Thanks to all who responded to “my request”:http://www.polytropos.org/archives/000395.html for help in navigating the pernicious world of mattress retail. We ordered one this morning, so while the word’s still out on the mattress itself, the shopping experience went very well. A number of people recommended going to a department store of some sort instead of a mattress-only vendor, the thinking in part being that such a place has an incentive to get you back as a repeat customer. Whether or not that’s true as a trend, it is certainly the case that the JC Penney in Springfield Mall is a good place to buy a mattress, and that Donna the salesperson is a good person to buy one from. She was laid back, informative, and far from trying to force the most expensive mattress on us, actually ended up recommending one a few steps down.
I violated my longstanding rule to never, ever enter the vicinity of a mall on a weekend, much less on a holiday. But we took advantage of the fact that (unlike in pre-Ella days) we were actually up at 9:00 on a holiday, and zipped in shortly after the place opened. We managed to escape just as the crowds were getting intolerable.
If the actual mattress turns out well, then this whole process will have been surprisingly painless. Time will tell, and all will be explained in Part II.