It’s amazing that anyone shares a bed.
I know there are plenty of married and cohabiting couples who have separate beds, or even separate bedrooms, and I can see the logic in avoiding the snoring, the thrashing, the different sleep schedules, and the need to negotiate the complicated issue of bedding.
But since marrying and moving into Peter’s house, we have shared a bed, and it is not a large one. So far, we have negotiated a peaceful settlement. This is because Peter has let me have my way.
There were a lot of improvements needed to the bed when I moved in with Peter.
First of all, he had sheets he described as “microfiber.” I don’t know what these tiny fibers were, but the only fiber I was interested in having in my sheets was cotton.
I don’t think (as Peter implies) this makes me a snob. I am not one of those who requires an absurdly high thread count. It was my wise mother who pointed out that a lower thread count makes for a cozier feeling sheet -- provided, of course, that it is washed in unscented laundry soap and dried outside on the line.
I once read a story where a woman was ironing her pillowcases. This activity was proof that she was mentally unstable. I did not find the story convincing. I know my mother is of sound mind, and she’ll tell you that a pillowcase is a lot nicer after it’s been touched up by a hot iron.
Then there was the matter of blankets. Fortunately, we both like a cooler room at night, thus avoiding most of the disputes that happen between couples in the winter months. But Peter’s solution was to toss something on top of the bed that was the size, weight and color of a dead seal. That was obviously not going to work.
Once under the fleshy green leviathan, I could hardly breathe, and any kind of temperature adjustment was impossible.
“What if I get too hot?” I asked Peter.
“You stick a foot out.”
“I stick a foot out of the bed?”
“How does that help anything?”
“It cools you down.”
“It cools down one foot! Now I’m still hot but have a cold foot!”
We replaced the dead sea mammal with several blankets that could be used as needed, and I thought we had reached a nice resolution to the whole bedding issue until we visited Europe. There I saw they had one pillow that stretched across the bed that both sleepers could share.
“Ooh! I want one of those,” I thought.
But then Peter decided he wanted a peculiar pillow that supported his neck but not his head and looked exactly like a giant upholstered hotdog. I did not. So the lovely European-style pillow idea was scrapped.
And still the nocturnal negotiations continue. Peter (unbeknownst to him, he claims) will migrate over onto my side, forcing me to cling to the edge of the bed to keep from falling out. This wakes me up just enough so I can nudge him. He will, with considerable grumbling, roll back over to his side, at which time I hastily grab whatever territory he has relinquished. It’s a nightly challenge in a small bed.
But it’s worth it.
Because, as I move into the warmth that he has left behind, I’m reminded every night that he is there beside me, disturbing my sleep and stealing my covers. It’s a nightly reassurance that he is near.
Till next time,
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Carrie Classon’s memoir is called, “Blue Yarn.” Learn more at CarrieClasson.com.