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sleeping with the enemy

I enjoy being home without Tom, for short periods of time.  I have behavior that I save for Tom’s trips, like the cleaning out of my food cupboards (by mouth), and the voracious reading of the romance novels that Tom loves to ruin when he’s here, by snatching them from my hands and reading aloud the choicest bits in a pirate voice.  It really interferes with the fantasy when he does that.

The thing I enjoy most about Tom’s absences is that I don’t have to share our bed with him.  I read an article long ago about how sleeping in separate beds can improve a marriage, because most people experience more restful sleep when sleeping alone.  I remember reading the article and feeling a frisson of recognition and the thrill of possibility, but I tamped it down because the idea seemed unworkable—mostly because I couldn’t afford two beds at the time.  Aside from the practical aspects, the idea of getting married only to sleep apart seemed absurd.  In some sense, I got married in order to obtain the comfort that comes only when you’ve locked down a warm slab of human who is obligated to sleep next to you.

My issues with sleeping with Tom are myriad. For starters, Tom seemingly lacks the bodily mechanism that regulates your body temperature during sleep.  Which is to say that immediately upon falling asleep, Tom turns into a wood-burning pizza oven.  If only he produced wood-fired pizza to go along with all that heat.  I imagine some of the heat is a result of the fact that he insists on wearing tube socks to bed, no matter how warm the night, or how little other clothing he might be wearing.  By the way, nothing says romance like tube socks.

If I’m not sweltering in his man heat, I’m freezing, due to the TJ Frankfurter.  This isn’t that kind of blog post, and “TJ Frankfurter” is not a euphemism.  Instead, it’s Tom’s signature move, where he tucks one edge of the duvet under him and then progressively rolls the duvet towards his side of the bed until he is rolled inside the entire down comforter like a wiener dog.  His head sticks out one end and his tube socks stick out the other.  I am left to fend for myself with whatever part of the flat sheet hasn’t gotten sucked into the TJ Frankfurter, and a spleen full of bitterness and resentment.

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It’s easy to get bitter and resentful in your sleep when you have no blankets AND no pillows on which to rest your head.  Our bed starts out with four pillows: two on his side, and two on mine.  Each night, Tom wages some epic battle in his sleep where he is the hero, I am the enemy, and our pillows are the booty that must be wrested from my evil grasp.  Apparently I am much weaker in sleep than when awake, because I lose the battle every single time.  I wouldn’t mind so much if I woke up and Tom was luxuriating on all four pillows, but the worst part is that after stealing my pillows, he throws them on the floor on his side of the bed.  I give and give, and for what?

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If Tom could ring in, which he can’t, because this is my blog, I’m sure he’d say I’m no peach to sleep with either.  My extremities get notoriously cold and the most gratifying part of my day is the high-pitched screeching that ensues when I stick my ice-cold feet on Tom as I climb into bed.  He also thinks the soles of my feet are scratchy, but frankly, I think he’s overplaying his hand when he complains that my heels feel like daggers.  The coarsest of sandpapers, perhaps.  But daggers?  Come on.

Anyway, it’s nice when he’s away.  Right until I wake up, and reach for that hot bundle of TJ Frankfurter, and find cool blankets instead.  Then I miss Tom, and wish he was home.

*Thanks to Finn for filling in for Tom in these photos while Dad’s away.

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46 Comments Post a comment
  1. Love this post! Wow, you need to get your husband to reconsider the tube socks in bed except for on a night when the furnance breaks in the dead of winter. 🙂

    July 23, 2012
    • i don’t think i have what it takes to break a habit 41 years in the making. but agreed

      July 24, 2012
  2. sbt #

    Hilarious! I was literally crying at my desk. You can commiserate with Thor on the sock-wearing-to-bed next time you see him (except I take some very small amount of comfort in the fact that I don’t wear tube socks to bed. tube socks are awful without exception). But – I have to side with Tom here! I can’t sleep if my feet are cold – and oddly it has absolutely nothing to do with how warm the room is, or how much (or little) i might be wearing. So strange!

