"Just Say No" to the White Stuff


I once went out with a guy who had an extremely comfortable bed, and my memory recalls he had a featherbed on top of his mattress. At the time I didn't necessarily associate the featherbed with what made his bed so comfortable -- foolish me, I thought it was him. How young and impressionable I was back then.

About a year later, I visited a friend's house in the country, and the mattress in the guest room had a featherbed on top of it. This bed was extremely comfortable, and I began to put two and two together. After sleeping that night in above-average comfort, I thought, It must be the featherbed... I want one... I'm definitely getting one!

A knowledgeable source suggested I try a mail order place called "The Company Store." For my size bed they carried seven different styles, ranging in price from $129 to $339. The saleswoman explained the two types of feathers used: "regular" feathers, which are two-dimensional and flat, and goose down feathers, which are three-dimensional, and the most prime, soft and fluffiest. All of their featherbeds (except the top-of-the-line $339 one) have a ratio of 95% regular feathers to 5% goose down. But if you make the plunge to most expensive one, the ratio jumps to 50% goose down/50% regular feathers.

Have you ever slept on a cheapie feather pillow, and got stabbed by a quill that poked its way through the pillowcase? Or perhaps you've encountered a low-grade feather pillow that was a tad "crunchy?" Well, I didn't want any part of my body getting stabbed by a quill in the night, and I didn't want to sleep on a giant bed that made crunching noises as I moved about.

After I made these important feather considerations, the decision of which featherbed to purchase was simple: I was going for the $339 variety -- the "Ultimate" one, as they called it. Knowing of my usual thrifty ways, my friends were shocked when I told them I had ordered the "Ultimate" one. They soon realized this featherbed stuff was serious business to me!

When my featherbed arrived it was an exciting moment indeed. In grand anticipation, I immediately removed it from its packaging, and remade my bed with the featherbed in place.

I stood back and took a look. Oh, no! My bed looks like a giant jet-puffed marshmallow! What have I gotten myself into? I began to think that perhaps I wasn't destined to have a featherbed after all.

Looks notwithstanding, I wanted to at least see how it felt. It wasn't bedtime, but I stripped off my clothes and got under the covers. Mmm... did I die and go to heaven? Never, in all my years, had I been in a bed (alone, mind you) that was so utterly and sinfully comfortable. And, oh my gosh, it was mine!

Soon my ever-so-comfortable bed began to consume my formerly disciplined life. For many pre-featherbed years I got up every weekday morning around six a.m., so I could exercise before work. Those days quickly became a thing of the past.

When my alarm went off, I couldn't budge. In fact, often I overslept it completely. I'd rouse at seven-thirty or so, look at the clock, and think, Drats -- overslept again. Oh well, no time for exer