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Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

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To the Mattresses....

To the Mattresses 

View details"We are having a four-day sale. Everything is on sale," says the mattress man. Why is that mattresses are always on sale? Could it be because they are always overpriced? He went into his speech about foam mattresses

Who wants to buy a new mattress, especially when you have a perfectly good mattress, only 20 years old. Well, maybe it is not perfectly good. How long is a mattress supposed to last anyhow?

The thing is, I've been waking up with a terrible backache every morning. I tried the old put-a-board-under-the-mattress trick. It didn't help. I know I'm getting older, but I prefer to blame my aching back on something else.

I looked up "buying a mattress" on the Internet. Honey wants a "sleep number" bed, so I read up on them. I'm not sure I really understand the concept, but it seems the mattress is filled with air and the user can adjust it to be harder or softer, according to preference.

I skip over the advertisements and go to the customer reviews: "Hard to put together, high price, leak air, don't last long." The fact is, I don't want a bed that does tricks. I don't want an air bed, a water bed, a foam bed, a latex bed or a bed that becomes a chaise lounge. I want a plain, regular bed, the kind with springs and padding, a bed inspired by the innerspring in car seats,
according to what I read.

There are so many different mattresses on the market that it is confusing. Mattress manufacturers want it that way: Perfect Sleeper, Memory Foam, Posturepedic, TempurPedic, Beautyrest. They even call the same mattress by a different model number to prevent comparison shopping.

It seems that once you decide on the type of bed, the rest would be easy. No, there are all sorts of innerspring mattresses. The mattresses basically consist of two things, springs and padding. There can be more coils to give support or fewer coils that are made with heavier wire. Number of coils doesn't really mean

As far as padding, there is cotton, acrylic, memory foam and combinations. The best way to decide is to lie down on the mattresses and see which feels better. Just like Goldilocks and the three bears, "this one is too hard, this one too soft," until you find one that is just right.

The store looked like trampoline heaven. I resist the urge. "I want a mattress with coils."

"Well, if you are sure ..." He went into the speech about numbers of coils. I didn't tell him I had been reading Consumer Guide.

"Do you like firm or soft," he asked. 

Why spoil the fun? "Both," I said.

Finally, he said, "Well it really is up to what feels comfortable to you." Eureka! I thought he would get to that sooner or later.

This mattress was too soft, that mattress, still too soft. It seems I am a firm mattress sleeper. We finally found the mattress of our dreams... literally, a hard mattress with enough memory foam padding to make it bearable.

"We can deliver it today," said the salesman, not wanting to take any chances. So, I signed on the dotted line, handed over the plastic card and the new mattress was mine.

It felt pretty hard the first night. "I hope I've not made a terrible mistake," I thought. But, I slept through the night without waking up for the first time in ages. After about a week, my back is starting to feel better too.

It is hard to replace something that you already have. I've decided that I deserve to be comfortable, and if it makes my back feel better, it's worth whatever it costs.

All this mattress talk is making me feel very tired. If you will excuse me, I think I'll turn in.

Copyright 2012 Sheila Moss

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