Monday, October 11, 2010

Off Season Post 4: Some Guy Needs a Bed

Welcome back, Faithful Off Season Readers. After another week off from our favorite show, we all took a deep breath and wallowed in the solace that a bachelor has indeed been selected. At least there will be something to watch on ABC come January 9th and with the Holiday Season just around the corner, we’ll be there in no time. I’ll get to my analysis of Womack eventually.

I have to confess that I’ve been busy at my real job for the past couple of weeks and with that comes the drain and strain that we all feel when things are hectic. Couple that with my drinking and carrying on and I’m lucky I can put a thought together. Inspiration came in odd places this week and this entry is a combination of those moments of clarity. I hope you enjoy it. With that said, let’s get to it.

I awoke at a decent hour on Sunday morning after my usual Saturday night spent sipping Lone Star beers in an Austin honky tonk enjoying the sights, sounds, and energy around me. Motivated by the beautiful Austin weather, I decided to hit the Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve located exactly 3.3 miles from my Bachelor Pad (see what I did there?) for a trail run in order to sweat out the Lone Star and get some color back in my puffy face.

There are several state parks close to my place and I enjoy going hiking or for short runs through the trails. There is something about the sound of the creeks carving their way through the limestone, juniper, and cedar trees on their way to the lake that makes me forget about everything bad in my life and focus on what’s good. All of the stress seems to fade away like the freeway noise behind the blanket of fall flowers and underbrush. The splotchy pattern of shade made by the sun peaking through the trees onto the crushed pink granite trail and the sound it makes as my feet hit it calms my nerves. Each time I go, I am reminded that there are certain things in life that no one can put a velvet rope in front of and make a person wait in line to see. Besides, trail runs are great places to meet chicks. Alright, I’m not serious about that last part, but I needed that comment to offset the introspective sappiness of the previous sentences. I hope you understand.

Mind cleared, sweat broken, and heart rate well above my target zone for over 30 minutes, I slowed to a brisk walk and as my muscles began to tighten, I began to think beyond the cool shower in my immediate future. “Some Guy in Austin needs a new bed,” I thought. Yes, I thought in the third person. I suppose that’s a leftover from last week, but hey, Some Guy in Austin likes to talk in the third person sometimes.

For some time, I’d been contemplating a new bed purchase and after spending the last couple of weeks in various heavenly hotel beds, I realized that my current sleeping arrangements were tantamount to the sleeping arrangements below various overpasses on the East side of the city. My mattress was like an octogenarian: old, saggy, uncomfortable, and not any fun to sleep with. Additionally, my comforter and sheets were more worn than the soles of my favorite boots. Winnie the Pooh was so faded, he looked like Casper the Ghost. Yes, the time had come to go bed shopping.

I made it home all the while mulling over where I’d be going to shop. I knew of a mattress place just up the freeway, so that would be easy and I assumed there would be a place to look at beds and bedding close by. I’d start there. I showered, dressed in my favorite shopping for bedding pearl snap and hit the road on a mission. I’d allotted 2 hours for the entire process and hoped it would take less.

On my way to the mattress place, I put in a phone call to a trusted female friend. Let me qualify that last sentence. I have many trusted female friends, but I called the one I knew had spent a sh*tload of money on her bed. She had throw pillows for her throw pillows and every bedding accessory you could imagine. Getting in her bed would be like a five year old getting in that foam pit thing they have at various bouncy houses around the city. She was kind enough to provide me with a couple suggestions and I decided to follow them. After all, if Jerry Rice told me how to catch a football or Tony Dovolani told me how to do the paso doble, I’d listen.

