A typical night in my home:
Jim: Why are you kicking me?
Me: You’re snoring.
Jim: I’m not snoring! My eyes are wide open, I’m watching TV!
Three minutes later:
Jim: WHY ARE YOU KICKING ME? And why did you turn the TV down?
Me: Because you’re still snoring. And I can’t sleep with the TV that loud.
Four minutes after that:
Jim: Stop fucking kicking me!
Me: Then stop fucking snoring!
Clearly, there may be some unnecessary and also absolutely unwarranted anger, in this situation. For Jim, because he believes he’s being viciously beaten for no reason, and for me, because he WILL NOT STOP SNORING.
If you sleep with a snorer, you know how amazingly angry you can get at a person for, well, breathing. I know the snorers can’t help it; I know this is not Jim’s fault. I certainly know he’s not doing it on purpose. None of which makes any difference in the middle of the night. I lie there, calculating the logistics of my life without him. I could pay someone to cut the grass! I think. With his life insurance money, I could even fix some of the things that have been let go all these years! How am I married to a painter and STILL ALL THE DOORS IN OUR HOUSE REMAIN UNPAINTED?
To be fair, Jim says I snore, too. And thus, every night becomes an anxiety-ridden race to be the first to fall asleep.
Which is no way to run a marriage.
During waking hours, I almost always love my husband. He is a good person, he always lets people go in traffic, he desperately tries to have “family meals” which I consistently ruin with my “frozen microwave bullshit” and “reading at the table.” When his snoring kept me awake during one of my pregnancies, he even went so far as to have a piece of his jaw bone cut out and yanked forward, thereby relocating the tongue to a less airway-obstructive position. Unlike me, he wasn’t worried about his sleep apnea. He only did this for me. And it worked, at least for a few years.
These are the things I should remember as I lie awake in bed, but sleep deprivation is no joke, and I am no saint. The more I think about this, the clearer the solution becomes, and that solution is that NO TWO GROWN HUMAN BEINGS SHOULD SHARE A BEDROOM IF THEY CAN POSSIBLY HELP IT. At least, not for actual sleeping purposes. It just doesn’t even make sense.
We have down comforters now, and forced-air heat. We don’t typically have to worry about a herd of buffalo invading the bedroom. We aren’t romantic while we sleep; we are actually anything but.
Some might say this is a sign of a bad marriage, the first step toward separation. I say, no it’s not. If I had my own room, we could kiss each other good night and then go to sleep, neither of us spending even one moment of the night wanting to murder the other. We could have conjugal visits. It might even be like dating again, but with a shared mortgage payment.
Sadly, I don’t currently have the luxury of having my own room, but a person can dream.
I mean, you know. If that person can sleep.