I can still remember the day. T and I were standing in my girlhood bedroom. Literally, it was my girlhood bedroom. I was 19 years old, and I still slept in that room each night. On this particular day, a Sunday afternoon, my grandparents were standing in there with us. I’m not sure why we were all in my bedroom. I suppose they had laid their coats on my bed, and they were probably getting ready to leave for the hour-long drive back to their home. They had been to my parents’ house for Sunday dinner. They often made the drive for dinner after church on Sundays.
T and I were newly engaged. My grandparents had a gift for us. It was a check, and they wanted us to buy a nice bedroom set. I remember that word: Nice. They wanted us to have a good quality set of bedroom furniture that would last us a lifetime. I can still see their faces. This was important to them. That it be nice. “Don’t get anything cheap that won’t last. ”
With that check, T and I made our first purchase as a couple at Leath Furniture Store. All of the bedroom furniture was in an upstairs floor of the old building. I think of that day of furniture shopping often. That building is in the historic district that I now manage. I did a walk-through of the building several years ago. At that time, I was trying to find a new owner for the abandoned, rundown property in our downtown. It’s now a successful nightclub. Strange to think that the bed I sit on at this very moment was once upstairs in the Private Party Room.
T and I knew exactly what we wanted in our “first” bedroom set. We wanted cherry wood and a four-poster bed. Kinky? 🙂 I remember the middle-aged sales lady that assisted us with our purchase. First we picked out the bed and dressers. Then it was time for the mattress. I was so shy and uncomfortable as she insisted that we try them out. T and I reclined for all the world to see on the same bed! We chose a Cadillac of a mattress. It was the latest thing, chiropractic approved. What was unique about it was the thick layer of foam that molded to your body. We just liked how soft it felt as we laid there.
That mattress was a good, old thing. Our children were all conceived right there. They slept with us as newborns. I nursed them in the middle of the night on that mattress. We grieved and cried over the loss of our two, little babies. We cried as our oldest son, Andrew, was in intensive care fighting for his life. We dreamed there, both in our sleep, and as we talked deep into the night. We made love thousands of times. We argued thousands of times. We laughed; we worried. That mattress saw it all, and at the end of each day, it was where we found our respite from the trials of the day.
Twenty-seven years later, we have now spent a second night on our brand new mattress. The first night sucked. Midway through the day, T called me, and in a serious voice asked me if I really liked the new mattress. I confessed that I did not. Over a thousand dollars, and neither of us had slept worth a darn.
We tweaked things a little bit the second night. We tore all the bedding off and added our “egg crate,” the wavy chunk of foam that had been on top of the old mattress. We also lowered the bed frame from antique height to the normal height. The new mattress is so thick that the bed had sat well above my waist. I had to hop up to even get into bed! That’s not saying a great deal considering the fact that I am only 5’1″. These changes made night number two much, much better than the first night. It felt more like the “old bed.”
The new mattress is going to take some getting used to. It’s not our old friend. (We have saved the old mattress. It’s at my parents house, but that’s a different blog post!) I am suspicious of this new mattress. Will I die on it? Will T? The old mattress was fruitful. Our life and our family bloomed from that mattress. I think I will have a soft spot for that worn out piece of foam for the rest of my life.