My bedtime migration to the living room was far less dramatic than that of most men. It wasn't the result of a lovers' tiff, late-night impasse or other such bedroom banishment. Nor was my exodus from the quarters of the Queen indicative of a slow erosion of relationship. To put it most simply, one night last summer I fell peacefully, comfortably and wonderfully asleep in my lounger and I've been there ever since!
I'm not missing much. Sleeping with Kristin has never really been all that wonderful anyhow. She has all of these "rules" and if you break one, you're destined to fall asleep with a sheet covering one leg while the other dangles from "your" side of the bed. Even a minor infraction will leave your bottom to act as the ballast that keeps you from falling off the razor-thin sliver of mattress you've been allotted.
When she reads this, she is sure to snort, "They're not really 'rules,' John; they're more like strongly-suggested guidelines."
These guidelines are largely territorial in nature. My wife feels that she is entitled to a very specific amount of space in bed. Never strong in the math department, Kristin defines her "half" of the bed as the width of her body, plus a foot or so on each side. The balance of the mattress (the approximate width of one butt-cheek) belongs to me!
In a recent defense of her bed-hogging ways she claimed to be "pre-menopausal" and therefore required the extra space to modulate her body temperature.
"Hmmm, pre-menopausal," I said gripping my chin thoughtfully. "I think you might be on to something there."
"Really?" she chirped.
"As a matter of fact, I'd say it's undeniable!"
"How do you know?" she asked, her eyes widening.
"Simple: Any woman who has not yet reached menopause is by definition 'pre' menopausal. You've been pre-menopausal since the day you were born!"
Kristin's "temperature modulation" seemed to prove particularly troublesome during the summer and was fraught with episodes of blanket-piling and blanket-flinging. I felt like a magician's rabbit at an all-night rehearsal. Cape on, cape off. Now you see him, now you don't! Finally, I simply disappeared!
I've found life on the La-Z-Boy to be quiet, comfortable and supremely restful. Here there are no guidelines. I can add or subtract blankets at will. I can leave my reading light on as long as I like. I can drink beer, eat pretzels and pile both my dogs onto my lap. Best of all, I can eat up as much real estate as I like and no one says a word, although the dogs can get a little fidgety if they get too near the edge. They are, after all, both female and most certainly, by Kristin's definition, prone to the tormenting symptoms of pre-menopause.
With the arrival of chilly nights in the past few weeks I've enjoyed the added bonus of drifting off to dreamland before a roaring fire in the hearth with nary a blanket as long as the dogs are positioned properly across my legs.
On a recent evening, as Kristin departed the fireside for her distant and chilly sleeping quarters, I sensed a wee bit of envy and took the opportunity to extoll the virtues of sleeping in what I've come to call my "caveman configuration."
"Sorry, Honey," I said. "It would never work for you. What you see here is a guideline-free zone!"