Bob and I have taken the leap.
We started texting one another about 2 years ago and went quickly from a couple of texts a day to a couple of hundred texts a week. I fell into the text habit easily since my son Jack was a texter and would text me when angry rather than talking. It wasn’t unusual to get a text when Jack was sitting 10′ away and glaring at me. A year after Jack’s death, my cell phone was relatively silent until Bob texted about a rent house on my block and we became steady text-ers.
Bob and I text about work, family, 12 step recovery, and life in general. It took a few months before we invited one another to our respective homes, met families, and decided that there might be a relationship there. If asked what we were to one another, we replied “text buddies” at first. Later, we became “best text buddies” (BTB) and finally “best text buddies forever” (BTBF) which is what we were until Sunday.
That’s when we made the commitment of buying a mattress together. Not just any mattress. The most incredible and comfortable mattress in the world (that we can afford).
I didn’t think Bob’s mattress was all that bad until he started complaining about it. I can sleep anywhere, prone or upright. It’s a talent I have. Bob, on the other hand, does not sleep well. Add to that the fact that he works 50′ up in the air most days, climbing ladders, hanging off spider wire, and dangling from rigging. That kind of work takes its toll on muscles and bones.
“I think we need a new mattress. I am waking up more sore every day.” (Really? Do you think it’s that bad? It isn’t that old, is it?) “I know, but it was pretty cheap. Let’s look for a new one.”
I stalled because (1) I thought Bob might be over-reacting about the mattress and (2) I believed that a joint mattress purchase would be crossing my personal relationship boundaries. Those boundaries are fluid, subjective, and elusive unless you try to smudge them. Then, I become like a rabid honey badger defending her dinner. It’s best not cross that line.
I mean, a mattress has a 10 year warranty. What happens if the relationship ends before the warranty? Who gets custody of the mattress? (Margaret and Bob are staying together for the sake of the bed.)
Maybe it was Bob’s nocturnal whispered messages while I slept or maybe it was the persistent stiff neck I had each morning, but I came to believe that Bob’s bed might need to go. And once decided, I noticed every blasted back, neck, shoulder, and hip ache.
We started looking on Friday afternoon when Bob got off work. “We’re going to bring back a bed,” Bob told his son, Bobby. “Make sure your room is clean because we’re moving your old bed out of your room and our old bed in.” Bobby’s been sleeping on a cast-off cast-off so Bob’s bed would be an upgrade.
We decided to get a king sized bed since I have small babysittable grandchildren and I like the family bed for grandchild sleepovers. When the family bed is queen sized like I have and Bob had, it’s a tight fit with an adult, a 2-year-old and a 5-year-old. I wake up moving like Quasimodo. We thought a super sized bed would keep us from looking like the Cathedral bell-ringer. The price of a king bed shocked me, though, and we came home empty-handed on Friday. “Let’s sleep on it,” Bob suggested.
We did and woke with painfully fresh resolve to find a new bed as we creaked out of Bob’s bed. Bob banged on Bobby’s door to remind him that a new bed was joining the family. We checked 4 more places in Corpus. I was still reeling with sticker shock and Bob had a hog hunting opportunity so we decided to wait until Sunday to buy the bed. Bobby was working on homework for college when Bob called over his shoulder to remind him that a new bed was coming.
We did a little bed hopping, threw ourselves onto mattresses, bounced around, flopped from side to back and over to stomach. GE reminded me to choose carefully: “You don’t want to make payments on a bed you hate!” Good advice. We did as much test driving as good manners and the store would let us. In the end, the mattress had to come home by way of San Antonio so we came back empty handed to Bobby’s raised eyebrow and messy room.
By the time the mattress arrived, Bobby was fishing and had to hang his waders by the door when he came home to help us move beds. After we rearranged the beds and put sheets on our new bed, we stood back and admired it. When I was little girl, I loved getting new nightgowns. It was nearly impossible to wait until bedtime because I wanted to wear the new gown right then. That’s the way I was last night and probably tonight.
(Come on, 10 o’clock!)