You know, seventeen years is a long time to live in the same house and sleep in the same beds. The master bed was purchased when we moved into this place. We had brought with us a queen bed that was deposited in the spare room for guests and bought a custom-built king-sized monstrosity that was never quite comfortable for me to sleep on.
As often happens with couples that have been married a long time, separate sleeping chambers became necessary when certain changes began to take place. Too many sleepless nights spent on a bed where I could not rest had turned my life into an unbearable misery.
Oh, who am I kidding?
A pre-menopausal condition forced me out. Night sweats, sleeplessness, hormonally-induced nightmares, a general feeling of vexation directed at the peacefully sleeping lump next to me forced out. He wants the heat on while he sleeps. I want the winter windows wide open. Out of self-preservation and my need to protect his life, I took up residence in the guest room.
A couple more years went by and the peacefully sleeping lump was no longer peaceful. He had to compete for room among the other lumps in the bed. Hence the reason I decided new arranges needed to be made.
I was heading down that path again—you know, the one paved with good intentions.
Here was the plan. Kick the king out to the curb. Move the queen to the master bedroom. Buy a new, smaller bed for my room. Memory foam. Yeah. That’s the stuff.
I found a good deal on the bed. There’s a funny thing about this sort of bed. It comes compressed in a box. The instructions say to open it and lay it out for 24 hours to allow it time to resume its full original shape. So, a plan had to be made.
First, give the bed air for 24 hours. In the meantime, I would still have to sleep on the queen, so I laid it out on the living room floor. That meant the next day I would have to get the king out of the house, move the queen across the hall, set up and install the new bed frame, and move the new mattress to the bedroom.
And put in a full day of work.
Now, one cannot simply move one bed in and another bed out. Oh, no. One must thoroughly clean the carpets under the beds, and of course, that means the rooms have to be cleaned. And I had to work.
Okay, so I work from home. This is not one of those jobs where you can just put in the proper number of hours when you want to. I have a set schedule of when I must be at my desk. But I had breaks.
Ever try to move a monster bed during a fifteen-minute break? By yourself? No? Allow me to describe this event, for it is a new adventure in hell.
I had asked the husband to clear off his bed and move things out of the way for me, but he had decided to go hang out at the mall instead. Yeah, ladies, I was that peeved. Not to worry, I have a can-do attitude—and an extensive vocabulary of appropriate profanity for the occasion.
I peeled the linens and moved a chair. I picked up some shoes and moved through the halls removing precious family photos and my daughter’s artwork. I moved another chair, and decorative doll furniture (heirlooms from both sides of the family), an antique mirror the size of New Hampshire, and something on the floor that I believe used to be a dog toy, then I rolled up my sleeves. I had four minutes left on my break, and I was going to make good use of them.
Have you ever lifted a king mattress? It’s a nightmare. This thing must weigh about 200 pounds, and it won’t hold its shape. Every time I tried to lift, it bent inward and refused to budge. Two minutes left. A mighty heave, a dive forward and up over the box springs, another mighty shove, and a scream from lower back muscles, and it was up on its side . . . And over to hit the closet doors.
I dove off the box springs, saved the one piece of art I hadn’t removed from the walls and grabbed at the edge of the mattress. In an effort to balance it, I over-corrected, and it nearly went back over onto the springs, taking me with it.
Bracing a foot against the springs, I finally found a good balance—until I tried to get a better grip and the thing took me down.
In Irish lore, there is a creature called the Banshee. She described as either an old hag or a beautiful young woman with a high-pitched screech. It is said when one hears the banshee’s wail; death will soon visit.
I heard her wail.
Trapped under the huge, heavy mattress, the break timer going off, my need to return to work warred with the pain in my ribs. That’s when I realized it wasn’t the banshee shrieking; it was me.
I let out another screech, heaved the monstrosity upward and shoved it into the hallway in an adrenaline-induced rage. I let it fall back against the wall and ran for my desk. Breathless and sweating, I answered the office phone.
An hour later, I heard the husband groan in the back of the house. Apparently, he’d gotten home and witnessed the destruction of his room. I put my call on mute and muttered something about how it would have been finished if he had just done what I’d asked him to do before taking off to hide from his chores.
Lunch time hit, and I was off and running. The monstrosity had to be moved to the garage—a process that included moving it down two hallways, negotiating several sharp corners, and a narrow exit to the house. It was exacerbated by the sudden downpour—the fourth such event of the day.
The husband decided to offer help. Dear God, save us from the good intentions of our spouses. (This is where I need to insert the emoticon with rolling eyes.)