“Check Ikea for pillows, quilts, and lighting,” I was told. “Go to Restoration Hardware for the bedding, but just buy the duvet cover, comforter, shams, bed skirt, and blanket at Restoration. You can get the sheets somewhere else for less.” my helpful friend continued. Huh? Where I come from a “blanket” is the same thing as a quilt and a comforter, “sham” means something dishonest, and men don’t need skirts. I had no idea I needed a duvet and if I had one, why would I want to cover it? Some Guy in Austin was confused. Nonetheless, I’d committed two hours and I headed North to Round Rock, Texas, the location of the nearest Ikea. I’d deal with the mattress later. After all, how hard could that be? As far as I knew, there were only three kinds: twin, queen, and king. No problem, right?

I realize that Ikea has a nationwide presence, but for those of you unfamiliar with Ikea, allow me to explain. Ikea is a Swedish company founded by some Swedish dude with a penchant for poor quality, particle board furniture that’s impossible to put together without the magic Swedish screwdriver that only they have in their possession. Frodo and his buddies couldn’t find it if they tried. The actual Ikea store is literally as big as Sweden; however, Sweden is cheaper, has fewer people in it, the signage is easier to read, and the terrain is easier to navigate. Also, everything in the store has a label, is named something weird, and every vowel in the name has two dots over it. I wondered if Motley Crue was from Sweden.

As I traversed the endless labyrinth of Swedish crap, I couldn’t help but notice the poor husbands, boyfriends, significant others who had unquestionably been forced to forgo whatever NFL football game it was their sole desire to sit down and watch in favor of accompanying their mates to the store. “After all, honey, it IS a relationship and it’s important to be a team player,” I’m sure they all heard upon putting up a cursory protest before folding like a dinner napkin. I wondered how well that argument would go over when the tables were turned and it was time for the “you know what I’d REALLY like for my birthday?” discussion at bedtime. There’s no “I” in team, but if you move the letters around there is “Meat”—as in “Beat your own.” Sigh.

The men all appeared to be weary shells of their actual selves like GI’s on the Bataan Death March, except rather than being prodded with bayonets and threatened in Japanese they were forced to carry unreasonably burdensome, unassembled Swedish whatnots while being nagged in English.

Watching the men shop, I was reminded of being in grade school and watching Marlon Perkins’ Mutual of Omaha as the poor, defenseless gazelle was chased mercilessly by the hungry cheetah. “Dude, run!” I thought. “You’re being emasculated!” I had a strong desire to help but thought better of it. Why get involved? After all, Galileo was right and look at all of the trouble he went though.

After wandering around for the better part of half an hour I realized that I had no idea what I was looking for or why I had come to the store in the first place. As if Regis Philbin asked me, I decided to phone a friend. “Why am I here?” I asked the female friend who’d sent me there in the first place. I was informed that I needed to select at least two king sized sham pillows so that my sham covers would have something to cover. Of course. “Are the Swedes known for their sham pillows?” I asked wondering why I’d just driven 30 miles out of my way.

Ignoring me, my female friend told me that I should select firm, cotton filled sham pillows. After all, I needed goose down pillows for sleeping but the puffier the sham pillows, the better. Also, if I was planning on changing my color scheme, I should select a new quilt for the foot of my bed since I didn’t have any bolster pillows. “Are the Swedes known for their quilts?” I asked wondering why I’d just driven 30 miles out of my way. “Is brown a color scheme and what the f*ck is a bolster pillow?” I thought. I had a pretty significant Stuff Chicks Like flashback at that moment and quickly ended the conversation. Good lord. As the Zen high of my morning run melted away like a stray ice cube on an August sidewalk, I headed for the exit. Sham pillows indeed.

As I drove back toward Austin, I attempted to relax with some Robert Earl Keen (Google “Dreadful Selfish Crime”) on the iPod. “I am guilty of a dreadful selfish crime,” the lyrics went. “I have robbed myself of all my precious time. . .”. I wondered if Robert Earl Keen had ever been to Ikea.

