So this is the continuation of the drama detailed here. I’m a little slow with updates and I’m procrastinating (quite effectively, I must say) now.

So after the drama with the mattress (did I say this part?) we went back, ordered a more reasonably priced queen-size mattress. We did not buy a frame for it, because I didn’t want to get a metal frame only to turn around and throw it away/let it sit in our basement for years. The end result: we had a mattress coming to us the day after we got back from our vacation in St. Kitts and we needed to either come to terms with sleeping on the floor, or purchase a bed frame.

I hit the streets running. Although I am a graduate student with a heck of a lot of work to do (and a knack for procrastinating, so my workload only gets more overwhelming with every moment that I find something to distract me), I became a Woman On A Mission: Operation Save The Baby Seals and Find Us A Bed (OSTBSFUAB, abbr. OSTBS). I searched tirelessly, going from store to store to store, looking for used furniture, local furniture, used and local furniture, fair-trade furniture. (The main impetus for OSTBS was this website, which I still highly recommend if you haven’t seen.) And yes, I did go to Pottery Barn to see the Holy Grail of beds, the cute white bed with baskets underneath:

(Sigh.)

Do you see any problems with this bed? Well, after a great deal of contemplation about this fine piece of furniture, including 3 full years of coveting it, I can give you a full explanation of all the reasons it is not the piece of furniture I sleep on at this point in time. The most salient are
1) It is made of particle board (!!!) (I did that last time, and I’m still gonna say it. $1000 for particle board?!?
2) It lacks an a) headboard and b) footboard. Which, I can tell you after sleeping with my new husband, this guy (and don’t tell me he’s not the most studly, sexy man you’ve ever laid eyes on):

…pretty much sucks. I *hate* scrambling after pillows that get pitched off the end of the bed.

3) I can’t figure out where it was made, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t here. It is definitely not OSABS-friendly.

4) I think that’s it. Honestly, I think this bed is so darn cute. It was quite tragic to come to the conclusion that it will induce guilt and trauma.

So after debating and debating and debating, we I bid farewell to the cute-PB-bed-with-basket dream.

Our next stop was a majorly gigantic local furniture chain that is so large, it has its own IMAX theater. No kidding. AND…they were giving away TVs if you bought XXX$ worth of furniture, which DB started to decide we needed (!!!). Of course, we do not need a TV, even one that is free, but for some reason we both become delirious with glee when someone offers us any sort of substantial-sounding discount or gimmick. I will be the first to say, with my head hanging low, that the stupid “free TV” offer cost us a precious few hours of debate while we considered all of the different versions of furniture we could purchase that would get us to the new goal of a new TV.

And then I’m also happy to announce that we realized that it was a gimmick, that we didn’t actually like the furniture, and we moved on.

But it turns out that in the massive mega-furniture store place, there is an actual whole series of rooms that the saleslady, DB, and I started calling – no kidding – the “Club a Baby Seal” rooms. These rooms had deals where you could get the entire bedroom set – like a headboard, footboard, 2 dressers, a mirror, 2 bedside tables – for $800. Which, if you do the math, is absolutely ridiculous. We decided that this furniture was the product of a raped world – an African forest that is now completely stripped naked, wood shipped on a huge tanker thing to somewhere in Asia where child labor crafts it into a fine-looking piece of furniture, where it is then shipped to entitled wealthy North Americans (sorry, Canadians, I’m including you on this one, too) on another tanker that might, actually, have killed some baby seals in its trek. The saleslady was totally flummoxed by us, but to her credit, she went with the theme, pretending we were only the 5,000th couple to say exactly. that. today! She did a good job, but we weren’t sold.

I’ll spare you the other dramatic details of our shopping. The end result was that we went to (cough – I know it’s expensive, and it took several days to get to this point) Ethan Allen, where the wood does not cross an ocean, is crafted on U.S. soil from U.S. trees, and the bed itself is a black painted wood, which means it matches most of our other furniture so we aren’t forced to buy all new furniture for the sole purpose of matching our new queen bed. Here is our new bed, avec extra inhabitant (Day 1):

It is, however, taking some time to get used to the extra real estate. DB was around when we first got the bed, and there were several nights when I’d wake up in a panic because I thought he was gone (and it was just because he was, like, more than 6 inches away from me!!) Little jumped on the bed in the middle of night and we didn’t even notice (!! Check out how much of the real estate he takes up!!) We have what seems to be an extra zip code on the bed.

For the time between our bed delivery and our mattress delivery, we borrowed a bed frame from some friends who’d gone through the same drama a few years ago. The bed frame ended up on Little’s bed (I posted about this before). I have been kind of pre-occupied lately, and so I haven’t had time to move/return the bed frame. Apparently it doesn’t matter much; sharing the bed with the human bed frame serves only to inspire extra traffic to the dog bed:

And now the animals are sleeping, quite happily, within a foot of each other while I write this and contemplate my approach to this stats paper.

All in all, I feel pretty comfortable with our bed decision. It was not what we wanted – we wanted to find a used bed – but there just weren’t any great used beds available on yahoo’s freecyle group or on craigs*list. I went to a furniture rental place where they sell people’s rented furniture that’s been returned, but that stuff wasn’t that great. It turned out that I was more excited about the *idea* of getting used furniture than *actually* buying what was available.

(For the record, if what we bought, or that cute PB bed, was available used, I would have jumped at it in a heartbeat, but that was not an option.)

For us, the next-best thing was to buy from local resources, made locally, and shipped a minimum distance, and we’re relieved that the product is something that will last us until we’re dead AND matches what we already have. Success!!

*For the record, DB and I have this continual debate with ourselves about supporting imported products, and our essential plan is this: if it’s not heavy furniture, or a heavy car, it’s okay if it’s from another country, because although we are not psyched about the working conditions, it is providing *some* income to families/kids that would otherwise be on the streets. We try to buy local in general, but we don’t get upset if we can’t do it for most things.

That being said, a few days ago I went to the grocery store with the intention of buying everything from within 500 miles from our house. I thought I could do it. It turns out…no, I couldn’t. My apples, tomatoes, pears, and grapes were from Chile, and the strawberries were from California, I think, and the milk was from somewhere far away, too. Buying local is not easy, especially if you’re a picky eater.

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