The act of sleeping beside our beloveds is almost always more romantic in our minds than in reality. This is because what begins so elegantly with heads resting on chests, heartbeats echoing in ears, and arms draping over stomachs, so often ends with wriggle-kicking, sweaty limbs, blanket stealing, and someone getting punched in the eye or stabbed in the derriere with a toenail. My ideas of what it would be like to share a bed with my husband after our move to California were similarly over-romanticized not only in that I had the faulty impression that blanket hogging would not exist in the golden state that introduced the world to California king mattresses, but in that I made the crazy assumption that my love and I would actually go to bed and wake up beside one another at the same time. You see, we’d spent much of our relationship commuting long distances for work and cherishing the few nights out of every week that we were able to fall asleep in the same state (let alone beneath the same covers), so I couldn’t imagine any scenario in which we’d take a single night at home together for granted. This is to say, I kinda didn’t think about the fact that my hubby is perpetually flying out the door at the crack of dawn so he can take European conference calls and I’m almost religiously staying up until 4 a.m. writing.
Old habits die hard, right? “Wrong, wrong, wrong!” I kept telling myself. There simply had to be a way I could reset my body clock so my spouse and I could sleep at the same time and steal the same covers, and I was particularly determined to institute this circadian-rhythm reset over the course of this past week. I’m not quite sure what prompted this sleep-schedule Nazi to come out in me, but starting on Monday night I crawled into bed at the same time as my hubby, determined to reap all the spoils of snuggling each other into slumbers and haunting one another’s dreams. This sounds so lovely, doesn’t it? I’m sure it felt very romantic and cute to my husband at first, too, until 3 a.m. came around and I was still tossing and turning – my eyes wide open and sleepless, alternating between staring at him like a stalker and hiding under the sheets with my glowing phone to write down story ideas. This pattern repeated itself throughout the week, until last night when my nocturnal-writer’s brain couldn’t take it anymore. After my husband fell asleep, I crawled out of bed and into our living room, where I proceeded to write at my laptop until some ungodly hour in complete darkness – yeah, that’s right, I was under the impression that my evening wanderings somehow wouldn’t count as long as I didn’t turn on the lights.
So, it was in pitch blackness that I eventually attempted to make it back to our bedroom and walked right into our television on the way. A THUNK and an epic CRACK echoed throughout our apartment, followed by an enormous GASP from me and a bunch of loud mispronunciations of every word in the urban dictionary. I was not injured and no heavy electrical parts went shattering to the floor, but this was nonetheless a dire situation when you consider the fact that our TV is one of those mammoth flat screens that threatens to never have the same picture quality after just one thumbprint graces its surface. And, here I was with my clammy body pancaked against the very same screen that had been staring me down for months saying, “You touch me, you die, bitch.” With these death threats ringing in my mind, I turned on every possible light and scrambled to examine the damage from a bunch of odd angles. By some miracle I still don’t understand, I could not see a single smudge on the screen, but the lamps in our apartment were not nearly this invisible and my husband eventually raced out of our bedroom to see what all these curse words and blinding lights were about. He had every right to scream at me and berate me for scaring him half to death, but he just arched an eyebrow at my crouching form and craned-neck until I finally admitted that I suspected I’d broken our TV. Without even glancing at the television, he helped my sleep-deprived body off the floor, rested a hand on my shoulder, and said, “It’ll be okay.” And, you know what? It was and is – the television, my outbursts, and our peculiar sleeping schedules that I’ll probably never fix are all okay…
Love is not always about whom we share our beds with, after all. Sometimes it’s just about the hands that cup our shoulders at 4 in the morning, the eyes that patiently inspect non-existent smudges on TV screens, and the voices that say everything’s going to be all right.
Psst: For any inquiring minds, I should note that my TV is fine, smudge-free, and no longer issuing death threats (at least not for the time being)…I will be back to my fledgeling dating column next week – I just had an uncontrollable urge to share this anecdote with you today and ran with it. Hope you don’t mind. Do you have any silly stories of hogging covers, sleepwalking, or smudging TVs? Share away, and have a fabulous weekend! Leave a comment.