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The Goldilocks Experience
Marg Jackson

Is it possible to write an entire column about buying a new bed?

Well, we’re all about to find out.

To set the scene, about four-and-a-half years ago when my daughter and I moved from our very small house into a much larger one where we became housemates with a longtime friend, we each brought our beds with us. My daughter’s was pretty new; mine was okay but a little bit older. Flash forward to just a few months ago when my daughter officially moved out – and left her bed behind. Graciously, she said I could have it if I wanted, since it was in better shape than mine.

Dutifully, I tried it for a couple of weeks to see if I should get rid of mine and move hers in to my room. Problem being, it had a pillow top mattress and that is not something that allows me a restful night’s sleep. I just kept feeling like I was getting swallowed up and could not find a comfortable spot. The dog, of course, loved it but still managed to take up most of the space so I was sleeping uncomfortably curled up in one corner of the bed.

Back I went to my room and my old bed, which, now that I was fixating on it, started to feel really lumpy and uncomfortable as well. The dog – a Maltese that you could fit into an oversized handbag – continued to take up two-thirds of the mattress area on a nightly basis.

Long story short, I knew my daughter’s bed wouldn’t work for me, I knew that getting a new one was probably a good idea; my housemate was thinking she probably should get a new one too, as hers was around 10-years-old. Then, her four-year-old granddaughter mentioned that, now that my daughter’s room was not being lived in, it probably should be turned into a ‘new’ room.

Not a bad plan; my roommate has two granddaughters, the four-year-old and the other one 16 months old, and it seemed reasonable to transition the unused room into a ‘guest room’ for them or other visitors. Originally, we thought we would just keep my daughter Ally’s bed in there, since the girls can definitely share it as they get older.

So we planned to get rid of my bed, get rid of an older bed in a spare room, move my roommate’s old bed into the spare room, and keep Ally’s bed in her old room which would then become the new guest/granddaughter’s room.

Got it?

Except the old bed in the spare room was actually pretty new; we had a random even older mattress and box spring in the garage that we needed to get rid of and we decided my roommate’s old bed would provide a larger bed in Ally’s old room for the grandkids or occasional out of town visitors. Ally’s bed ultimately went to the daughter of a good friend, so we know it will be used and appreciated.

Oh, and in between all this confusion and rearranging of furniture, my roommate and I went out and spent the better part of two weekend afternoons pretending to be Goldilocks and trying out all the different varieties of beds, from soft to medium to firm mattresses of all sizes and price points. No matter what I tried, I kept coming back to the same one – a firm, which my daughter promptly pronounced as feeling like you were sleeping on plywood. Yup, nothing too cushy for me. And the dog doesn’t seem to mind.

My roommate ended up with a super deluxe medium model that features the ability to elevate your head or feet and comes with a nightlight (good for breathing through allergies and reading in bed) and – since there were all sorts of Labor Day deals to be had – includes a massage feature as well. I didn’t go quite that far … maybe next time.

I’m just happy to not sink in when I’m trying to sleep.


Marg Jackson is editor of The Escalon Times, The Oakdale Leader and The Riverbank News. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.