April 2018

by Marshall Chapman

Photograph by Anthony Scarlati

Mark Twain once said, “The difference between the almost-right word and the right word is really a large matter —’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” He was referring to writing, of course. But the same can be said about food. Or even bedding, as I recently learned. But first—food.

Consider extra virgin olive oil and Parmesan cheese.

The difference between a regular bottle of extra virgin olive oil and a premium select one from Italy really is a large matter. As is the difference between that already-grated stuff that you shake out of a bright green tube and a chunk of imported Italian Parmigiano Reggiano that you hand-grate at home. With one, you end up with a serviceable bowl of pasta; with the other, an astounding one.

So when it comes to these items, I splurge.

As for bedding, I recently found myself at the Sleep Number store on White Bridge Road. I was with my former husband (yes, we’re still friends), checking out their mattresses. I hadn’t bought a new mattress in over twenty years, and I must say that world has advanced light years since the old days of buying a mattress and box springs at Sears.

Anyway, at Sleep Number we were greeted by a pleasant young man who we later learned was a “Sleep Associate.” At least, that’s what it said on his business card. After introductions were made and a few questions answered, he had us lie down on a mattress. Once supine, we saw our names lit up on the ceiling above our heads, along with the outline of a bed that had two little blue pillows with glowing blue numbers below them. He could make these numbers go up or down, by remotely changing the firmness of the mattress. The higher the number, the firmer the mattress. My sleep number turned out to be 35.

After this experience, I was sold. We spend a third of our lives in bed, right? So I ended up buying a Queen-sized mattress with an adjustable base, which means I can raise or lower my head and/or feet and change the firmness on either side of the mattress with a remote control. Or, as I later learned, by using an app on my iPhone. Which has me wondering: If I’m in Mexico or Outer Mongolia, and somebody else is sleeping in my bed in Nashville, can I make it move … with them in it?

Stay tuned.

Marshall Chapman is a Nashville-based singer/songwriter, author, and actress. For more information, visit www.tallgirl.com.

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