Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Pride and Prejudice: A Cautionary Tale

So, before the Barefoot Hippies had our much lauded Tempur Pedic mattress, we had a normal, queen sized bed. Which was purchased 12 years ago after we broke our double bed two months after we tied the knot.

Now, you'd assume (along with everyone else) we'd broke our bed because of an abundance of certain newly wed activities. But, actually, we broke our bed while reading Pride and Prejudice. No joke.

But definitely rather humorous. If you are into humor. At all.

When I was 4 or 5 years old, my dad got an already ancient wooden double bed frame for me from my granny's house. He sanded it down and painted the head board and footboard and side boards a pale yellow. And I slept in that bed for the rest of my growing up years.

It was a creaky old thing. The wooden slats had metal hooks that attached to other pieces of metal in the head board and foot board. It made the quintessential er-er-er-er bed noise every time I rolled over. But it was a great bed. A double, for crying out loud. That's like having your own country in a family of 8 kids!

I loved that bed. More than just for the size. I loved it for it's history. For the connection with my 8 beautiful aunts and mom.

Being the practical and frugal folks that Mr. Hippie and I were (are), we decided to use my bed frame and mattress as our nuptial bed. I had a bed, he didn't. We had no money. This worked.

So, I sanded it up and put a nice white coat of paint on it. It was bright and cheery, fresh and renewed.

Also, being the book lovers and classic lovers that we are...(I'm sure you'd never guess that based on our Barefoot Hippie moniker) and possessing no television to occupy our evenings, we decided to read Pride and Prejudice together.

One night, about 2 months into our marriage, it was a Thursday, and we were reading P&P in bed. That was all we were doing. I can't remember what passage we were reading. I am sure it had something to do with some absurdness of Mrs. Bennet.

Regardless, there we were, passively reading, when the bed gave a tremendous creak and crack, and down it fell! Our landlady probably jumped a mile. One of the metal hooks had pulled out of the wood.  We landed in a heap, our bedstead broken rather beyond repair.

We took it upon ourselves to purchase a queen mattress and box spring with our leftover wedding gift money. We tossed the wooden side slats, and stored the foot board. But, we kept the ill fitting headboard at the head of our bed for many more years.

It was a reminder of my childhood. It's whimsical design invoked sweet dreams. It's sturdiness provided the perfect back rest for many more chapters of many more books.

Now it is stored in my basement, waiting for the day that it will find another bed to grace. Maybe one of these days we will get the girls a double mattress and box spring, and place the head board at the top of their bed. Maybe...

Maybe they will be excited to use their mama's headboard, and their great aunt's. Maybe they will embrace the nostalgia and love that bed too.

Maybe....they will realize that it is unwise to read Pride and Prejudice in bed. It just isn't safe.