Sunday, July 31, 2011

Pillow Love

“Wonder if pillows fall in love with us as we hold them through the night? I wonder if they get excited being naked on laundry day? If this is true - should I take them to dinner and a movie sometime? Or just break it off - be upfront - it's not you, pillow, it's me...”
- Thom Bierdz

I love reading the tweets and other postings from Thom! Not only is he a talented artist, author, actor and activist – he is a man who speaks his mind and likes to think outside of the box!

Not surprisingly he got some rather interesting responses to this particular post:
- Maybe i should try it and I will sleep better. So when I get a different pillow does that mean I am breaking up with it??
- I don't know if my pillow loves me... but I sure love my pillow... LOL
- Gives a whole new meaning to 'pillow talk' :)
- I think my memory foam pillow forgets my name!
- Never thought of a pillow like that but hey a pillow does give us great comfort, it hugs us at night, and sometimes provides us that soft place to cry on .............:))
- Interesting thought to ponder. Don't know if they'd be down with that. They might think it's just another fluff piece.
- I wonder if they get grossed out when you drool on

Okay, the concept of pillows having feelings may be a little out there, but who knows? We’ve all seen at least one of the Toy Story movies where the toys come to life. There have also been who knows how many cartoons, movies and books about other inanimate objects actually having a life on their own.

So, why not contemplate the possibility?

I don’t know that we need to take them out to dinner and a movie as Thom wondered, but we do need to appreciate them and treat them with more love and respect for all they do for us.

Pillows actually put up with a lot of abuse from us humans. They get tossed, punched and scrunched. We drool, sweat and cry on them. We hold them oh so tight and pretend they are someone we wish were with us. We tell them our innermost thoughts in the intimate dark of the night.

It’s a good job that pillows can’t talk or articulate the experiences they have had with us. It would put a whole new spin on “Pillow Talk”! Not to mention the potential problems if we were to take the lyrics to Hank Locklin’s 1949 hit “Send Me The Pillow That You Dream On” to heart!

We humans seem to have a deep affection for our pillows. We spend about one third of our lives with them. Like our human relationships, we get attached to the pillows that give us the most comfort.

Pillows support our heads and help align our bodies for a more restful sleep. They are a soft (or firm for some) yet comforting place to lay our head. We hold them close to our bodies, place them between our knees, or at our back for support, and wrap our arms around them – all to find that perfect feeling of warmth, support, comfort and even love.

If we travel or are without our special pillows for a night or two, our sleep is often disrupted and not as restful as usual.

Many sleep experts suggest replacing pillows every couple of years. Of course, it all depends on the type of pillows you use and their expected longevity. Many pillows (like some humans) lose their compatibility and comfort after awhile. Their initial appeal wears off. The honeymoon is over. The relationship goes flat or gets bumpy – I mean lumpy. You almost dread having to spend time with them. You want to work it out but they won’t cooperate. Yup, it’s time to move on and find a new love – I mean pillow.

I’ve been with several pillows in my life. Some have been here longer than others. I try to take good care of them. I don’t go to bed with dirty hair or an unwashed face. I use pillow protectors, fluff them, air them and put clean pillowcases on regularly. From my own experience, I’ve found that hollow foam pillows are the worst. They seem to lose their comfort level in a very short time. They are okay for a brief fling but just don’t offer long term compatibility.

When I was a teen, I had a foam chip pillow that I used to take with me when I worked at a summer camp or I went on any retreats. It certainly wasn’t as comfortable as my usual pillow, but it was a decent stand in. The advantage of the foam chip was that it could be smushed into the shape that I wanted to rest my head on. Unfortunately, if you didn’t get it “just right” then you didn’t get much comfort from it. It was a love/hate thing.

By far my favourite pillow was an oversized feather pillow. I think I was in my early teens when I got it. It had belonged to an older relative and came from a time when they used to make their own pillows. There was just something about that big lovely pillow that made me feel so comforted when I held it or laid my head on it. It felt safe and supportive. It was like laying my head on a cloud and drifting off to dreamland. It was my first real pillow love!

Every couple of years, I’d part with it for a few days while it went to the dry cleaners to be properly cleaned and have new ticking put on. I missed it terribly while it was gone. I had other pillows – feather even – but they were a bit thinner so one was not enough but two was too many. When I’d get my best pillow back home, I’d give it a big hug and tell it that it had been missed!

I don’t know how many years I used that pillow but it was at least 25. Eventually, it too lost its tender loving comfort and I had to think about finding a new one. I tried other kinds of pillows and other feather pillows. At one point, I took three regular sized feather pillows into a dry cleaner and asked them to make the three into two. I felt like Goldilocks telling them my wishes: “One is too thin. Two is too thick. But one and a half is just right!” They thought I was nuts, but I didn’t care. The result was the closest I ever came to duplicating my beloved oversized feather pillow.

About 4 1/2 years ago, I switched to a Homedics Micropedic Pillow that is promoted by Tony Little. It is an ergonomic pillow that is filled with micro beads that conform to your head and neck that allows your body to be more aligned as you sleep. It took a few nights to get used to, but I do find it comfortable.

It certainly isn’t as great as my first pillow love, but alas, life goes on. Besides the Homedics pillow, I also use a cylindrical like pillow that is also referred to as a neck roll. I don’t use it for my neck though. I sleep on my side and hold it against my chest and stomach - then rest or drape my arm over it. I’ve tried body pillows for this – and even used other regular pillows but they seemed a bit too large most of the time.

The body pillow was nice – at least for awhile. It made a great slow dance partner when a good song came on the radio. It has since moved on though as I found it hard to clean and it also got a bit lumpy.

I saw an intriguing pillow on the web recently. It is called a full body pillow and is shaped like a giant U. It can be adjusted into a variety of positions depending on your sleeping habits and needs. I think I’d like to try it for a night or two but I doubt that I’d want a long term relationship with it. I suspect that it would also get lumpy or flat and also be hard to clean. Some relationships just aren’t worth the extra effort – especially if you do all the work to maintain it.

The boyfriend pillow does sound more appealing though. It is shaped like a male torso with an arm attached on one side so that you can rest your head on the “chest” and have his arm around you. The really great thing about this one is that it comes without the furry chest, snoring and morning breath.

Yup, pillows are a complicated lot. A must have for most of us and just like our human relationships they are a very personal choice. Thick or thin. Soft or firm. Feather, foam, micro beads, or any other materials – they fill a need for comfort, support and even companionship in the sometimes lonely hours of the night.

Sadly, pillows – not unlike some humans - just aren’t cut out for long term relationships. We need to appreciate and enjoy the comfort and support while it is there and realize – and accept - when it is time to cut our losses and move on.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’d like to go spend some quality time with my pillows....


1 comment:

Ola Wierzchowska said...

I was looking for pictures for boyfriend pillow and I found that subject on this blog and it actually made my day ! Now I feel like i love my pillow so much. And all these words :

We drool, sweat and cry on them. We hold them oh so tight and pretend they are someone we wish were with us.
We hold them close to our bodies, place them between our knees, or at our back for support, and wrap our arms around them – all to find that perfect feeling of warmth, support, comfort and even love.

Thats actually so true !
In one part you have said that we spend 1/3 of our lives with our pillows thats also really true...
Now i see something more than just pillow i sleep on, now i see my best friend who I love with all my heart in it. Thanks <3