A few years ago, I drove to Boston with my husband Chuck and my father to celebrate my brother's birthday. We hadn't planned on spending the night but after many, many drinks, we weren't going to make the drive back to Connecticut.
My brother's friends had already claimed the couches in my brother's apartment so Chuck, my father and I claimed the guest room, which had a double bed and futon in it.
I fell asleep quickly but awoke a few hours later to the sound of a grumbling bear. Actually, two grumbling bears. I sat up and squinted in the darkness. What the hell. It hit me: I wasn't hearing bears. Chuck and my father were simultaneously sawing wood. Actually, no. They were snoring in a hellish duet. No sooner would Chuck finish his GGGGGGgggrrrrrrrrrr, snort, snort than my father would pick up the tail end with his own GGGGGGgggrrrrrrrrrr, snort, snort.
I literally was encased in snores. Bookended by nasal grumbles and gravelly honks. Seesawing back and forth, back and forth, on a tide of snores!
I did the only thing I could. I grabbed a pillow and blanket and slept in the bathtub.
Sadly it didn't offer much respite. After a heavy night of drinking, the toilet got a lot of action. Side note: Only one person noticed me in the tub and thankfully my father never had to use the bathroom.
If you're a snorer, you probably have no idea how common this scenario is (minus the, uh, bears and bathtub). You're probably oblivious to the pain and suffering you cause your poor, light-sleeper of a partner. Yes, you might get jabbed in the gut a few times a night or asked to roll over, but at least you're getting more sleep than the person who has to lie there listening to the incessant GGGGGGgggrrrrrrrrrr, snort, snort...GGGGGGgggrrrrrrrrrr, snort, snort...
Now that we've put away the air conditioners in our house it's only gotten worse—even with white noise machines and floor fans. And you know I always have to have my fan.
I've been left no choice but to adopt the flight response in my own home. As soon as Chuck starts his horrible GGGGGGgggrrrrrrrrrr, snort, snorting around 3 a.m., I take off for the couch. Except last night—there was nowhere to go. My mother and step-father were on our sleeper sofa.
I ran through the list of possibilities, rating them from least to most attractive. Dog bed? Not big enough. Tub? Too cold. Cam's floor? Too hard. Junior's bed? He flops like a fish. Everrett's bed? Bingo.
I stumbled into the kids' room, where they share bunk beds, and crawled into the bottom bunk with Everett. I laid down next to him, burrowing into the blankets and stuffed animals.
He rolled over and smiled at me. His face was bathed in blue from the night light.
"Mom," he sighed contentedly. "Did you really come to see me?" Even half-asleep, he looked delighted. Dreamy.
I was struck by the moment. First by the absolute absurdity—that he would believe I would actually get up in the middle of the night just to say hello. Just to see him. I mean my gawd, there are days when bedtime can't come soon enough I've seen the kids so much. Second by the blissful innocence of his love—that he would be delighted to see me. Me, the woman he sees every day. The woman of no novelty.
"Yes," I whispered. "I came to see you."
He rolled into me and kissed my cheek. "I love you."
I lay there, amazed. What a little gift. Unexpected adoration. Professions of love. This is why we do it, I thought. This kind of love—in all it's fleeting and precious and intoxicating waves—fixes everything.
He didn't snore once.
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