After Googling “Restoration Hardware” on my iPhone—don’t get the 4GS, by the way. I was forced to get it when my 3GS broke. It drops more calls than the Dallas Cowboys do passes. In short, it sucks—I found the nearest location and decided to proceed according to plan. Ikea was a bust and I needed to log some progress toward my bed upgrade before giving into the temptation to find a patio and pop a few Lone Stars. It was, after all, 80 degrees with no humidity. I’d sleep outside if I needed to. I was thankful that there was a book store in the same location as Restoration Hardware. I like book stores and having one close was like seeing a favorite relative sitting between the only remaining subway seat and the creepy guy in the trench coat. Somehow, I knew I’d be alright.

I parked and marched toward Restoration Hardware unsure of what to expect. When I entered, it was readily apparent that the store was founded by someone who is color blind. Everything looked oatmeal to me but I was assured that the “colors” on the showroom floor spanned the range from “white” to “ivory” to “shore” to “mist” to “dune” to “slate” to “sand”. Like I said, everything looked oatmeal. It was the anti-Ikea.

Lessons learned from Stuff Chicks Like, I quickly located a salesperson to assist me. “Kellie” was happy to help me and the look in her eye when I told her I was looking for bedding was the same look that Sylvester the Cat gives Tweety Bird as we see Tweety turn into a large pork chop.

Kellie let me know that Restoration Hardware had everything I needed for my new bed. She asked me some basic questions like, “what color is the bed frame and head board?,” “what color are your walls?” and “what color are your curtains?” These all seemed like logical questions; however, when weighed with the fact that everything in the store matched every other thing in the store, I’m not sure it mattered.

Kellie recommended the Vintage Washed Belgian Collection over the Italian Vintage Washed Collection and showed me the province stripe, classic stripe, and linen stripe. I thought it would be classic if providence would intervene and just get me some damn linens. Oh, and why was it necessary to point out the fact that both collections had been washed? I’d expect them to be clean upon purchase. Also, both the Italian and Belgian collections came with sheets made of---you guessed it—EGYPTIAN cotton.

Look, I realize that Mussolini’s army spent a lot of time in Northern Africa but I seriously doubted they ran up to Egypt to do some sheet shopping between battles. I don’t think the Belgians were tooling around Egypt in search of better bedding, but then again, I’m not certain of the location of the Maginot Line. As far as I know, Venetian blinds are made in Italy and Brussels claims those tiny cabbages called sprouts. Why is there Egyptian cotton in their respective bedding collections? Man, shopping for bedding is a bitch.

I asked Kellie what recommendations she could make and quickly realized that she was a commissioned sales person. She suggested the Distressed Ionic Capital End Tables for a whopping $1,695 . . . each and the Flemish mirror for a comparatively modest $715. My capital end was very distressed at this point. I wondered what caused the tables so much heartache and couldn’t even begin to imagine what they’d cost if they’d been raised properly. Where is Flemingland anyway and what’s so great about its mirrors? I wished they had a store with American mirrors and bedding. I’d bet that would be cheaper.

I began to ask questions like, “do you guys have the Bed in the Box like Target does?” Unfortunately, they did not and any charm points I’d made with Kellie were quickly taken back. After selecting sheets, a duvet cover, pillow cases, sham covers—which, by the way are pillow cases for sham pillows so I can’t figure out why they are called covers while the others are called cases—and a few more things I “needed” but can’t remember, I went with Kellie to the cash register.

With a straight freaking face, Kellie rang up all of the items, looked me in the eye, and then asked me for $1,300 and some change. Holy sh*t. My mind raced. Let’s see, 1,300 dollars. Not including tip, a Lone Star runs on average about $2.50 here in town. That’s 520 Lone Stars, or approximately 50 nights out in Austin, Texas. “What is Kellie CRAZY?” I thought. 1300 dollars for sheets is a complete waste of money. It takes me approximately 20 Lone Stars to fill my gas tank and my gym membership is around 15 Lone Stars. Clearly, I’d have to consider such a significant purchase. I hadn’t even gotten to the actual bed frame or the mattress. Some Guy in Austin was dumbfounded.

