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I know a young woman who bought a new bed.......


My recent adventures in bed shopping reminds me of that old song: I know an old lady who swallowed a fly/I don't know why she swallowed the fly/I guess she'll die.

The song goes to describe how the old lady then swallowed a spider to catch the fly; swallowed a bird (how absurd to swallow a bird!) to catch the spider to catch the fly.....and on and on.

Little did I know I'd be on the same track with my bed purchase! BTW, my new bed feels a bit weird, but at least it's nothing like the spectacle pictured above (can you imagine? to me, that bed looks threatening!)

I've been planning for two years to buy a new bed -- ever since I moved into my new apartment which has a lovely spare bedroom. For a time, I thought I'd buy a very cheap double bed since I don't have guests too often. But, as always, I procrastinated.

Until about six months ago, when a light bulb went on above my head: instead of buying a cheap spare-room bed, why not buy a new bed to replace my current model (which is 13 years old!) It would be more expensive to get a good bed for myself, but I was past due. Besides, I would then have a decent bed for guests because my current bed still feels very comfortable.

More procrastination ensued. Finally, I realized that I have two and maybe three guests all coming in April to stay at different times. No more delays, I must get a new bed.

So, I've just broke down and bought a nice Simmons BeautyRest queen-sized mattress with a big ol' pillow top. I almost need a ladder to get up on to it and the new box spring!

But before I made my choice, I slept around a fair bit (in the showroom, of course!) testing various mattresses and felt that for the money I wanted to pay, this was the most comfortable. I also bought a new frame, so my old mattress and box spring won't have to sit directly on the spare room floor.

Great. Except I realized then that the new bed is so high that my existing sheets won't fit around it! Fine, said the salesman, I'll throw in a sheet set. That was helpful -- they're only 300 count but they'll do in a pinch and since this is a pinch, they'll do.

Old sheets for the guest bed. Ooops, I realized then, laying in the bed showroom, that I don't have a duvet or duvet cover or bedspread or anything to festively decorate/cover the guest-room bed. Crap. I decided to buy a cheap bed-in-a-bag at Winners or HomeSense. That would do for the guest room.

Except I realized then that my existing duvet cover and shams, which are pretty but just barely cover my existing mattress, really won't properly drape over the higher, new bed. Double crap.

I realized then that, like the mattress decision before, I couldn't cheap out but was going to have to buy something decent for my new bed.

$500 later, I have a new duvet cover, shams, bed skirt (I have a lot of dust lambs under the bed.) The new bed should be delivered in a week or two.

I now realize that by the time my friends begin to arrive, I'll be too broke to do much more than point them to the spare room and wish them a pleasant stay.

At least I didn't have to swallow a cow to catch the goat, to catch the dog, to catch the cat, to catch the bird, to catch the spider, that wriggled and jiggled and -- oh, to hell with it!

Comments (24)

LOL great post. It's funny how a seemingly simple "home improvement" can turn into something much bigger (and more expensive)! That bed in the photo is crazy - looks like some kind of elfen witch bed.

Love the phrase "dust lambs"...we call them "dust bunnies" here but lambs is good too!

Isn't it amazing how what seems like a simple purchase becomes a major one! I've known folks to buy a couch and end up re-doing the entire living room.

I agree - that bed looks menacing. I'd be afraid it would come alive at night or something.


Hey, Babe, look at the bright side -- at least you won't wake up at 3 a.m. to find me looming over you like a chubby Nosferatu, saying, `Sandra, I can't sleep on your couch (whimper, whimper)...."


Such an uplifting (well for me, the reader) blog! I chuckled as your thoughts progressed and was in full-smile at the end - thanks! Enjoyed your blog, menehune

Sandra, thanks for the morning laugh! I can relate to the part about almost needing a ladder. I have a new king size bed that also sits high, too high for this short person (5'1"). I know I won’t be sleeping on it in my old age when I start shrinking unless I buy one of those steps that I’ve seen on some four poster beds.


Annie -- you're right! There's something very Hansel-and-Gretel about that bed!

I also grew up refering to dust bunnies, but in French they're described as lambs and I find that so cute that I can't resist using it myself.

Jerry, it's too true -- fixing one thing around the house can suddenly cast everything else in a bad light. I can see how folks wind up in reno/spending frenzies!

Gwen, I only want you to be comfortable! I'm just sorry that you won't have your own private bathroom as I have at your house. But I'll definitely put in an airconditioner before you arrive!

Thanks for reading, menehune!

Hi Maria, I know what you mean -- I'm not used to scrambling on and off the bed. I'm not entirely sure why beds seem to be getting higher and higher. Maybe Hansel and Gretel isn't the right fairy tale comparison; the Princess and the Pea might be more apt!


I was worried when I saw the photo! We had the same experience about 1.5 years ago. The story is still progressing, not sure what will be swallowed next...

I assume the "lamb" reference refers to size (beyond bunny).


We have been down the "just buy a new mattress" rabbit hole many times, since our all of our kids took their childhood beds to new apartments, one by one. Currently there is a hole in one of our bedrooms where a futon used to be - I know we need to get a new bed in there, and then comes all the bedding. Good job, tho, on getting that new bed in place.


Kathryn, thanks for your suggestions about the giant bed! I guess we didn't get into "dust lambs" with Mr. Ralph....actually there were so many things about French that we didn't learn in those classes!

