Step 10. Receive delivery of your mattress. It’s a proud moment. Enjoy it. Little do you know it will only last five minutes.
Step 11. Immediately realize your mistake. Just as the mattress delivery men leave, go into the bedroom and jump on the mattress. Realize you have made a big mistake.
Step 12. Don’t vocalize your mistake, because that makes it real. For some reason, both Brooke and I made pretend we loved it. We laid down on it cooing comforting “oohs” and “ahhs” even while our eyes were saying, “What the fuck is wrong with this mattress?” Finally, while laying there pretending to love it, we had this exchange:
Brooke: (shyly) “Do you think it’s maybe a little hard?”
Me: “It’s like it’s stuffed with rocks!”
Step 13. Make up nonsensical excuses.
“Because our last mattress was so soft, this one only feels harder.”
“It was in the cold truck for so long that it needs to reach room temperature.”
“All mattress need to be broken in.”
“It needs a mattress pad. That will make it less hard.”
Step 14. Do research on the internet (because that fixes everything). This is Brooke’s method of solution for everything. The girl has a knack for finding message boards on every topic imaginable. She once convinced me that a build up of toxins in the digestional tract can lead to headaches and sleeplessness. That led to us getting colonics together on our six month anniversary. I don’t like message boards.
Step 15. Call customer service even though it won’t help. After worrying that maybe we were delivered the wrong mattress, we checked the model number on the all important DO NOT REMOVE UNDER PENALTY OF LAW tag and called Sleepy’s to ask them to read the model number off the bed we had tried in the store. They put Brooke on hold. And never came back. Brooke said something to the effect of, “I’m going to [blank] that [blankity blank] in the [blank].” Even I’m not comfortable printing what she said.
Step 16. Go back to the store and check for yourself. We decided that we needed to take matters into our own hands. We showered (well, I showered and Brooke changed her pants) and went to check for ourselves. Only we decided that we needed extra motivation to make the trip “fun.” So we made it a race against time. Twenty minutes to get off the subway, up into the mall, through the Target to the Sleepys, check the mattress number and get back on the subway. With Jack Bauer-worthy precision, we made it to the platform with a minute to spare. Alas, the subway arrived 30 seconds too late. (Damn you, MTA!)
Step 17. Regroup. The model numbers were the same, so we were convinced that we had made the right choice. Now it was just a matter of the mattress thawing / breaking in / magically transforming into a different mattress.
Step 18. Try to convince yourself that it is OK, even though every time you sit on it you go, “What the fuck is in there, concrete? It’s like sitting on a park bench!”
Step 19. Make pretend you are still deliberating. We would say things like, “I’m 60/40 on the mattress. 60% it sucks, 40% it’s just bad.” Then we’d laugh about it, but cry on the inside.
Step 20. Take it out on each other. Ultimately, it is better to place the blame. Here, we had to get creative. It was Brooke’s fault because she didn’t like my old, soft mattress and she overcompensated. It was my fault because I had that stupid soft mattress in the first place. And maybe if I took out the garbage before letting it stink up the apartment, we wouldn’t be in this position in the first place.
Step 21. Redefine the problem. It turns out we didn’t pick the wrong mattress. We picked the wrong sized mattress. What we really need is a king-size! Well that was silly of us, now we have to return it. And not at all because it feels like the back of a pickup truck.
Step 22. Spend a long, long, long time picking out your second mattress. When we went back to the store and explained everything to our mattress professional, he showed us tons of softer mattresses. The only problem was that we were so psyched out that we couldn’t tell if the mattresses were comfortable or not. We ended up asking each other questions like, “Do I look comfortable?” “If you were me, would you be comfortable? “What is comfort, really?”
Step 23. Pick out your second bed. You’ll know you’ve found the right one when you lay on it and ask the salesman how much it costs and when he tells you, you say, “Now that’s for two mattresses? Or just the one?”
Step 24. Negotiate the price like a stealthy executive.
Him: “This is going to be about double the price.”
Me: “Sounds great!”
Him: “Plus there is a $250 exchange fee.”
Me: “Love it!”
Step 25. Accept your punishment. After signing the new papers, Brooke and I left happy, saying that we made a simple mistake and did the proper thing to correct the situation. So what if we maybe spent a little extra money. There is nothing more valuable than learning from your mistakes.
