Many people who think they know me figure I’m a laid back kind of guy, take things in stride, try not to get too up or down no matter what happens.
Of course they’re wrong. I’m as much a bundle of nervous anxiety as the next guy, but it’s a style I’ve cultivated long enough to get away with it, on the surface anyway.
I also like to think I’m as open to new things and changes as the next modern person in this fast-changing universe of ours but deep down I know I’ve got a comfort zone a couple kilometres wide, which hit home with a vengeance the other night.
You see, my wife, in one of her silly moods (at least that’s what I call it cause, well, I’m a guy after all) insisted on switching sides of the bed before a long winter’s nap (otherwise known as bed time).
Of course being the easy-going, loving husband I am, I fought it ferociously.
“I just want to go to sleep,” I proclaimed grumpily.
“Me too, so sleep over there,” she giggled, pointing to what has always up until now been her side of the bed.
“But that’s the wrong side,” I fought back but growing very weary of the level of debate and the inevitableness of losing to her and the prospect of actually hitting the sheets anytime soon.
“It’s actually the left side and it’s all yours,” she smiled, at least in my mind she smiled as it was too dark to tell but I certainly didn’t like her attitude.
“Fine. If I’m not asleep in 10 minutes you’re going off the side of the bed,” I idly threatened knowing I’d lost yet another battle of the wills.
“Right. Sweet dreams,” she said.
I think I withheld the nightly peck on the lips to show my dissatisfaction as I began to realize silence was now my best line of defence.
“Is the alarm set OK,” she asked.
It was, I smiled, but refused to answer.
Yet another reason why I should be on that side of the bed, I thought, cause only I know that it is actually set, although thanks to being on the wrong side of the bed I can’t do my usual three or four paranoid checks to see if it’s still working or not.
But seeing how I can’t do anything about it and letting her worry about it for a change was actually kind of OK.
And, hey, the cat’s on her, formally my, side of the bed as usual so I’ve got extra room to stretch out for a change.
And, gee, the ceiling looks different from this side of the bed, and the bathroom’s closer and the frost-covered window is further away and the phone’s on her side with all the possibilities that presents. It’s a whole new world.
As I start to relax and feel much better about my predicament I start to wonder why I insist on being on the other side of the bed all the time. Well, my two books, four or five newspapers and 26 magazines, all unread at this point, are on that side, but, hey, on this side there’s no guilt about that fact, at least for now.
It’s then I begin to realize it’s a comfort zone thing, which we probably cling to even more when we’re searching for the elixir of life called sleep.
I really, really, really like my sleep and I like to think I’m pretty good at it. Which sounds kind of funny but I know there’s plenty of people out there who would give up anything, even their side of the bed, to get a wonderful night’s sleep.
So when someone, even my wife, tries to mess with my sleeping pattern I get a little owly. Most of you can probably relate, but do you know what? I slept fine. Good, in fact.
Sure I did a slow burn for awhile at losing yet another debate to my wife but it opened my eyes, yes it’s an ironic expression in this instance, to how much a victim of habit I truly am and maybe lightening up a little and trying different things might do me a world of good.
But of course that would mean admitting my wife was right about something when really she was just trying to prove some silly point.
Nah. Next thing you’ll know she’ll want control of the TV remote. Not going to happen.