Awkward Moment #4: Bed Shopping

Those of you who follow me on twitter will have heard a lot about my current situation. I’ve just moved back in with my folks, and my box of a bedroom has just been redecorated. My parents deemed it necessary to get rid of my bed without my knowledge, and my new bed is yet to arrive. I am therefore currently sleeping on an air mattress, which I must say has grown on me in the 4 days that I have been using it.

My new bed arrives on Friday, three weeks after we bought and ordered it. Let me regale you all with that particular tale…

So we’re in Speke retail park, my family and I, and we head to Sleepright, the bed store. Upon entrance, we typically get bombarded with overly friendly sales assistants, all of which appear to be middle-aged men with hair lines receding faster than a French retreat. The slimiest of them all leads us over to a selection of mattresses, and my mother advises me to “try one out!”. The temptation to jump on it enthusiastically and rattle the headboard like a sailor on leave is overwhelming. Instead however, I remove my rain-soaked boots and lie on the mattress. I’m very aware of my odd socks at this point, as my mum, sister and sales assistant all look at me expectantly, as if to say, “Well?”. I feel like Goldilocks. I nod, and confirm that “Yes, this is a mattress”. Mum rolls her eyes.


The slimy sales assistant (his badge declares that his name is Gavin) asks me a question that comes across a little too personal for my liking….

“Is that firm enough for you?”

Now, I’m no expert in sales, but I’m pretty sure the smile pulling up the corners of his 5 o’clock shadowed mouth is not there to attract customers. I stare back, as his eyebrows dance around his forehead. I am thoroughly repulsed, mostly because none of my family saw it. I have no choice but to act oblivious as not to entertain his perverted mind. But then again…

“Well now, I don’t know. How firm are we talking here?” I reply, and I can see his resolve weakening. Uh-OhThe objectified woman speaks. I never planned as far as a comeback.
“Oh, well, it’s a, err, it’s a two”. In bed speak, apparently, that’s pretty freaking firm, but despite my linguistic skills, I am not well versed in this particular tongue. I stare back at him with one eyebrow raised. Is that sweat on his forehead?
“One is the firmest, five is the softest”. He shifts awkwardly from side to side.
“OK”, I say, “Let’s take it down a notch then”. He nods in uneasy agreement. The look on his face suggests he was about to enter the nuclear reactor of K-19. He has no idea.

He leads us over to another mattress, with a large 3 hanging over it. I lie down, and I’m not sure what was expected of me at the point, was I supposed to jump up and shout “EUREEKA! My days of insomnia are finally over!”? I’ve had 4 mattresses in my lifetime. One at home, one in Argentina, one in halls of residence (or at least half of one) and one in my house. I’ve found that generally, they’ve all been relatively comfortable. I’ve had no complaints, mainly because I’ve never entered a bed shop at will looking to purchase a new one. Now that I’m faced with the ability to choose a mattress, it’s just too much pressure.

I take a moment to decide my plan of action. Do I test the volume of the noise emitted by the springs, then shake my head and murmur “This simply will not do…”? Do I jump up and down on it like a trampoline to test it’s durability? Do I request a few pillows in order to test out the mattress’ capabilities as a pyjama pillow-fight platform, giving Gavin images of air-brushed twenty year-olds in their underwear laughing and swimming in a sea of feathers? Sorry to disappoint, but of course I don’t, my family are present.

I stare awkwardly at the ceiling for a few seconds, embracing the X-Factor-esque pause. I can feel the atmosphere growing tense with anticipation (well, I might as well have some fun). This must be how Chefs feel when a food critic arrives at their restaurant.
“Yep, this is better”. Gavin exhales conspicuously, and my sister stifles a giggle.
“Great, we’ll take it!” exclaims Mum, who by this point has cottoned on and is struggling not to laugh herself.

Three weeks later, I’m still waiting for my bed. Let’s hope it’s firm enough…



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