After spend-ing my entire married life on hand-me-down mattresses, except for that brief period with a rent-to-own deal, I was ecstatic about choosing a brand new set. We had been discussing it for ages, knowing instinctively that a number of our aches and pains would subside if we weren’t constantly fighting for the one spot in the bed that didn’t sag to the floor.
My mattress history is dismal at best. As a toddler, I was transferred from the crib to my very first “big bed.” This is a normal course of events in the life of every child, but most children don’t inherit the bed of their recently deceased great-grandfather.
Grandpa Whipple was a hefty man, and the mattress he had slept on for a quarter century prior to my birth, resembled a swayback horse. A hammock would have been an improvement.
To a 3-year-old it didn’t matter much. I took my blankie and cocooned in the deep indentation. But by the time I reached six, my mother began to worry that the complete lack of lumbar support would permanently affect my posture. Dad had an ideal solution, and it did not include a trip to the mattress store.
Plywood had been used to build a hutch for my rabbits, cover the beams in the attic to prevent anyone from stomping through the living room ceiling, and as a ramp for wheeling elderly relatives in and out of the house. So, it came as no surprise that, in an effort to shore up the deteriorating mattress, a sheet of plywood was tucked underneath. My posture did not improve, and I now had the added burden of waking up with splinters in my fingers if I let my hand drape over the edge of the bed.