The Rockwood Files: Pillow Talk

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By Gwen Rockwood, syndicated columnist and mama of 3

Well, we did it. We thought about it for a long time but something always held us back – vanity, frugality, perhaps a desperate grip on the last remaining scraps of our youth. But now that we’ve done it, we love it so much we don’t even care what it says about us. We are the proud new owners of an adjustable bed.

The first time I saw a remote-control bed was during the 1980s. There was a TV commercial showing a white-haired couple lying in bed looking about 200 years old. Then with the touch of a button, their magic bed slowly raised them to an almost-sitting position so they could eat stewed prunes and watch the Lawrence Welk show on television. The concept was great, but the ad made it look like an old person’s bed.

A century ago, stationary beds probably made sense. Most people worked physically grueling jobs. At the end of the day, they fell into bed and didn’t move again until daybreak. But even though the nature of work and people’s daily routines have changed dramatically over time, the bed just kept lying there – stubbornly still and horizontal.

These days, people do so much more than sleep in their beds. We read there. We check emails. We beat Level 84 of Candy Crush while we’re there. Sometimes we even carry our slice of pizza there on a paper plate and eat while we cue up the next show on Netflix.

While sitting in bed, I fold bath towels and match up the kids’ socks. Sometimes I even write in bed simply because snuggling in with a laptop feels less “worky” than sitting at a desk.

There are plenty of accessories to help make beds more comfy. Someone who was sick of stacking pillows invented those backrest bed loungers to make it easier to sit up. There are also bed wedges, neckrolls and lumbar support cushions. And those portable lap desks make eating cereal in bed far less risky than it used to be.

The adjustable bed might have soared in popularity years ago, if not for that ancient infomercial from the 80s. That ad made the adjustable bed look like the beginning of the end, as if the natural progression was to go from an adjustable bed to a hospital bed to a coffin. And none of us want to start that process any earlier than necessary.

But lately bed manufacturers have given adjustable beds a marketing makeover. Now we see younger, tech-savvy sleepers enjoying them in commercials. Beds are no longer just a slab of springs. Now they’re data delivery systems helping optimize our sleep patterns.

A few months ago, Tom and I found out that our neighbors, who are the same age we are, have one of these beds and love it. Later that night, we discussed it in bed while staring up at the ceiling:

“Are we actually considering getting one of these things? We’re in our 40s! This is crazy, isn’t it?”

“Or is it? Aren’t you sick of waking up with a crick in your neck because you fell asleep watching TV while you were propped up on three pillows?”

“Yes, the last time it happened I had to go to the chiropractor and admit that I hurt my neck in my sleep.”

“Last night my hand fell asleep because I was trying to read my Kindle while holding it above my face in bed. I could really use an incline button. And just think…when you start snoring, I could raise your side of the bed with the remote control instead of kicking you under the covers, hoping it’s hard enough to make you stop snoring but not hard enough to wake you up and make you mad.”

“That does sound nice. And no one has to know about it, right?”

“Right. No one has to know.”

“Sweet dreams, honey.”

gwen rockwoodGwen Rockwood is a mom to three great kids, wife to one cool guy, a newspaper columnist and co-owner of nwaMotherlode.com. To check out Gwen’s book, “Reporting Live from the Laundry Pile: The Rockwood Files Collection,” click HERE.

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