Step 26. Put a ridiculously positive spin on your punishment. Eventually, you will have a serene moment where you will realize that this is for the best. You had to buy the wrong mattress in order to buy the right one. Even if you’ve never believed in fate before, you believe it was in play here. You will probably tell the story to your friends, concluding with, “Isn’t it crazy how things work out?” And they’ll be like, “So that sucks that you bought the wrong mattress the first time.” Because they don’t get it.
Step 27. Blame someone else for your punishment, but make it like you won because of your ridiculously positive spin. Actually, it turns out we didn’t spend any extra money at all! Because we got the second mattress at a deep discount, which was then applied to the price of the new mattress as well. And we probably wouldn’t have gotten the same discount had we bought that mattress first because it wasn’t included in the sale! I can’t believe Sleepy’s tried to screw us like that. We’re practically geniuses for subverting their evil ways.
Step 28. Make preparations. Now that we were the proud owners of a not-more-expensive-than-the-last-one-we-bought king sized mattress, we needed sheets. We walked over to Target and found 1000 thread count sheets at a deep discount. We’re on a roll today!
Step 29. Don’t pass up on great deals at Target. Seriously, $2.09 for a box of Honey Bunches of Oats? With almonds? FAMILY SIZE?
Step 30. Receive delivery of your second mattress. Try to remain undaunted by the fact that your new king-sized bed is probably the largest thing you’ve ever owned, your 1994 four door Saturn included.
Step 31. Realize that maybe you were wrong again. I can’t overestimate this: A king-sized mattress is HUGE. The sheets that go on it are huge. When I first sat on the edge, my feet didn’t touch the floor. It felt like everything else in the apartment shrank, except the bed, which was growing and taking over. It was so big that now the bedroom door kind of had no where to swing. Which is a problem if you like to use doors in the traditional sense, with their swinging.
Step 32. Do anything in your power to not be wrong again. Since clearly the bed cannot be the problem, because it is perfect in every way, because you could never be wrong about two beds in such a short time span, it must be that everything else around it has become imperfect. What to do with an imperfect door them? Why take it off, of course! Who needs a door?! It’s 2007 for God’s sake!
Step 33. Don’t learn from your mistakes; learn to embrace your mistakes. So what if we moved into a two bedroom apartment so we could have the privacy of separate rooms, only to take down the things that actually provide the privacy? It’s called rolling with the punches. (Side note: Betraying my cool exterior, this entire sequence of events, which happens faster than I can process it (seriously, the door was off the wall in three minutes), is shaking my core beliefs to their very foundation.)
Step 34. Really, really embrace them. After our first night of sleep, we realized that we hated the sheets we bought. But we were such pros at returning stuff that we figured, Why the hell not?
Step 35. Throw money at the problem. Now we needed new sheets. So off to Bed Bath and Beyond we went. And while we were there, we decided to pick up a few other things we needed, like one of everything in the store, including new king sized pillows, and a bed skirt and candles. At one point I put a basket of fake flowers in the cart and when Brooke asked me what I was doing, I just said, “I don’t know.”
Step 36. Like hug the shit out of your mistakes. When you get home and realize that the blue sheets you bought look horrendous in your green room (who knew!), don’t get discouraged. We didn’t. We actually slept in the, woke up the next day, packaged them up and returned them. It got to the point where I could actually repack the sheets just like they come, in those small, plastic pouches.
Step 37. Put on the finishing touches. You don’t need to subscribe to HGTV to know that a heavy curtain makes a great substitute for a bedroom door. (Hence my trip to the racist death store the other day). And with the right sheets finally in place (three tries doesn’t seem excessive, especially in light of taking two tries for the mattress itself), and the right pillows, Brooke and I were ready to enjoy the mattress. Except we were too tired. We agreed to “enjoy” it this weekend, maybe with some light bondage. But you know what’s exciting in the meantime? Sleeping on your side and not kicking the person next to you in bed. It is a new, revolutionary way to sleep. It’s like, they’re there if you want to grope them or ask for a sip of water, but they’re not there when you want to go to sleep. It’s like you’re suddenly living with a hooker. But, you know, nicer.
Step 38. Bask in the glory of your new bed. There’s a saying that goes: “Working is hard; sleeping is easy.” But I don’t think so. You see, you can’t rest until you have worked for something. Like if someone ever killed my mom and I had to seek out vengeance. Would I sleep at night? No. Not until I killed my mom’s killer. It’s the same thing with buying a mattress. I worked for it. And I’ve earned that sleep.