The man is as strong as an ox and more than twice my size. He wanted me to pull while he pushed . . . me almost through a wall. Then around a corner. I told him to slow down, but he had his shoulder to it and caught my hand at the corner, crushing it. It’s a lovely shade of purple I’ve never seen on human flesh.
We finally managed to get it around the next tight corner and headed it toward the door. It started to wobble, but he was pushing at the speed of sound. I screamed out in terror, but he didn’t hear me. I threw a shoe but had to keep moving lest I be massacred by the unholy mattress. Tears in my eyes, I pleaded for mercy, and finally, I let fly with another banshee shriek—just in time to be crushed against the glass door.
I could see the headlines: “A local woman was found dead in her home, crushed between a large mattress and a door while her husband looked on. By the time paramedics had arrived, it was apparent that every bone in her body had been broken. When interviewed by police, her husband reported, ‘I thought she had it. Not my fault.’ A coroner's inquest will be held . . .”
He stopped. “Sorry, babe. I didn’t hear you.”
The ass must be deaf.
I left him holding the ancient, concrete and lead filled mattress upright while I propped the door open. I stepped out into the gully-washer and was instantly soaked. He gave the bed a shove before I had a hold of it and I got thrown off the stoop. The other shoe went flying.
I believe I’ve stated in a previous post that I have a knack for cursing. It’s a family talent. It’s the ability to string ordinary words together in such a way that the siding melts from the house and the husband runs for cover.
The deluge got heavier. I got madder. I snagged the straps on the &^&% mattress and practically yanked it from my husband’s hands while letting fly a string of oaths that made his face pale, and his hair fall out. Something in my lower back gave, and a muscle under my arm screamed at the same pitch as my banshee wail, but I was past caring. I was headed for the garage with this bitch, and no one had better stand in my way.
And with thirty minutes to spare on my lunch hour.
The box springs were next. On a king, they are split into two pieces, so moving them is a lot easier than the lumpy mattress. Still, the husband had to find a way to crush my good hand and did so when he snatched the thing away from me. When I tried to move the second one, he snatched that away, too, clipping my chin.
I really needed him to go back to hanging out at the mall. At that point, I didn’t care if he went out to play in traffic, I just needed him to go.
“I need food,” I declared as I wiped blood off my chin.
He looked quite grateful and offered to drive into town. Now, I hate fast food. I mean, I seriously loathe it. I determined that I would eat it with great joy if he would only leave and stop hurting me.
It was time to deal with the mysterious—and often deadly—under-bed dust bunnies. This dangerous creature lives solely in the dark and only becomes treacherous when exposed to light. There were hundreds of them and only one solution to the situation. The vacuum cleaner is an amazing weapon. It vanquished the little beasts in no time. I also had to run for the trash can outside as the little monsters attempted to chew through the dust canister. Once the rain hit them, they melted into clumps of mud. They could harm no one now.
Back inside, I discovered the natural cousin to the dust bunny: The dread dust mote. They swirled around the room threatening me with non-stop sneezing fits for having killed their kin. I backed slowly from the room. It was just as well. The alarm went off telling me it was time to go back to work.
Five minutes into my first call, the man returned with a Big Mac meal that smelled like death from coronary artery disease. I wolfed it down like it was nothing. I was truly hungry.
By the time for my afternoon break, he’d disappeared again. It was a fantastic time to move the queen into his room. First, though, I had noticed that the frame for the king was adjustable. Cool. I took it in to make it fit the queen. Now, the queen is heavy, too, but of much better construction and easier to manage. I moved the mattress out of the way, grabbed the box and hauled it to the master bedroom. I dropped it over the frame, shoved, cursed, and adjusted until it was in place.
The mattress was another story.
My muscles were already shot. My back was gone. Still, I wanted my new bed set up. I was past caring whether he had a bed. His bed was just a means for me to clear my room. It hit the big console Victrola and nearly toppled it. It hit the door frame and tore away a piece of wood. It hit a shelving unit and sent it flying. I really didn’t care, as long as it didn’t mark the fresh paint on the hall walls.
When it finally wiggle and waved and slid into his room, I let it fall on its own. It was a nearly perfect four-point landing. I gave one corner a solid kick, and it squared over the springs. The alarm went off, and I limped back to my desk.
After work, the husband offered to help me set up my new bed. There’s something to be said about a facial expression. There must have been something deadly in mine because he backed slowly from the room and left the house. I employed the daughter to help me set it up.
Now, with the house quiet and the night birds singing, I'm ready to take the ice packs off my hands, my back, my neck, and my foot and settle into that nice new bed. I hope it cradles my aching body as much as the testimonials say.
Wish me luck.