#944 Your pillow

Your worked in pillow shouldn't look like this

Back one day on a long road trip, I sat in the driver’s seat, Ty sat shotgun, and Chris sat in the back. We were trucking down a long stretch of highway in silence, just watching the world go by, when out of nowhere Ty suddenly turned to me and said: “Hey, how long have you had your pillow?”

You kind of roll with the random questions on road trips, because if you don’t then you get mighty sick of I Spy and the four mix CDs you brought along pretty quick. So I thought about it for a moment, then said earnestly, “You know, I can’t remember ever not having my pillow. I think I’ve had it for like twenty years or something. It’s completely old, worn-out, flat, and stained, but I’ve had it forever and I can’t find another good, flat pillow like this so I’ll probably keep it until it disintegrates, or I until I lose it or something.”

I thought nothing of it, continuing to stare straight ahead and fiddle with the radio, but Ty stared back at me completely horrified. His jaw dropped, his brain boggled, and he was silent for a minute. “You know,” he said eventually, his eyebrows furrowed in real concern and his head bobbing in little nods, as if convincing himself that despite the severity of the news he was about to deliver, it was important to just get it out, “you’re not supposed to keep any pillow for longer than a year. It’s actually really, really bad for you.”

“Whatever,” I countered, eventually settling on a radio station and continuing to stare out the windshield. “It’s just a pillow.”

Love your pillow and it will love you

“Yeah, that’s the thing,” Ty counter-countered, “It’s not just a pillow at that point. It’s a really dense collection of years of dandruff, dead skin, dust mites, and drool. Seriously, it’s less ‘pillow’ and more ‘your disgusting head’ at that point. It’s full of years of bacteria. Bacteria that’s had a chance to grow and build cities! I swear, I saw it on a website and in the news.”

There was a pause, before I eventually dismissed Ty’s claim with finality. “Pshhhhhh,” I concluded, putting on my sunglasses and turning up the volume on the radio.

Defeated, Ty let it go, preferring to let me suffer the nightmarish consequences of sleeping on my pillow rather than waste any more effort trying to convince me that I needed an upgrade. So we drove on in silence, watching the world go by on that long stretch of highway.

I let it drift away then, let it disappear, but really — the truth is that I just didn’t want to think about it.

No, I didn’t want to contemplate the possibility that I might need to replace my pillow. Because there’s really nothing quite like the comfort provided by your pillow, is there? I’m talking about the one you sleep on every night. The one that has bent and shaped itself around your head, has been fluffed and squished and packed and thrown. It’s a bit yellow, there’s some hair on it, but it just… knows you. It loves you. And it’s been with you for eight hours a day since you can remember.

Yeah, I once heard a stand-up comic describe his pillow as looking like a bandage from the civil war. And mine’s probably at that level, too. I even think of it like a bandage, cradling and caressing my worn-weary head, providing a gentle escape from reality every night from dusk till dawn.

I mean, that’s why I can never really get a good night’s sleep anywhere else unless I take my pillow along. I admit it looks a bit funny walking in the door with a pillow under my arm, but oh well. See, what if I sleep over at your place and you toss me one those flimsy, sack-pillows that feel like they’re stuffed with fifty ripped-up handfuls of industrial-grade Styrofoam? And I’m not taking any chances with the hotel’s puffy, unsupportive cloud-pillows either, or those wacked-out, ergonomic jobs that make your head feel like it’s propped up on a wheelchair ramp.

No, it’s all about your pillow, yours, your pillow. I mean, have you ever tried to switch pillows with someone else one night? It cannot work.

Your pillow’s been there through the highs, the lows, the nightmares, and the tears. You’ve been through a lot together and you know each other so well. So next time you’re planning to crash somewhere? Take your pillow. In exchange for a little less packing space, you’ll get a lot more hours of goodnight comfort and moonlit, subconscious bliss.

And hey, if you don’t believe me?

Sleep on it.


Share the bed with these cute little critters

Photos from: here and here

106 thoughts on “#944 Your pillow

  1. My husband sweats so much that I wash a revolving set of pillows of his weekly.

    Would yours stand up to that? It might kill some of the nasties…

  2. I know the cold, hard truth about the infectious pillow and how that’s prob the reason we continue to get sick blah blah blah….but I can’t get rid of my loving pillow. I’m sorry, I’ll take my chances.

  3. sure it takes some running in to get it the way you want it, but i’m sure changing pillows are much healthier..

    but yes, ergonomic pillows suck (:

  4. I’ve had my pillow for about 20 years or so. I’ve tried to replace it at least 15 times with no success. I need my pillow!

  5. I have tried to change pillows but have not been able to give up the old ones. As a result, we have about 12 pillows total on our bed. Good to toss on the floor if the kids want to come in at night…

  6. My sister toured Europe twice with her choir group, has been to every cool place I’ll probably never get to go, and do you know what the only piece of travel advice she ever gave me is? Bring your own pillow!

  7. My pillow is really important to me since I have a bad back and I sleep on my side. It needs to be firm and supportive, which is why I’ve always had to rotate through various pillows. And, unfortunately, no down pillows for me. :(

  8. I moved so many times that i allways had new pillows :shrug: current pillow is about 5 yrs i think, ibut i wash mine every few weeks.
    Oh and i saw like 3things wrong with that picture of the sleeping kid, A pillows and young kids are a no no, a binky at that size come on very bad and having puffy bedspred or whatever right next to bed also very bad! i would say sleeping on the tummy also, but my kids like to sleep on there bellys, (infant and toddler) so whateve to that lol

  9. I require a very specific pillow combination – soft and thin under, harder and medium thickness on top, preferably feathers in both. And don’t even get me started on my favourite sleeping position…

  10. I bought me one of those latex pillows on the web. It cost me $68.00. I know that is a little pricey for a pillow but they are made to last years and are OK to keep for years, I think since they are anti microbial and dust might resistant. I am very happy over all with my pillow. I think it is the best pillow I ever owned. I bought mine at Sleeplikeabear.com but you can shop around just make sure its from latex international. I have done some research and found that they make the best quality pillows. Happy sleeping everyone I got to go.

