My Aging Body & My Aging Bed

by Alex Lee

They say age is just a number. But for a small, blissful population, it isn't even that. A remote Amazonian tribe was discovered to have no concept of age. When a reporter asked a member of the Amondawa what her age was, she could not provide an answer. Their culture did not track self-time in that manner.

Then there's this study that concluded Latinos age slower than other ethnicities. All other factors considered, Latinos manage to live approximately three years longer than Caucasians.

50 is the new 21. My Flipboard is full of some scientist finding a pill to stop the aging process or some expensive product they've engineered to erase your lines.

You're only as old as you feel. We continually try to focus on what makes us feel younger than what we think we're supposed to feel. My daughter, who is now 10, thinks anyone born on or before the year 1982 is *ancient*. If I ask her what age qualifies a person as being "OLD," she will probably say "37," at which point my wife and I sob quietly inside. But if I'm to be honestly honest, I had the same concept when I was younger — 40 was old, then I aged 10 more years and then 50 was old — I move my goalposts because they are mine to move.

Read more9 Things the 'Olds' Supposedly Need From the 'As We Change' Catalog

I also have the unfair advantage of genetics on my side. My parents still looked like teenagers in their 30s. I shocked the old lady at the Chinese restaurant when I told her I had a 15-year-old son. The algorithms in my Android camera still can't peg my true age from my selfies.

You know when 15 years is old? When you're talking about your mattress. I vaguely remember walking into the big-box furniture vendor, mulling about their sleep "laboratory," and trying out the different models until my wife and I settled on one that fit our comfort expectations and household budget. Over a decade and a half, the mattress put up with us as best it could. At first, things were great. The novelty was fresh. We were so ready for some restful sleep — we wouldn't look haggard each morning and when we woke up, it would be a Febreeze commercial of alertness and productivity. But the betrayal started like everything else in my bedroom. (JUST KIDDING.) My wife would complain how tired she was, both of our bodies were aching from fighting against the coil springs underneath us. My aging bed — and I call it that because it was getting old and it was AGING US with it — was past time for a change.

The really great thing about the Internet is that it's full of websites like Maximum Middle Age, and places where you can look up opinions on mattresses. I found a local factory that produces foam latex rubber mattresses and, most importantly, has models in a showroom that you can evaluate before purchasing. A few days later, the mattress arrived and we had a bonding experience assembling it while hauling the old one away. (Helpful Hint: Do not try to saw a boxspring in half. There is hardened steel inside.) After a few more nights of sleep on it, we can both say it's incredible. I compare it to sleeping on a fine sandy beach with support at every point on my body. My Microsoft Band says I'm getting more restorative and more efficient sleep with this mattress compared to the Terminator that we used to sleep on.

The monster wasn't under my bed, it WAS the bed. / Image from  Wikimedia

The monster wasn't under my bed, it WAS the bed. / Image from Wikimedia

But what about when I'm away from my mattress? It's really so good, I don't want to leave it each morning, but I have this lame responsibility of bringing in a paycheck so my family doesn't end up on an episode of Repo Men

While this is no substitute for my bed, I think this is the greatest travel pillow of all time. OF ALL TIME.

Ostrich pillow demonstration. / Image by Alex Lee

Ostrich pillow demonstration. / Image by Alex Lee

Why did I purchase this?

  1. I did not come equipped with a uterus, so I thought this was the next best thing.
  2. When I emerge from my nap, I feel like a new person.
  3. It's very cozy inside.
  4. I do not have space in my home for a sensory deprivation tank and the school gymnasium is too far away.
  5. Nobody bothers me when I am using this pillow. They tend to stay far away.
  6. T.S.A approved.
  7. Red was in stock.
  8. No one else in my f̶a̶m̶i̶l̶y̶ state has one.
  9. This is going to be so great during flu season.
  10. Who doesn't like to nap?

There are divided opinions on sleep and productivity. Nobody wants to be seen as an oversleeper but we all recognize the dangers of being deprived of sleep too.

I think it's getting close to my afternoon siesta now.


Alex Lee is a 45-year-old father of two and was THIS close to becoming a doctor. He loves science, drums, making cakes of his best friend, and liberalism. He is also a full-time IT Specialist and part-time Technical Writer.