At the end of the day, I opted to have Kellie put the stuff on hold for me. I’m going to enlist the help of my pushy female friend in order to confirm that I have indeed made an admirable selection before I purchase. I promised her a sushi dinner and a couple of drinks in exchange for her assistance. That should run me about 25 Lone Stars, but I’d feel better about the bedding if I got the perspective of someone who is accustomed to wasting money on those sorts of things.

Well, that’s it. My semi-productive little Sunday came and went. I’ll be certain and post pictures of the completed bed and all of its accoutrements when it’s complete. I’m going to take another shot at it this weekend. In the meantime, if you need him, Some Guy in Austin will be washing his Egyptian cotton. DP


  1. I used to live in Tarrytown and once had to make the trip to the Round Rock Ikea 3 times in 1 day because I came home with the wrong items!

  2. Bed Bath and Beyond, get the white cotton duvet set that is about 40 dollars and you can wash and bleach it each time. Then get highest thread count white sheets that you can afford. Then you can accessorize with some dark gray pillows and a throw. Done and you are probably in it for around 200.00. Next look on for headboard, or will be golden and have a cool bedroom for much less:) Still reading in Denver...

  3. I am very surprised that Lone Star lovin', pearl snap sporting, honky tonk SGIA would entertain this nonsense! I totally believe in a comfy, awesome bed, and I adore a guy who takes the time to pick out decent sheets/comforter, and by golly, even a bed skirt- but for the love of Pete, please don't spend $1300 on sheets/bedding alone!

  4. IKEA is the 9th Circle of Hell. Minimum. I just can't go there: I'd need to train for it (distance training and pushing loaded carts) and you need to take provisions unless you want to eat Swedish Meatballs. Any store that has to have it's own restaurant and child care is too big.

    I have a 20% discount at Restoration. All you need is a tax ID to get one.
    I do love their stuff. It's pricey, but worth it. A big part of what makes those hotel beds so great is the bedding. I had to initiate my husband into the mysteries of fine bedding. He is now a believer.

    Favorite lines: "why was it necessary to point out that both collections had been washed?" and "imagine what they'd cost if they'd been raised properly"
    I laughed so much my kids asked me what I was reading.
    Myra in Houston

  5. Ok... Your friend was CRUEL to send you into that mess alone! I agree that expensive linens make for a great bed but spend your money on a great mattress first! Get expensive sheets second. I would look for your duvet or comforter at Ross, TJ Maxx or pottery barn online in the sale section. Find expensive for cheap... Kinda makes my stomach twist to think about spending $1300 on covers! Finally, you're a dude... You don't need a ton of pillows. Get the basics and let your next serious girlfriend do the pillow shopping! Call me if you need help shopping... I love spending other people's money! :)

  6. Wow! My husband would be as lost as you in a bedding store. I agree with the above DON'T spend $1300 on the bedding before you buy the mattress and box springs. Bed, Bath and Beyond is a great store to purchase bedding from and less expensive. Just remember the thread count in sheets is important. Get the highest available (600 or better) they are like heaven. That would be what I would splurge on. My husband hates the extra pillows (called shams) as he doesn't understand why he can't sleep on them. Good luck on mattress shopping. Let us know how that turns out. Keep up the great posts in the off season. Debbie in Selma, TX

  7. Oh Some Guy...1300 on bedding...I love a nice set of bedding more that just about anyone, but that is way too much. The person that suggested the white sheet set, was right.

    I loved the shout out to Marlin Perkins and Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom..but you missed out the most important line..I will stand over here while Jim tames the man eating lion.

    I also loved that you measure things by Lone Star. I have worked all over the world in IT and we used to measure the appeal of a site on the "beers per diem" scale. Jamaica, 200 Red Stripe per diem, Tokyo, 10 Sapporo per diem, Singapore 25 Tiger per get the idea. Needless to say, my 4 months in Jamaica were very fulfulling!

    Please do post the picture of the completed bed. Looking forward to it.

