Who knew you could cause turmoil in a marriage by simply throwing your husband's pillow in the trash? And here I thought I was doing the man a favor.
The pillow was old, flat and had an indentation the shape of his head which looked like a small moon crater. I had no idea he was attached to the pillow until I saw him sprinting down the street after the trash truck.
The husband is easygoing about many things, which in part accounts for the longevity of our marriage, but it turns out he is not easygoing about his pillow.
I suppose this is not unusual. You see people in airports toting little neck pillows under their arms and hauling full-size bed pillows strapped to their roller bags. I even recall seeing Peyton Manning going to spring training one year with his pillow under his arm. Nobody likes to sleep crooked and then try to work with a pain in the neck.
The husband's pillow was one of those cheap foam pillows that sometimes break into chunks. Not only did I throw it away, I added insult to injury by buying him a new one.
The new pillow turned out to be horrible. Awful. It was white and clean. And fluffy. It even smelled -- fresh. Worst of all, it held its shape and didn't have a moon crater. The husband claimed the pillow was so new and nice and full that it hurt his neck. He also suspected that it wasn't cheap.
"I need a cheap pillow," he said. "I sleep best on cheap pillows."
He may be the only consumer in America demanding inferior quality at low prices.
I lured him to a department store and explained that he probably needed one of those scientifically engineered pillows for a good night's sleep. "There are pillows for side sleepers, back sleepers, tummy sleepers, Good Sleep Pillows, Better Sleep Pillows and the You'll Sleep So Long You'll Probably Lose Your Job Pillows. You have to know what you're buying or you can be sucked in by anything," I said.
As I prattled on about the difference between foam, feather, down and polyester, he wandered away to shop on his own.
It was then that a Memory Foam pillow called my name. The Memory Foam pillow is anatomically, aeronautically, agriculturally engineered, and sells for $100. When a pillow comes in a box and costs two Ulysses S. Grants, you have to wonder if it might really change your life. Maybe a better pillow really would make you a more productive person. Maybe you'd wake up cheerful. Maybe it would straighten your spine, whiten your teeth and help you sing on key.
I was fast falling for the Memory Foam when the husband returned and announced he had found the most comfortable pillow in the entire store.
It was a store brand foam pillow for $4.99. I could almost see a dotted line where the crater would form. What's more the perfect pillow was part of a buy-one-get-one-free sale.
What really killed me was seeing a man who instinctively knew what he liked, had a sixth sense for bargains and doesn't like to shop.
Now that's one to lose sleep over.