Thanksgiving 2006. MTM and I find ourselves in gloomy, freezing Denmark. Everyone wondered why on earth we would head to Scandinavia during November. (Hint: the cheapest ticket.) We threw caution to the wind and went, with me coming away convinced that I must live in Copenhagen before I die. It is still my favorite city on earth.
That’s in spite of their bedding. For all of the stories of cool, hip, mod Danish design, their beds SUCK.
The first night, I took one look at the bed in our room and cried. It was one of those “queen” beds that were really two twin beds pushed together. MTM and I wondered if the Danes just don’t sleep together – ever – as we encountered crack after crack after crack. You see, while this arrangement gives the impression of sleeping two people, it became my personal insomniac nightmare.
Without even procrastinating for half the night like I usually do in these jet lagged situations, I took a sleeping pill. Ambien. The whole thing, just to be on the safe side. Usually, half will do me in a pinch, but I wasn’t taking any chances with the cracked up bed.
MTM got in on his side and started instantaneously snoring, one of the things about him that drives me bonkers. Not that he snores – I can deal with that. It’s that he can fall asleep at will and sleep anywhere, in any position, for as long as he wants.
I, on the other hand, am the empress of high maintenance when it comes to sleep. It must be completely dark. There can be no noise, other than MTM snoring. I must be lying flat. Sitting-up sleep just won’t do. If my feet are anywhere near the floor, my brain automatically decides there will be no sleep for me. The blankets have to be a certain weight, and the colder the room, the better.
The whole process is exhausting.
In jet lagged despair, I crawled into the cracked up bed. I tried to snuggle up next to MTM, and promptly rolled into the crack and couldn’t get out. As I flailed around, MTM snored away, making me so mad that I just wanted to scream. Instead, I shoved off him to finally get out of the blasted crack, sighed loudly several times, and waited for the sleeping pill to kick in. Only, it never did. I thrashed and flung covers and tried different positions – even the famous “head-to-toe” at one point – and never slept a wink all night long.
Poor MTM woke up completely refreshed to a steaming mad, sobbing wife with a migraine and an Ambien hangover. The entire trip was a sleep-deprived hell for me, as hotel after hotel had the same cracked up beds on offer. We tried putting pillows in the crack – too lumpy. A perfectly folded blanket didn’t conceal the crack. Turning the mattresses sideways only meant my butt spent the whole night in the crack. Nothing worked. By night four, I was begging MTM to hit me in the head with something to knock me out, and I’m sure he was sorely tempted.
We never resolved the cracked up bed issue, but it didn’t matter. Denmark was gorgeous, even ordering up a few sunny days as we explored Roskilde Cathedral, spent two nights in Ribe, found the coolest building in Kolding, and sought the ghosts of Hamlet in Helsingor. So, when we go to Sweden, I know exactly what I’m taking…….a blow up bed.