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The bed we make
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So I was lying in bed with my husband last week, contemplating the state of our union on our 13th anniversary.

Comparative analysis shows circumstances to be not nearly as smooth as some we know, but far less disastrous than those witnessed on reality TV. Assets remain stable thanks to creative frugality.

Giggles and guffaws remain abundant. Though the issue about who snores louder appears insoluble, we agreed to give it another year.

“Time to celebrate,” I said, nuzzling his neck.

He pointed his head to the six lanes of traffic whizzing by outside a half acre of plate glass windows.

“Maybe we should go home first,” he whispered.

Right. Bad form to make out while mattress shopping.

Not that Deborah Gibson is fazed by much. The Green Frog Sleep Center owner has watched people roll around in bed for 22 years on the corner of Abercorn and Mall Blvd., and she’s seen her share of smooching and other bedroom–ish behavior as customers test out where they’re going to be horizontal for a third of the next decade or so.

She said a woman once showed up with a blanket and her book and spent the entire afternoon lounging on the King Coil model in the corner.

“This is an important purchase no matter who you are, and you have make sure it feels good,” she told us as we patted our hair and tucked in our shirts. “We pretty much expect people to come in, take off their shoes and lay down.”

A few weeks ago, after 13 years of absorbing the shock of everything that goes on in a bed, including the conception of two children and daily games of “let’s jump to Mars” by said children, our tired old mattress failed like a drug–smuggling burro on its 600th trip back from Chiapas.

After commenting that I complained about my sore hip more than the Senior Lunch Bunch at the JEA, my father–in–law graciously offered to upgrade our sleep palette as anniversary and birthday gifts for the next decade.

“Wake me up when you decide,” he yawned and staked out a king–sized foam loaf.

The kids disappeared to play hospital in the section where the beds move up and down, though their occasional shrieks from unanesthetized surgery were plenty audible.

Deborah was unflappably patient with our family circus, probably because she’s used to listening to her own. Her daughter, Tracy Eckard (the lovely brunette on the Green Frog TV commercials) has managed the store for ten years and now brings her 10–month old son to work, where he often naps on the floor models.

Tracy’s husband, Dane, owns the flooring company next door, and it’s not unusual for the whole brood to be hanging out on one of the futons at lunchtime. It’s as family as family business gets.

Since we hadn’t shopped for a mattress since we were merely two newlyweds with backs of steel, I was a Consumer Reports Goldilocks, drilling Deborah about coil volume and space age visco–elasticity.

We hopped from bed to bed, deciding this one was too firm, this one too soft, tossing and turning to find the one that was just right. My spouse groused that the one I liked felt like lying on the kitchen table.

I rejected his favorite on the grounds that it had an oozy quality reminiscent of the Stretch Armstrong doll my brother and I cut the arms off of and squished into my mother’s Turkish carpet in the ‘70s and its massive jelly embrace activated a neurotic fear of retribution.

“Some married couples sleep in separate beds,” I reminded him.

“Do you have anything along the lines of nine feet high and six feet wide, like Grandma’s featherbed?” he asked Deborah, invoking our mutual soft spot for John Denver.

“We definitely don’t like this one,” announced the kids from across the room. “It’s too spongy, like that gross gluten–free pizza you made that time.” Sounds of gagging.

“Just make sure you get one that won’t make a third grandchild,” grumbled my father–in–law.

Finally, right around closing time, we came to a consensus. The four of us piled on to a medium–cushioned queen like a bunch of sleepy bears, and for the first time in an hour, the store was quiet.

Everything felt like it would be just right for at least another 13 years – 20 even, according to the warranty, though the Jumping to Mars program has had to be shelved indefinitely.

Deborah Gibson could finally be rid of our family and go home to hers for some well–deserved rest.

While I’m lauding local businesses, I must pay props to two more who made our anniversary memorable: I saw no reason not to make use of the generous coupon from Sunset Novelties in last week’s issue, and manager Stefanie Franklin kept it blush-free. (Oh really, you’re going to judge? If you’re married and haven’t been in there, you might be doing it wrong.)

Also, a bow of gratitude to the Marshall House, who squeezed in a one-night stand for some old married locals (with new novelties!), along with 45 Bistro manager Danny Steinfeldt and Executive Chef Brian Palefsky. Bartender James Gray pours a gorgeous violet martini should you have the occasion for a special toast - and I sincerely hope you do.