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Day 75. in which we flop on mattresses.

I had enough of trying to buy mattresses online. It was impossible. The only distinguishable difference seemed to be the price tag. Today was the day we would go in person to test out the mattresses.

I felt a bit guilty because I knew unless someone offered me an amazing deal, there was no way I was actually going to buy the mattress at the physical store. I really only wanted to determine what was comfortable and then apply that knowledge to an online purchase where I knew I could get a better deal and in which all of the shipping would be thought-free for me.

Of course, we were accosted the moment we walked into Sleepy's. There were 5 sales people - 4 men and 1 woman - in the store altogether and not a customer in sight. We were obviously the next victims. I think they sicced the newest one on us because we came in with a million kids. Who in their right mind would spend a lot of money on a mattress with a million kids?

I felt guilty because I knew I was wasting their time. At the same time, I felt vindicated because I knew they were just going to try to sell me some high-end crap which wasn't necessarily any better than the low-end crap.

I felt relatively informed walking into the store. I had been researching online our mattress purchase. So. boring. I had already told Dana in the car that no matter how good anything they offered sounded, we would not accept it until we had time to clear our heads from any propaganda they may try to feed us.

A young salesman, Owen, introduced himself to us. I suspect he was new. He was young and seemed a bit nervous but really excited about telling us all about the sleep research that Sleepy's conducts regularly to help people find the mattress that is just right for them! Apparently, you don't just 'become' a mattress salesman by the act of being hired alone; Sleepy's puts you through a boot camp of sorts where you learn all about the ins and outs of bedding and bedding technology.

Sleepy's even had a special machine to determine the compatibility of a mattress for my body type. They have you lay down on this special mattress which conducts some mysterious 'scan'. Owen didn't explain how it worked, just that it worked. It actually reminded me of the bunk that idiot Blisko (the idiot chiropractor I went to briefly) tried to sell me on a few months back. Smoke and mirrors. I need more than a print out of my body with some red and green ink splotches on it to convince me that there is science behind it.

Owen conducted a sleep profile for me and one for Dana, explaining how many couples have different mattress needs. He didn't actually offer a solution to this problem plaguing the mattress industry, but he didn't need to because the bed scan Dana and I completed found our sleep needs were compatible! Convenient!

Owen, of course, works on commission so he decided to show us only high-end mattresses. I honestly didn't care, because I knew I wasn't going to buy one of these high-end mattresses. I only wanted to test out the essential types of density - firm, soft, pillow top, whatever. Owen wasn't doing anything different than what I could do online - and that was to choose the best mattress by price tag alone. He kept referring to what we would need or want in our 'master' bedroom, as if it was a sanctuary of luxury and repose that required a high-end mattress.

This seemed totally absurd since my kids were presently running loose around the store.

These same kids would obviously be jumping on my bed.

Our home knows no sanctuary!

Actually, it wasn't as bad as it sounds. Dana was carrying Liam, who unfortunately, only wanted Dana. So, anytime, Dana wanted to try out a mattress, Liam was handed to me, screaming as if he was being handed to a total stranger. I wondered if Owen thought I beat him at home...The sole female employee came over to try her hand at placating the child. I don't know what the hell she thought a stranger could offer that the baby's own mother couldn't. Liam didn't know, either. He just screamed louder and turned away from her quickly.

Lily was somewhat amused by the mattresses, but she was more interested by the artificial mazes created by the rows of show beds. Seth was kind enough to follow Lily around and try to placate her while Dana and I talked mattresses with Owen. I'd have to reward him somehow later.

My brain was melting.

I wanted him to know that I had done some homework so that he wouldn't waste too much time giving me unnecessary sales shtick. I threw a lot of mattress terms into the equation: slat bed, pillow top, plush, memory foam. I asked him if he knew what size sheets one would put on a pillow top mattress...did they need to be deep pocket? I didn't even really know what deep pocket sheets were but they sound like they are made for large mattresses. I wondered if when in mattress training, the Sleepy's sales team was trained on bed sheets as well. Was Owen panicking inside about how to answer my query? Or had he studied sheets, too?

I don't like arguing with sales people. I don't even like being talked to by sales people, unless the conversation is solicited. It's nothing I have against sales people. I just don't appreciate being pressured into anything. It's not appropriate for sex and neither is it appropriate for mattress shopping. So I was straight-forward about the fact I wouldn't buy a mattress from them without shopping around thoroughly. I also didn't know if I needed a box spring, which to me, has always seemed like a total nonsense scam, anyway. You can accomplish the same effect by putting a bunch of concrete blocks on the floor as a base and laying your mattress on a big sheet of plywood. I know this to be true, because I have done this before. I was thinking of purchasing a slat bed, so this was my easy 'out' of the store. I would return, possibly, once I had decided on the actual bed the mattress would fit.

