My bride and I bought a new matress this weekend. (We also bought a new couch and a new chair and ottoman, but this morning's story is about the mattress.) It's all my bride's fault, of course - if it had been left to me, I'd have been sleeping on the same mattress when I was moved into the retirement home - I've just become adept at contorting my body around the springs poking through the top.

Somehow, I made it to 30 years old without ever having to buy a mattress. I'm not exactly sure how that happened. It seems like I would have had to go through the mattress-buying excercise by now - after all, I've bought a number of cars; I have a mortgage and a kid. But I have never until now bought a mattress. In some strange way that neither fatherhood nor land ownership did, a mattress made me feel like I've irrevocably crossed that threshold to adulthood.

We don't actually have the mattress yet, as they don't carry the normal king size beds out here - only up through 'California kings' (vs. 'Eastern Kings'). Oh, and in the past 10-12 years since our old mattress was made, both mattresses and box springs got thicker. So now we have to buy all new bedsheets. And lower the bedframe a few inches. And yes, you have to buy a new, matching box springs, because using your old box springs voids the warranty on your mattress. Please tell me - who is using their mattress warranty?

"Yes, is this 1-800-Beds? My mattress is on the blink, can you please send out a mattress repair man?"

I bet the mattress repair man is the one checking to see if you ripped off the tags.