The official site of the sleep-deprived

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Welcome to Billy Bob's

It's one of those things you don't notice until you're ready to make a buying decision. Signs that say "Mattress Sale - Today Only!" You think "Hey, that's great!" "'What a stroke of luck!" "Am I a saavy consumer, or what?" As you get closer, you see the sign's edges are yellow and curled up, with hundreds of dead flies stuck tight behind the glass.

Rule #1 - mattresses, like used cars, are always on sale.

The concept of "moderation" is not well understood in Texas, and I find myself at the entrance to Billy Bob's Big-Ass Bed Emporium staring into an airplane hanger filled floor to ceiling with nothing but mattresses. No, no, no, no no! This is NOT how I had visualized it at all. I am stunned by the decisions that must be made before progressing to Level 2 - the actual test drive.

Queen or King? Or maybe California King - like sleeping on opposite sides of the continent!
Innerspring or memory foam?
Coil count is critical! Heavy or light gauge?
Hourglass shaped, continuous coil or individually pocketed?
How about half innerspring and half memory foam?
Are either of you a light sleeper? (ok, now that's funny)
Do you prefer firm or soft?
Are you a side sleeper?
Are you a side sleeper who likes soft and your partner a back sleeper who prefers firm?
Do your arms tend to go numb?
How about a mattress with a water bladder?
Do one or both of you get up alot during the night? (I'm not clear whether those last two questions are somehow related.)
Then there's the matter of pillowtop. Plush, Euro-style, quilted, silk, cashmere, cotton or wool?

If you think you might want to try memory foam - great! Same material the astronauts use (you know, I had never thought to put mattress material and "G" force sustainability into the same sentence before).
Memory foam is a little more firm but conforms to your body! (There's no mention that it also creepily resembles packing material.)
How about a solid core latex mattress then? It's all natural you know. And, you'll sleep cooler than on synthetic foam (a rubber bed - this is joke, right?)

Trying to be accommodating, the salesman assures me there's a bed for every budget - $500-$4500 - which narrows the decision considerably.

And then, to drive in the last nail of his sales arsenal he reminds me, "But, of course, you can't put a price on a good night's sleep now can you? After all, heh, heh, you'll be logging 30,000 hours on this baby! What's that worth to you?"

I realize I probably look like a cobra staring at a snake charmer. I'm even swaying back and forth with my mouth hanging open. I put my tongue back in and refrain from screaming at the baby-faced salesman with his 29-item ala carte mattress menu.

"Don't you understand? I just want to buy a damn bed that will allow me to sleep through the night, which will put me back into the game, so I can become absurdly happy, fabulously rich, over-the-top good-looking, the epitome of health & fitness, with a higher IQ and maybe a new wardrobe! There is absolutely NO WAY I can make this decision without a decade or more of research. No, no, no, no, no." I am not happy. I want to run out of the store. I need more time. I need someone to make this decision for me. I need fresh air. No, I take that back; what I really need is wine.

Menopause has already rendered my usually rational, linear, quick-to-make-a-decision-with-no-looking-back brain into the equivalent of mental Bisquick; this was to have been a simple lie down, this feels good, how much, I'll take it kind of day. Deliver it tomorrow and by Tuesday I will be A BETTER PERSON.

Obviously, this wasn't going to be the quick fix I had envisioned. It was to have been The Thing that changes EVERYTHING. And The Thing did not include the equivalent of a multiple choice mattress SAT.

So forget about the bed. Besides, I've just learned of something even better. This is the Real Deal. This is The Thing. I'm told they will stop the aging process, give me Linda Hamilton's biceps, repair snapped synapses, allow me to sleep throught the night, and give me the flexibility to finally do Pilates:

Bio-Identical Hormones

to be continued ....

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