It’s the little things.
You know what I mean — the ones that seem so small yet ultimately matter a TON that drive you the craziest.
I’m talking, of course, about pillows. Which, actually, now that I’m thinking and typing about it maybe isn’t so little at all, it’s actually a pretty big effin’ deal, especially considering how much time we spend in bed and how the right pillow is the difference between a cricked neck and feeling so good you could run a marathon*.
When I was a kid headed for a sleepover, I always had my sleeping bag, pjs, toothpaste and toothbrush and that was it. I would look at those kids lugging along their pillows and think, really?! You can’t handle one night without your beloved pillow?!
Well, guess what? I’m finding that as I, ahem, get older, I am less tolerant of
everything almost everything a lot of things silly annoyances like an overly fluffy pillow. Hate them. I like my pillows firm and flat. Like my abs. Ha! I have not been successful in the stomach area, but I have done an amazing job spending years honing the flat, firm perfection that is my Ralph Lauren Classic, fiber-filled cranium cushion. It’s divine. It’s also king-sized, so not exactly travel friendly, which is why when we had a basketball tournament in Glendale, Ariz., one recent weekend, I brought my new, wee, blue ukulele that can fit into a shoe bag but left behind Big Bertha**. It was a decision I regretted at 10:30 p.m.
It had been a long, hot day and you know how it is in a hotel bed — sucky — and I slapped each of the four cumulus rectangles billowing out from the headboard and knew I was in trouble. Serious trouble. I sighed and tried to mash down the down. Nope.
Then it was midnight; the pillow was still too fluffy.
Then it was 3 a.m. Still too poofy AND the people on the other side of our shared bond paper*** wall were revved up, as was the snore machine in the bed to my right. I picked up that stupid, poofy pillow and plopped it over my face. Guess what? Its ability to muffle noise was every bit as poor as its ability to smother me.
The next morning — after I practiced the uke promptly at 8 a.m. (payback’s a bitch, room 326) — I asked the front desk folks if any flatties might be stashed somewhere in the back. No dice. My husband thoughtfully swiped a couch cushion from the lobby and while it was small enough to be the perfect size for an American Doll head, it was infinitely better than what came with our room. Still, though, it was no Big Bertha.
Needless to say, I spent the down time between basketball games, eating up precious phone- plan data searching for travel pillows. Turns out camping pillows are a thing, which of course I wouldn’t know because I camped once in my life. Actually, I don’t even know that it counts as a full camp because I bailed on the tent and opted for the carpet-lined bed of my dad’s camper-shelled truck. That was miserable. However, I read each and every review of at least 57 types of camping pillows and even though I may not share that same enthusiasm for sleeping and pooping outdoors as a lot of other people, there are folks like me who want firm head and neck support. I ended up ordering a pillow that arrived home before we did. It came prenamed — Coop — and I can even de-fluff it if I want. I think we are going to go on many wonderful, non-camping adventures together.
Now, if I could just find travel-sized tubes of my favorite toothpaste…
*I’m exaggerating. Obviously. No one should ever run a marathon.
**I can’t say that that name will stick. I don’t know that it seems pillow-y.
***Bond paper is stronger and more durable than the average sheet of paper and is good for letterhead, typed reports and envelopes. What it is not good for is separating rooms, looking right at YOU, Tru by Hilton Glendale!