Owen tried to tell me that I might need a box spring for my slat bed. I knew this was a whole lot of bunk, bordering on a lie. So I just put a stop to this dialogue quickly.

For a few minutes, I almost was talked into the high-price sale. Undeniably, the mattress was comfortable. But you have to remember that I've been sleeping on an air mattress for nearly two years now so that an army cot would probably feel good at this point.

Owen offered us a deal. It was well below the tag price, but the tag price is a lot of bunk, anyway, to make it seem like I'm getting a deal. I mean, it's not like Owen and I are friends. He'd be an idiot to give it to me for less than the tag price unless it was intentionally priced up.

Why can't sales be more ingenuous?

Well, I told him I might come back. I did like Owen. He wasn't much of a jerk, so he'll probably never be much of a true salesman. Which actually did want me to buy a mattress from him.

Especially after I met his district manager who was repugnant.

Owen wanted to put it in writing the deal that was offered to us. The offer would be good for 7 days. He asked us sweetly to call him personally if we did decide to buy the mattress so he could get the commission for it. He said it more nicely than that, but that was the gist of it.

The only reason why I would have bought the mattress from Sleepy's is that I actually liked Owen. Dana did, too.

So, we're sitting in the back corner of the sales floor where his district manager has a desk and we're now cornered by Owen, this district manager, and some other seemingly experienced sales guy, who also seemed like a total jerk. But not as much of a jerk as the district manager. The district manager was a huge man, literally pouring out of his suit. He had laryngitis. He was sniveling and sick and honestly, I found him repulsive. He never looked me in the eye, he was totally dismissive of poor Owen, treating him like a moron, and he was simply an unpleasant person. He said, "What can we do to make you commit before you walk out the door today?"

He and the other guy, who resembled "Dwight" from the U.S. version of The Office, offered to take it down a bit more and throw in a big bag of 'stuff'.

I don't like stuff. I want what I want and I don't want extra crap. I don't like clutter. If I want something, I'll buy it. If I don't want something, I don't even want it given to me. I didn't want a bag full of stuff.

And the very fact that they wanted to 'commit' me in any way didn't appeal to me. They knew I would never come back because they knew they were ripping me off, which was the only reason they wanted a commitment.

Then they tried to get me to leave a $50 deposit and if I did that, they would take another $50 off the total purchase price. No gimmicks. If I didn't want it, I could have my deposit back. But I'd have to come back in. A second chance to hassle me. and scam me. and probably keep my $50 bucks.

Ha. Yeah. No.

The jerky salesman mocked me, "What? You don't like saving money?"

That really pissed me off, actually. They act like you're an idiot for passing up the deal. And that's just so ridiculous.

I almost wanted to buy the bed and rave about how I appreciated Owen's relatively low-key sales approach. Or pretend to buy the mattress but then change my mind at the last moment because of these two cronies.

This is one of the many reasons why I enjoy shopping online more than shopping in a store. To me online shopping is a special skill that not all people have. It's a personal challenge for me to find sales. I relish in it.

On the way out, we were stopped by the woman again. She was very smiley and not too overt. and she had tried to entertain Liam, even if it had been unsuccessful. That was nice. Apparently, she was not a sales person. She was an auditor. And if I would just answer her questions, we could get a Sleepy's bag o' stuff (they are big on this apparently) and a $5 gift card for Dunkin' Donuts. Typically, I would have said no. But I figured this was my chance to make poor Owen shine.

Owen really had delivered his sales schtick well as he had touched on all of the points required by Sleepy's. All of the information he had given us had been part of the Sleepy's recipe. Job well done.

I felt like telling the auditor that the district manager made me want to vomit and that there was no way I would ever buy a bed from him. But I just smiled, took my bag of junk, gift card, and Owen's cell phone number and left the building unscathed.

Phew! That had been hard!

God, and the kids were crazy. We had been promising them the mall if they would just tolerate the mattress shopping. I remember my Dad taking me shopping for cars once when I was about 7 or so, and I also remember what a drag that had been.

After shopping, after nap time, I went back to the computer. We knew what we wanted now. We agreed memory foam is weird. We agreed we didn't want a firm bed even though we thought we had wanted one for our aging backs. We agreed on the slat bed which would save us on an unnecessary box spring. We also agreed the pillow top was nice, but also unnecessary.

JCPenney's had a 50% off on selected mattresses. But in the end, we went with 1800mattress.com, which funny enough was where I started my search in the first place. I decided upon the
Sealy Luxemburg II Plush Pillow Top. I had not planned on getting a pillow top, but it was on sale and less than similar ones without a pillow top.

Better yet, they have next day delivery. So, our mattress will be here between noon and 4 p.m. on Sunday!

Perhaps my days of insomnia will come to an end?