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Talk about a pain in my ass…one of the most valuable things that came out of my recent vacation was the knowledge that my past two years of backaches, neck aches, butt aches, shoulder aches, were caused by my mattress. The first morning in the Caymans, I awoke to discover that I didn’t ache. If your stock in Tylenol’s parent company dropped precipitously last week, that’s why. I hardly took any pills and I must confess, they are often my ‘go to snack’. Just to make it to the bathtub first thing in the morning to soak my aching muscles requires no less than two extra strength, potentially liver-destroying, extra buzz caffeinated tablets.

Never one to catch on quickly, I said to myself. “Huh. I guess last night’s margaritas had a more soothing effect than I thought.”

The second morning, I again noted the ‘no pain phenomenon’. I began to wonder. Still, no lightbulb moment. The CIA and I are both slow to connect dots. Perhaps  I wasn’t  getting old and decrepit…well, I’m still old, but perhaps I was getting a reprieve on the decrepit part. And mattresses were in the BACK of my mind (right in there with all the extraneous garbage that flits through my brain of a day) since L’il Sis had recently bought herself a new one to replace Gill’s mattress that she has been sleeping on since her takeover of Gill’s room. Another bloodless coup — right up there with Crazy D’s takeover of the family room with his computer equipment.

Anyone follow that? I thought not.

(Gill, please ignore this part. I am jumping the gun here since L’il Sis promised to tell you herself that you’ve been demoted to HER former room when you come for your regular visit in the summer…not to worry, the canaries will be moved to The Refugee Camp (my bathroom) and all the seed and feathers vacuumed up before your arrival. Except for Mrs. Beeton’s –the pink parakeet. She tends to lurk in out-of-the-way corners and leaves evidence where I don’t always find it. Which says more about my housekeeping than her proclivities to wander.

When the light dawned in my formerly drug-adled brain that perhaps my mattress was the problem, I voiced my supposition to the friends with whom I was staying. Whereupon I received desperately needed tutelage on the Art of Buying a Mattress. I thought you simply walked into a store (preferably a department store during a sale or discount big box store ’cause you want your premium mattress CHEAP), picked one, lay down on it for all of one minute, paid to have it delivered, and went on your merry way. That’s how I buy most things — up to and including major appliances…which may explain my current war with a certain well-known department store. I am still cursing the washer and dryer I purchased five years ago. In fact, every time it rips another strap off a summer top or shreds my towels, I yell enough expletives to curdle The Pig’s chicken soup. It seems, as I mentioned before, that it takes me a while to learn things. Such as, ‘Buy at a store that specializes in whatever it is you want’. Duh.

So I copied down the make and type of mattress responsible for my lovely Caymanian sleeps and took off for the sleep emporium the day after my return. And wouldn’t you know? That particular mattress isn’t available in Canada. I’m not driving from Buffalo with a mattress tied to my car. Gill will remember doing that in a blinding rainstorm during one of her sojourns here chez moi. The mattress made the journey. Kind of. I’m not sure the car did. So we’ve been there; done that. Not doing it again.

I played Princess and The Pea in the store for over an hour. I found one that seemed guaranteed to give me a restful sleep. Then, since I wasn’t taking any chances, I bought the new bed frame, pillow, and mattress cover. I’m not giving this new mattress any excuse to fail me. And the salesperson terrified me by saying that the memory foam in the mattress is guaranteed to be good for 25 years — unless any liquids (should you drink your gin and tonics in bed or indulge in any uh, forms of physical exertion involving bodily fluids)  spill and begin eating away at the innards. I’m not sure whether to be flattered that he mentioned these things or irritated that he thinks I’m too old and shaky to be doing either.

I am now waiting like a kid for her birthday as I count down the week until delivery. I look forward to restful sleeps and perhaps even a clearer head more able to put my brilliant thoughts down on the computer. Who knows? Perhaps my blogs will become funnier. Nah, that’s a lot to ask of a mattress…