The biggest disadvantage of my move to Coconut Grove has been shifting from a furnished unit to a completely unfurnished room. I don’t own any furniture apart from a plastic trestle table and a glass top coffee table I ‘inherited’ when a mate moved house and couldn’t fit it in his new place. I don’t currently have any of the more useful items of bedroom furniture like a bed or a wardrobe, or even a chair. I’ve borrowed a thermo-rest from a friend for the moment, but since it’s tax return time I decided to start looking around for something a little more substantial.

Fortunately my house is just around the corner from the Homemaker Village, which promised everything I could need to furnish my home, including a large chain store which specialises in beds, so I figured I’d be fine. I’d just pop over and see what they had, and maybe pick up a new laundry basket while I was there.

I was well prepared for how expensive beds can be. Manchester stores are quite obviously designed to intimidate people who really don’t have any business being there by putting all the really impressive looking king size displays right at the front, complete with a price tag that might as well say “don’t bother”. But I figured somewhere out the back in a less seductively lit corner they must just have a standard single mattress section.

Not so much, as it turns out. The “specialist” bed shop didn’t stock anything smaller than a queen size, which for me was annoying. I’m still on a fairly tight budget these days, and don’t really have the funds, or space for that matter, for a full-on double bed. And let’s be frank: I’m a well behaved (well…) single Christian, so I don’t really have any need for a double bed.

Don’t look at me like that. It is what it is.

I arrived quite quickly at the suspicion that I wasn’t going to find anything helpful in the bed shop, and just started wandering aimlessly, looking at various bedroom settings and avoiding judgmental glances from shop assistants who obviously didn’t think I should be there either. Some of them were really nice (the furniture, that is, not the assistants), and if I were a recently married billionaire I could have had a great time choosing upholstery for my master bedroom

Without warning I arrived in a section with single mattresses and even single bed frames. They didn’t seem to be too expensive either. I almost smiled to myself, but something wasn’t quite right. As I tried to imagine what each one might look like along the far wall of my room, I realised they were all unrealistically short. I looked around to find a wall full teddy bears and duck-themed wall paper. I had unwittingly walked into the kids’ section and was drawing concerned stares from parents standing protectively in front of their children. I left.

I realise that I am part of an increasingly small minority here, but I resent the implication that once you reach a certain age you are assumed to be either married or lecherous. I’m not judging those who choose those lifestyles (okay, I am a little judgmental of people who choose to be married) but as someone who chooses neither of them I am feeling decidedly uncatered-for. And surely it can’t just be those Christians who bucked the trend of getting married in their early twenties that shop for single mattresses. There must be plenty of folk out there who, for one reason or another, “don’t entertain much”. If I didn’t have my religion as an excuse I’d probably be one of them. I think it’s high time single people all over the country stood up against this sort of commercial discrimination and fought for their God-ordained right to sleep on their own. And in the meantime, next weekend I’m off to an op-shop to buy a second hand single mattress. Thank God for the Salvos.

And then I looked through every single shop in the Homemaker Village and couldn’t find a single washing basket. Apparently promiscuous billionaires don’t do laundry either.


Garry with 2 Rs

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