We have moved to San Diego! (a post explaining that journey pending).
Our first night we drove straight to the beach and marveled in it’s salty beauty, then slept on our roommate’s blow-up bed. Naturally, the agenda for our first day in California: buy a real bed, return to beach and salty beauty.
Initially, our loose plan was to get a U-haul and head for Ikea. In, out, done. Then, I had remembered an ad I had seen online,
“Why don’t we call that Craig’s List ad? Those mattresses were cheaper and maybe we wouldn’t have to rent the U-haul…”
My Joshua, always up for an off the beaten path adventure, agreed. He called the cheapest option. Despite not offering delivery services, he was assured that our mattress could be strapped to the top of his Mitsubishi Lancer easy-peazy-safely. “A Lancer, man, I could strap four mattresses on one of those!” the voice on the other end of the line assured.
Joshua put the address in our gps and we were on our way!
The location of these mattresses for sale was… unassuming.
We were not expecting a self storage facility.
My first thought was that these are definitely stolen mattresses! Scandal! Followed by, Let’s go check ’em out! and also a more audible “Let’s put our wallets in the trunk!”… Some semblance of safety, always.
“Yeah, about that” Josh said seriously, scanning the perimeter.
We were greeted by a charming older man, with tufts of electric white hair and bubbling blue eyes. His skin was dark and dry. He emoted nothing less than my perception of “iconic Californian”, albeit aged, with his flip flops and carefree mannerisms.
“Hey guys, I’d be Bob!” he beamed.
The mattress you see has “BOB MATTRESS” painted across it in red. There are toys scattered around. It only vaguely seems like a serial killer thing to do, right?
He welcomed us to his showroom,
We were given permission to bounce around as we pleased. In Baltimore we had been sleeping on a mattress we had inherited from my old roommate, who had inherited it from her parents, and legend has it had been THEIR first mattress… yadda, yadda. We were basically accustomed to sleeping on a lumpy straw bed. THESE BEDS WERE LUXURIOUS. This was our first step toward meeting our motto: Everything better in California!
Bob walked in on us giggling on an especially pillowy Queen and offered us a discount, with a wide smile.
“Yeah, that’s one of my favorite beds there. Real comfy, right. Listen, I could knock off another hundred for you two,”
“Sounds good to me,” Josh said, rolling off the bed.
In total, Bob had about seven storage units stuffed with mattresses. He showed us where we’d need to park with a bow and gave us instructions on how to have the office open the gates for us. We retrieved cash from a nearby ATM and drove through the maze back to his aisle of units. The system for moving his inventory was seamlessly efficient.
Bob is in blue. Hi, Bob!
During the loading/tying/strapping process Bob and I visited and I got to know him a bit better. Bob has been running this business for seven years, much to his surprise. He explained that many of his customers are repeat customers who come back for mattresses for their kids/guests/etc. Low overhead and rapid moving of product allow really cheap prices, everyone is winning. #Winning.
Then, Bob started to philosophize. A muslim man with an elaborate turban and robe approached us. Bob redirected him to the showroom unit, then turned and smiled, “Hope he doesn’t blow us up.”
I stared, “Uhhh”.
Bob smiled. “Dy’know there are people who really think like that. You’ve got to watch out for that group think stuff, Natasha. People get scared and then agree to agree on something and somehow agree that now it’s true. Because it must be? Because they agreed?”
Joshua was still tying the mattress.
“Yeah. That group think stuff is what’s actually scary.”
“Exactly, that’s exactly my point. How long do you have to be a fish in water before you know you’re wet? We’re in the water, Natasha.”
Now, Josh had finished up.
We hopped in the car.
Bob handed us some candy as we put our seat belts on.
Customer service at it’s finest.