Sunday, July 30, 2006

I'm a freak in bed.

But not the way you think, you filthy, godless pervert. Christ, is that all you people think about? You disgust me.

No, what I mean is that I'm a high-maintenance sleeper. While some of you could sleep easily and peacefully while strapped to the blade of a windmill, or being dragged behind a pickup truck, I require an elaborate list of specific items and ideal room conditions to get me through the night.

Here's the short list of idiosyncrasies that would make a normal person cringe at the thought of sleeping in the same bed with me:

1. I need a full wardrobe change by my bedside. I go to bed in long-sleeves and long jammie pants, but keep shorts and at the ready. This is because I go to bed chilly, but wake up later a little warm, and change into the t-shirt. Still later, I may wake up and change into the shorts, or just lose the pants. But I could never go so far as to sleep in a tank top (or less) because I'd wake up cold in about 20 minutes. Don't ask me why there's a world of difference between a tank top and a t-shirt, but those few extra inches of fabric make all the difference between getting a warm, comfortable night's sleep, or laying wide awake in a fetal position cursing God and listening to my teeth chatter.

2. I usually get up to change the thermostat in the night. I leave it set at 76 degrees all day and most of the night, but when I wake up hot in the middle of the night, I sometimes get up to change it to 75. Later, I'll probably wake up chilly and change it back to 76. I hear you out there thinking, "Um...hey Dumbass. One degree probably makes no difference at all. Why not just turn the overhead fan on instead?" I can't do that because I can't sleep with air blowing directly on me. And stop calling me Dumbass. I refuse to be insulted on my own blog.

3. I can't sleep with any extraneous noise in the room. No radio, no TV, etc. Also, no snoring, which makes my husband a poor candidate for a sleep partner. But if I cram earplugs in my ears and turn on a small bedside fan, I may be able to make it a couple hours before having to wake him up with a gentle karate chop to the skull and asking him to turn over. Then I may be able to make it another hour before the racket resumes, causing me to get up and move to the floor. That little bit of added distance between my ears and his honking make it possible for me to sleep fairly well from that point on. At least, until I wake up for another wardrobe change.

4. I need just the right combination and arrangement of pillows. One medium-fluffy under my head, one unfluffy to put between my knees (when I'm sleeping on my side), or under my knees (when I'm on my back), and one fat-fluffy to put next to me. Plus I need Roe, the teddy bear I've slept with since I was in junior high, to throw an arm over. Many nights I get all snuggled down in bed, nice and comfy, only to realize I'm missing one of these crucial pillows or the aforementioned teddy bear, and I have to get back up and track down the missing component. True, all these accoutrements leave almost no room for my husband to squeeze into the bed, but luckily for me he's only of medium build, and can manage to fit.

5. I need just the right blanket. Usually that means a down comforter, but in the absence of that, I can settle for two or three blankets--just enough to crush a normal person under the sheer weight of them.

6. I need chapstick handy all night. I apply it before I go to bed, but it's likely I will need a reapplication in the night. Otherwise I may be distracted from sleep by the thought of my lips cracking like a baseball glove left out in the sun.

7. I am guaranteed to make at least two, possibly more, bathroom trips. I have a bladder the approximate size of one of those little rubber coin purses your grandpa carries in his pocket. And if I happen to have a couple of glasses of wine on a Saturday night before going to bed, I might as well just haul my pillows, wardrobe change, teddy bear and chapstick into the bathroom and sleep in there.

8. I like to sleep in pitch darkness, which means that even the smallest bit of light is unacceptable. Not only is a nightlight bothersome, but get this: We have a security system on our house which has a control panel in our bedroom. A tiny green dot of light signals to us that the house is "safe," whereas a green blinking dot means that a door or window has been opened. Either way, blinking or not, the green light is there, and though it's only about the size of the head of a nail, it bugs me. I cover it with a small square of black electrical tape so that I can't see it. True, that means we can't tell if the house is "safe" or if a door or window has been opened by a crazed prison escapee who is perhaps even now in the process of rummaging around in our kitchen for just the right knife for cutting my jugular, but let's remember what's important here: A good night's sleep.

