There are certain consumer-ish milestones people hit on the way to Adulthood. My list included buying a car, owning measuring cups, and coveting a Dyson. By the time I was out of law school, I had reached 99% of the benchmarks. But even after I got the Dyson and managed to have a closet dedicated solely to shoes, there was one seminal Adulthood Marker that eluded me: The Big Girl Bed.
I have this theory that as soon as a person:
- Supports themselves;
- Quasi-regularly makes whoopee (or at least aspires to); and
- Has any self-respect;
then they will acquire a mattress set, any mattress set, bigger than a Twin. It doesn’t matter if it’s purchased from a mattress mega mart, a parental cast-off or from IKEA. As long as it is sized-out of the Transformers sheet set option, it will do.
And for many years, I was the exception to my own rule. Sure I was self-respecting, financially solvent and getting some; I just got it in a Twin bed. Until I was 26. So scratch that self-respecting claim. Anyway, for various reasons I never acquired a larger bed. Things like my shoe collection and vodka took precedent. When I finally did upgrade from the Twin, it wasn’t because I was motivated enough to go purchase a mattress set for myself. Instead, I inherited my brother’s girlfriend’s old bed.
The new-to-me mattress was a Full and I suspect that several generations had previously slept on it. Aside from the sagging and smoke-smell, it came with a rip in the mattress where the stuffing was popping out, forming a bump that never seemed to go away no matter how I flipped it. There were also the broken box springs to contend with. Each night, I had to delicately lie down and avoid shifting around too frequently in my sleep. Because if I didn’t position myself just right, I’d be jolted awake as the bed collapsed into a V-formation centered on where the box springs no longer held together. It got to the point where sex in became a race against the inevitable bed collapse. And with my active sleepover schedule, I was highly motivated to fix the problem. I tired everything from two-by-fours to plywood, but despite my best efforts, in the middle of an intimate moment, the bed would go down. After about five months, some combination of hormones, alcohol and desperation lead to a moment of genius because I finally thought to stack a few law school books under the weak spot. And no matter how much I tried thereafter, the bed never collapsed again.
In retrospect, that bed was craptacular and I might have been better off keeping the Twin. But I didn’t. After all, it still achieved that vital step up the Adulthood Ladder and ultimately, that’s all that matter to my vodka-loving bank account. Until recently. Because something happens after a person turns 30. It’s like a switch flips and all the vitality of youth is sapped from the body. It’s one of those strange things that everybody knows about but science has yet to explain. And at 31, my ability to withstand hangovers, wear four-inch heels and sleep on a horrible, saggy mattress are all things of the past. I’m still willing to give up my entire Sunday to the misery of a hangover. And who in their right mind would give up cute shoes? But the mattress had to go.
This morning, my new, $2500, memory-foam-core and fancy, individually wrapped coil dream bed arrived. When the deliverymen saw my old mattress, one of them started laughing. And as they lifted the infamous box springs, a thud was followed by a yowl and some sort of growl-panting combination. Apparently Number Two was hiding admits the coils. When I finally ripped open the box spring covering to where she was, Number Two flew out, hissing and twice her size. I also found a repository of cat toys, pens and used Kleenex. It seems Number Two is a hoarder.
This new mattress set is everything a Big Girl Bed should be: firm, level, and Queen-sized. Laying on it is akin to orgasmic bliss. Plus, I suspect it can go a few rounds of nighttime fun without the possibility of imminent collapse. I guess that finally, at age 31 and a half, I have reached the last Adulthood milestone. Well, maybe aside from having a robust 401k.