  8. I assure you, after spending a semester in college in Sweden, that nothing there is cheap! I think IKEA is the cheapest thing Sweden has to offer. I always loved that store...the store set-up is very clever b/c you have to walk by everything to get out of the store. As a girl who loves to shop, I never minded it. :) It's a good marketing strategy, and I'm surprised it hasn't caught on elsewhere. Anyway, good luck w/ the remainder of your bedding search! Thanks for the off-season laughs!

  9. All, I can't believe the passionate responses I'm getting from this post. You women feel strongly about bedding. I think the intent was to let me see the extremes (Ikea and Restoration) and then get something in the middle. Matress and bed are this weekend. We'll see how the bedding turns out! Thanks for the tips and thanks for reading. DP

  10. Tip: Spend a lot of money on the sheets, spend less money on the other nonsense. You want great sheets, all the rest is just, well, fluff.

  11. Holy grilled cheesus! Back away from the duvet covers.
    I just got a new bed this spring. My old one is now in the guest room and is affectionately called "the taco bed" because you roll and sink to the middle. My advice...spend the wad on a great mattress and nice sheets. Remember...this is a piece of furniture that you really only see at night, in the dark. It doesn't have to look like the Ritz...just feel like it. Good Luck!

  12. IKEA is a bit freaky and $1300 gets you awfully close to a custom pair of Leddy cowboy boots. I'm just saying...

  13. Am I like the homeless kid here? I just found a bed I liked at JCPenney, got a mattress to fit it from whatever furniture store was handy, and hit Bed Bath and Beyond with a couple of those 20% off coupons they mail out every six minutes to pick out a couple sheet sets (because I'm never efficient enough to do laundry and re-make my bed the same day) and a comforter/skirt set. Done and done -- and six years later it's suiting me just fine, and I think I might have spent $500 in a single afternoon on the whole ordeal. I figure it doesn't really matter whether it's Martha Stewart Living magazine-worthy so long as it's comfortable and decently economical, because there are things I'd MUCH rather spend giant wads of cash to buy than 65 pillows I have to remove from my bed to make room for myself in it.

    Also love the mental currency...mine is pairs of jeans, figuring about a $40 average -- and $1300 is a LOT of denim, my friend.

  14. Brooke, I was in Leddy's last week. What a timely comment. I've been a bit disillusioned with their Sunset Square selection and their Stockyard store isn't much better. You're right, custom is the way to go there. Kiley, the 1300 was a shock to me and I'm thinking there's a trip to BB&B in my near future. I'll keep everyone posted. True, it's always good to see your face in the comment box. DP

  15. And after all of that no new bed. Wow. And yes, get some "good" sheets and the rest at Walmart. I am a woman and I agree, shopping for bedding is a b*tch.
    -Post It Girl

  16. Please step away from the $1,300 linens!!! I agree with the other posters who have said to spend $$$ on the matress/box spring first, and sheets second. The rest you can find for a LOT less at places like BB&B, Walmart, etc.

    Good luck on your search.

  17. Holy Cow! I love to have pillows, shams, and other odly shaped accent pillows. (Even both my young children have those on thier son HATES them) But $1300 for bedding, I can buy your entire bed purchase for that much. My advice is to find a lady friend who understands a good deal and will help you make your money go alot further and still have some left over for Lone Star. BB&B is a great store and don;t be afraid to check the clearance rack. Target is great for bedding. I agree the cotton count is what you need for great sheets. I think the higher the better I sleep. Get the bed first and then go from there. Good quality bed is what will make all the difference. A few throw pillows will help decorate, but only a few!! Maybe you shoudl drink a few Lone Stars before you go shopping the next time and have the lady friend drive you around. You can do better, we all have faith in you! Kim in Nevada

  18. Love your wit. When you get to Womack I sure hope you mention his constant use of "look me/you in the eye". It drove me NUTS. For that I might not watch; but then I couldn't find the humor in your and Lincee's blogs. Tuesday wouldn't be the same without them.

