I’ve never been a good sleeper. When I was little my mom would put me down for a nap, or so she thought, and five minutes later I would come out and declare that I’d had a great nap and I was ready to get up. My daughter was the same and so is SHE. I guess it runs in our family. Sleep is a waste of time. But when I do sleep, I want a comfortable bed. When Gary and I got married, I had the same bed that moved with me from Fort Bragg. I don’t remember where I got it now, but it was an old “pillow top” with body indentations on either side and a mountain in the middle. Gary wasn’t too excited about sleeping in that bed, but I was there so he had no choice. Frankly, it was a really uncomfortable bed so it wasn’t long before we decided to get a new bed. We’d seen the advertisements about the Tempe-pedic bed so we decided to give it a try. The store promised delivery of the new and removal of the old. That seemed like a really great deal to us so we bought the mattress and anxiously awaited its arrival.
Because we live down in Southern Humboldt, we’re always on the bottom of the delivery list so it took awhile for it to arrive. In the meantime we grumbled and tossed and turned, rolling towards each other only to roll back down on the sides again. When the store called and said the new mattress was on the way, I stripped the bed and washed all the bedding. The delivery guys wrestled in the bed and flopped it on the box springs. I was surprised how thin it seemed and it was much lower than the old mattress. I immediately loved it, but Gary said it was too soft, it was too hot, it wasn’t comfortable and finally, that he hated it. What to do? Our old mattress was gone. The only solution was to go back to the store where we had purchased it, pick out another mattress and then have them come get the Tempe-pedic and exchange it for whatever mattress we bought. Of course, Gary was working out of town when I went to get the new mattress. I went through the store, flopping first on one mattress and then another. Like the Three Bears, this one was too soft, this was too hard, this was too high, and this was too low. I finally settled on another pillow top and the deal was struck. It cost nearly $1800.00 so I figured it must be a good mattress. Gary loved it, I hated it. It was so huge that I had to put books under my bedside lamp so I raise it up high enough to read. It made our room seem like a soap box. But I wasn’t going to go through the mattress exchange again so I gradually got used to it and got a prescription for Ambien.
It wasn’t long before our bodies began to create the familiar trough on the sides and the mountain rose up in the middle. I don’t sleep very well as it is, but I can’t sleep with anyone touching me. I need to sprawl. Gary sleeps on his back. I never sleep on my back. I have to be on my side so we end up on either of the bed. After only a couple of months, the trough got deeper and the mountain got higher and higher until we were yodeling goodnight to each other. We both started to hate the mattress. I called the store and told them that the mattress was already feeling like it was ten years old. We wanted to return it for a plain old mattress. Well, they said, they would have to send someone to our house to check out the mattress before they could consider taking it back and they would have to verify that the mattress could be defective. Geez. A mattress inspector?
The day he was to arrive I cleaned my house really good. I always have a clean house. I can’t stand dust and dirty windows, or dishes in the sink and clutter. I figured the mattress inspector would take a careful look at how we lived and consider that when making his decision. We really wanted to get rid of the mattress so I was going to cover all the bases. He rang the bell at my gate and I saw him through the trees. He was about six foot six with a high dome balding head and skinny as a rail. He sort of looked like Ichabod Crane. He had the personality of a corpse. My dogs didn’t like him and neither did I. I asked him for some ID and looked at his work order before letting him through. He gave me the creeps. When he came into the house all he asked was “Where’s the bedroom”. I really didn’t like that! I’d never had a guy that looked like that ask me that question before! And it got even creepier when he opened up his case on the bed and took out these weird tools. I began backing out towards the dining room, getting myself closer to the kitchen where the knives were. The dogs whimpered. He began measuring back and forth, using some sort of thing similar to a plum bob. Then he took out a sextant of some sort that he put to his eye and bending over like a crane, he spied down the string. Me and the dogs stood in the door and watched this strange procedure. After about fifteen minutes he stated that he couldn’t authorize the return of the mattress. “What?” I cried, “Are you kidding me? Look at those trenches on either side of the mattress! When we sleep I can’t see my husband until we get up in the morning, they’re so deep!” No, said he, he couldn’t return the mattress as there was a small stain on the end. I looked closer and then I remembered it was several weeks before while I was changing the sheets that Lola the cat had jumped up on the bed and vomited up some sort of mouse or critter. Ugh! Damn cat. At any rate, I was glad when he left. He was really weird
When Gary got home I told him the bad news. We were stuck with the pillow top. Our solution was to turn over the mattress and sleep on the bottom, which was hard as a rock, so I went to Sear’s and bought a Tempe-pedic pad. Now our bed was so high that we had to put more books under the lamp and we needed a ladder to get into it. We couldn’t tuck in the sheets or blankets so our feet stuck out at night. We both hated it. But it was $1800.00 and we were determined to get the use out of it. We grumbled, tossed and turned on that thing for two years………..until today.
Last week we went up to Carl Johnson’s in Eureka and bought new mattresses for our rooms downstairs at the Riverwood. They’re reconditioned and really comfortable. He had a California King there and we decided to give it a shot. It’s just a plain, nice, clean mattress. This morning we wrestled out the old pillow top and put our new mattress on the bed. We can actually tuck in the sheets and we don’t need the books under our lights anymore. And oh joy, now Rusty and Willie can jump on the bed too. Our room looks bigger and the mattress feels like a dream……all for only $239.00!