I can go one or two days without good sleep but when I hit three days, I begin to morph into a bucking witch with capitals “F” and “B” and seeing as it’s been about 3, 285 days since I’ve had good sleep, I’m a little testy. Coincidentally, this is just about the same amount of time Nate and I have been married. Now the first several years of this appalling REM deficiency can be explained by having to adjust to marriage, worrying about Zoe entering school, moving, trying to get pregnant, nine months of vomiting, a new colicky baby and seeing that new baby enter kindergarten. Throw in some really ornery intestines that don’t like fettucini alfredo or milkshakes and I figure that of those 3,000+ days, about 2,000 are accounted for. The rest is up for grabs but my money is on Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome otherwise known as my computer guy otherwise known as my husband, Nate.
In our state, any property that was gained after a marriage is owned equally by each spouse. We bought a king size bed and an exhorbitantly priced mattress to go with it after we got married so it falls under joint marital property. It measures 6½ feet by 6½ feet and we each own half of it, down the middle, 50/50, halfsies, whatever. So it stands to reason that I should have 3¼ feet of the width of this bed to myself to do with as I please, whether it be to eat on it, read on it, work on it or decoupage it. I choose to sleep on it. And while my girth has indeed increased exponentially during the last nine years, it has not yet gotten to the point where it can’t fit within the confines of a 39 inch span of mattress and I don’t care what my reflection says. I should fit comfortably within that allotted space and there should be no need to squeeze anything together, fold anything under, suck anything in, liposuction anything out or amputate anything off. And I know that last one is redundant but again, I don’t care. Lack of sleep makes me cranky.
My point is, thirty nine inches of the width of that bed is legally mine. So you can see why I get a bit agitated when, within minutes of Nate falling asleep, I am consistently and without fail pushed so far to the edge of my property that it is all I can do to clutch the lip of the mattress with my trembling hands and hang on for dear life before plunging to my death. Lack of sleep also makes me a bit dramatic. Ask me if I care.
Nate is tall at six feet two inches and other than a slight lovable paunch that made a surprise appearance a little over a year ago, he is not by any means wide. He is narrower than me which, in this context, is essentially just adding insult to injury, kind of like pouring sulfuric acid onto my already near-sighted eyeballs.
Raise your hand if you paid an arm, leg and part of a kidney for a top of the line mattress that was supposed to support a herd of elephants for a twenty year period, only to find out that they must have been talking about really little miniature elephants because the mattress you shelled out oodles of money for now has sink holes so deep you could fill them with water and play pedicure? Our mattress is so concave, the impressions so deep that I thought I lost Helena in it last week and only found her by her muffled shouts of help.
It’s not bad enough that Nate sprawls over the entire bed as if I don’t exist, leaving me about three inches to call my own, but he insists on absconding with all of the covers as well. Can you actually abscond without leaving the premises? This theft wouldn’t bother me so much if he just limited it to the comforter and blankets because I never use those items anyway. My body is a furnace and too much covering it will cause it to explode into a fireball. That probably has something to do with me being pre-menopausal and the mere thought of that condition makes me want to yank out my uterus and ovaries and throw them into a witness protection program so I’m not going to think about that word, much less say it ever again. No, what really burns my cookies is that Nate feels it necessary to confiscate the sheet as well, leaving me with only enough to cover my big toe or half my nose or one entire elbow, depending on how I’m positioned. I don’t think a sheet is too much to ask for after a day chock full of not meeting expectations and falling short of goals. And the only reason I want the sheet in the first place is for the sake of my kids so that I can cover up and not scare the utter bejesus out of them if they happen to come in and see an image that will be seared in their brains for all eternity, an image that will forever make them wonder what a whale was doing hanging off their parents’ bed, did whales really come in that color and why did that one eat Mommy? We just don’t have the funds for that kind of therapy.
Short of mummifying myself in the sheet, stapling it to my body and forcing Nate to drag my entire weight along with it, I have not yet come up with an effective solution and using two sheets has already been tried and simply makes Nate work a little harder but for twice the reward.
As if Hogger-of-Bed-and-Stealer-of-Sheet doesn’t have enough to keep him busy, he spends a great majority of his sleeping time violating various town and county noise ordinances by snoring loud enough to wake the dead, not to mention all those poor souls hanging out in purgatory who are probably too scared to cross over to the dead for fear of never getting a good night’s sleep again. I know exactly how they feel. I don’t have to go to San Francisco to experience an earth quake because I’ve got a real live simulator in my very own house so believe me, if our walls are a rocking, feel free to come on a knocking if only to help me wake Nate the hell up.
I have tried everything I can think of to stop Nate’s snoring. When we first got married, I’d touch him gently on the chest and he’d wake up, apologize, give me a kiss and roll over. Over the years, this has gradually escalated into me shouting epitaphs, kicking his shins, punching his arm and performing CPR maneuvers on his chest with enough force to resuscitate Luciano Pavarotti but to no avail. Nate awakens for a brief moment, long enough to utter ssssssackughschltuffistzzzz and then falls immediately back into a coma. Except that coma victims don’t snore, do they? When I lapse into my own sleep deprived one, I’ll let you know. Or my nurse will.
I’m not even going to go into the occasional sleep walking episodes, except to say that sometimes it’s a good thing, like when Nate takes a shower at 2:30 am and then falls back asleep smelling like soap and shampoo and occasionally it’s a bad thing, like when he decides to dig to China through our bed skirt. Why is it that sleep walkers never do the dishes or the laundry or scrub the bathroom during their escapades?
I’m going to bed during the day today when no one else is home so that I can try to catch up on some sleep. And I’m going to use the entire sheet and shimmy across the whole bed. Just because I can.