Monday, June 21, 2010

Six Layers of Irony and Our First Bed

Thursday night, L. and I had had about enough of sharing the same, old, saggy, tiny twin XL mattress. We're going to be staying in our summer dorm for 10 weeks, and while that's not forever, it's certainly long enough to be pretty miserable with the sleep we were getting. Plus, we tend to stay over a lot during the school year, and L. agreed that investing in a big bed now and carrying it over into the school year would be a wise choice.

We set out for Sleepy's, which is about a 10 minute drive from Williams, and L. tried to warn me not to get my hopes up--even if we found a mattress in our price range (which was basically as cheap as possible), it was very unlikely that we'd be able to bring it home that night. We'd be at the mercy of the delivery people. And therefore, I should expect to sleep on the saggy twin mattress for a few more nights. Naturally, I ignored L.'s warnings, and bounced up and down on the way to Sleepy's, singing, "Big bed, big bed, you will be so comfortableeee!"

We walked into the showroom and right away, the salesman descended on us. L. and I talked about it afterward and decided we both got the same vibe from him right from the get-go: used car salesman. Imagine how funny it was to find out when we were finalizing our sale (spoiler alert, I guess) that he had in fact been a used car salesman for 14 YEARS. Perhaps that can even be considered layer of irony #1. (There's a LOT of them in this story).

I've NEVER been a good haggler. I'm too sweet and nonconfrontational. At least, I used to be. Apparently now I'm hard as stone. Cold as steel. Or, just really, really, broke, and therefore no one is going to mess with me and my money. I had done some research on the Sleepy's website and found that we could get a nice full for about $330, which is what I was going off of when we first walked into the store. So imagine my frustration when the first words out of the sales guy's mouth were, "So, we're probably going to be looking around the $500, $600 range."

Uhm, negative. My back, aching from only four nights on a saggy mattress, and the circles under my eyes, clearly making me look tougher, were not buying it. I informed him that I had done my research online, and we were firmly set in our price range. He then promptly tried to get us to consider a $1000 mattress, apparently marked down due to some mysterious back-room overstock situation, and L. and I started to worry. Plus, we really wanted a boxspring/mattress set, and a frame would have been part of our wildest dreams. there was no way we could splurge on a mattress and then ALSO have to buy the boxspring and frame, not to mention the new sheets.

Then, seemingly, the tide began to turn. Suddenly, there were a bunch of universal metal frames in the back room and we could have one, for FREE. Our ears definitely perked up with that. Then, he took us to another option in the showroom: a queen sized mattress and boxspring set for...$340.

Hello?! YES and also YES! Why did you not show us this from the get-go, you sneaky, sneaky salesman?? We lay on it and it was glorious. I was beaming from ear to ear, but L. seemed less enthused. I guess he was still suspicious of the salesman, but I was ready to whip out the credit cards and get er' done. You don't look a show horse in the mouth, so to speak. The one we ended up going with was the King Koil Cascade Plush. L. was wary about the brand, since he had never heard of "King Koil" before and would have felt better about a Sealy or a Serta, but after I called him a label whore we both agreed it was more about saving money now and splurging on our more permanent mattress in California next year. I would definitely recommend it for anyone who needs a good, big, cheap mattress--even after only one night!

And then, all my dreams came true. The guy asked what kind of car we were driving, and we said that L. had a Subaru Forester. He asked if it had luggage racks, which it does. So then he asked if we wanted his help tying it to the top and taking it home that way. I just about jumped up out of my chair. L. was more bemused, but when the salesguy went off to get the mattress from the back room and told us to pull our car around back so we could tie it up, I resumed my song. "Big bed, big bedddd, you will be so comfortableeee!"

The delivery guy helped us start to get everything up on top of the car. "Do a lot of people tend to do this?" I asked him. "Oh no," he said. "You guys are one of the only ones who have been crazy enough to try it."

Well, that's great.

But when we were done, there was no way that baby was going anywhere. We happily (and carefully) drove to Wal-Mart to get new sheets to fit our new baby. After a brief disagreement on aesthetics, I finally realized that for such a temporary situation, it wasn't worth getting my decor-and-good-taste-loving self worked up about, and we settled on a nice grayish-cream 400 thread count Egyptian cotton pair. I was dying to get home, wash them up, and crawl into bed...and yes, it was only about 7:30 at this point. I didn't care. So we happily wheeled our new sheets out to the car, and got in, only to discover, to our absolute and sheer horror, that when L. turned the key in the ignition, nothing happened. Well, that's actually not true; the lights and radio came on, so we knew it wasn't the battery, and there was almost half a tank of gas. So it literally seemed like the Universe had just waited for the absolute worst, most ironic time to play a mean-spirited practical joke. This was most certainly layer of irony #3.

With virtually nothing wrong with the car that we could see, L. and I just sat in shock as the details of the situation set in. We were stuck in a Wal-Mart parking lot, with a giant mattress strapped to the top of a car that refused to start. L. tried the key a few more times, but each time it just did absolutely nothing. And then, though I'm not proud to say it, the bickering began.

