A friend of mine, Jim, recently bought a $10,000 mattress.
Now I can see that some of you are shaking your head, which was exactly what I did when he told me about it. 'What happened, man? I thought you were extremely savvy with your finances. But buying a $10,000 mattress... ' I told him. 'Isn't that a little bit too much? I mean $10,000 for a mattress.'
Jim smiled thinly and then raised his hands to begin his explanation, 'Okay, let's look at sheer time - how much time we spend at a particular place. If you work at an office, you'd probably spend some five hours sitting on your chair. You'd spend two hours in your car commuting to and back from work. Then you'd spend three hours in your sofa and various chairs in the house. Then you would spend eight hours sleeping on your bed. The remaining four hours would be for other things such as walking and running around your day. Of course, all these are just ballpark figures and done without any survey but you would get my drift.'
I nodded my head.
'In other words, practically all of us would spend the most time on our beds. We use it to sleep, lie down, relax, do some reading, do some work and other fabulous stuff that cannot be written in a G-rated blog (ehm, ehm).'
Again, I nodded my head as he was talking the truth.
He went on, 'Based on this fact alone, we should buy the best mattress that we can afford. It would certainly make sense. If we are going to spend some eight to ten hours a day on our beds, we should buy the best mattress there is. Remember that the mattress also affects our health. But how many of us do so?'
'Very few,' I answered his question.
'Right. Most people would spend thousands buying other stuff that they make use maybe ten minutes a day. Some others would pay tens of thousands buying stuff just for decoration. Now I'm not saying that this is wrong. If you have the money and can afford to, buy whatever your heart desires. Folks would pay tens and even hundreds of thousands to buy cars that they spend perhaps an hour a day inside. But this same people would have a heart attack if they have to fork out $5,000 for a mattress. They would shake their heads, complain about the price and perhaps even scold the salesmen!'
I tried to play the devil's advocate, 'The bed may cost you a lot of money but no one can see it. But a car, a-hah!'
Both of us started to laugh. Both are too familiar with the Malaysian trait of buying the most expensive cars they can afford - for show. And sometime even those they cannot afford! Why do they do it? It's simple - people can see the Mercedes and the BMW but no one can see their $10,000 mattress.
'So actually we should be buying Mercedes or BMW mattresses!' I concluded.
Jim smiled again, 'If these companies ever start to manufacture mattresses, you can bet that I'll be the first to buy them!'
We laughed again and then the topic returned to business. But what he said left a big impression on me. I thought about it and I thought about it, and realized how true his words were. We should be buying the best mattress we can afford just by the sheer fact that we will be spending the most time on them.
But I can just picture the scene when some people go shopping for a mattress.
'It's only a mattress,' the husband would cry out. 'Why is it so expensive?'
'Yes, darling,' his wife would join in. 'I think the mattress company is greedy and wants to become rich as quickly as they can.'
'If I pay $10,000 for a mattress, people would laugh at me!'
'Yes, darling, I think we should spend the money for a gold chain for me.'
'Or turbo-charging our car!'
It is so rare that just by buying one, it becomes a newsworthy item. In fact, I just wrote an article about it!