Hi Marcia, wow -- you've been very generous, letting your kids take their beds. You would definitely have a lot of experience in bed shopping!

Very funny post! Very well written as always. I, too, thought the "dust lambs" were very cute, I had never heard that. So you call them "moutons"? (In Norwegian, we call them something like "dorm bunnies" or "studio bunnies", referring to the fact that they seem to procreate faster in small places!)

Also liked your use of "sleeping around!" :)


This is very funny, Sandra, except for the fact that it is rang so true for me as well. I now have a California King Simmons Beautyrest with pillow top, with a very high mattress, which need extra long and extra deep fitted sheets which means more money that I do not have.

To top it off, the cotton Battenberg duvet cover shrunk a little bit after washing so it fits weird. I think I am that old lady who swallowed that fly...........gulp! But I am sleeping on my own comfortable bed... albeit poorer while I sleep. LOL


Thanks Chiocciola! Yes, moutons is exactly the right reference in French. I also like the Norwegian idea of calling them "studio" bunnies, since they do seem to like small spaces.

And I never can resist going for the easy laugh!

Eden, I'm sorry to hear that you've been going through the same thing -- and decent bedding does seem to cost a lot (or at least, a lot more than I want to spend. Anything that isn't travel related seems like an unnecessary expense!) But I'm glad that your bed is comfortable!

barb cabot:

That photo of the bed is pretty scary. As Jerry said it looks like it would start to come alive with the darkness approaching. Yikes. Glad you got something nice for yourself. A good bed is worth every penny spent.


Really enjoyed this post, and can certainly relate. Our new mattress is so high that I can no longer see the alarm clock on my "old" nightstand. It is propped on a stack of books. We are contemplating some house painting, but I just know that it will lead to other things!

Google Reader has failed me. Your blog did not become bold until last night (bold lets me know there is a new post). I was even beginning to worry! Glad it was just my Google Reader and not anything wrong.

Of course it took me another day to comment. I can't believe how much time can be sucked away by searching for rooms on the internet!

Anyways, back to your bed. I loved this post. It cracked me up. Where do you find these great photos? How exciting to be getting a brand new bed with all of the trimmings delivered to your house. I had to laugh at how you got the sheets thrown in.

I went shopping for new beds a couple of years ago and couldn't decide. I still am in the "thinking mode" on the bed thing. I actually sleep on a futon mattress and frame but am thinking of replacing it with a regular mattress. That will mean I can't fold it up anymore though...so there lies my indecision.

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Sandra, awesome post! I'm so glad that wasn't the bed you got, because I was already trying to decide how to delicately say...interesting bed choice Sandra! I had to giggle with your dust lambs term too. Very funny!

I totally enjoyed reading this post and congrats on your new bed purchase! Will there be a follow-up post with a photo?


Barb, I know that you're right -- a good bed is so important. But I constantly second-guess myself, so I'm now beginning to worry that I'll hate the new bed (once it's delivered at the end of the week!) Ridiculous, I know!

Sheri, that's just what I'm worried about -- I'll roll over some night and wipe everything off the bedside table because it will be lower than the bed! Be careful if you decide to paint, who knows what that may lead to!

Girasoli, good luck finding a hotel room in Arezzo or Ovieto -- I think that finding the right hotel is the hardest part of trip planning.

It is hard to decide what bed to get, especially if your old bed is still okay. Do you need a futon for guests? Requiring a spare-room bed was about the only thing that actually forced me to make to finally break down and buy a new bed.

Thanks, Kathy -- that photo above is pretty nutty! And that's a brilliant idea for a post -- once the new mattress is installed, I'll post pictures to see if people think it looks ridiculous!

First of all congrats on your new bed.
Your post is so great and funny. I loved reading. And you know, I don't remember that song.
But isn't amazing how one get sucked into things like that.
I am glad it all worked out at the end.


Hey Sandra,

I have to be a contrarian here - I really like that bed in the picture. Actually, I love the whole set up: it's like something out of a fairy tale. So there you have it - further evidence of my wacky personality!


Hi Candi, thanks! I'm just hoping that when the new bed arrives, it's very comfortable because I'm too frugal to send it back.

Nirmala, you ARE being a contrarian! But there is something fascinating about that picture, in all of its weirdness!

I would need the spare room first :) I live in a studio. My futon really should be replaced (I prefer futon mattresses to springs but have now found pretty cool new mattresses out there). The thing I like about my futon is that I can turn it into a couch although I do that maybe once a year so I guess it is not that important of a benefit. Someday I will get around to getting a new mattress.


Hi Girasoli, this is the first time I've ever had a spare room and I am enjoying it (altho a bigger place means so much more cleaning!) What I like best is that it can be a kind of "staging area" before a trip -- I can set my suitcase out a week ahead of time and starting throwing things in, without it being in the way.

I think your futon is an excellent idea, though -- you're not wasting space with too much furniture!

Sleeping around the city, in every sleep shop available...great way to choose a bed! Good for you for taking the time to be sure before you bought.


Hi Sandra:
I seem to recall that you are in the Ottawa region.
One suggestion the next time you're shopping for new bed linens:
Massena, NY, where you'll find a TJMaxx, JC Penney, Bon Ton, and unbelievable deals on superb linens (and much more) for at least 50% less than in our overpriced area (I'm in Gatineau.)

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