  19. Linens are replaceable, the mattress is for years. Try checking out those spring/latex foam hybrid jobs that are like what the hotels use.

  20. Z Gallerie is a fraction of the cost of Restoration, and just as nice. You can get the duvet, and pillows at Ikea, Target, or Bed Bath and Beyond. They are not seen. The best sheets I own are from the Polo outlet store. They are super soft, and pretty cheap at the outlet. Plus, you're a GUY! You can worry about having a fancy comforter and pillows when you're married! Get a nice mattress, a nice set of sheets, and call it a day!

  21. All great pieces of advice. I'm so glad I didn't pull the trigger at Restoration Hardware. Oh, and it's nice to have a guy weigh in on the controversy. Matt, thanks for being the first dude with the stones to comment on my bed linens. DP

  22. I apologize ahead of time, but the friend you called is a loon for recommending you to those places. Please don't get a duvet cover, single men shouldn't have those, that's too feminine. My husband didn't know what one was until we (err..I) registered for one when we got married. A guy with a duvet is weird, too gay for most woman. You just need mattress, bed, sheets and a new comforter. You are a man, keep it simple! Too many pillows screams gay as well. My opinion anyway. - Paula, CA

  23. Paula, Noted. However, I will defend my friend by saying that her intent was to let me see the extremes and then meet in the middle. I'm oddly secure in my masculinity yet in touch with my feminine side. I have to tell you, though, I'd be willing to put up with the "you're gay" comments if I could make my bed feel like the bed in the last Westin I stayed in. What if I had lots of pillows with naked lady pillow cases? Would that help? DP

  24. from a fellow lawyer who travels for work, more and more hotel chains will sell you a bed (and, if you like, all the trimmings) as a thank-you for not stealing the mattress. I'm sure the shipping cost is not cheap but how great to have it all arrive at your door! Just a thought . . . . and by the way my bed came from a discount mattress store 12 years ago and is like the taco bed I enjoyed reading about above. Your post made me laugh and it made me want a new bed but I sure do not want to have to shop for it. So, which hotel chain shall it be?

  25. I agree with Matt and the spring & foam mattresses. Try one out...lay down on it and see what you think.

    As far as bed linens, I love buying discounted items that look expensive which means stores like Marshalls & TJ Maxx are places that I like...however, you have to spend some time searching and putting pieces together because nothing comes in sets.

    If I was a guy, I would head straight to BB&Beyond asap (with my 20% coupon) and find a complete set that I liked and buy the whole thing in one place. And, thread count is so important, as is sateen or soft cotton, and that's another good thing about BB&B because they have samples for all of their sheets so you can feel it before you buy it.

    Have you called the Westin and asked how you can get their sheets, or checked their website...they may sell them? One last thing, I'm a huge Wal-Mart shopper, but even though their Better Homes and Gardens line is good, I would not buy a whole bedding set from Wal-Mart. Go for name brand stuff.

  26. New reader to your blog and can't stop laughing. Thanks for helping me waste away another hour at work. Come to Tulsa, I'd love to buy you a beer!

  27. Great suggestions, Nicole! Lindsay, welcome to my world. Thanks for reading and commenting. Find me on Facebook. "Guy in Austin" fan page.


  28. Westin has everything you need and they will ship it to your house. You don't have to set foot in another store. People love their beds that's why they sell everything on line. Good luck.

  29. I am cracking up, because whenever I consider a large purchase, I too break it down into how many beers/martinis/wings/happy hours it will cost me! My brother told me a 29 year old girl shouldn't look at her budget that way, but I have my priorities!

    Westin beds are the devil. They are the most incredible beds in the world, yet I'm convinced that even if you ordered every single item they have in their hotel for your bedroom, it would still not feel quite as lovely because having to make the bed and wash the sheets yourself will never compare to a turndown service.

    Good luck on your bed hunt - keep us posted!