Remember when you were a kid and pillow fights were fun? Remember when decorative pillows were piled mile-high on your bed just “for show?” Well, these days my pillows and I aren’t even on speaking, no less sleeping terms!
It started months before COVID quarantining. So, I cannot blame my pillow pain on the pandemic, although I blame almost everything else on corona or the family dog, Olga.
I needed a new pillow. Mine, after years of loyal head-resting service had gone flat. I ran into Target, and like Robin Williams in the movie Moscow on the Hudson, I was instantly overwhelmed at the multitude of choices. Foam! Gel-filled! Polyester! Good for side-sleepers! Back-sleepers! Stomach-sleepers! Good for side-sleepers AND back-sleepers!!!
So many choices! So many exclamation marks! It was enough to cause insomnia.
PILLOW FIGHT: ROUND ONE
Remember when buying pillows was easy? They used to come in just two sizes, standard and king. Now they also come in queen and full-body sizes. They used to come in just two fillings, feathers and something non-feathered (I forget what.) That was it.
Yes, back then, life and shopping were easy. Of course, back then, when we were younger, even falling — and staying — asleep was easier.
And today’s prices? Yeeks! I swear the last pillow I bought could not have cost more than $15. Yet that day in Target I was looking at prices of upwards of $168! Why I could buy a mattress for the price of a couple of these pricy pillows.
My weary, sleep-deprived head spinning, I grabbed a cheap pillow, paid for it, and sped home. I tried to nap but couldn’t. The pillow was uncomfortable. Too plush (or alternately, my head and neck were too puny). I tried to get used to it for three sleepless nights. Then, exhausted, I gave up and returned it.
PILLOW FIGHT: ROUND TWO
On my second shopping foray, I was armed for battle. I had done my research. I had read a dozen articles with titles like “10 Best Pillows of 2021 According to Bedding Experts” and “Best Pillows from Consumer Reports’ Tests.”
Yes, this time I would not be undone by overwhelming options on fill, firmness, size, and whatever other voluminous verbiage manufacturers would pillow toss my way.
Yes, I had researched my fill on “fill.” I knew all about foam, gel, and even buckwheat —a handy option for late-night snackers. If you get hungry, no need to stumble to the kitchen, just bite open your pillow and nibble!
I admit I wasn’t 100% clear on the subjective nature of “plush” and “deep plush” but still I felt reasonably assured I could finally pick a pillow. And indeed, after 57 minutes, I made my choice.
PILLOW FIGHT PAIN
Sadly, three neck-racking nights and one emergency visit to the chiropractor later, I accepted the obvious: I had made my second pillow purchase mistake. But by then California’s shelter-in-place order had been issued. And ever since then, I’ve been ordering pillows online and returning them.
By this time, it’s fair to say I’ve spent more time researching pillows than I did selecting my mate! Honestly, I know how I did so well with my marriage. Beginner’s luck, I guess.
And regarding this infernal pillow quest, I now have three fears:
- I’ll never find a comfortable (or even tolerable) pillow
- I’ll never get a good night’s sleep ever again in my life, and
- Amazon will ban me from the shopping site because of my excessive returns.
And speaking of those Amazon returns, have you ever tried to return a memory foam pillow?
A memory foam pillow arrives all cute and neatly compressed in an itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny box. You open the box and out pops the pillow like a non-scary Jack-in-the-Box. Then, over 24 hours, the pillow decompresses more … and more … and more.
Unfortunately, to return it, you need the patience of Job and the strength of Hercules to wedge it back into that same itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny box. It’s as painful as squeezing yourself into a set of Spanx after a holiday eating spree!
THROWING IN THE TOWEL
And so, I still daydream of that perfect pillow, while each night I lay me down to toss and turn on a rolled-up white towel I “borrowed” from the gym. It’s sorta comfortable, although unfortunately, it doesn’t stay rolled up through the night. I’ve tried using ribbon to keep it together, but the ribbon bunches up, leaving ridges in my side-sleeping cheeks.
Still, the towel is my best option so far. It’s not chic. It’s not good for pillow fights. However, it is a breeze to clean and no ironing is required. So, that’s a plus.
So, my pillow quest continues. Meanwhile, I remain,
Yours in aching shoulders, a pinched neck, headaches, and muddled sleepless despair!
🛏️ 🛏️ 🛏️
PHOTO CREDIT: TIME 100 Photographs The Most Influential Images of All Time