The other day, with no notice at all, a steel rod suddenly shot up out of the mattress I share with my spouse, over on his side of the bed. It was like we were in an old prison movie and someone was trying to plant a shiv in his ribs.
HE says it’s just a stray end of inner spring that came unsprung and poked its way through the foam.
I say there’s more to it.
I say our mattresses get mad at us, as do our other household possessions, the way they suddenly malfunction.
Take our irons and ironing boards: they get mad at us too. I was pressing some pants the other day when my ironing board suddenly buckled at the knees and collapsed down onto the floor, taking the iron with it –not once but three times in a row.
Each time I pulled it back upright, checking to see that the latch was locked in place, and three times it went down – wham! – on the floor, the third time melting a big shiny patch into my cheapo rug with its artificial fibers made from recycled trash bags and soft drink cans.
It’s as if all our possessions are in cahoots – because there’s more:
Inside the house, a chair arm will, with no warning at all, detach itself from one of the dining room chairs when someone tries to rise from it.
Outside the house, lawn chairs will suddenly buckle under people, landing them flat on their keisters.
I got to thinking I knew what was going on: Our ‘things’ are jealous of us, because we last so much longer than they do.
I mean, aren’t the mattress merchants always telling us our bedding goes bad after a dozen or so years? And look at those irons. Any iron I buy goes stone cold after three seasons, tops. And those lawn chairs with their bendy aluminum legs? Try 12 months.
This was my theory anyway and it seemed like a pretty good one…Until last week when the weather suddenly moved in here with us and rain began coursing down the INSIDES of two windowpanes.
Could the house itself be jealous, because we’re going to live so much longer?
Negative. This house has been here since the 1890s.
Hmmmm. There was a fact worth pondering.
Come to think of it, the inner springs in my own spinal column have been known to sometimes go ‘sproing’.
And my own inner ‘iron’ often fails to heat up.
And as for all that collapsing and landing – wham! – on the floor, isn’t that in the future for all of us at some point?
Maybe our household goods aren’t jealous of us at all, and certainly not for our length of days.
Maybe what they’re really doing with all their wearing out and falling apart actually constitutes a cautionary tale and they’re offering us a lesson.
The lesson’s message? Strike now, while your iron is hot. Stand tall today, while your legs have strength to do so.
This is me on a typical morning (I’ve lost some weight lately.)