April 10th, 2007


Detaching From Filth: How to Adapt to Standard Living Conditions

tags:sleep, interior decorating, comedy writing

Sometimes our attachment to the familiar interferes with positive change.

For most of the time since I've slept in my wife's house, I've slept on the couch. Not as punishment, although I earn a fare share of that. I sleep on the couch because I get better sleep there than anywhere else in the house. My wife and I can't share a bed: I snore and she flails her arms when she shifts in bed.

When I moved into the house, I started sleeping in the upstairs front bedroom, until my wife couldn't take the traffic and dog noise in the rear bedroom so we switched bedrooms. So my wife took the front bedroom and I slept in the basement, until the spiders and the cold finally drove me back to the rear bedroom. Only by then we had replaced the ceiling fan with a chandelier, so the heat in combination with the dogs and the traffic sent me to the couch.

Couches aren't for sleeping, especially ones with cloth upholstery, and certainly not for someone over 6 feet and 270 pounds. Soon the couch had the stink of absorbing what my large masculine frame dissipates overnight. An upholstered couch infused with man-funk spoils the ambience of a living room.

I volunteerred to steam-clean the couch, but my wife says she's allergic to the cleaning fluid. She told me that we need a house where she can have a floot free of my man-funk, so I've been trying to sleep in the master bedroom.

So far I haven't slept much. The room looks beautiful. Shabby chic dressers and mirror. Worn, side tables of just the right size. It doesn't look too feminine or masculine. The four-poster bed is comfortable. Maybe that's the problem.

Maybe after seven years between boarding school and college of waking up in army cots on linoleum floors, I need the familiarity of a utilitarian hovel. I'm going to try to stick it out, try to endure the beauty and comfort and the sleepless nights it causes until my need for sleep overwhelms my habituation to discomfort and filth. Every marriage requires compromise.

As always, tell me what you think.

Basil White