The big moment finally arrived for Laurel yesterday—our Sleep Country 30 day try-the-mattress-and-see-if-you-like-it period ended. Laurel knew that she didn’t like the Spring Air mattress after the second night, but Sleep Country wanted us to live with it for a full month, just to be sure that we weren’t having some sort of slumber time spat that would blow over after a while. Well, it didn’t, so there we were back at the Sleep Country store on (ugh!) Lancaster Drive, sales slip in hand, ready and eager to exercise our mattress exchange rights.
The salesman from whom we had bought the mattress wasn’t hugely thrilled to see us. The store was empty, except for Laurel and me, and he said that he needed to get back to work setting up seven mattress sets that had to be in place before the regional manager arrived. So we were pretty much left to ourselves. Just Laurel, me, dozens of mattresses lined up in tidy rows, and a distracted salesman who clearly cared more about pleasing his regional manager than two dissatisfied customers.
Not that he could have helped us much anyway. Selecting a new mattress isn’t like choosing a TV, or evaluating a car. For one thing, mattresses don’t do anything. They simply sit there, mattressing. Plus, you can’t check out the input and output connections, or look under the hood, of a mattress. All the important innards are hidden under coverings that are sewn as tight as, well, as a mattress.
That leaves only one thing to do: lie down. And, for Laurel at least, not just in one position, but in every sleeping position she uses throughout the night. On back, on left side, on right side. Three positions, many mattresses, lots of combinations to evaluate. Fortunately, we had plenty of time, and the salesman was only too happy to leave us alone. It was a surreal Zen shopping experience. Very little movement. Much inward introspection. Man and woman, communing silently with mattresses, listening for that small inner voice that whispers, “I am the one you will be happy with; take me home.”
It took quite a while for Laurel to hear that voice. I can sleep on just about anything, with the possible exception of a bed of nails, so I kept saying, “It’s your decision; you’re the one with a bad back.” However I did provide some persuasive male logic at a point in our Sleep Country shopping when I began to visualize us getting to know the regional manager more intimately than I had any desire to know him, and, worse, becoming expert in the procedures for locking up the store at closing time in about five hours.
“It would be easier to make a too-firm mattress softer, as opposed to making a too-soft mattress firmer,” I observed, immediately feeling that this bedroom-related conversation was beginning to tread too closely to a middle-aged man’s self-esteem danger zone. Laurel recognized the deep wisdom of this comment, which, thankfully, got us up off the mattresses and over to the cash register. We ended up paying just a little bit more, since once again we were talked into buying some stain-resistant coating (got to plan ahead for senile night-time accidents, I guess) that supposedly also is an impermeable barrier to mites (yeah, sure). So next Monday we adopt a cute new Sealy Posturepedic and get rid of that unlikable Spring Air. I’ll let you know how the three of us end up getting along.