There are some things in life I dread. Truly dread. There are terrors like colonoscopies and root canals, not to mention arguing over an insurance claim with a customer service rep in another country. Or learning I have a three-hour wait for the next available ticket agent at Delta or the next available representative at the Social Security office, who will probably become available when the Millennial Generation is ready to retire. I sincerely hate buying a new car or a used car because even though the salesman assures me he\u2019s risking his job to give me the best deal in automotive history, I always leave the showroom with the gnawing feeling in my gut that I just got [pick a word]. Buying a new mattress is just as bad, which leads me to wonder whether buying a used mattress is easier. I\u2019ve often been told that when it comes to cars and mattresses, you should NEVER pay a list price. Then, why do I? I wasn\u2019t born with the haggler\u2019s gene, and I usually want to get in and get out as fast as I can. The last time I needed a car, I offered to pay my wife and daughter a finder\u2019s fee to buy me something, anything, so I could avoid that ordeal. They refused and said, \u201cIt\u2019s gonna be your car, so do it yourself!\u201d Undeterred, I recently asked them to buy me a new mattress, which I desperately need before I permanently damage my back, but they screamed in unison, \u201cYOU HAVE TO SLEEP ON IT! BUY IT YOURSELF!\u201d Two years ago I needed a new mattress, but kept delaying the inevitable even though I\u2019d wake up with back aches, shoulder aches and aches in places I never knew existed on the human body. In desperation, we rotated the mattress and then flipped the mattress, hoping there was some support left somewhere. There wasn\u2019t. I was going to put a piece of plywood under it, but my wife put the kibosh on that idea, along with my plan to buy a mattress on Amazon. I told her about the free shipping, but that didn\u2019t seem to matter. I didn\u2019t care if I couldn\u2019t try it out. I was perfectly willing to buy any mattress labeled, \u201cAmazon\u2019s Choice.\u201d Actually, I picked one out that had a 4\u00bd star rating and 6424 reviews, and I was about to order it when I read a one-star rating that said, \u201cI bought this mattress strictly based on the reviews. What a stupid idea. This was honestly the worst purchase I ever made. This mattress is the hardest thing I ever slept on. If you think this thing is comfortable, there\u2019s something wrong with you! I\u2019ve lost my faith in humanity!\u201d Well, the last thing I want to lose is the little faith in humanity I have, so back to Plan A. Time to get off my lazy bottom, go to the mattress store, kick the tires, jump on some mattresses, and pay full price with my coronavirus stimulus check. There\u2019s nothing more humiliating than lying on a mattress in a showroom in front of the salesperson and other shoppers. Quite honestly, I don\u2019t want to roll around and jump on it in public, attempting to do all those activities best done in the privacy of your bedroom. Beforehand, I went online to get some mattress-buying tips. They say you\u2019re supposed to negotiate the asking price down by almost 50 percent. Another rule is \u201cWait until Columbus Day.\u201d Since Columbus Day is under fire, I decided not to wait. I went into the store, got accosted by a saleswoman, jumped on an extra-firm mattress and promptly proclaimed, \u201cI\u2019ll buy it!\u201d I proceeded to pay full price and ran out the store. Two days later, the mattress was at my doorstep. Easy, right? The bad news is I feel like I\u2019m sleeping on a slab of concrete. The REALLY bad news is they won\u2019t exchange it until I sample every other mattress in the store. Joe Pisani can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .