So I’m replacing my bed.
Big whoop, you say.
BUT IT IS. It SO IIIIIIS. If you know me at all, you probably know that I have had this bed, this full size bed handmade in solid maple, since I was ten years old. It’s a weird bed – bedskirts don’t fit it because of the way it’s made, and it is so high that you really have to “climb” into bed. I used to keep a little stool in the bedroom so our toddler-age children could get up onto the bed with us.
This bed used to be my dad’s. Before it belonged to my dad, it belonged to some person or persons unknown whose ancestors probably made it out of necessity, and the ancestors did as good a job as they possibly could on it, smoothing the wood and making it pretty, and the inheritor(s) then looked at it, circa 1951, and said, “Good Lord, who on earth needs a freakin’ ROPE BED?? Better sell it to this nice lady with four kids.”
If you have never seen a rope bed, well, here ya go. The way these were supposed to work is that you attached a rope at the head or the foot, and then snaked it through all the little holes, like lacing up a shoe: head to foot to head to foot. Then you put your mattress tick on top of the ropes. But what do ropes do? Of course, they stretch. So if you had a rope bed, eventually you were going to wind up with your butt on the floor. This is why people started connecting headboards and footboards with siderails instead, and laying slats across so that the mattress wouldn’t fall through. Smart, see?
So my grandmother bought it, and had siderails made specially for it. Now, more than 60 years later, the metal pieces of the siderails have dug into the wood of the head- and footboard so that now they don’t fit squarely, and the bed creaks ominously, rocking back and forth, when you crawl into it, or, if you are The CEO, when you HEAVE YOUR BODY OVER IN A VICIOUS WHIRL, SEIZING ALL THE COVERS IN THE SAME MOTION.
It is scary.
Furthermore, we have been unable to find anybody skilled enough and/or willing to repair the bed.
So I looked at replacing it. But it took forevvver, because 1) nobody but nobody makes really nice bedroom furniture out of maple now. There’s boring plain “natural maple,” which looks like BREAD instead of wood, or if you go “vintage maple” you get this weird orange-tinged wood that looks like somebody baked orange Play-Doh, which was apparently common in the 1940s. Nice Maple, the color you get when you take the time to hand-rub tung oil (no, not tongue oil, that’s gross) into maple wood, looks sunny and golden. Like honey, or light maple syrup for that matter. All my other bedroom furniture, except my bedside cabinet which is oak, is Nice Maple. Matching it up was gonna be tough.
Reason 2) is that I told The CEO how much it was likely to cost to buy a new bed, and his head literally hit the ceiling.
Well, no, not literally literally. But still. He was aghast.
So. After much searching, I found a sort-of-nice-looking bed for cheapish on the Internetses. Head-and-footboard, standard metal rails, adjustable from full to queen. (Which was good, because The CEO did not want to buy a new mattress as well, even though the mattress on our bed I BOUGHT MYSELF before we got married… 21 years ago… $600 well-spent, if you ask me. It’s still comfortable.) Anyway, it was purportedly “solid hardwood,” but the company wouldn’t tell me what kind of hardwood, with a finish they called “Salem Maple.”
It is not quite the same honey color as my dresser and chest of drawers, but it is close to Nice Maple, perhaps a bit paler, with very little visible wood grain. I was distressed, however, to find a big ding on the footboard. I reported my complaint (the gouge was not noticeable until I tried to put the bed together, and then it was really noticeable!). The company has now shipped me an undamaged footboard in exchange for the old one, and for the first time in 35 years I have a new bed.
It looks pretty good. I bought risers for it, because it was 6-7 inches below where (at least in my mind) a bed should be, practically like sleeping on the floor. Now it’s maybe an inch or so lower than I’m used to, but it’s quite manageable. And yeah, the risers are 5″ tall ugly black plastic. But they work. I have only stumbled out of bed once, when my foot came to the floor quicker than I expected.
And we sleep okay in it. The mattress is still in good shape, and the bed frame does not move when we move.
Pray God it doesn’t fall apart.