"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 exercise this morning. Hmm... come to think of it, did my alarm even go off? Night after night I slept like a log, with maximum hours of R.E.M. sleep.

Not only could I barely get up and out of bed each morning, but I daydreamed about getting back into bed throughout the day. My social life took a nosedive. Often I wouldn't make any evening plans, so I could be free to go home after work and get into bed at whatever hour I desired.

I would just hang out there -- reading, watching TV, snacking, talking on the phone - anything and everything was now conducted from bed. (Except... you know... because there's no boyfriend nowadays.) And on the occasion when I agreed to meet a friend after work, around eight o'clock or so I'd say, "Gee, I'm kind of tired tonight. I think I'm going to head home now." Tired? Nah -- I just wanted to be relaxing in my "bed of sinful comfort."

This type of behavior went on for a good two months. During this time I tried to pawn off walking to work as my daily exercise, but deep down inside I knew the walking wasn't really cutting it. (I used to do killer workout tapes that were a challenge to get through -- walking only does so much for me.) In addition to the non-exercise issue, I had practically become a hermit. All in all, it had to end.

It was hard to get on the bandwagon, but I was determined to get my former life back. To help with my plight I purchased a new alarm clock, one with an annoyingly loud snooze button. (Pre-featherbed days, I didn't need an alarm with a snooze.)

Utilizing my new alarm clock and will, lately I'm up to about three out of five weekday mornings of exercise, which for me isn't great, but at least it's progress. Also, I'm pleased to report that I've been getting out and about, and I'm no longer guilty of being antisocial.

Wow -- just think -- I was nearly overcome by a pile of white fluff. Now that's some pretty scary stuff! I'm glad I was able to grasp hold of the situation, take control, and not have myself ending up as a statistic... no one wants to become a statistic.

So beware. If you're thinking of trying it, before you do you need to take a good look at your life. Think of all you have on the line. Is it really worth it? Only you can make that decision. But don't say I didn't warn you.


P.S. Call 911 when you can't get out of bed