How hard can it be to buy a pillow?
That's what I wondered during my chat with another customer at Bed, Bath & Beyond. We were both in the linen department, shuffling through shelves and shelves of pillows, when she told me this was her third return.
"The first one was too firm and gave me a neck-ache," she said. "And the second one was too soft and flat. Buying a pillow is so difficult!"
I nodded sympathetically, but really, I wondered if maybe she was just a tad high maintenance. With so many pillows and so many options, how could one possibly go wrong?
There were pillows for side-sleepers, stomach-sleepers, back-sleepers, and sleepers who contort themselves into positions with no identifiable name. There were firm pillows, medium pillows, soft pillows and pillows for people with asthma or people who snore. There were down-feather pillows, foam pillows, memory foam pillows, synthetic pillows, latex pillows and for those with allergies, wool-cotton pillows.
All I had to do was pick the right pillow. Piece of cake, right?
When dozing off, I always start on my back, but eventually shift to my stomach, so I selected a firm, down-feather pillow. In the store, I gave it a test drive, hugging it to my chest, imagining it in my bed and cradling my head as I finish reading The Hunger Games trilogy. Ummm, felt nice. I could easily imagine myself dozing off to dreamland with this baby. I whipped out the credit card and bought two.
And the next day woke up with a throbbing headache and stiff neck.
Back to the store I bolted with the pillow-bricks in tow. Obviously, a firm pillow was not for me. Obviously, I didn't sleep on my back as long as I thought I did. Obviously, I needed a pillow more suited for stomach-sleepers. Logic abounding, I selected the softer, more gentle pillow for stomach-sleepers. Obviously.
And awoke the next morning with my face embedded in my mattress.
So, I'm heading back to Bed, Bath & Beyond for yet another exchange and a third purchase. Following the footsteps of the "high-maintenance" gal I talked to just a few days earlier. Now, I know what she meant when she pondered the difficulty of buying a pillow. I feel her pain.