The nice thing about being a newlywed, the second time ’round, is that I’m old enough and wise enough (wise being a relative term, given that the first time ’round I was spending my time alternating between thinking “What have I DONE?” and “Maybe everyone is this miserable and no one tells you!”) to actually ENJOY it. I mean, what a concept, right? Enjoying your mate? Basking in the glow of two (or in our case, four) lives meshing together in a way that doesn’t make you fantasize about killing anyone in their sleep? I hardly knew it was possible.
[And I’m not even just saying that because this weekend the kids renamed Marco Polo to Otto Polo and squealed and splashed in the pool while Otto chased them.]
Unfortunately, if I’m being totally honest, I have to confess that… well, we do have a problem. A small problem. It’s nothing, in the grand scheme of things. Really.
But… Otto and I are having a problem in bed.
[That loud THUNK you just heard was all of Otto’s siblings and friends and colleagues scrambling backwards from the computer as fast as they possibly could. Um. Sorry about that.]
Now, longtime readers know that I’m not one to share this sort of thing, generally. I’m a fairly private person about certain delicate matters. I like to leave the more risque blogging to others. But as much as I’d hoped—for the first year and change—that we would figure this out on our own, it simply hasn’t happened. And so now I’m going to share, in a last-ditch attempt to find a solution.
Okay. Here goes:
It turns out that… that….
Geez, this is harder than I thought it was going to be. Okay:
It turns out that Otto is a clear-the-perimeter kind of sleeper, whereas I am a huddle-together-in-case-of-emergency kind of sleeper. Simply put, I like to snuggle up and he needs to be unencumbered to fall asleep.
(What? You thought that… what?? Ewwww. Please.)
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not complaining, per se. I used to be married to a sleep-groper and BELIEVE YOU ME, I am mightily relieved to no longer wake up on the very edge of the bed with a body crushed up behind me and a hand up my shirt. (Not that I object to those activities in principle, it’s just that I prefer being groped when I’m awake. By someone who is also awake. Details.) I have a healthy appreciation of Otto’s need to sleep in his own space.
But there is little I like more in this world than curling up to my husband’s back and falling asleep with one arm flung around him. I can’t help it! He’s warm and cozy and he smells good. IS THAT SO WRONG?
We are at something of an impasse. If he falls asleep before I do, I can snuggle up to him without waking him up, usually, and that’s fine. And if I fall asleep before him, he can tolerate a few minutes of snuggling and then disentangle himself without waking me up. But if we’re equally sleepy at the same time, I want to “barnacle up” (as he calls it) and he wants to stretch out and not be touched.
Oh, he’s trying to increase his tolerance and I am trying to cut back on my cuddling. But then we end up with things like last night—when I was nearly asleep, facing away, and NOT TOUCHING HIM—when this happened:
Otto: How do you go to the doctor’s office?
Otto: Which way do you go to the doctor’s office? Which street do you take?
Me: I… I don’t know, the one by the pizza place… why?
Otto: Oh, because if you go the other way and turn after the church, you go right by my office.
Otto: You know, if you wanted to drop Monkey off with me when you take Chickadee.
Me: Oh! Right. Mkay, well, could we talk about this when I’M NOT ASLEEP?
Otto: Oh, sure. Sorry. Go back to sleep.
And then Otto rolled away from me to face the other way, and all I had to do was turn over and roll a bit, myself, to be full-body glued to his back. So I did.
Otto: [*insert loud sighing here*] You did that on purpose.
Otto: You barnacled up! As soon as I turned over!
Me: Dude, I was ASLEEP and you starting grilling me about driving routes. This is your own damn fault.
Otto: You waited until I rolled over and then glommed right on!
Me: No, I was sleeping and then you woke me up.
Otto: [*insert loud sighing here*]
Me: I am so telling the world that we’re having problems in bed.
Otto: [*insert loud sighing here*]
I almost felt sorry enough for him not to write about it.