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The Great Pillow War

September 24, 2019

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A Very Lumpy Pillow

I'm very picky about my pillow. Ok, so that's not so surprising, most people are. I mean without a decent pillow, a good night's sleep is impossible.

With a great pillow, your head is cradled as you drift off into dreamland.

When you have a bad pillow, you get a stiff neck, maybe a shoulder cramp and you just can't get comfortable or sleep.

I know this routine well. Too well, actually...because for too long now, I've had a terrible pillow.

And it's caused quite a ruckus in my home, because you see, my husband has had a very, very good pillow. I dare to call it a great pillow.

And I wanted it.

Cue the drama.

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Ok, a little background here before you ask me why I didn't just go out and buy myself a new one. You see, I have bad lungs. Always have.

They're affected by the common cold, the presence of pets, strong scents and just about every kind of airborne allergy you can name. And putting my head down on a seemingly innocent pillow - even with a state of the art protector - can be a dangerous action.

Some of them smell like perfume from the store they're from. Some of them have been dragged on dirty store floors, some of them have been purchased and returned and some of them say they are hypoallergenic, but they lie.

Merry Christmas Garland and Berry Pillow Cover

And some of them are just really uncomfortable. But really that's the least of my worries.

As you can imagine, going to a hotel is a giant nightmare when it comes to the pillows. I always ask for feather free. Half the time they comply.

But even then I have to think. Was this pillow used in the dog friendly room before my stay? Does it reek like cleaning fluid or the hotel air freshener. Or worse...weed. Trust me, it's all happened.

It's alright, I'm adaptable and I've learned to be prepared. Rather than bring my own precious pillow with me to these places, I bring a giant sweatshirt and sleep on that, on top of the pillow. Not super for a fabulous night's sleep, but better than the alternative.

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At home, however, life is easier. I've always had a reliable pillow. It didn't smell like anything, it had been broken in and never made me wheeze or sneeze. Perfect.

Until one day it wasn't.

It wasn't the pillow's fault. It was the interloper who caused the issue. My husband bought a new pillow. And I had fallen in love.

Oh sure, I gave him time to break it in. I slept next to it for a few months and then one evening when I felt relatively sure that it was safe, I moved in and tried it.

It was a bad move. Instantly I knew that I needed to have that pillow.

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Want to trade? 

No way.

Come on. Your pillow is amazing. 

I know. Go buy one.

You know I can't. I need yours. It's all broken in and I know I can breathe blah, blah. C'mon I'll buy you one.

No. I like this one. It's all broken in. 


Well that was no good. I needed a new plan. So I sweet talked, I cajoled, I bargained and I begged. But every single one of my tactics fell flat.

I had almost given up, too. However when my own beloved pillow came out of the dryer all lumpy and misshapen, it was basically unusable. Now I truly needed a new one.

Harvest Pillow Stencil

There was no other choice, so we went to war.

It was {mostly} all in good fun, and there was a lot of laughter throughout, but it was a serious battle. The prize was too big for folly.

Of course, I, being the night owl, had the immediate upper hand and I used it to my advantage, unapologetically. I'd come to bed after my husband was sound asleep and I would lie in wait.

If he turned on his stomach and his head fell off the pillow, I would grab it for a few precious hours until he realized and snatched it back.

There were also times when I curled up so close, that I just casually shared the pillow. He loved that. Especially on those really hot and humid nights when even the air conditioner wasn't keeping up.

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Can I help you?

What? I just feel snuggly.

Ok, you're not fooling anyone.

Other times, I'd swap my lumpy mess with his, when he got up for water. He was so tired and half asleep when he returned he wouldn't even notice.

He'd ask what's so funny in a sleepy drawl, as I tried to conceal my laughter...seriously, I'm a terrible spy...but he'd just fall asleep waiting for my answer. Unknowing.

By the light of day, though, there was no mistaking his comfy, soft, plush pillow for mine.

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It's like sleeping a dirty diaper...all hard, like when that wet stuff would get all balled up inside. Just go buy a new one already.

He wasn't wrong and his comparison made me laugh for days. It really was just like that. So off I went, giggling, to Target.

It was the safest place I could think perfume smells, pillows wrapped in plastic and clearly tagged with their contents. So I bought one.

And didn't use it.

It sat in that plastic, in my bedroom, staring at me. But I just couldn't.

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New pillow? 

Yup. You want it? 

Nope. I like mine. I mean if you really NEED it...but what's your hold up?

I'm not ready. Just give me some time. 

He understood. It's hard to explain to those that don't, but the clearest way is simply to say, if you've ever not been able to breathe for any reason or any amount of time, you never, ever want it to happen again.

And when live on the edge of that feeling on a near daily basis, you'll do anything you can to avoid it. Furthermore, IF you've had a specific situation that has induced that feeling, you certainly want to avoid that trigger. Forever. No matter how irrational it may seem.

So. There we were. Back on the brink of war, when something miraculous happened. I got sick.

Wooden Tag Pillow

Who in their right mind is going to argue with a sick person? She's stuffy, she's sore, she's cranky and she really can't breathe. So you give her your pillow. And you take the lumpy diaper until she's well.