In summary, I'm a huge pain in the ass to sleep with. Luckily for me, my husband has no idea. He is so loaded down with great qualities that they're actually coming out of his ears--I've seen it--and among them is the fact that he sleeps like a corpse. He doesn't care if it's 100 degrees or 20 degrees in the room, if the bed is piled precariously high with stuffed animals, pillows and gardening tools, if I get up 75 times or zero times in the night, or if there's a thin cotton sheet or 14 bison pelts covering him. He can sleep fully clothed or dressed only in a pair of Victoria's Secret angel wings (don't judge him), he can sleep in an utterly quiet room or in a bottle cap factory. It's yet another example of the thousands of ways that I'm basically unfit for a relationship, yet my husband is so agreeable and so easy to live with that he doesn't notice. He actually thinks I'm perfect--which, as you and I both know, is preposterous.

But don't tell him any different. I have a good thing going here, and I don't need you ruining it.

40 comments:

OldHorsetailSnake said...

This is beautiful, Karla.

And I spewed when I read "I refuse to be insulted on my own blog." Since it was you who insulted you.

Makes sense to me, somehow.

ZootsMom said...

Well, it is very good that you found your hubby because I don't see you finding anyone else to sleep with. The only one who'll put up with my oddities is my dog and that's because its a king size bed leaving him and me plenty of room :-)

Brian said...

I don't see you finding anyone else to sleep with.

I can't wait for Dyckerson's comment on that one

Crazy MomCat said...

Hilarious--and I totally relate. Except, I'm the opposite. I start off hot and then wake up freezing. So, I dress the the t-shirt and need a parka midway-through the night. Ditto on the pillow allotment too and the snoring, comatose husband.

Have you thought of getting one of those sleep masks for at night? I know it sounds weird, but I started having problems with chronic dry eye and it would wake me up during the night. (We have to have a fan going constantly.) The optomitrist recommended one so the air doesn't blow right on my eye area. It's had a double-benefit as i don't get distracted by the clock, the light outside from our neighbors house, etc.

Caryn said...

This almost exactly describes how I need to sleep, with a few variations. It must be cold. It must be quiet with a fan or other white noise in the background. The fan, if used, must not rattle or face me. I must have three or four pillows, all different sizes and levels of firmness, with long pillowcases. I must cover my alarm clock with a washcloth, because I swear I can see the green glow through my eyelids otherwise. I must have covers so heavy I can barely move beneath them. I must be topped by at least one of my three cats, though my sleep success rate climbs dramatically the more cats who surround me and lie on top of me.

And nothing disturbs my husband. Nothing.

Andrew said...

You are one lucky lady to have a husband like that, at least when it comes to tolerating your self-professed high maintenance sleeping habits. This sounds like it would make a good Dismaying Story on To Love, Honor and Dismay. Thanks for sharing!

Mighty Dyckerson said...

1. Funny, I always pictured you sleeping in nothing but a pair of edible thong underwear.

2. Hey Dumbass, buy a programmable thermostat!

3. Please don't use words like extraneous in your blog. Whaddaya think, I'm smart or something??

4. I'd be happy to come over and fluff your pillows anytime...if you know what I'm saying!

5. I don't have a down comforter, but I do have a comforter with Down's Syndrome. Her name is Cindy.

6. Which set of lips need the Chapstick?

7. While you're at Home Depot getting your programmable thermostat, think about picking up a catheter as well. They're sold in the plumbing dept.

8. As a prison escapee, I take offense at this. I may be slightly disturbed, but I'm not crazed.

Mighty Dyckerson said...

Oh, and Brian - that was way too easy. Dyckerson needs a challenge.

Mighty Dyckerson said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
miss kendra said...

i also require chapstick and an eaily accessible path to the ladies room.

not to mention the primordial dwarves i've hired to sing me lullabies and then fan me gently with a palm leaf all through the night.

Blog-o-licious said...

...add a 20 pound cat to the mix and that is me totally, must be the name thing.

La Boom said...

Yes, but you are my freak...so sleep with as many pillows as you would like.

jules said...

Can you say OCD??????

karen! said...

That's a great story! I can relate to some of that.

Jessica said...

I have an addiction to chapstick. I've resorted to stealing from my own mother to feed my habit. All I can think about is my next fix. If I dig around in my purse only to find that I forgot my chapstick, I get nervous and break out in a sweat.

P.S. So, if I ever make it to TX, I guess I have no shot of sleeping between you and Mr. Karla - it would be a tight fit, what with his "wings" and all.

Anonymous said...

The changing of the thermostat and the changing of clothing... sure you aren't suffering from clasic hot flashes? but, no wait, you're entirely too young for those!

love your blog....

puerileuwaite said...

Karla, I've come to a difficult decision. I just want to be friends. Oh, no ... please don't cry ... for you see, it will only annoy me more ...

gina said...

add a black lab and a valium and you got me pegged!!

