Can every married couple look back on a particular year that goes down in history as having made the worst decision of your marriage ever or is that just us? If you’re familiar with us at all, you might think you’ve already heard plenty of stories full of stupid decisions we’ve made that would qualify. You’re not wrong. But I haven’t told you what we did back in 2004.
We bought a waterbed.
Yeah, you know where this is going. Except, no, you probably don’t.
We were a young and, er, active married couple, with young children who were suddenly asking us why they could hear our bed loudly splashing. So we did what all parents who are caught like deer in the headlights by their kids’ nosey questions do. We made up a perfectly believable lie.
“We’re wrestlers.” And, no, you can’t watch.
Ok, so we didn’t think the whole waterbed thing through. And while we’re on the topic of not thinking things through, let’s discuss the evening we broke the waterbed, um…wrestling.
That baffling realization occurred in the heat of the moment when we both started getting wet in a strange, not good way, and our confused eyes met. As we rode the remainder of the waves until the mattress came to a complete stop, our minds simultaneously connected the dots.
Son of a ……!
We jumped off the bed in a flurry of accusations, because the line between passion and blame is a fine one. But our predicament remained the same: we had a 2nd story bedroom, we’d just sprung a gusher, and unless we wanted one less bedroom and a vaulted ceiling in the living room below, we had to get that mattress out of the house, now.
My husband, the engineer, came up with a plan. The layout of our house was such, that the stairway led straight down to the front door. He told me to open the front door as wide as it’d go and he would roll the leaking mattress to the top of the stairs and let gravity roll the thing down and out the front door.
Easy as that, right? I mean, who cares that the people across the street were all sitting on their front porch and were about to witness a king size waterbed mattress roll out our front door and straight for the road, because, you know, neighbors.
So, still naked, because wrestling, I safely kept myself hidden behind the front door as I opened it, and then I stepped into the playroom off to the side, where our kids began to take notice of the situation.
That’s right, kids, mommy’s downstairs naked with the front door wide open, and things are about to get a lot weirder, so let’s hold our questions till the end, shall we?
Meanwhile, upstairs, we could hear the mattress land with a loud smack and a splash, as my husband plopped it out of it’s frame. What he failed to take into account was that this unframed leaking mattress would become a misshapen slippery amoeba that would take on a life form of it’s own.
He fought it out of our bedroom and I peaked around the corner to see him line it up with the top of the stairs. “Everybody stand back!” And then he let it go.
When it didn’t come rolling down the stairs, I poked my head back out to see that it was caught on the banister. He couldn’t reach it and said, “You’ll have to come up here and give it a pull.”
You’ve gotta be kidding me.
While water sprayed in every direction, I mentally debated flashing my bare butt to the neighborhood until he yelled, “We’re running out of time!!”
He’s so dramatic.
So I snuck up the stairs and gently tugged the mattress.
Here’s something you should know for future reference. A giant sack of water rolls down a set of stairs at lightning speed and unless you want your obituary to read “Death by waterbed mattress” you’ll realize there’s no time to turn left or right if you’re being chased by one.
So straight out the front door I ran with the waterbed mattress on my heels. Me and all my naked did an immediate u-turn in the front yard and back into the house, while the mattress rolled to an eventual stop on the curb, right beside our 'For Sale' sign.
To this day, my husband’s convinced that the neighbors were too drunk to understand what they saw. I’m convinced they took up a collection and bought our house to get us out of the neighborhood.
We might both be right.