And then when she gets well...or well enough to wash the sheets and reset the bed, you take the new pillow and give her your old one. For good.

Dressed in its new white case, it was the equivalent of his surrender flag.

The war was over and I was victorious, thanks to an end of summer cold.

Now, I'll rest on my prize and sleep easy.

Although, it'll probably just be until he breaks in the new one and I decide I need that one.

White Pillows In The Bedroom

I mean, treaties were meant to be broken.

And frankly our war-games were way more fun than a bedtime story.

I kind of miss them already.

I'll keep you posted.

Do you have a favorite pillow?

Kim Signature

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  1. Hi Kim,
    This made me laugh. First I am like you and need to have just the right pillow. I found one and now I do not want to ever give it up. So I protect it with my life. It has no tags and I think I bought it if I remember right at Home Goods about 5 years ago. So of course I have never seen another one like it. Believe me I look. So my little pillow is well guarded!!!!
    Glad you won the war!!

    1. Thanks Kris! It was a hard fought one. 😉 I did manage to check the tag on his and can you believe it - discontinued. Ugh. Why does that always happen to the good stuff? I say hold on tight to that pillow. They really are hard to come by! Hugs!

  2. Well, it touches home. I am very picky about my pillow. I have spent endless nights trying to sleep at someone's house or a hotel. My cousin and my brother had terrible pillows. When I visited my brother, he took me shopping and we found a great pillow. We have the soft memory foam pillows we bought from Sleep Train years ago. I think they were $100.00 each. So worth the many nights you sleep on it.Our heads melt right down into the pillows. Not too soft and not hard and stiff. Sometimes I take my pillow with me. I feel your pain.

    1. Linda, several years ago we purchased a new mattress for my daughter and if you spent over a certain amount you got some ridiculous amount of money off and free shipping, but we were $100 shy. So bought one of those pillows - I think it was gel filled - and it was amazing. Worth the discount for sure, but really worth every penny in comfort. Of course, it went with her to some sleepover somewhere and the wrong kid took it home and we never saw it again. I really should go check one out again. Thanks for the reminder!

  3. Yes, I have a favorite pillow.
    "Have pillow, will travel." I don't leave home without it!

    1. I really need to get a travel one, Christine…but that’s a war for a different day. 😉

  4. Kim, this was a fun post. Did I offend you? Hope not. You had me laughing and glued to the entire story I have to tell you when I got bronchitis for the first time in my life a year ago I was home alone with our pups. I inhaled a crumb and I couldn't breathe at all. It seemed to be five minutes. My fur babies were scared I could tell. Finally I could breathe. I started crying it was so scary. I never want to experience it again so I get it. I'm empathetic to your problem.

    Every picture of the pillows are so pretty.

    Now keep your pillow and play nice with others, ha, ha.


    1. You did not offend me at all, Cindy! Laughter is always the goal around here...especially when it comes to pillow fights! And I'm sorry you had that experience. It's terrifying...and never mind choking, bronchitis is bad enough on its own. The two combined are awful. And we will play nice now. A good pillow is had by all! ☺️

  5. I totally get it and am going to be in the market for a new pillow soon. Are you going to tell us what pillow you bought??? My chiropractor had me try out one of theirs and it was the worst pillow ever - hard as a rock and the roll for the neck made it impossible to sleep on my side. I can see this is going to be a challenge!

    1. It wasn’t fun, Ann. That’s why I was so in love with his pillow…I was able to “try it out” in real time and loved it. Putting my head on a plastic covered pillow while I’m standing up in the aisle of a store just doesn’t work. Of course, I didn’t have a lot of choices. I ended up with a Fieldcrest pillow from Target. It was their medium/ firm pillow down alternative for side sleepers in king size.

      I honestly think it’s the same pillow he has, that I stole…er…won…but his was more of a box shape. That one had been discontinued. Of course! Otherwise I would’ve ordered another.

  6. Oh I love my pillows and hate going to hotels when the pillow is either too soft or hard. You had me laughing with this post about pillows. Enjoy the week Kim.

    1. I wonder what the pillows were like in Asia, Julie!? Were there big differences from area to area or were they all basically the same. Hmmm. The silly things I think about! ☺️ And glad I made you laugh! Those are the best words...

  7. I'm fussy about my pillow too, and so is my hubby. However, we both like different things in a pillow so no pillow wars for us!
    Now I'm wondering what kind of pillow you chose?

    1. Different is good, Mari! We like to sleep in different positions and at different planes...I like to be high up and he likes to be flat. I keep talking about those sleep number adjustable beds, so I can zoom him up when he starts to snore, but they're very pricey. In the meantime, I didn’t have a lot of choices in the pillow aisle. I ended up with a Fieldcrest pillow from Target. It was their medium/ firm pillow down alternative for side sleepers in king size. Boring...

