Whether we like it or not, sleep is one of life’s necessities, just like coffee, laughter, and a good support bra. Unfortunately years ago when we happily made the choice to spend the rest of our lives with our significant others, no one warned us that sleep would soon become a thing of the past or something we constantly wished for like whipped cream on top of everything we ate or an unlimited balance in our bank accounts. Now, after nearly twenty years of marriage, I realize that sharing my bed with a hairy male is not all it is cracked up to be. Apparently, I am not alone.
While chatting with a friend recently, she pulled me into a dark corner and whispered, “Bruno is snoring all night—and I mean all night.” She appeared to be at her wit’s end as she relayed to me everything she has tried—nose strips, mouth guards, and even taping tennis balls to the back of his pajamas to keep him from rolling over on his back. While I offered her a comforting squeeze on her arm, she stared off in the distance as if lost in thought. Quite frankly, the look on her face frightened me. She clenched her fists and muttered, “Just once I’d like to take that pillow and …”
I held up my hand to stop her. “No need to say anything that might be used against you in a court of law,” I joked. She wanted my help, but what could I do? For years, I’d also been suffering every night next to my own hot, hairy, restless male species. At last check, I figured it had been approximately nineteen years and three months since I had enjoyed eight hours of complete and total rest.
Every night when we turn out the light and fall asleep, my husband and I transform into synchronized swimmers, except without the grace, beauty, and nose plugs. He turns to his side; I turn to the other side. He flips on his back; I flip on my stomach. He throws his arm over his head; I hang my leg over the side of the bed. He flops across the bed horizontally; I flop vertically. And we perform our entire, complicated routine while lying on top of a 60” x 80” trampoline—also known as a queen-sized mattress.
By the morning, our bedcovers look like they have been mauled by two grizzly bears. Our pillows have landed somewhere on the opposite side of the room. I have one sock on and one sock off. The fitted sheet is missing and my husband is wearing the top sheet like a toga. He turns to look at me through glassy eyes and foolishly asks, “How did you sleep?”
I slowly turn to face him. “I was awake every six minutes, which if you must know, is how often you flail about the bed.”
He smiles as he unwrapped the top sheet from around his neck, “Honey, do you realize that sleeping next to you is like sleeping next to a 5,000 BTU heater? I’m simply trying to stay cool.”
As I creep along the carpet on all fours on a seemingly fruitless search for my missing sock, I mutter, “If only we had just one kid, then I’d have an extra bedroom where I could go sleep at night instead of in here where I am tossed around like a piece of driftwood in the ocean.”
As he finally untangles the top sheet from his left leg, he walks to the other side of the room, picks up his pillow off the floor, and grumbles, “Well, at least you don’t have to sleep next to the sun like I do.”
I stand up and stare at him. “Nice,” I reply as I reach over and pluck my sock out from behind his ear. Then, I look at him. I mean really look at him. He looks kind of cute standing there with his hair scrambled like an egg. Even though I am sleep-deprived and cranky, I still remember all the reasons why I married him. He winks at me. We smile at each other sheepishly.
I slip on my sock. We make the bed together. And we begin another day—sleepless—just like all the other married couples in the world who make the mistake of buying a house with too few bedrooms.
“Sleeplessness is a desert without vegetation or inhabitants.”
By Vicky DeCoster (All Rights Reserved)