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Bedlust

February 6, 2010

Since it’s the time of year in the Midwest when you never want to get out of bed, I’ll be making the best of it.  I’ve been conniving for a while on how I’m going to sleep in one of those Swedish beds made of horsehair, flax and straw: the bed of choice for kings, queens and scores of Hollywood actors.

I wonder how they come by the horsehair. It sounds wrong for so many reasons and worse, I’m afraid I’ll fall in love with the whole darn thing. The horsehair, the straw, the modest blue and white plaid gingham (so understated, SO Little House on the Prairie), the story, the VERY IDEA.

I want to try it to say I had. To say — before it became passé to speak of luxury — that I spent one uneasy night on a bed like this: my forebears revolving in their small, uncomfortable graves at the thought of such indulgence. It’s an anecdote.

I hear if you’re considering the bed you get to try it.  This strikes me as an excellent plan. You sleep at the store, in pajamas that match the bed. They lock you in and come for you in the morning. Before retiring and after rising you may decide to don a smart (also matching) robe. This, I imagine, augments the sense of deserving a nicer life than you have.  By the time the store manager arrives with your morning espresso, you will have decided you simply must have the bed and all that goes with it.

One day I start thinking about the bed, I Google it, and soon I am infatuated. The story gets me.

The beds are handmade (STOP.) and either have the mattress and box spring combined in one piece in a wood frame (known as a frame bed) You’re killing me or have three pieces — a removable pillow-topper, a mattress, and a box-spring in a wood frame. I can’t stand it.

I should turn away, but I keep reading.

Kings and queens sleep on these beds, which are renowned for their comfort and durability. Ergo — by the transitive property –– I am a queen. The company’s testing is rigorous. Mattresses are dragged down dirt roads; kids are encouraged to use the beds as trampolines.

I’m due for a new mattress, and I can feel it: I want to spend my last half-century in this bed.  I start adding and subtracting and bargaining with myself. I offer myself this and take away that. I plan my approach. I will go to the store and lie on one.  I will avail myself of their hospitality. I will flirt with them.  I will take it as far as I can.

Naturally I don’t want to rush into anything. I’ll sleep on it.

I read the last bit of copy.

“Some people may find these prices offensive,” says (somebody with an unpronounceable Swedish name). “But when you buy this bed, you buy a bed for life.” Knock me over with a feather: here’s my card.

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