  11. Can you tell me the name of the comedian that described his pillow as a bandage from the civil war? I heard this comic several months ago and cannot remember who it was.

  12. I love my pillow also. I take it with me wherever I go. That was the first thing I asked my mother to bring to the hospital after my car accident. (I made sure I kept my pillowcase on it so nobody swiped it.)

    Just something about having it molded to fit just *you*.

    1. If only we could take our own mattresses to the hospital too! Them hospital beds are designed to hurt.

  13. being a person who is allergic to dust and dust mites (and almost everything else), my mom found me these hypoallergenic pillow cover that you should check out. no need to replace that pillow, as it will keep the nastiness away from your head/face, and allow you to enjoy that comfort for many more years to come

  14. OK I LOVE my pillow…and after reading this I don’t think I could ever replace it. I have about 8 pillows though and yes I sleep with all of them!!One is a body pillow :P my best friend..i like to cuddle and that’s the only thing I have at night.

  15. But it feels so good to buy a fresh, fluffy, new pillow and realize how much better it is than your old one!

  16. I have one pillow that I’ve had for literally all my life. I believe my mom stole it from her hospital bed when I was born.

    I don’t use it much anymore, because there’s probably some kind of advanced civilization of tiny people (that evolved from the dust mites) living in there. But God himself could not make me get rid of that thing. It’s my pillow I tells ya!

  17. I’ve had my pillow for as long as I can remember. My great-grandmother cut up a down feather mattress and made a bunch of pillows out of it, and they are the Best Pillows Ever. Ever! Tell me, how am I suppose to get rid of that?

    1. This is EXACTLY why I love my pillow!

      In 1994, my grandma opened up a featherbed at her home in Kentucky — we helped stuff the pillows for us, our parents, and our cousins. She even wrote a little message on the ticking. :)

      I love it, and I don’t think I could ever get rid of it. :)

  18. I recently bought a new pillow because mine was so dead I had to keep three pillow cases on it to hold all the feathers in. The new one sucks.

  19. While I understand why old pillows are awesome to some people, they aren’t awesome to me. I don’t like my pillows too firm, but I don’t like them too soft or too flat either. So there’s a very short window of time where my pillow feels great. New pillows are awesome. If I could afford it, I’d buy a new one every couple of weeks. :)

  20. If you want an awesome feeling, take your pillow to the dryer, kick out everyone else’s clothes and toss it in. A half hour on high heat kills off the crud, fluffs it up just a smidge, and warms it to face snuggling perfection.

  21. My husband has had the same pillow for about forty years ! Yep, I’m not kidding. He won’t part with it. We just keep changing the outside cover, or adding to it. Its now VERY “fluffy”….. That pillow has been with us on trips to Mexico,Europe, the Bahamas, camping to Algonquin, you name it…..It’s very comfy. I have bought new pillows for myself, and tried to get him used to new pillows for HIMself, but nope, that pillow stays. In fact, we have a pact… it will get buried with ONE of us , for sure……!!!

  22. Wow, yes. I also seem to shy away in shame when people see my really old pillow.

    Maybe it’s the drool circles that form that get me.

  23. I had the same pillow for about 10 years that I stole from my dad. It went everywhere with me, over nights, family trips, even for study abroad. Last year I was living with my Grandma for the summer, and she threw it out while I was at work!!! I wanted to cry. I couldn’t sleep for days! She felt awful and took me out to buy a new one. Its just not the same.

  24. I replaced my pillows about two years ago after noticing the yellow stains. I realized I had had the same pillows for years, dating back to grade school, at least 20 years. My mother, who always kept the house very clean, never mentioned buying new pillows…

  25. yup, this is awesome. i have a dog beanie pillow thing i sleep with and other pillows won’t really cut it anymore

  26. i have to object to the fact about how dirty your pillow gets. because we actually wash the pillow case, and thats what we get all of our nasty-ness on, so technically, i think it should be alright. :)

  27. My friends and I stayed in a big suite at a fancy hotel in downtown Houston for prom our senior year. My boyfriend loved the pillow so much that we decided to sneak it out on a hanger, disguised within the fluff of my prom dress. Now, four years later, we’re still together, and we still LOVE “the stolen pillow”.

  28. Actually, what I love about this is my smell on my pillow – its the smell of my shampoo or my perfume…

  29. For many years I had a pillow when I was young. Like Linus, MY Little Pillow was the essential part of my existence. If I think about it now in the germaphobic scenerio many of us live in, it must have been quite grosss. Perhaps better to sit in a beach chair.Although I also had a little diary that I wrote in and looking back I do not have anything about that except that I loved my little pillow and when I smelled it it always looked good.

  30. Another thing I remember about My Little Pillow was that my Mom made all sorts of little pillow cases for it. Sometimes beige, other times yellow and it had a flap and it always smelled good when I put on a new pillow case.

  31. Wow this talk about pillows is so true! I totally agree…I have had my pillow for as long as I can remember. It is flat, too, and also stained and yellow. But it is MY pillow. I’ve thought the same thing…that maybe I need to replace it or that its not supporting my head and back well enough. But I can’t bring myself to do it. I just can’t replace my good ol’ pillow. And those hotel pillows ARE unsupportive and fluffy!! Too true. Hahaha…thanks for another heartwarmingly funny post Neil! :D

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