  8. So funny but sad at the same time. It must be horrible to not be able to breathe. How do you deal with going out in public and people have perfume on? I can remember my son when he was in elementary school coming home from school every day with a headache because his teacher used too much perfume. How can you tell someone that? I have 2 pillows that I use. They are both flatter than anything, but together they are just right. If I go someplace and forget to take them I have a horrible night's sleep. When Jake was really little and we would go stay for the weekend, he always liked to help us get settled in the guest room so he would carry my pillows in. Walking down the hall with me behind him, all I could hear was "Oh, this is so hebby! But he always was willing.. I'm glad you won the war and are getting some good night sleeps..Happy Fall..xxoJudy

    1. Thanks Judy, it’s not always easy, but it’s something I’ve adjusted to over the years. Perfume is the worst…actually Axe sprays for men are the worst. They just shut me down and they’re so popular today. I do have to say that just about everyone is very compliant and caring when they come to my house, no one wears perfume and when I go to friends and family’s homes no one burns scented candles…there’s a lot of love around me. Laughter is also the best medicine…It is what it is, but I’d much rather joke about it than wallow in it. A good night’s sleep helps, too!! 😉

  9. I totally understand about the breathing situation! I have had asthma all my life and during a bout of it I would "almost" sell my soul to the devil to be able to breathe...well, guess I wouldn't go that far, but just about anyways!!!! Hubby and I need new pillows but I am still on the hunt for some we both like...we shall see. Enjoyed your post and glad your sweet hubby came around to your way of thinking. That was very generous of him:) Wishing you many, many days of many, many good breaths!!!!

    1. Cheri, I'm sorry to hear that you suffer as well. It's certainly not a fun way to spend the day! And yes, he's a good guy. To be 100% honest, my story doesn't tell the entire truth. I took a little bit of artistic license for the sake of the story. He was reluctant, but willing to use the new pillow right away, but I told him I had to dig out the super duper pillow protector before he could put it in our bed....and could he just use my old one until I did that...but he wanted nothing to do with my lumpy, bumpy old mess in the meantime. So it was a stalemate until I could find that silly thing-but it was missing! Then I got sick...Good luck with your own pillow hunt!! And breathe easy my friend.

  10. Isn't it fun that we can take something in our life, like a pillow and make a whole blog about it. I love it. I have seasonal asthma. Usually becomes an issue in spring and fall but mostly during the fall. I can handle perfume unless it is strong and flower smelling, that usually gives me a major headache. Mild, light, fresh does not get me. Glad my friends don't wear bold and strong. Great post and thanks for coming by and leaving such a sweet comment about my wedding pics.

    1. When I was little and I think even into my teens and beyond, I was the scent queen...candles, perfume, hairspray, you name it...It's just become an issue over the last 10-15 years. Not fun, but it is what it is...and yes, so I try to make light, find the humor in it and write about it. One of the many fun things about blogging!!

  11. Wow, Kim! That would be so challenging with all the scented everything we have in this world! Do essential oils create a problem for you?
    I understand about the pillow situation. I've found a gel foam one from Costco that works for me. Tim prefers a feather or down alternative one. We are particular about our pillows because a good nights sleep is gold!

    1. It’s actually very challenging on certain days, Deanna, scents really are everywhere…but things could be worse. So I just let my body be the judge and I avoid what I can, when I can. I haven’t really gone down the essential oil path, because honestly most scents do bother me, unless they smell like food. Certain vanillas are ok, some oranges, it just depends. Oh and gel sounds nice. I don’t belong to Costco, but my sister does. Maybe I should tag along and check one out!

  12. Pillows are so important!
    Yes, I do have my favourite :)

    All the best Jan

    1. Now I have a favorite, too!! Thanks for the visit Jan!

  13. Kim I know all about favorite pillows. I was so attached to mine I wanted to bring it here from Greece, only problem is after so many years it was a former shell of itself. Now I have 4 pillows on my bed and switch them out each night because I can't decide which I like the best.

    1. Wow, Mary!! Four pillows? You lucky lady. That's one plushy night's sleep. Awesome.

  14. Kim, I just loved how you wrote this.
    We are in the hunt for new pillows. It is always sad when a favorite pillow finally gives out.

    1. Thanks Carla, it’s aways fun to tell a good story and share the laughs. I’m glad you enjoyed it. And good luck on the pillow hunt. I hope you have an easier time than I did!!

  15. LOL Kim, you have to write a book one day my friend. Just brilliant, I enjoyed every second and so get you with your pillow.

    1. Thanks Michelle! I would love to write a book...maybe someday. ❤️

  16. You are hilarious! I bet you could make choosing a trash can sound exciting--and you may already have somewhere in your archives! Surely your husband had to have known he was outgunned before he even started. But you speak of pillow, as in singular. I sleep with seven pillows and each has to be arranged just right. I can totally relate with the Princess and the Pea character.

    You have some mighty pretty pillows in your house, Kim!

    1. Dewena, your comment just made me laugh out loud. I think we share the same sense of humor! And thank you, I am a pillow hoarder! We do actually have a bed full of pillows and I prop before sleep, but once it's time to knock out, we each go down to one...that very precious one!! 😉 Happy October my friend!