IN THE BEDROOM
My wife and I visited some friends last week for a quick
two-night trip. When they graciously showed us to our room, we were not
It's not that the room was ugly. On the contrary, it was
bright, sunny and beautifully decorated (or so I'm told). The problem was
the bed. It wasn't a King, it wasn't even a Queen---it was the dreaded
"Looks like we're not going to get much sleep," I miserably said
to my wife when our friends left us alone to unpack.
"Maybe we should take shifts," she replied, only
half-kidding. "I'll take 11-3, you take 3-7."
I scanned the bed with my suddenly sleepy eyes. It had some
fancy bedposts and headboard and a bunch of fluffy pillows and blankets. It
looked very comfortable. FOR ONE PERSON!
"This could get ugly," I surmised, glancing lovingly
at my wife. "Maybe you should sleep on the floor."
I secretly knew that wasn't going to happen. Like most
marriages, we insisted on sleeping together, no matter how miserable we
might be. We were both afraid to take the drastic step of voluntarily
sleeping in separate rooms or separate beds for fear we'd like it too much.
And besides, we like sleeping together. We like being close to
each other. Just not all night long.
There was a time, when we were in our 20's, that being wrapped
together all night was absolute bliss. In fact, for the first couple of
years of our marriage, we slept in a SINGLE bed.
We'd wake up in the morning twisted together like a pretzel,
and loved every minute of it. But as the years flew by, so did our youthful
exuberance, replaced by the inevitable need for space.
The Single bed became a Double, then a Queen, then a King,
then, finally, a California King. If they had a Prairie King, or a Moonscape
King, or a Bonneville Salt Flats King, we would have moved on to that, too.
The main thing is that we continued, and will always continue,
to share the same bed. The only exception is when we check into a hotel and
the only room available is one with two double beds. When the hotel clerk
asks if that would be okay with us, we look at each other and simultaneously
give a fist pump.
In this case, though, two beds were not an option. We were
going to spend the next two nights fighting for space, and there was no way
around it. We had dinner with our hosts and drank some wine to dull the
oncoming pain, and then went to bed.
My wife turned off the light and climbed onto her side of the
Double, and was asleep within minutes. I came out of the bathroom, plopped
onto my side, and turned on the tiny reading light on the nightstand.
I know I've said this before, but I might as well have set off
a nuclear bomb. "You can't be serious," she cried, suddenly awake.
"You're going to read now?"
We were off to a great start. I always read when I get in bed,
but usually she's about 20 yards away on the other side of our California
King, so it only bothers her a little bit. This was different.
"Forget it," I moaned, shutting off the light.
"I'll just toss and turn for a few hours instead."
As I tried to get comfortable, the cries of desperation became
more prevalent from the other "side" of the bed. Again, bouncing
around on one side of a California King creates a ripple. Bouncing around on
a double is more like a tsunami.
And I can really bounce. When I turn over in bed, it's a
production. As I began my nightly ritual, my wife was not happy.
Unfortunately, her snorts and sighs were keeping me awake. It was a vicious
Finally, I got comfortable. I was practically hanging off my
side of the bed, and I could feel some space between us. I was just about to
drift off when my wife moved and I felt her leg rub up against mine. She was
way too close.
"Move over, please," I asked, very politely.
"I'm practically falling off the bed."
For some reason, that plea didn't work. In fact, it gave her a good idea.