Bed Etiquette

As I vowed to do earlier, Eric and I bought a new bed.  We wandered into a couple of mattress stores kind of randomly (one was next to a place where we were getting dinner, the other was next to a place where we bought some excellent $5 tennis rackets) and both times we went to look, we were the only customers in the store.

That means that a salesman, who doesn’t have a lot to do, will laser focus on us asking questions and basically watching us pretend to sleep.  I’m sure they were not creepy dudes, but it is weird to lay on a mattress with my long time boyfriend and try to figure out if this would be a good bed for us.  First of all, it’s pretty hard to relax on a bed in public.


They have those wide cloth strips at the bottom of the mattress so you can put your feet on them without getting the mattress dirty.  But, if I’m going to get comfortable, I want to kick my shoes off.  I was wearing sandals and could have just kicked them off, but I have this weird phobia that a move like that is just exposing my hillbilly roots.

I always lay on my back because I have a bad back, and I want to make sure the mattress isn’t too soft to give me back support.  “Do you normally sleep on your back,” the sales guy asked me.

“No,” I told him, and I realized that I’m both really embarrassed because I feel like I should have known to test out the conditions that I normally sleep in, and also put off by how personal that question felt.

When he wandered away, I moved onto my side, facing Eric, which is how we normally sleep.  “Do you want to make out and see how that feels on the mattress?”

He did, but he also knows that I am only pretending to be that bold.  The thing is, it’s a relevant question, and one that is directly related to my concern over softer mattresses.  There is a part of my brain that wonders if I will sink down so far into a really soft mattress, that I’m basically trapped in the memory foam when we fool around.  Academically, I know this is unlikely, but I can’t bring myself to try it out and prove it to myself.

Also asking me how a mattress feels is like telling someone to just “act natural.”  As soon as you start thinking about it, it’s impossible to tell if your instincts are any good.  Especially since I, alone, picked out the mattress we are replacing because it is incredibly uncomfortable, so I can’t trust my judgment.

Ultimately, we compromised between the one I think Eric liked best (too soft) and the one I was leaning towards (maybe a little too firm, not very breathable).

Here’s what I know: the new bed is awesome!  I was a little surprised by the cost of a new mattress because I usually paid about $350 for a mattress when I was moving around a lot in college and grad school.  But, theoretically we won’t have to buy a new bed for 20 years, and as I get older, there are things I splurge on that I wouldn’t have when I was younger.  Good shoes are worth shelling out for.  And so is a good night’s sleep.  It may have been a coincidence, but for a few days after the new bed was delivered, Eric and I spent a lot of time there.  I took some epic naps, we watched TV, I read while Eric played his ukelele.  About twice a day, I’ve said out loud, “This is a nice mattress!”

The deciding part is weird.  Laying down on a bunch of random beds while people look on and ask questions about your sleeping habits.  But I am glad we did it.

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