    July 23, 2012
    • nothing gets me warmer than having my feet covered, and i prefer to sleep slightly chilled. i NEVER wear socks to bed. i imagine your socks are a lot more charming than tom’s, sarah

      July 24, 2012
  3. AC Lundin #

    Love your last comment, was just about to ask what your hubby thought about you posting pics of him sleeping on your blog. Awesome description of what I think are most men when they are sleeping!

    July 22, 2012
    • ah, that was my kid, pretending to be dad (who was on a business trip). we had fun with dad’s tube socks

      July 24, 2012
  4. Hilarious. As do many of your commenters, I too have a snorer spouse. For now, my working graveyards is a wonderful solution. We each sleep soundly, on separate shifts, and no one has to leave town. Loved the photos. Great post. :>

    July 22, 2012
  5. Emma Semple #

    My partner is a horrible person to sleep with to. He falls asleep on his pillows, but during the night he rolls slowly to my side and we end up sharing my pillows. He also pulls the covers onto himself from the bottom of the bed, so I get left with one corner, and quite cold. It’s tough.

    July 21, 2012
    • this seems to be in part a gender issue. i wonder if men are deeper sleepers, generally?

      July 24, 2012
  6. Sleep wars! Oh the tales we ladies could all tell. I do empathize, if only slightly, with Tom’s complaints about sharp heels. I always think I’m staying on top of that in summertime right up until I clamber into bed and start snagging the sheets. I keep industrial heel lube at bedside just for emergencies so at least I TRY to address my issues. Snorificus Maximus (aka my husband of three plus decades) remains stubbornly oblivious to his own frankfurting reign of nighttime noise torture. It’s like trying to sleep next to a tightly wrapped car alarm.

    July 21, 2012
    • hilarious!! and my summertime heels have snagged many clothes in my closet. i suppose i should try some industrial moisturizer

      July 21, 2012
      • The trick can be getting the “moisturizer” out of the factory drum and into a container that will then fit into a bedside table drawer. That, and the occasional spontaneous combustion problem. Otherwise, a completely fool proof solution.

        July 21, 2012
      • thank you!!

        July 21, 2012
  7. jtoufar #

    All I could think of when looking at that picture was “awesome rug!” Which was probably not the response you were going for! Srsly though, love the rug. Can I know the source?

    July 21, 2012
    • hiya. we picked it up in the grand bazaar in istanbul, ten years ago. but i think I saw similar kilims recently in the Serena and lily catalog…

      July 21, 2012
  8. I feel your pain. My husband’s sleeping habits consist of blanket stealing, random elbow and hand blows to my face, heat thievery (this is where he wraps himself around me he’s trying to absorb me through osmosis), and his snoring could wake the dead…seriously. While the Germans have tried to combat marital issues resulting from co-sleeping with inovations such as a king sized bed made of two twin mattresses and the separate duvet system, he still sneaks over and puts the death grip on me when it’s cold and snores. Some nights I’m thankful for my insomnia because the only other option is to take refuge on the gigantic comfy couch…in the living room…where our two Olde English Bulldogges sleep…I can’t win.

    July 21, 2012
    • snoring! the worst. tom snores as well but he sleeps on his face so that muffles a lot of it. sounds like you have your hands full!

      July 21, 2012
  9. I literally laughed out loud at this post. I feel your pain!

    July 20, 2012
  10. I think I saw in Ikea once his and her duvets – for the same bed! Apparently they are all the rage in Scandinavia. My husband is a covers thief as well so would be good for us.

    July 20, 2012
    • where scandinavia goes, we are bound to follow. they really are brilliant

      July 20, 2012
      • AC Lundin #

        Love it how Scandinavia keep coming up on this blog, you socialists yet?

        July 22, 2012
  11. pooki24 #

    Awesome post, I’m just glad I’m in the office alone today and can laugh as loud as I want! My wife complains about me rolling our comforter up like a burrito, leaving her exposed to the elements. (As if we are living in the woods under a lean-to shelter!) So she brings her own blanket to bed now, just in case…I still think you guys are exaggerating :/

    July 20, 2012
    • man, we are not exaggerating. at least, i’m not. i tend to wake up tired from all the nocturnal drama

      July 20, 2012
  12. Gulgun #

    Hah! In small world coincidences, I ran into Tom on the street this week while I was on a business trip.

