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A Watery Night’s Sleep©

March 3, 2010

When I married my husband, I realized right away we had a bed problem.  I slept on a bed that didn’t move when I looked at it (a spring mattress) and my husband slept on a bed that gave the vague impression of what life in an aquarium was like (a waterbed.)

I resisted heartily.  From what I remembered of waterbeds, they had a slight design flaw.  You could drop a coin on one corner of the bed and send a series of catastrophic waves to the other corner.

I wasn’t quite ready to set sail and sleep on the high seas.  But my husband was adamant.

“You’ll love it,” he said.

“I’m not sleeping on a riverboat,” I insisted.

“They have new technology now,” he replied.  “It’s called deep-fill.  They include fibers that prevent the water from moving through the bladder quickly.”

“But what if it leaks?” I folded my arms.

“I’ve had mine for years and it’s never leaked.”

“But it’s water.  I’m not sure I want to sleep on water.”

“Trust me.”

In the end I relented.  Within a week of setting up house, we were using my plates, my silverware, my glassware, my towels, my sheets and all of my decorations.  He stood in the kitchen one night and showed me his previous possessions that we were now using in our married life:  four plates, two glasses and one colander.

“I guess we’re getting the waterbed,” I said.

It was great for awhile.  It relieved all the pressure points.  The dull ache on my side disappeared.  When it got too low it could be filled up again.  I hated to admit it, but it even felt – well, dreamy.

The first sign of trouble showed up at the worst time.  (When else?)  I was pregnant with our first child and my husband was out of town on business.  As I got out of bed one night, throwing my legs over the side to get out of the sinking water pit, I felt dampness.  No, my water hadn’t broke, the bed did.

I phoned my husband right away.

“Unzip the top and look inside,” he said.  “Now, lift up the side of the bladder to find where the leak is coming from.”

Sure, if only the hundreds of gallons of water inside didn’t weigh about a thousand pounds. 

Thankfully I could tell it was a small leak that was easily fixed the next day.You’d think the trouble ended there.  It didn’t.

I now have figured out why you don’t see waterbed stores on every corner.  And why to find one you have to drive two hours out of your way and deal with a man named Chuck who looks like a season regular from “Three’s Company.”

It’s because having a bed made out of water is unnatural for the human race, that’s why.  It’s because you have to actually fill it with water –lots of it.  And then you have to add water conditioner.  Every few months.

It’s because you’re supposed to strip the bed, unzip the top, and apply special spray to keep the bladders soft and clean.  Every few months.

It’s because once you fill it with water, you have to heat it.  Otherwise the cold from the water will suck all the living warmth of life out of you.  And if the power goes out, you have to find another place to sleep.  (Expect the power to go out at the worst possible time in your life which will make finding another abode the most inconvenient thing in the world.)

It’s because the bed can’t be moved on a whim or over a spur-of-the-moment decorating idea (pay attention, ladies.)  Moving it is like changing the location of your house.

It’s because if it does leak, you have to fix it right then, at any expense.  A regular mattress will give you time to think about it and save up money for a new one.  A waterbed says, “Drop your plans for this weekend.  You’re now in the market for a new mattress.”

And lastly, it’s because deep inside you know that water is capricious and fickle, and would just love to escape its enclosure and seek its own level -all over your bedroom carpet and downstairs into the garage.

Last week our waterbed leaked the same day our family caught the stomach flu. 

“That’s it!” I announced.  “I’m done with this river cruise!  I need to be on a bed that isn’t made up entirely of a naturally occurring element.”

“They’ve made great strides in air mattresses,” my husband said.

Who knew four plates, two glasses and one colander could cost so much?

©2010, Kim Knuth.  All rights reserved.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. rknuth permalink
    March 3, 2010 2:53 pm

    Been there, done that also! Wife’s side of bed water mattress, my side foam mattress. HER mattress leaked, BUT I got SOAKED! Our bed did have waterproof liner though.

  2. Sue Ann permalink
    March 3, 2010 5:24 pm

    This was great. I loved my water bed until my body decided to be cold one moment and hot the next. Water can’t change that quickly.

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