisingly, yes," she answered.
We lay down on that unbelievably expensive mattress and I swear I heard a choir of angels singing in the background. "Hallelujah!" I yelled like a Southern Baptist on Sunday morning.
"I think I’ve died and gone to heaven," my husband muttered. He turned to face me and asked, "Wanna make out?"
I added, "What do you think they’d do if we asked to sleep here tonight?"
We both sat up. "Forget it," the sales lady answered our question without us even asking it. Dejected, we slowly got up off our little piece of heaven and said, "We’ll take the $350 mattress."
A day later, the mattress was delivered. The movers hauled the new mattress in the bedroom and placed it on the bed frame. My eyes slowly moved up and up some more until they finally stopped on the pillow top that now rested just a few inches from the top of our headboard. "Good grief that’s high!" I exclaimed. As the deliverymen made a hasty retreat, I tried to catapult my body on to the mattress by walking back to the doorway and making a running leap. I landed on the bedside table.
"Are you okay in there?" my husband shouted from the living room where he was letting the movers out the door."
"Perfectly fine!" I yelled back as I sadly realized I’d have to give up my career as the "Girl Who Gets Shot Out of the Canon" at the next circus show. I maneuvered my body from the bedside table to the pillow top and lowered myself down.
As my husband walked in the room, I stared at the ceiling that now was only two inches from my nose. ‘Hello down there little man!" I bellowed.
"How’s the weather up there?" he laughed as I hoisted him up on to the mattress with a knitting needle and several skeins of yarn I had luckily found inside my bedside table.
He lay next to me and was quiet for a moment. "Wow," he said. "I just might be able to sleep without you having to hit me over the head with a hammer tonight!"
I pulled my whiskey bottle out from under my pillow and kissed it. "You and I have had a great relationship every night. But now, it’s time to move on. I’ve got a new mattress and I anticipate I will be sleeping like the dead from now on." I stuffed the bottle in my bedside table drawer and closed it.
We both sighed as our eyes grew heavy. I didn’t regret breaking up with our old mattress, but I felt a little sad. After all, we’d shared a lot of great memories on those independent coils. Our old mattress now had a new destiny – the landfill – where it wouldn’t disintegrate for 500 years.
I’ve know I’ve made a commitment to our $350.00 mattress for at least ten years. But sometimes when the kids are asleep and my husband and I hoist ourselves up on to that mattress, I lay there and I can’t help thinking about that $6,000 mattress … even for just a little while. It was one gorgeous piece of foam.
I may be married, but I’m not dead.