The mattress was not the problem. It was a good mattress. Great, in fact. It was a high end pillow top that I got for approximately one thousand percent off, and frankly was worth the extra car it required to get to Florida.
The mattress was perfect.
Everything else was wrong.
The first problem was the box spring. It didn’t fit in either car. But box springs are replaceable, and high end pillow top mattresses that are one thousand percent off are like a mythical unicorn – not in that they have magical restorative blood, but in that they are so rare, many people don’t believe that they exist. If you find one you hold onto it because chances are you will never find one again.
So I figured I would fix the box spring problem the way every poor person moving into an apart fixes any problem – with a quick trip to Ikea.
And that was my first mistake. No trips to Ikea are quick. Upon entering you are lost in a sea of cheap furniture; navigating a labyrinth that threatens to swallow your entire being. But after two harrowing hours, we emerged – tired, but hopeful that the set of bed slats we bought would be enough to keep my mattress from collapsing in on itself.
Once we got home we realized that we would need more than just a few slats. For starters, my bed frame did not have a middle beam so the slats, which came in a set of two designed to meet in the middle, had no place to sit.
A quick trip to Lowes for a five foot board to lay down the middle of the bed frame promised to fix the issue, as we laid the slats out and got the mattress into place.
But then the bed frame fell off of the lofting blocks I had bought so I could store things under my bed.
The scuffle that followed resulted in more than a few bruises, but the bed was finally in place and ready to be slept on!
Until I tried to plug in my phone.
The minuscule shift the bed underwent in order for me to reach the nearest outlet, proved to be the butterfly wings that started the hurricane.
As soon as I sat on my bed I felt a number of the slats give way and the mattress cave in on one side. Since it was three in the morning, I lacked both the motivation and energy to attempt to fix it. I spent the night on the floor, sandwiched between a nonfunctioning bed and a door that opened towards my face.
I woke up slightly stiff, but determined to fix the bed situation. I went to Lowes and bought two more five foot boards to add some extra support and I recruited my roommate to help me reassemble the bed.
We balanced the mattress precariously on a bookshelf as we surveyed the damage. What I thought was just a few slats out of place turned out to be a total and complete destruction of the mattress support system. All of the slats (connected to each other by ribbons, like a giant replica of one of those Jacob’s ladder toys but way less fun) were either askew or completely separate from the bedframe, and the five foot board was broken in half. It was clearly a bad piece of wood, but it still was disconcerting. It also meant I needed to make another trip to Lowes.
15 minutes and literally seven phone conversations with my mother later, I returned with renewed determination. I WOULD sleep on a bed that night. We put the long boards down and then used some (Disney Princess) duct tape to secure the slats into place.
Then we put the bed back on the lofting blocks because (and this is a universal rule) you can’t move a mattress more than 2 inches without it falling of its lofting blocks. This involved me holding the bed – mattress and all – while my roommate crawled around under the bed, while I prayed that I would not drop the bed on her.
The bed of doom seemed to be tamed, but for good measure it continues to creak threateningly to this day – always suggesting it is just one night away from complete destruction.
This is the second installment of a three part series that chronicles my real life moving horror stories. You can find the first part here. Come back next week for the last story!