Thursday, September 27, 2012

Why Buy a Mattress Any Way Else?

Back when we were carefree, childless newlyweds—which is to say, for four months in 2009—Dr. Husband and I consistently held a little marriage maintenance event known as “Family Meeting.” (Thank you, couples’ counselor, for this one concrete suggestion!) We went over the week’s schedule, discussed various domestic issues, offered up a compliment or two, and generally did our best to Communicate Clearly With Each Other without crying or using our angry voices or throwing wadded-up kleenexes at our husbands.

After an extended dry/busy/distracted/second-child-bearing spell, we resurrected the habit and were amused/horrified to discover that we’d held our last family meeting nearly two years ago. I was also amused/horrified to learn that the domestic issues currently bugging me are the same ones from 2010. Among them: our collective but un-acted upon desire for an unsagging mattress.

Apparently two years ago I declared that we absolutely HAD to buy a properly supportive mattress before I would even think—The hips! Oh, the aching hips!—about getting pregnant again.

Woops. Hi, second (and final) child.
I am pleased/horrified to announce that yesterday we became the proud owners of an unsagging mattress. It is so committed to not sagging that it’s like sleeping on the floor. And I don’t mean that as a compliment.

After approximately four years of avoiding this quagmire of compromise (the aesthetics, the financials, the firmness, the brand, the Ikea question), we agreed upon a mattress after trying it out for, oh, approximately 40 seconds. Which is EXACTLY what all the websites tell you to do—don’t spend much time at all on the mattress you’re committing the next decade of the horizontal aspects of your life to! Just buy whichever one your husband likes! That way you won’t fight about it!

Like Dr. Husband, I like a firmish mattress. I was happy to let him take the lead on this because, frankly, I’ve never had enough money to buy a mattress before. What do I know about mattress buying? Prior to meeting him, I slept on the requisite post-baccalaureate futon followed by the (post-graduate) cheapest reasonably comfortable thing Ikea had to offer.

Firm is fine. I certainly don’t want squishy. I’ve spent a night or two of my life in one of those memory-foam beds, and though it’s the best sleep I’ve ever gotten, it’s also impossible to ever get up. It’s too close an approximation to being depressed.

But there’s firm and there’s FIRM.  And though this extra-firm mattress felt fine for the minute I spent on it in the store trying to imagine sleeping and nursing and reading books and changing diapers and playing Candyland and doing other things on it, it seemed comfy. Certainly comfier than our so-saggy-in-the-middle-one-has-to-sleep-facing-away-from-one’s-mate-due-to-the-elevation-change-lest-one-feel-like-one-was-falling-on-one’s-face-all-night-long OLD mattress. (Note: Dr. Husband was wondering out loud why the mattress he’s had for five years longer than he’s had me is sagging in the middle as opposed to on the sides where people actually sleep on it. “It’s because of all those years you spent totally single sleeping totally alone without anyone else ever in the bed at any time at all because you were all by yourself just waiting to meet me,” I explained. Clearly.)

But then we had it delivered, and Oh my god my spine, my neck, my shoulders, my hips! It was like sleeping on a book, a brick, a table, the top of a semi-trailer—pick your favorite hard thing and imagine trying to sleep on it. If you’re a man reading this (I applaud you, man! You are well-rounded and brave!), imagine that you sleep on your side and imagine that your elbows poke out from the sides of your waist and imagine those side-elbows lugging around eight pounds of baby and forty pounds of amniotic fluid and blood and other stuff (read: fat from all the nausea-prevention-eating) for nearly two of the last four years, and imagine those side-elbows all achy and sore and tender and tired—that’s approximately what it’s like to sleep on post-partum hips—so you can see why a little cushion might be nice from time to time.

The salesperson at the mattress store directed me to the models that are popular with couples where “one wants a firm mattress and the other wants something with a bit more cushion.”

I don’t have any numbers on this, but I’m guessing the “one” wanting the firm mattress is the “one” without side-elbows and the “one” wanting cushion is the “one” who shot the kids out her genitalia.

But I could be wrong.

In any case, our new Euro pillow-top mattress—sporting no fewer than seven inches of foam atop a plenty-firm base, thank you very much—is due to arrive tomorrow, and not a moment too soon. Now we can finally cross it off our marital to-do list—for at least another decade.

Photo courtesy hoodsie, morgueFile

1 comment:

  1. I've always figured it's cause these products are similar to a car.. most ppl dont purchase these things many times, so the companies have to take advantage and maximize their profit. Companies that sell soap, cookies, etc. dont have to worry about squeezing every cent out of you, they will get it all in the long run!