Did you ever notice that the number of years you’ve been married determines the size of your mattress?
When my husband and I were newlyweds, we slept on a double bed, kissing and hugging the night away, wrapped in marital bliss. Over time I realized a double bed was a colossal mistake, like sleeping in a crib with a hairy gorilla.
After ten years, we progressed to a queen and then a California king, the mother of all beds. With the extra inches we thought we’d have more room to stretch and stake out personal space.
“This bed is amazing,” said my hubby. “Can’t believe it took us so long to move up.”
“I’ll finally get some rest,” I added.
I didn’t anticipate the latest development that would keep us forever too close, a crater in the center of the bed as deep as a Florida sinkhole.
Like a magnet, each night I was pulled into that hole and it continued to grow and multiply in the middle of our giant mattress. My husband outweighed me. He must be the cause. Gravity pulled me downwards, closer to him. This raised several new issues.
Each night as he rolled nearer, my forehead broke out in beads of sweat as I anticipated what was to come. I stared at his shadow outlined by the light through the window and I stiffened as my body forewarned of The Elbow. As pointy as a Civil War bayonet, it tortured me with the accuracy of a Ginsu knife.
“Ouch, get that thing away from my face. Are you trying to blind me?”
He mumbled something that sounded like “shut up” and fell back asleep. In the dark, I contemplated my revenge. What type of person sleeps with their hands locked behind their head, an elbow in direct line with my eye? Maybe I could poke him with my hairbrush to get him to roll over. Wrap him with electric tape to the mattress.
But I digress.
Not only had The Elbow turned me into Swiss cheese, but my core temperature rose to dangerous levels due to his body heat, like getting too close to a pizza oven.
To maintain the distance I needed from the human fireball, I hooked my leg around the edge of the mattress and pulled myself to the side. That strategy worked some of the time. The rest of the time I woke in a sweaty mess on one half of my body. Worse than menopause.
Then there was the noise pollution. Endless snoring disrupted my shuteye like hard rock music. Snorts, gurgles and whistles. The combinations were endless.
And even when he wasn’t snoring, his heavy breathing was impossible to ignore. Air in through the nose, out through the flaring nostrils. In and out. In and out. In. In. In. Out. No particular rhythm. Even the dog jumped off the bed in search of some quiet.
But I vowed tonight was going to be different. I’d had enough. Lying next to him, I could just make out my husband’s face from the dim nightlight in the hallway. He slept like an angel, lips in a small circle, eyes lids fluttered. Quiet for the first time in months. I can’t stand his breath in my face. Must wake him up.
“Hey, Darth! Roll over, you’re snoring,” I lied.
After a year of restless slumber, back and joint pain, puncture wounds and a melted face, I needed a permanent solution.
Flipping the mattress might offer a slight improvement to the deep abyss.
According to the instructions, we flipped the mattress over then rotated it 180 degrees. And that evening I prayed for blissful rest, a sleep so heavy that I would wet the bed.
But a new situation developed. In the low lighting, I noticed a giant lump the size of Mt. Everest occupied the center of the bed and caused me to roll off the side. I grasped my husband’s arm across the bed to stay afloat.
In my frustration, I hopped off the bed, snagged a pillow and extra blanket from the linen closet and headed downstairs. In moments, I heard shuffling footsteps.
“Why are you sleeping on the couch?” my husband asked, running his hand through his hair.
“More room,” I mumbled.