    July 20, 2012
    • gulgun, he told me! i was like, “you mean, you ran into gulgun in SAN FRANCISCO?” of all the odds. at least i can now verify that he was where he said he was going to be

      July 20, 2012
  13. This sounds all too familiar. I loved the little feet! I thought for a second you posed as Tom yourself. I laughed throughout the whole thing, thanks for sharing. hahaha

    July 20, 2012
    • it would have been much easier. but then finn would have had to take the photo, and he is not good at taking photos without putting his finger over the lens. he laughed when i made him put on the socks. see blogging is good family time

      July 20, 2012
  14. Fia #

    Loved this post! 🙂
    I’m currently home alone too. As you say, it’s quite nice for short periods of time. I’ve read my book without any disturbances like “Fia, you have to listen to this guitar solo!” or “If I get super powers, I have to become evil and fight the system! Imagine all scientists that wouldn’t leave me alone otherwise”. I’ve had whatever I want to for dinner and the bed for myself. Just perfect, except one little thing. I miss him. xD

    http://bitterfia.wordpress.com

    July 20, 2012
    • fia, your man friend sounds highly entertaining. and thank god tom doesn’t play the guitar

      July 20, 2012
  15. beautifullyrandomlife #

    Haha, funny post xD
    Can’t wait to read more of your posts.

    July 20, 2012
  16. Yoona, this almost stirred up a twinge of empathy towards the plight of my wife in similar struggles. This cracked me up. Well done.

    July 20, 2012
    • just a twinge? you are a cold-hearted man my friend

      July 20, 2012
  17. My boyfriend is a 6ft 2, 19 stone rugby player. I am a 5 ft 1, 8 stone small thing. If he is clumsy when he is awake (which he is) its nothing to how he is when he’s asleep. Most of the night I am praying I won’t get accidentally squished when he rolls over, or worse when he dreams about making rugby tackles, half acting it out in his sleepy stupor (which has also happened once or twice). Sleep troubles.

    July 20, 2012
    • OMG i have always wanted to be able to say that i weigh X stone. what is a stone? 20 pounds?

      your comment reminds me of my friends amy and john–john used to teach martial arts, and one night, in his sleep, he grabbed amy’s shoulders and delivered a swift knee kick to her ass. favorite sleep story ever

      July 20, 2012
      • Oh no! I feel her pain! I am apparently 112 pounds and Kane would be 266… Either way our weight is very unevenly distributed and does not make for a relaxing snooze!

        July 20, 2012
  18. So funny ;0
    and yet so sweet 🙂

    July 20, 2012
  19. This was awesome! I also love the comments that followed. You are a wonderful writer, Finn is a champ and Tom is a hoot (unbeknownst to him). I’m going through the same issues and after 24 years of marriage, I’m thinking we deserve a new bed and making it king sized might help (some).

    July 20, 2012
    • 24 years? you have earned a king sized bed. someone told me once that they refused to get a king sized bed for fear that it would destroy the intimacy. i found that highly amusing

      July 20, 2012
  20. prolixities #

    This is a hilariously sweet post. I had issues sharing a bed when I got married too – my husband reaches nuclear temperatures in record time, and likes to lay his 90lb arm on my ribcage/lung. So we compromised and got a King size bed, and he’s now the little spoon.

    July 20, 2012
    • the king size seems so big at first, and then shrinks so quickly. but at least tom stays to his side. i’d probably bite his arm if he laid it on me

      July 20, 2012
  21. This totally made me laugh out loud at my desk and now I can’t even PRETEND that I’m invoicing something because there is nothing funny about our database. But it was totally worth getting busted, because this was fabulous.

    July 20, 2012
    • databases are notoriously unfunny. thanks for reading, and laughing

      July 20, 2012

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