I’m feeling so relaxed. My whole body is just so comfortable. And it’s all thanks to this new pillow I bought at Costco. It’s made out of space-age memory foam. I’m not even joking around, it feels as if sometime over the course of the past month or so, it’s like I’ve had a spine transplant or something, and while the positive effects weren’t necessarily noticeable right away, I’m looking back now and I can’t even imagine how I ever managed to fall asleep without my awesome new pillow.
It’s the best twenty-five dollars I’ve ever spent in my life. My success story should have begun sometime last September, and in an alternate reality somewhere, I can only hope that people might have already read this months ago. Because it was on a trip to Costco last fall where I first saw memory foam pillows available for sale.
“I’m totally getting that pillow!” I said out loud when I saw the display right past the entrance. That was my first mistake, saying it out loud. If I could go back in time and do it over, I wouldn’t have said anything. I would have just made a mental note, Rob, come back later and buy that pillow. But I didn’t. I announced my intentions to the world, to my wife.
“What?” she shot back right away. I don’t even think she was looking at the pillows, or had any idea what I was talking about. But it was the way that I said it. I came off too strong, right out of the gate, like I wanted it too badly. Her natural response was to add a measured dose of reality to what sounded like nothing more than a soon-to-be impulse purchase.
And I can’t even blame her. Being married is all about existing in a perpetual state of negotiation. If one party notices the other party getting a little over excited about an in-the-moment decision in which the first party wasn’t even considered, it’s unlikely that both parties are going to be able to come to an agreement, not without that second party offering some pretty steep concessions.
“We don’t need new pillows,” was my wife’s yin to my bulk-store yang, “And twenty-five dollars? Come on.” She didn’t know what she was talking about. I would have gladly paid thirty, forty dollars for a memory foam pillow. In fact, I thought that I was being reasonable in only going for the pillow. If I made all of my own life decisions, I’d be sleeping on a California king-sized memory foam mattress. I know they’re expensive, yes, but I’d gladly take on as much debt as it would cost to be able to stretch out my whole body, my limbs extending as far as they could reach in every direction, unable to feel anything but the gentle yet firm cradle of futuristic memory foam.
But I’ve yet to even begin to formulate a successful strategy on convincing my wife to upgrade to an awesome bed. Even though we spend so much of our lives sleeping. Even though I’m six foot four and I really could use something a little more accommodating than the used Queen size spring mattress that we inherited from my aunt.
Like I said though, marriage is all about haggling, and my enthusiasm at seeing that pillow signaled to my wife that it was worth more in personal relationship points than the twenty-five dollar advertised price. When she said no, I ignored her and put the pillow in the shopping cart anyway. And then every time I went to put something else in, the most routine of purchases turned into, “Really? You’re going to get that pillow and the yogurt? What are we made of money?”
And so finally, I found myself in the position of being allowed to buy just the pillow, or the yogurt, the socks, the underwear, the chocolate covered almonds, the double-A batteries, and the reggiano cheese. We could have stood there forever, I could have argued that it was ridiculous to equate all of those things that I would have purchased anyway to a twenty-five dollar pillow, but even at this point I could see that it was pointless, my wife had drawn a line in the sand that I for some reason couldn’t figure out how to cross.
And after half an hour or so of arguing why a pack of ballpoint pens wasn’t going to throw us into financial ruin, I started to see the potential upsides of giving in somewhat, allowing her to veto my pillow so that I could get all of this other stuff argument for free. Besides, if it wasn’t the pillow, it would have been something else. No trip to Costco can really be considered complete without denying your significant other from purchasing something, anything really. What’s important is that you said no, and the other person listened. In this particular shopping trip, this meant no pillow for me, and I guess no Swiffer wet-jet for my wife. Because two can play the veto game, and what good is having the power if you don’t exercise it every single time?
And so I continued to exist for another several months, if you want to call it existence, even though it really wasn’t much of anything besides rolling around listless every night, unable to fully reach the deep sleep I needed to recharge for my waking day. Winter came and went, and by the time we stopped in to Costco next, I had almost forgotten about the memory pillow. Luckily, the display was still there, in the same exact spot, and I knew that this time, I’d get my pillow.
Sure, I had to give up a lot for that pillow, all sorts of breakfast cereals and bulk coffee. But I remained steadfast in my goal, to go home with that pillow. I even tried to argue for two pillows, because I just knew that as soon as my wife saw how refreshed I was after each night’s sleep, she’d start to commandeer my futuristic neck support. Little by little, she’d start getting closer to my side of the bed every night until I had no choice but hand it over and wait for another Costco trip to buy a spare. And there’s no guarantee that it would be a simple purchase. I can just see it now, “What do we need two for? We’re fine sharing just one.”
But it’s seriously the best pillow I’ve ever laid my head on in my entire life. It’s got these blue bubbles on one side that provide a textured surface for when your head first hits the surface. And after you’ve laid your entire weight down, the edges shift up to provide total support from every angle. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever experienced in my life.
Someday I’ll have that memory foam bed. I have no idea what kind of bartering it’s going to cost me, but the day will come where my whole body gets to experience the comfort that’s now reserved exclusively for my neck and head. To anybody that goes to Costco, if you’ve been eyeing that pillow and thinking to yourself, “Nah, maybe next time,” I urge you. Buy it. Buy two or three. Go by yourself, don’t tell anybody. Don’t even announce the new pillows. Just slip them in your regular pillowcases and watch your loved ones transform overnight thanks to a dramatically improved sleeping experience. They might think it silly at first, but in no time they’ll all be thanking you.