Melanie and I own a queen-size bed. It was originally Melanie’s brother Mark’s, but he bought a new bed and donated his old one to us when Melanie and I got married. I don’t know how long Mark owned the bed before giving it to us, but since Melanie and I got married in 2005, I’d guess that it’s at least five years old, and almost certainly a few years older than that … and maybe even a few years older than that. I don’t know how long beds are supposed to last. And though it sounds like I’m setting this up to say we need a new bed, I’m not. Not exactly, anyway. In my opinion, our mattress is just fine. I find it very comfortable. But the box spring is, and I think always has been, incredibly noisy. Squeaky and creaky, like the floorboards of a 120-year-old house. And even that wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t so darn sensitive. You can’t move a muscle without the bed groaning. It’s amazing REM sleep itself doesn’t cause the bed to squeak. On restless nights, I worry that our neighbors must think Melanie and I are still in the honeymoon phase with all the creaking they must hear. (On the plus side, when Melanie and I do get romantic, our neighbors probably can’t fathom that we’re doing anything romantic—it must sound like lumberjacks deconstructing a rainforest.)
Confession: I’ve never purchased a bed before. I have no idea how it works. I don’t know if you buy the box spring separately or what. I would think so; I know not everyone has one. But in the little bit of research I’ve done online, I don’t see any stores saying anything about box springs for sale. I can find mattresses aplenty, but nobody mentions box springs. What’s the deal? Not that we’re likely to buy a new box spring even if we can find them. But it’s nice to know our options, just in case we someday make our dream a reality. We’ve been talking about buying a new box spring for a long time, but it’s never seemed absolutely necessary, so it’s hard to do it. Of course, this is based on my assumption that it would be a fairly expensive purchase. I’ll be angry at remaining ignorant for so long if it turns out they’re not too pricey. But I assume they are. And so, let the creaking continue.
Noisy box spring aside, my real motivation for writing this post is how crowded I’ve ended up feeling in a queen-size bed. Before you bust out the fat jokes, I only feel crowded when Peter and/or Edison ends up in bed with us. But, so far, that happens almost every night, at least at some point. More often than I’d like, I end up lying on my side on the very edge of the bed, which not only feels unstable but can cause my arms to go dead and ache. (Thankfully, I don’t have nearly the problem with dead arms that I used to have, though it helps immensely if I’m not stuck lying on my side.) I wouldn’t have thought that a king-size bed could make much of a difference, but I learned otherwise when we recently stayed at a hotel in Savannah, Georgia. We had a room with one king-size bed, and to my great astonishment, all four of us fit in the bed rather comfortably! I couldn’t believe it! Consulting the omniscient and infallible Wikipedia, it turns out a king-size mattress is wider than a queen by a whopping 16 inches. I guess I didn’t think it’d be that big of a difference, but now that I’ve seen just how beneficial those extra 16 inches can be when you have children, I’m eagerly awaiting the day when I’ll have a king-size bed of my own. The problem is, I probably can’t afford one until my kids have all grown up and moved away. (Cruel non-literal irony!) Realizing just how lovely a king-size bed would be also discourages me from investing in a new box spring – why invest in a new queen-size box spring when that would pay for a substantial portion of a king-size mattress and box spring? Fortunately, being a grad student precludes me from worrying much about making these kinds of decisions. A more realistic decision I’m currently facing is whether or not to splurge and buy bread that costs over a dollar.
The preceding message was in no way brought to you by Oxfam International.