When Brooke and I moved in together, we had to decide whose mattress to keep. At first we considered doing it like The Brady Bunch and keeping them all, but once we realized that having a guest bed led to the possibility of having guests, we relented. Brooke’s mattress was a full-sized mattress; mine a queen. So we obviously choose to keep mine and sell hers on Craigslist. This led to one of the most hilarious scenes ever when a couple showed up to buy the mattress and insisted on TESTING IT OUT on our living room floor. I love Craigslist.
The problem with my mattress though is that it is ultra plush. So plush that sometimes I would make pretend I did heroin and I would reenact those scenes in movies where people sit on the edge of the bed, shoot up and then fall backwards onto the mattress because I bet that this is what it feels like – like you are falling deep into a pile of cuddly care Bears who all gather around and rain down their ‘Care Bear stare’ on you like a cumshot of happiness.
Which is great for one person. But add another warm body to the mix and mo plush becomes mo problems. When Brooke and I would both lay on the bed, we would gravitate towards the middle, slipping into what I liked to refer to as “the chasm of love” – which isn’t a vagina euphemism, rather the deep indentation only an ultra plush mattress can provide. At first, this was romantic. It forced us to cuddle. Then, as we started to spend more and more time together and it got to the point where you’re like “I don’t care how perfect your tits are, I don’t want your knee in my stomach tonight,” it became troublesome. Then when we decided to live together and we faced the prospect of cuddling forever, it became dire.
We’ve been saving up money for a couple of months, and finally at the beginning of the month we decided we were ready to buy a bed. Joke’s on us! We were not ready to buy a bed. Not even close. What should have been a simple three step process (shop, buy, deliver), turned into a 38-step (I counted) debacle. So the next time you need a mattress, and you’re looking for something to keep you occupied for a week and a half, follow this method. It’s longer, more expensive, and incredibly inconvenient, but every night when you fall asleep on that mattress you will know that you worked for it.*
Step 1. Choose a store. Brooke and I pick Sleepy’s, the Mattress Professionals. It is located in
Step 2. Schedule your trip. Make sure you take into account outside factors (like the holidays) so that regardless of how awful the mall may be, it will be absolutely packed with people swinging shopping bags full of $10 per dozen boxer shorts from Old Navy. Ideally, now is the time to realize that this process will not be as easy as you thought it would be.
Step 3. Engage a salesperson. This shouldn’t be hard. Once inside Sleepy’s, we are immediately approached by a Certified Sleep Professional™. (We later learn that this moniker is true – in order to be a mattress salesperson you are required to undergo six weeks of training. I imagine if I was in mattress training and Brooke was helping me study for a test:
Brooke: “What are mattresses filled with?”
Me: “Ducks. No, springs! Damn it!”)
Step 4. Become friends with your Mattress Professional. If you get only one sincere piece of advice from this whole story, make it this. Tell him you like his hair, compliment his pants, anything to get on his good side. He decides the price of your mattress. He will also be watching you lay on mattresses for the next hour or so, which is incredibly awkward if there is even a hint of tension in the air.
Step 5. Understand that the first mattress you lay on will not be the right mattress. It will be the very wrong mattress. Your Mattress Professional wants you to lay on an inexpensive, extremely uncomfortable mattress first so that you will get it in your head that you NEED a more expensive mattress. It’ll be like, “Why does this mattress feel so lumpy?” “Oh, it’s full of hypodermic needles. Some new recycling program to lower costs.” Do a token lay-down, but it’s like an at-bat in baseball: You take the first pitch strike, and then the real game begins.
Step 6. Immediately fall in love with the second mattress. In hindsight, this may be where we went wrong. All told, we laid on about four different mattresses over a 20 minute period. As impressive as our economical time management may be, this isn’t exactly the best way to choose a new bed. Think of it like dating: You’re not going to know if you love the girl until you spend at least 15 minutes on top of her.
Step 7. Then choose a more expensive mattress. Once you’ve found a mattress you like, ask what the next step up is “just out of curiosity.” When I did this, the salesman smiled a broad smile. It was like he was a fisherman and I was a trout who jumped onto his boat, and then into his bucket, just to be like, “HEY, WHAT’S GOING ON IN HERE? WHAT’S THIS KNIFE FOR? MAYBE I SHOULD GUT MYSELF?”
Step 8. Pay more than you planned on spending. One of man’s innate tendencies besides survival and dominance is finding a great bargain. For example, I bought a $50 bath mat at Century 21. When I showed it to Brooke, she said, “Why the hell did you spend $50 on a bath mat!?” and I said, “Because it was marked down from $120!” I saw nothing wrong with this argument. Hence, spending more money means nothing as long as it is less money than someone else might pay.
Step 9. Leave the store feeling impressed with yourself. This is very important. This is the feeling you will remember when it all comes crashing down.
* Or, for an even more interesting experience, buy my old mattress. It’s up for sale on Craigslist, but if you act fast you (you!) can own the cuddly Care Bear bed. I’ll even let you try it out on my living room floor. You can even snuggle on it with Puppy for optimal preciousness.