5 Beds, 5 Life Lessons

Oct 12, 2012 by


Can I be totally honest with you? I’ve been cursed with design bloggers block, partially because my son is Still. Not. Sleeping. Through. The. Night.  And he will be three in January!   While I have so many design projects planned, they are only in the dusty house that is my mind.

So as I take more time getting my house under control, would you indulge me, as I wax poetic on the blog with more doses of life musings than eye candy?   After all, I just turned 30, triggering a mini identity crisis whose resolution has provided me with new found philosophies.  Since I don’t journal, I was wondering if I could share them here?

Here’s my first piece, written here with a timid heart.  It’s about the cosmic connection between mattresses where we spend 50% of our lives and subsequent life lessons.  Maybe you can relate?

As a child, I slept on Japanese-style mattresses, which essentially meant hardwood boards covered with a quarter inch of quilt.  They were rigid and uncomfortable, much like my childhood.   I’d get smacked with a wooden hanger for grievances as small as spilling milk, so growing up, I never understood why I shouldn’t cry over spilled milk.  Because I did.  A lot.  The lesson?  Children can’t make the bed they sleep in, but when you’re an adult, you can tell you dad to f*ck off until he’s willing to apologize and take responsibility for his actions.

After graduating from Cal and moving to Hawaii, I bought my first adult mattress on a meager AmeriCorps volunteer salary.  It was a king-sized, bright pink mattress from the 1970s with a faded floral pattern.  It cost $20 and came from a garage sale in a very sketchy part of Honolulu.  I certainly wasn’t looking for a king sized bed, and I became a small island in the vast ocean that was my saggy bed.  It made my loneliness, being in a new city 5000 Pacific Ocean miles from my friends and family, much heavier to bear at night.  All I had was the company of the squeaky springs of the mattress.  If I listened closely, I could almost hear the sad, jubilant, and nasty stories this old mattress could tell.

After sleeping in the Ocean of Loneliness, I soon fell hard for the first boy to come my way.  Of course, being both model gorgeous and a struggling musician, he was easy to fall for, with his finely sculpted olive body, dark twinkling eyes, and stories he would tell through song on his guitar.  All of my senses were addicted to him, but it turned out, he was addicted to cocaine.  The lesson?  Don’t jump at the first thing that comes your way bearing stories in paradise.  And most importantly, don’t buy a king sized bed when you’re single!

Flash forward to healthier times, when an absurdly funny, truly charming, and classically handsome man’s steel moral compass drew me to him like a magnet.  When this boyfriend (now husband) and I moved in together, we slept on his mattress, which was expensive, plush, and entirely too soft.   It was like most falling-in-love chapters, when you go out to expensive dinners every week that are probably beyond your budget and spoon feed each other creme brulee.   That beautiful time when all of life’s realities, your fears, and your weaknesses are enveloped by the soft yearning of new love.

We slept on this luxurious, soft mattress atop an ottoman bed until our relationship progressed to the next stage, when the haze of infatuation wears off, and you are left with real love, when you can say what you mean without any fear the person will run out on you in the middle of the night.  This was the point that I actually realized his dreadful ex had slept on this same exact mattress too, and I freaked out with hot tears, the cold shoulder, and the “don’t you dare f*cking touch me” line.  How could he make me sleep on the same bed as HER?  Right?  Being the amazing man that he is, he went out and bought a new mattress that day.  The lesson?  Clearly, this would be the man I would marry.

Years later, when we learned I was pregnant, I went into an organic frenzy.  I gave away all my synthetic fabric clothes, stopped painting my nails, ditched my cell phone, and ate only organic foods.  I then bought an “organic” mattress by Danny Seo, which was simply greenwashed because it was still polyurethane foam, just blended with a little soy to make it “eco-friendly.”  RIGHT.  The entire left and right sides of the mattress collapsed, which meant that I ended up sleeping in the middle gutter, with my husband’s chest hair taking full-time residence in my nostrils all night.   The lesson?  Don’t kill yourself (and your olfactory glands) trying to be 100% green.

Now, as parents, we sleep on a very firm latex mattress, which is highly supportive, with just enough memory foam topping softness to be perfectly comfortable.  The lesson?  A happy marriage has a solid foundation of unwavering support and healthy boundaries, with a memory foam layer that always remembers how to handle each other’s hearts, aches, and insecurities with the perfect softness.  And maybe latex, but only if you are both into that.

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