For anyone who might think based on previous posts that L. and are sickeningly sweet, well, let this round us out a little for you. Like any normal couple, when sticky situations go down, so does L.'s and my patience. He's going to hate me so much for saying this, but I'm actually the one who's really good at fixing things. The remote's broken? I can fix it. The bed frame is impossible to set up? I can fix it. (This comes later.) I think a lot of women are more willing to consult directions, guides, to ask questions, to do whatever to get it done, whereas men just stubbornly try the same thing again and again. Or, get angry and use force. Eventually, L. and I agreed that our best plan would be to find a friend with another car to come take our mattress, and use my AAA membership for the car itself. AAA will usually only tow a car once, to its final destination, and that was tricky for us since the car needed to go to the shop, but the mattress needed to go to the dorm. And unlike what would be the case if we were just taking the bed home, or somewhere with parking, after which we could arrange to get the car to the shop another time, we were bringing the mattress to a dorm with no parking. In fact, our summer parking is a good 15 minute walk from our dorm. (Don't even get me started.) So we needed to get rid of the mattress before AAA showed up.

L. called a couple of his fellow Octet guys, Pete and Matt, since they're usually good for coming through in a pinch--plus, since L.'s one of the few taken ones, he's a perpetual wingmanner, so therefore they owe him--but Matt didn't answer and Pete said he'd call us right back. I called a couple friends as well but the problem was we just didn't know that many people on campus for the summer. We finally decided to just call AAA and see, if we said pretty-please, if they would drop our mattress and bring L.'s car to the shop. Pretty much the second I hung up from placing the call, Pete and his friend pulled up next to us in a giant minivan, gesticulating wildly, ready to save the day. *Facepalm.* And also, cue layer of irony #4.

L. and I happily jumped out to greet Pete and his friend, who said they were going inside to grab some things, and we could start tying the mattress to their car. First L. moved the frame from inside our car to the minivan. While he started undoing the bungee cords over the mattress, I grabbed his keys and decided to give the engine just one last try.

And of course, it turned over effortlessly and started humming happily, like nothing had ever happened at all.


(I also really love that I was the one to get it to start, for the reasons I mentioned above. Clearly L. was not as amused.)

Not quite sure whether to be extremely pissed or to just laugh hysterically (it was more the latter), L. and I moved the frame back into the car, which we decided we were NEVER TURNING OFF AGAIN, and then L. ran into Wal-Mart to let Pete know that we were all set, and to thank him for coming, while I canceled my assistance request with AAA.

When L. came back out of Wal-Mart, he was laughing even more than before.

"What happened?" I asked.
"Well, I went in to find Pete, and guess who I bumped into?"

That's right. When L. had called Matt earlier to ask him to come help us out and pick us up from Wal-Mart, Matt didn't get the call, because he was driving, on his Wal-Mart.

And that, friends, is layer of irony #6.

L. and I drove the mattress back to the dorm, where his friend Moyukh was waiting to help us carry it in, and then the boys were going to go on a beer run for when we watched Game 7 later. (LAKERS! WOOO!) (Also, just for full disclosure, I live in Boston now and I'm moving to LA next year, so I'm actually pretty neutral).

I supervised as the boys carried the mattress and boxspring into the room. We were all feeling happy and accomplished...until we turned to the frame. The boys tried for a good half hour, but they just could NOT figure out how to get it together. We called the sales guy to make sure that he hadn't forgotten to give us any screws, since they could not see it going together without them, but he said it snapped into place really easily. Mocking. Frustrated, they just moved the boxspring in, set the mattress on top of it, threw the frame in the common room and left to go to the liquor store.

I stood in the room and took one look at our beautiful new bed sitting on top of the ugly floor, and marched back out to the common room and sat down in the middle of all the frame pieces. I Googled "how to assemble a universal metal frame" endlessly, but all the tutorials I found were for frames with screws or bolts. Finally, brilliance struck. I got out our invoice from Sleepy's and looked for the name of our metal frame. It was Insta-matic. So then I went onto the Sleepy's website and searched for the frame, and pulled up a picture of it. Then, I brought the computer out to the common room and laid the pieces out on the floor exactly as they appeared in the picture. Suddenly, an epiphany hit. Everything fit together so easily, and the pegs that we were supposed to slide in and lock together were so obvious that I could not believe we didn't see it before. When L. came back down to the basement, I had triumphantly set up most of the frame, and he laughed at my stubborn persistence and helped me move the frame back into the room. If this episode should teach him anything, it should be that the first night we move into our new apartment/house down the road, I'm whipping out the hammer and the paintbrush and getting to work.

We joked that we had really, really worked hard to earn our good night's sleep. And a good night's sleep it was. Oh my GOSH it was. In fact, it was so good that I overslept this morning and was late to work. Totally worth it.


  1. YAY! New mattresses are the best! Enjoy your good night's definitely deserved it after the day you had!

  2. Oh my gosh, I know the ordeal that buying a new mattress can be! Good for you for not letting that salesman talk you into something you didn't want!

  3. What a crazy day! But yay for a new mattress. I'm sure you're going to get some goooood nights sleep from it. :)

    Also? WTG on figuring out the frame! Awesomesauce!

  4. Thanks everyone! It's still super comfy...I am totally not used to being able to fall asleep right away--it used to take me 45 mins to an hour!

  5. Dude, that is a heckuava good deal. Totally worth all the drama!

  6. Hahahaha! I'm jealous... we've needed a new bed FOREVER. I might need you to come haggle for me...