“A ruffled mind makes a restless pillows.”
– Charlotte Bronte
Apart from the subconscious boxing J. and I seem to engage in while asleep, it is not the only adjustment to be made sharing a bed.
Though we have little awake experience to corroborate this, morning evidence suggests that we also play blanket tug-o-war on an almost nightly basis. Admittedly our second best set of sheets is pretty flimsy and doesn’t grip the bed well, but many is the morning we have woken up nearly smothered by a fitted sheet sprung free from its mattress corner. We also must toss and turn a lot because some mornings we awake to find blankets kicked off to the floor, or gathered so tightly around our heads that our feet are poking out. I suspect myself of secret malice because some mornings I wake up, completely overheated, but piled with most of the blankets, as if to keep J. from getting at them.
J. however, has sunk to a whole new low. A few nights ago, I was deep in slumber when he started moving around a bit and woke me up. Just an eyelid flicker, nothing too serious. I’d just closed them again when suddenly…
Thunk! My head dropped back and plunked on the bed. I scrambled up in confusion but a quick glance to my left explained all.
J. had stolen my pillow! Right from under my head! In his sleep!
I dragged it back, which of course woke him up, disgruntled I might add.
“You stole my pillow!” I accused.
“No I didn’t,” he returned.
“Yes you did,” was my witty rejoinder.
His own missing pillow surfaced, shoved up in the corner of the bed.
“My son complains about headaches. I tell him all the time, when you get out of bed, it’s feet first!”
Unlike many people, J. and I did not live together before we got married which, besides other learning curves, presented us with an amusing problem: learning to share a bed. I lived in our flat alone for months before the wedding and so, after years of university dorm room or ghetto student housing mattresses, I justifiably learned quickly to sleep in the middle of our/my shiny new queen size. Arms stretched wide just because I could. Not so handy when your new over-a-foot-taller-than-you husband moves in!
Nearly every morning one of us delivers a laundry list of blunt trauma accusations to the other. “You kneed me at three in the morning!” “How, exactly did you manage to wake up on the other side of the bed?” “You nearly butted me out of bed, I woke up looking at the the floor.” “Where’d you think I got that bruise from?” “You elbowed me in the face!” etc…
Apart from the normal co-habitation hazards, there’s a new threat. J. has either developed a creative (i.e. sadistic) way to get me up in the morning, or has simply forgotten to turn off his phone alarm. See, my alarm wakes me up to the soothing sounds of Madeleine Peyroux or Adele. J.’s phone alarm sounds, to my sleep foggy ears, like a nuclear attack warning.
However I feel as though I have had the last laugh. Three days ago, when this awful sound catapulted me into wakefulness for the first time, I sort of panicked. And by panicked, I mean flailed. The act of which got J. soundly punched. I felt badly afterwards…a long time afterwards because, being the antithesis of a morning person, a tiny part of my morning-hating soul wanted to believe he deserved it.