[Come summer heat, much of my blogging momentum melts away. Hence an experiment until Labor Day: fifty minimalist posts about whatever.]

Our bed in its prime.

Our bed is leaving us. The cats have torn several holes in its underside in which to hide. The whole thing squeaks whenever we sit or turn, and not just when something interesting is happening on it. It’s time.

I bought the box spring and mattress from Mattress King in February 1988, under the guidance of the man who’d been my first serious boyfriend when we were young and was then being recycled, as my older son put it, after my second husband and I had separated. That makes the sleeping part of the bed twenty-seven years old.

The headboard and footboard came later, purchased with a year-end bonus after the boyfriend’s second departure from my life.   I had always favored Victorian brass beds; I thought they were romantic (and still do). Second husband and I had one, but I left it with him when I departed.  This set was as close to the first as I was able to find. I could still hang on to its posts (if hanging was needed) and when made up it looked as good, or better, than the first.

Like the marital original, it was a standard double bed.  No Queen- or King-size degrees of separation for me.  If I’m alone, I’m alone; so be it.  But if I’m not, I need spooning — and always did. Second husband and recycled first serious boyfriend slept straight up and down. Alas, Bill espouses the diagonal “Z.”  I can accommodate that under protest, even in a standard double, by making myself into a complementary “Z.”  But then came the cats, who both favor my side of the bed. When the three of them are in place by the time I get there, I can hardly insert myself under the top sheet.

So this time we’re going for a Queen. (No room in the bedroom for a King.) Bill, who takes aesthetic pleasure in how things look, was prepared; he’d picked out the new bed well in advance of my capitulation to the need for it. He favors minimalist, expensive Italian design. I’m not arguing. Hanging from the bedposts at our age?  Really?  All the same, it’s hard to part. (Sob.)

Goodbye, dear bed. Goodbye.

18 thoughts on “WRITING SHORT: 30/50

  1. Our 1966 bought apartment had a bed which we took with us to our first house. In those early years anything horizontal was lovely and beckoning, irrespective of aesthetics or width.

    The first serious bed came about after moving from Australia to Holland with our three children in 1973. I made that bed from lovely dressed pine all dowelled together. (no nails) It was Queen size. It travelled back with us to Australia. They say, ‘you make you own bed, now lay in it’.

    Finally, after a few more decades of usage, ardently at times, it became somewhat difficult to make and raise up from. The base was close to the floor.
    This bed was left in the farm’s shed in 2010 after we moved to our present town-house.
    It might well be that the present owners of the farm are using it.
    Interesting how one can relate life to beds and ex lovers/ husbands. I haven very limited experiences in that field.

    We now sleep on an ensemble, Queen size.
    Again, a lovely and warm post, Nina.

    I sleep ram-rod straight. What to make of that, I wonder?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your hand-made bed of doweled pine sounds lovely, Gerard. It must have been a pleasure to use, both ardently and otherwise.

      Beds certainly do reflect the relationships that took place there, and saying farewell to a bed is, in a way, saying a final farewell to its former co-occupants.

      As for sleeping ramrod straight, it suggests to me you’re not prone to nesting with another like spoons, although I could be wrong here, from lack of imagination.


    • Thanks, Julie. However, the bedroom will never look like this again. The new bed that’s coming on Wednesday is low to the ground (just a memory foam mattress without box springs), and with no footboard and only a white-painted low wood headboard curved slightly backwards towards the wall, like a sleigh. Hopefully it will offer a new kind of restfulness, purchased online with reckless abandon. However, I have no idea how it will feel to sleep on, much less how it will look with our stripped oak turn-of-the-last-century bureaus and end table. Not the usual kind of adventure in the bedroom, but an adventure nonetheless!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. jmpod

    I love how openly and frankly you speak about intimacy and sex and of relationships through your lifetime. I wonder whether I will ever be able to discuss my (mixed up and confused) romantic life so honestly.

    When I got divorced, my first order of business was a new mattress. I wanted a fresh start.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m not that open and frank, Janet. (No details about penis size, for instance.) And who ever said my “romantic” life wasn’t mixed up and confused? (Twenty-four years of therapy, after all!)

      Nonetheless, what else would I write about? I’m no philosopher, no expert in some arcane field of knowledge which needs to be shared with the world. Throughout my life, I’ve always thought relationships — familial, spousal, maternal and “otherwise” — were what life was really all about. Shallow though that may make me, I still do. I can’t believe anyone would want to read “Great Briefs I Have Written,” or “Summary Judgment Motions I Argued Successfully When Everyone Else Thought They Were Losers.” Actually, I don’t even remember much about those briefs and motions any more. (Which just goes to show how really important they were to me at the time.) Looking back at my life, it was the intimacy and sex and relationships, successful or not, that mattered, that were interesting, that now comprise my entire inventory of meaningful subject matter. Whether I could have written so easily about all that at your age is another question. Probably not. But looking back, at a time when a majority of the other participants in my life are dead or have disappeared beyond the reach of Google, what’s to be gained by being dishonest?

      You will note, however, that I too left the marital mattress behind when I moved on to (still another) fresh start in hopefully greener pastures.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Martha. Are you hinting I should do another “bed” post? You probably won’t like the “new look” so much; see my reply to Julie, above.

      Actually, you didn’t email your comment. You posted it properly. Congratulations! Now if you could only remember what you did! 🙂


    • I already did! Do you think I would forget such important items? Mattress pad, two sets of sateen sheets, extra set of pillowcases — they’re all waiting for the Wednesday arrival of the new bed. I may drag my feet for twenty-seven years, but when I finally bite the bullet and get something done, it gets 100% done! (Oy! What mixed metaphors!)


  3. When I moved into my present , very small semi detached bungalow , I had to give away my double bed and buy a single . I nearly fell out the first night as I turned over. I miss spooning – nothing quite like the feeling of being cared for – and it kept my back warm.


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