Big purchases are a cause for research. This begins with a casual stroll down the Costco aisle. The price tags make it a drive by. Also, there is the question of how, even if we had $1000 in our pockets, we would get a mattress home, considering that he drives a sub-compact car.
The next day, he is consulting Consumer Reports online--the Last Word on any and all items one might need to purchase. The only trouble is, the mattress is the only item they pretty much refuse to rate. Consumer Reports explained that pretty much all mattresses are constructed in a similar manner. After all, it really falls to a matter of personal taste: Do you like soft? Or do you like hard?
This question resulted in a bonafide date. We showered, dressed, and braved pre-rush hour traffic on Division to test mattresses. At the second store, we were shown our first bed: marriage bed replacement #1 (MBR1). MBR1 contained springs which were specially made so as not to make a crater. Our shiny salesman instructed us to lie down and see how it felt.
Good. It felt good. Better than the bed we have now (which contains the residue of a past marriage). It is residue free.
The shiny salesman walks us over to another bed, a bed he predicts will be too soft. We concur. It is too soft. At this point shiny salesman tells us about his wife, Katie, who has an unspecified nervous condition. She, it seems, prefers a softer bed. I begin to wonder about Katie's health. I find myself wanting to see a photo of her.
The shiny salesman walks us over to a bed made of foam and space-age gel. This bed has no springs. The salesman offers us a square of the foam to squeeze. He tells us to lie down and then completes the illusion with pillows. My man and I are flat on our backs, a bit out of our elements, considering that this is a storefront, with a group of salesmen over in the corner around a small TV watching a football game. Journey's "Open Arms" is playing overhead. This isn't the slightest bit romantic, and the salesman comes off as the waiter in search of a good tip. He leaves, comes back, leaves, comes back. Upon every return, he asks, "How's that feel?"
Eventually we end up in the best and most expensive model. This is the model I've seen on TV. It has a remote. The bed is remotely operated, with each side able to be manipulated according to its occupant's desire. You want to sit up and read while your lover sleeps? Buzzzzz. It is done. You want your legs elevated? Buzzzzzz. It is done. You want a g-spot rocking massage? Buzzzzzz. It is done. This bed has us glaze-eyed, sleepy, and strangely feeling like we should be smoking a post-coital cigarette even though there has been no coitus.
"How's that feel?" Indeed.
Alas, this bed costs as much as a new car, especially if one decides to buy mattress, box spring, and the remote-control pleasure center.
It is decided. We will buy bed number 3 of 6. We are Goldilocks. We have tried the soft beds, the medium beds, the hard beds, the spring bed, the foam beds, the non-motorized beds, and the motorized beds, and we have decided that one is....just right.
Shiny salesman leads us to the front desk. Before we know it, we are filling out paper work, deciding on delivery dates. Somewhere in there, I recognize that feeling that's been coming on more and more lately as I settle blissfully into domesticity. I've been nesting, and I know it. But what happens in a situation like this is that OTHERS--complete strangers, sales people, cashiers, waitresses, etc.--recognize that we are a solid unit. We are stable. We do normal things. We buy groceries. We eat out. We buy beds together. We make purchases that speak of a future.
Shiny salesman staples our paperwork together. He reminds us that the bed will not initially feel like the one in the showroom. He reminds us that you can break the bed in by taking your shoes off and walking around on the mattress, or you can break it in by sleeping on it. We smirk at this, as we both know there are other ways to break a bed in.
He informs us the delivery company will arrive with the bed on Thursday, and he sends us off into the evening, but not before reminding us that, technically, that's the last bed we may ever need. He reminds us that it has a 25-year warranty. He reminds us of its 90+% satisfaction rate.
We leave a bit exhausted from having tested so many beds. We leave a bit giddy. We aren't done. It is out with the old and in with the new. Why should we dress a new bed in old clothes? We shop for new bedding, visiting 3 or 4 stores until we settle on a charcoal gray quilt with intricate stitching. Operating under something akin to a sugar high, I make the bed. I cut the tags off. I stuff the pillows into shams. I smooth the wrinkles. I invite him to look at what we've made.
We both think these new blankets and this new bed will work miracles. We will sleep better than we ever have. Truth is, since we've met, we've slept better because we're at ease. We've slept better because we are in love.