Monday 8 December 2008

Simple rules for happy bedtimes.

I'm an easy-going kind of guy. You can tell that, right?
I like to think that in each and every one of these poisonous rants I make about my nearest and dearest and the wider world in general, you still get a sense of my general good-nature and tolerance. I hope that despite the bitterness and bile running through each of my posts, they still sparkle with a sense of fun. You've no doubt built a picture of me in your head: venting pure venom onto the Internet, sure - but in real life chuckling all the time, smiling at kittens, giving flowers to orphans, etc, etc. The very model of kind-hearted, fair-minded reason.
And of course, that picture of me is (barring one or two tiny inaccuracies that aren't worth dwelling on) entirely correct. Well done, you. Clever reader.

With that picture in mind, it will no doubt be a mystery to you (as it is to me) why my wife is so damn unreasonable about the few silly, minor little requests I make of her when we share a bed. Let me list them for you:

1) No socks in bed. Look, let's face it: nobody looks good wearing socks in bed. Not Cindy Crawford, not Jennifer Aniston*, and not you. Not even me, and I have the body of a Greek God**. Socks collect fluff and sweat and grubbiness and do not in any way set the mood. Also, when you wear socks in bed, you have a tendency to touch my leg with your foot, and the sensation is not unlike being rubbed with a dead snake***.

2) No complaining about the ledge. To combat the fact that sometimes it is so cold that you really do need to wear socks in bed, I have developed the (Patent Pending) 'ledge' method of warming the feet, whereby the bottom 6 inches of the duvet are curled under the rest of the bedclothes, forming a handy envelope or 'ledge' of toasty double-thickness duvet goodness that will thaw even the most frozen of extremities. It is very clear to me that this method of bedtime footwarming represents the future, and as a result I do not want to hear any petty complaints about your neck being cold because the duvet is now 6 inches shorter than it should be, or that I thrash around dementedly at night destroying the ledge in the process, or that the ledge is in fact 'a bit shit'. The ledge has worked well enough for me for some 35 years, and it's not my fault you have a circulatory system so lazy that it can't be bothered to pump blood down to your feet.

3) I will not budge on the 'no socks in bed' rule. Putting your icy cold feet on the small of my back and crying 'corpse footprint' when I am trying to sleep will not do anything except harden my resolve. Also, despite your long-held belief to the contrary, it is not funny.

4) It is not your duvet. It is jointly owned, and should be shared. The basic, long-established way of sharing a duvet is to both lie underneath it, with an equal share going to both parties. Granted, duvets do not tend to come with illustrated 'instructions for use', but if they did, I can assure you they would not show a picture of one person making furtive 'bicycling' movements until the entire thing had collected around their legs in a big mound, like some kind of pyjama-clad dung beetle.
It's a King-size duvet on a standard size bed, I only really need a third of it - so if you could find it in yourself to share at least that much of it with me, it would drastically reduce the risk of me dying of hypothermia in the night. Since our children do their best to ensure I don't actually sleep, having the goal of 'not freezing to death' while in my own bed seems very little to ask...

5) The stripy pillow is my pillow. Look, you already took the whole damn duvet - how many times to have to tell you, the stripy pillow is mine? Stop taking it. And stop trying to tell me that I 'got confused about this years ago and have always been wrong about this' and that it's in fact yours. And when you have inevitably stolen it, and I have somehow managed to fall asleep despite the crick in my neck, stop waking me up to give it back when you mysteriously find it is 'too lumpy for your head'.

6) Whatever I say/do in my sleep is beyond my control and nothing I should be held accountable for. Activities that fall into this category include, but are not limited to: fidgeting, snoring, belching, breaking wind or weeping quietly at the unfairness of it all.

7) I do not want to hear about your dreams. My dreams are those of a broken man. The most recent that I can recall with any clarity consisted of me running, terrified, through a surging stream, trying to carry each of our hysterical children in my arms, while a menacing horse with the face of lion stalked us from the riverbank, shouting "I'm going to eat you, little chickens". I awoke, somehow drenched in sweat despite the mysterious disappearance of all my bedclothes during the night, in a state of primal panic.
That was the point at which you thought you would share your own dream with me, in which you and Gary Barlow, lead singer of Take That, opened a bakery together - and subsequently became famous because you could 'bake pies that contained any filling in the world', including intangible things like 'music' or 'hope'.
I don't want to hear about that. Nobody wants to hear about that. It's just twisted.

* Doubtless there exists, somewhere on the Internet, a series of images that will cause me to question this long-held belief, but I am typing this on a family computer and Google Safe Search will be staying on.
**More specifically, that of Bacchus/Dionysus, god of wine, beer-bellies and the overactive production of nighttime flatus.
*** Yes, as a matter of fact I have been rubbed with a dead snake, so am speaking from a position of authority.


Anonymous said...

This all sounds too chillingly close to the bone for me, for I too am married to a duvet winch.

I find retaliating with organic, home grown methane often helps.

Anonymous said...

I have formulated a plan to avoid any such problems - staying single!!!!