Mel said...

i have to sleep with the blankets pulled all the way up to my nose...if my lips aren't covered, i can't sleep. my boyfriend says it looks like i'm going to rob him in the middle of the night.

i also go to sleep cold....freezing... and rub my feet together like a cricket. then i wake up in the morning burning hot. and the first thing i do is kick off the covers and say "HOT!"

oh, and i can't, under any circumstances, sleep with socks on. i dont care how cold it is.

but i still think you have me beat karla

Jodi said...

Um, yeah, what in the world do you do when you go to a hotel? you must have to bring some major luggage along! And how in the heck do you achieve all this with a toddler in the house? Do you lock him in his room or something? My kids STILL get up and wander the house at night. I am lucky if I wake up in my own bed with my very own husband! :)

MBoy said...

happy birthday karla

CommonWombat said...

Similar to your teddy bear, I have a tightly swaddled mexican dwarf that I absolutely cannot sleep without. I find his squirming comforting, but I had to remove his vocal chords because the screaming was keeping me up.

He smells like onions and cilantro.

Happy Birthday, Freak.

The Complimenting Commenter said...

That was a great post. I just want to wish you a very wonderful birthday!

j!! said...

Happy birthday! I got here from the complimenting commenter blog. I love your martini header. Now I'm craving one - is 11am too early to drink? :D

Just Expressing Myself said...

Great post.
I have to have a blanket wrapped round me or I can not sleep.
And I can sleep through any noise but a baby crying.
I get up if I hear a baby crying on the next street.
Take care,
Frances

rebcram said...

How do you get any sleep with all the costume changes, chapstick applications and middle of the night bathroom visits? It's a miracle!

Nocturnal said...

75-76F, damn good numbers; I like sleeping in morgues too.

I hope you guys have tile in your bedroom KB. With all that nighttime foot traffic, your carpet will soon be shot.

Cheers

heidi said...

Seriously, You're married? You'd never make it at my house. I have to climb over a human and a human sized dog to pee at night. Usually I just wear a diaper.

Rob Lowe said...

You're a great writer and a do-gooder. Man, you don't usually see those two together.

I like you.

Rl

geena said...

My God that was like looking in a mirror. Except for the "Dumbass" part. Nobody EVER calls me Dumbass.

Mr. Fabulous said...

You really ARE a freak.

I'm speechless.

kpjara said...

High maintenance even seems a bit understated! It's a wonder you ever actually get to sleep!

Shane said...

i liked the first visual about you being a freak.

The Bard of the Wood said...

What, no hyperbaric chamber or Magic Fingers?

This explains...SO much about you.

Nicole said...

I can relate to #3 -- my husband-to-be snores regularly, and if he's had even a thimble-full of alcohol... watch out! I wake up sore from all the gentle nudging (i.e., karate chops to the head).

For me, one application of chapstick is sufficient for the night, but if my hands feel dry I simply can't sleep. Or exist at all, really.

However, he's the one in our relationship with the pillow and stuffed animal fetish, leaving only a foot-wide sliver of the bed for me and the pooch.

Cash said...

Let me guess; your husband is Job, right?

RM said...

I am also pillow fussy. I have to have this pillow-mountain thing going on. Has to be exactly the right number of pillows, with the right "gradient" and in the right order. Thing is, my unconvientional sleeping positing (get in that typical coffin position then turn hour head 75 degrees to the left) is now killing my back. I dunno what I'm gonna do.... :S:S

BallerinaGurl said...

HAHA I think we would make perfect traveling companions. Hysterical reading all that. I like it pitch dark and quiet. Perhaps a fan running for white noise or the AC. And I like it COLD!! I would love to kiss anyone who decided to invent down comforters. I have a huge one and three small ones on our bed and rarely do I let my husband have but one.

OH I often refer to myself as a Sheet Snob. I love nice bedsheets!!

Came over here by way of one of your friends and love your blog. Hope to see you around.

Dave Morris said...

Happy birthday, dear friend, one day in advance. If life's a big scoreboard, I've just earned major points for being early.

Chief Slacker said...

I'd suggest your hubby get checked for sleep apnea, my dad used to snore so loud when I lived with the ren't I could hear hium down the hall. It was torture when I'd go camping with him. Last year we camped out and he had gotten tested and got this mouth guard to align his jaw while he slept. First night camping last year no sounds at all, second night forgot it and I went and slept in the truck and threatened to super glue it in if he forgot it again.

Yeah, check it out. It might jsut save you from taht horrific hand sprain gone bad jsut waiting to happen with all those light karate cops!