Around here, weekends are for adventuring. Last weekend I went to the National Museum for the American Indian, the National Botanic Gardens to see the Christmas model trains, the American Art Museum (briefly, because I wasn’t in the mood for art that day), and stumbled upon a little independent movie theatre where they served wine and tickets weren’t exorbitant and The Book Thief was playing in five minutes.
This weekend, forsaking sightseeing adventures, I embarked on a consumerist one instead: I bought a bed for my new apartment (I’m moving nearer to Capitol Hill in a few days).
I went to the first mattress store–cutely named “Sleepy’s”–resigned to be coolly appraising:
“Oh, 700 did you say? Well, that’s more than I wanted to spend. I guess I’ll keep looking then.” Sashay slowly toward the door. “You’ll give it to me for 500? All right, I suppose I’ll take it.” Nonchalantly reach for wallet with red fingernails two inches long. -End Scene-
What really happened was that I realized how ridiculous it feels to try out mattresses. You lay on your back while the salesperson gazes down at you. And then you lay on your side (because that’s how you really sleep) while the salesperson continues to gaze patiently down at you. And then you’re expected to say something that sounds wise and knowing, when all you can really think to say is “this one’s too soft.” It’s like Goldilocks with a live audience.
Sleepy’s was too expensive, so I moved on to Mattress Discounters. There, I found the same bed I had liked at Sleepy’s, except about $300 cheaper. Sleepy’s must have forgotten to send over their undercover price spy that morning.
With the help of the salesman–who was friendly, but who I regarded with suspicion because he clearly badly wanted to make the sale–I sorted out the warranty and delivery.
Then I trekked to Macy’s to buy the trappings to go with my new bed.
Things you don’t realize until you become an adult:
You cannot simply buy a mattress and a bed frame and call it a day.
You must have a box spring, you must have a mattress cover, you must buy pillows, you must buy sheets and blankets. And you must do all this in the middle of Macy’s White Sale when there are ten middle-aged women crammed into the same aisle reaching over each other’s heads to claw at plastic cubes of duvets.
The metro ride home was entertaining. My bags were stuffed between me and the window, and I leaned my head against one and chuckled at the little boy trying to scale the poles in the middle of the car. Thank goodness for children on the metro. I’m sure some people find the wailing and giggling and general antics annoying, but I find them a needed break from the expressionless faces of the adults. I’ve also learned to erase any sort of distinction from my face whilst riding, to sit hunched and to blend in, but it makes for a cold commute.
I treated myself to a cab ride from the metro, clutching my fat, be-starred bags in the back seat, my own chest swelling with pride with the knowledge that a bed I had singlehandedly purchased would be delivered between the hours of five and nine.
Congressional budget debates? Ha! I haggled the mattress delivery fee from $90 down to $70.