Sleeping Together

Ah, the romantic notion of hearts that sleep in tandem

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.

Photo from Keltie Colleen via Pinterest.

You might also like:

Previous Post Next Post

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Pat Oey October 21, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    This is classic! Thanks for sharing it! Remember when I knocked over the plant in your living room one night long ago? You were only about 4, but I bet you do!

  • Reply Anna October 21, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    Jennifer this story made me laugh out loud!! And instantly go in to my boyfriends study (we have separate studies) and relay the WHOLE thing as you would not believeee how similar some of the situations were – your television always looking at you saying “you touch me you die bitch” is certainly one of them haha I refuse to even DUST around our tv as its so so massive and flat that Morgs says one thumbprint on it will upset him (of course this is not true but I don’t ever test my chances haha). I cant believe how much little sleep you must get though! I admire (honestly I do) people who have managed to tell their bodies sleep is for when you’re dead – I unfortunately haven’t mastered this yet so waste too much time on my mattress. I am lucky however in that I do get that time of sweating next to my partner and stealing blankets .. That whole section made me laugh also as its just so so true. We have a rule though as it got too hard. We go to sleep cuddling, and then however we wake up is fine (generally me having stripped bare due to the heat that radiates from him, and the blankets all a mess!) King size bed and all, you’d be surprised how little room you still have! I’m so glad it all worked out for you – the acceptance of different sleeping patterns and the tv getting off un harmed (& you of course!) Your husband sounds like his a darling though and they’re the special ones we have to keep a hold of.

    Here’s to a fantastic weekend full of loving our partners in our own special ways.

    Anna xx

  • Reply Jacqueline October 22, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    Jen that’s adorable! I think everyone has their little fantasies about sleeping with someone you love but love is so much deeper than that. It really is a hand on your shoulder telling you it’ll be okay at 4 in the morning :).

  • Reply kelly @ paper doll theory October 23, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    such a sweet post 🙂 funny too. i currently don’t face that problem seeing as that i’m single, but my friend has a fiance who snores incessantly making the idea of sleeping together in the same bed seem less romantic and more a burden.


  • Reply Jennifer R. Coté October 23, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    I’m so happy to know this post resonated with you all in so many funny and relatable ways! Thank you guys so much for these sweet comments! 🙂

    Pat: I do indeed remember you walking into a plant in the middle of the night when I was a wee kid. The plant was actually a cactus, wasn’t it? Ouch!

    Anna: I love that you and your boyfriend have a rule that you always cuddle before bed. That is so sweet, and it’s also very wise that you guys have agreed that when it comes to how you wake up (sweaty, tangled in covers, or what have you) all bets are off. 😉 I hope you made it through the weekend without getting any thumbprints on the TV screen, and I hope the start of Australia’s summer is wonderful!

    Jacqueline: Thank you so much for your sweet comment and letting me know you hear where I’m coming from. 😉 Here’s to a lifetime of hands on shoulders and reassuring words that come at exactly the right time!

    Kelly: I totally feel your friend’s pain about sleeping with a snorer. I roomed with a snorer once in college and had to wear ear plugs. 😉 Thank you so much for finding the humor in this post, too, Kelly! One surefire way to my heart is just telling me I’m funny. I’m such a sucker for that. 😉

  • Reply kristina@beancakes ★ October 24, 2011 at 9:46 am

    good morning to you cote! this story was so sweet! it sounds to me like you’re a night owl?? well, i am too ~ always have been ~ and my husband is not ~ he is the exact opposite of a night owl, a die-hard morning person w. a capital M… but i’m glad to hear that you’re okay ~ and that flat screen sounds major 😉 😉 i just love your short stories btw ~ i predict that you’re going to be famous one day!!
    xoxo ~ kristina
    p.s. thanks again for your heart felt comments ~ they are the nicest!!

    • Reply Jennifer R. Coté October 24, 2011 at 3:24 pm

      Aw, thank you so much, Kristina! Your comment literally made my morning (err, my day and perhaps my whole week). You are the sweetest and I hope your week is off to a similarly sweet start! 🙂

  • Reply S October 24, 2011 at 11:06 am

    ahahaahaha!!!! It’s true!
    Funny & sweet story!

  • Reply letiziabarcelona October 25, 2011 at 12:08 am

    my story is quite unusual. I don’t live with my boyfriend, sometimes we’re sharing the same bed (in his appartment I’m on the left side and in mine I’m on the right side;) and sometimes he can’t sleep he stays on the couch, so I can’t get used to it, it’s just never the same !

    • Reply Jennifer R. Coté October 25, 2011 at 1:15 am

      Whoa, you and your boyfriend definitely keep each other guessing with the sleeping arrangements, Letizia. I love my routines (as evidenced by how hard I found it to go to bed early last week), so I’m not sure I could sleep through the night on anything but my usual side of the bed. It sounds like you handle it well, though. Perhaps variety is not only the spice of life, but the spice of sleep in this circumstance. 😉 Thanks for sharing, Letizia!

    Leave a Reply