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  • Writer's pictureMarcia Seligson

I Love My Bed

Updated: Jun 1, 2023

I forget: What is the term for a word that sounds like what the word means? Like “shark” sounds like a shark, “caramel” sounds like the lush/ chocolatey/ smooth thing that it is. “Pimple” sounds exactly like what is it. You get my point.

And HOME sounds like home, one of the comforting words in the English language. The dictionary uses synonyms like domicile, habitation, lodging. Silly words that have nothing to do with everything that HOME has meant to me in my life. And what it means now as I get older and relish my home as never before.

Back to the beginning: My childhood house was not a safe space. My family did not create a calm world. My brother was ten years older; his teenage friends harangued me his little sister, my dad was withdrawn, a traveling salesman, my mother chronically nervous, jumpy. Nothing tranquil within those doors. The only pets we had were my father’s dreary goldfish, not a substitute for the puppy I always dreamed of.

I was happy to leave my suburb and my family’s house for my Midwest college dorm. Hampton House in Madison, Wisconsin, was my first happy home. I had a charming, eccentric roommate, Bonnie from Montreal. We laughed, studied, explored, with each other and with other girls in the dorm. I ate cereal for the first time in my life. Bonnie, another friend Lois, and I wrote a musical. We performed it for our housemates and the fraternity next door.

When I left the University of Wisconsin after my sophomore year, I lived with my friend Sheila, much to my parent’s anxiety. My first New York home was a fifth-floor walkup apartment at 81 Perry street, just off the fabulous Bleecker Street, home of the hippies, White Horse Tavern and dozens of funky clothes stores. We loved it, Greenwich Village in the sixties, Lenny Bruce at the Village Vanguard, local theatre, a deli where we could buy crispy chicken skin. Boyfriends with big beards, a bathtub in our kitchen. This is where I was born to live.

Then, after college I moved to Murray Hill, a slightly elegant neighborhood with Sheila and Arlene, in a building with an elevator. An elevator, oh my god! We three slept in one bedroom in single beds and somehow navigated separate friends and boyfriends and different diets, endless dinner parties. I lost my virginity in that apartment.

Then at last my first solo apartment, When Sheila got married and Arlene got engaged, I moved back to the Village, my spiritual home, my first time ever living alone, another walkup, four flights up. A tiny studio apartment, above a Jewish deli where the smells of pastrami permeated my home, garbage trucks doing their pickup at 5 a.m. I hated the teeny kitchen, my bed that was more like a cot, I felt cut off from the street life below and was embarrassed bringing friends up the four flights to my cheesy pad.

Later, I moved to LA. After a few tries and some financial bounty, I bought a comfortable Spanish home in the Hollywood Hills, right behind the Bowl, with deer on the hill, a pool, and a small guest house. I rescued a golden retriever pup and put in a fabulous kitchen, a perfect setup to welcome my new husband. Tom had his own tiny place right off the beach in Venice, about a tenth of the size of my home, where we spent all our weekends. When we realized that we both wanted to live by the ocean, we bought our current condo, on the top two floors of an 18-unit building on the beach in Marina Del Rey.

We’ve lived here for 31 years, and this is what home means irrevocably to me. Where we want to spend the rest of our days in the remainder of our lifetimes. Without describing every foot of each corner of our beloved dwelling, or having it sound like a mansion or chateau, I’ll tell you about our bed.

It's a Sleep Number bed, we’ve had it for about 5 years. It’s like two single beds but attached. Each of our sides is independent, we each can raise the head and foot electronically to the heights we prefer, set each mattress to the soft or hardness we want. So, it’s the perfect scenario for independence and yet has a good cuddling factor. The variety is always interesting. And yes, we have a puffy quilt which we adore. A friend bought a bed at Sleep Number, used us as a referral, which then awarded us a $400 credit for the quilt. It cost us $6.00.

Come 5:00 in the afternoon, no matter what I’ve been doing all day or what our plans for the evening ahead, I just want to curl up on my bed and not go anywhere that night. I’m tired then, home is my solace, my safe space, my comforter, my protector. I want to read or take a short nap (although I’m not much good at napping) or watch the fierce news of the day on our big tv. We spend most of our non-office time (Tom’s is downstairs, mine upstairs) lying on or in our bed where an underneath light goes on when you get up at 3 a.m. to trek to the bathroom. Tom has a bed app which gives him feedback on his different phases of sleep, shows him monthly trends in his sleeping patterns and day to day feedback on how he slept that night. He confuses the app because it measures his naps as well as nightly sleep. I have zero interest in any of this. But I do love snuggling with our dog, Roxie, who sleeps contentedly between us.

We love our living room, lots of art, a big sectional sofa that was once gorgeous, is now somewhat coming apart where Roxie has picked at the pillows. Nestled comfort, all the pieces of art from our travels on a glass table, a modern fireplace, more more more. But we spend most of our non-office time lying on or in our heavenly sanctuary, our bed.

The bed is indeed a sanctuary. Once I’m in bed or lying on top, I don't want to get out. It’s jarring to have to arise out of it, especially at the beginning of the day. I never want to leave.

We have lived in our home on the beach for three decades. Many objects need repair or replacement because of long use and salt air. But I don’t really care, I love it as is except for the carpet in Toms office which for some reason is stained or fading all over. He has some beautiful area rugs from our travels which would cover the stains except he uses them to hide the air fryer, instant pot and cartons of Fresca and diet lemonade that live there. I pretend I care but I don’t really. His office is his planet and I just visit there a few times a day when I get lonesome. We all need our separate space, don’t we?

That’s what I think home is: Together when you have time together and separate when you need and want separate.

Check out my recent memoir MY MOTHER WOULD HATE THIS BOOK. It is now available in hardcover, paperback & eBook on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or order through your local bookstore.

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