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Randolph County Herald Tribune - Chester, IL
  • Lost in Suburbia: Once upon a sagging mattress

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  • “Help!” I cried out meekly.
    “Where are you?” asked my husband, looking around the bedroom.
    “I’m in here,” I responded. “In the mattress.” Truth be told, I wasn’t actually IN the mattress. It was more like I was ON it, but I was sunk down so low, it looked like I had been swallowed up by the mattress. Our very pricey and well-constructed pillowtop mattress had not held up so well. Granted, I had gained 10 pounds over the winter, but that could hardly account for the huge depressions that had formed on either side of our bed. Based on the size of the holes, it actually looked as though The Incredible Hulk and his wife had slept on our bed.
    The mattress wasn’t a complete disaster, though. In between the two craters there was a large hump down the middle, which, if you balanced yourself just right, provided a flat, if somewhat precariously narrow sleep space. For the past several months I had gotten in the habit of sleeping on the hump to avoid being sucked into the black hole on my side of the bed. The good news was, my husband did the same and it did bring us closer as a couple. The bad news was, if I happened to roll over in the middle of the night, I sank so low into the hole that I needed a crane to pull me out.
    “Time for a new mattress?” asked my husband staring down at me in my crater.
    “You think?” I responded. “Can you give me a hand?”
    He applauded.
    After I was airlifted out of the bed, I called the manufacturer to see if we could get an exchange. I was informed that unless you could actually reach China from the bottom of the mattress, it is just considered normal body wear.
    “It’s normal body wear if you’re BIG FOOT,” I complained to my husband in a huff.
    “Give it up, honey,” he said. “They’ve got us by the mattress springs.”
    So off we went to the mattress store. There was a dizzying array of mattress choices, which was not a good thing for two people who’d been sleeping poorly for several months. But I was confident. I’d done my research. I thought the best way to pick a great mattress was to grill the salesman about the latest advances in mattress coil technology. My husband thought the best way to pick a mattress was to go to sleep on it.
    I quoted Consumer Reports.
    He snored.
    We turned to the salesman for his opinion. He was indeed a wealth of mattress information, having recently graduated from Mattress School, which is only slightly less grueling than Latte School. But even he admitted that the best way to judge a mattress is from a prone position.
    Page 2 of 2 - The problem was, my husband didn’t just fall asleep on any mattress. He fell asleep on the most expensive mattress in the store. And it was love at first zzzzz.
    “This is the one,” he proclaimed when I told him he had to get up because it had become nighttime and they were closing the store.
    “This can’t be the one,” I argued. “It’s too big, it costs too much, and we don’t know anything about its coils or springs.”
    “Try it,” he said, patting the bed.
    I shook my head no.
    “Come on ...”
    I sat on the edge.
    “All the way,” he coaxed.
    I lay down.
    “What do you think?” he asked.
    I melted into the bed. There were no humps. There were no sinkholes. It was just the right firmness and softness. I closed my eyes.
    “Mmm. Let me sleep on it.”
    — For more Lost in Suburbia, follow Tracy on Facebook at facebook.com/LostinSuburbiaFanPage or on Twitter at @TracyBeckerman.
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