In sleep

I’m just like anyone who has to get situated before settling in for a good night’s sleep. And yes, I take pride in being a champion sleeper who can conquer 10 solid hours nightly. But doesn’t everyone have a routine? Doesn’t everyone suffer from some degree of pre-slumber pickiness? Doesn’t everyone need a fresh tube of lip balm, a bottle of hand lotion with an easy pump and at least 32 ounces (preferably 64) of fresh drinking water all within arm’s reach?

My night shirt has to be void of any bunching beneath me. When I had hair, it had to be sprawled up, spanning beyond the top edges of my pillow and couldn’t so much as graze my neck. And then of course I need a pillow between my knees and ankles and another to snuggle between my arms as a preventative measure should my elbows ever dream of touching. And then there’s the fidgeting. Because I learned long ago that if there’s an adjustment that needs to be made, better to immediately make it than lie there thinking about how much it’s bugging me. That itch on my head, the twist in my shirt.

Yes, all of this is true, and yet someone agreed to marry me. Someone who has the weirdest definition of snuggling of any person in the continental United States.

“Ouch! What are you doing?”
“I’m cuddling you.”
“With your elbows?!”

So in a desperate attempt to cuddle me without compromising the fragile microchip that is my sleeping situation, he’s become inventive. He’ll move his upper body as far away as possible, but touch the bottoms of his feet to mine. Or he will turn away and nudge his butt against my back ever so slightly. Once he outstretched an arm from across the bed and grabbed a fistful of my hair.

He tries. He really does.

Two nights ago, I awoke uncomfortable in the middle of the night. My head had sunken far into the depths of my pillow. It swallowed my face, caused my cheeks to flush and my forehead to sweat. As anyone in my position would do, I opted for the most obvious game play in this situation: the pillow flip. Only, when I attempted to execute the maneuver, I was thwarted by something pinning down the other end. In the dark I could just barely make out the sight of a sleeping Patrick clinging onto the far end of my pillow, smiling.

He hadn’t touched me, he’d been careful to limit himself – even in his sleep – to the measly outskirts. And yet he found joy in this, his newest technique in snuggling with his wife. His crazy, fidgety, particular wife. I laid there, the weight of my head sunken into my pillow, and watched him smiling. And I thought to myself, uncomfortable and unable to do anything about it, how lucky I am.


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