The biggest problem in my marriage is this: once a month (or thereabouts), M knocks over a giant glass of water which rests on his nightstand. The water douses everything around it. While this is happening, I usually play dead — so that I do not have to get up and help him mop up the water with whatever he can find lying around. I do not play dead because I am mean-spirited, or even lazy. I play dead because if I open my eyes, I will be awake for the night.
I am not a sleeper. If something wakes me up in the middle of the night (which I define as anywhere between 11.30 and everything that comes after it), I do not go back to sleep. I go thorough stages of resistance and acceptance and usually end up on the coach downstairs, watching TV, reading, or listening to a podcast. I know that I am not alone, and therefore, I won’t bore you with any more of the details of my sleeplessness.
Last night I tempted fate. As we headed to sleep, I said to M — I really hope you knock your water over tonight, because that is the only way you’ll throw out all the piles of random paper shit you have next to your bed. I do not exaggerate about these piles. It looks like a small mountain range of random magazines, bills, circulars, printouts and whatever else he can find in the house. Nobody touches the piles because M knows the contents of each one and can tell if we’ve been messing around. The only way those piles disappear is when they are soaked beyond saving.
Hence, I have come to rely on the monthly spillage.
Last night at three, I heard a CRASH. Then I heard, “OH SHIT.” I played dead. Very dead. Minutes later, spillage mopped, M falls back to sleep.
I have been up ever since.
I got some writing and editing done. I gardened by moonlight (really, I did! It’s awesome! You should all try it!) and I even gave myself a manicure (a lot less successful, but what can you do?) But when M woke up, I was in no mood for him. I yelled at him for taking a leisurely shower (Seriously? Fifteen minutes on a weekday?) and just about everything else. His face looked like it did in the early days of our marriage when I was mad at him, and expected him to know EXACTLY WHY I was mad, but refused to tell him. It goes without saying that his lack of inherent knowledge only made me madder.
We are about to hit our 20 year mark, and if I don’t get some sleep, our marriage may very well come full circle.
(Here is his nightstand AFTER it has been cleaned up. It is somewhat disconcerting to see that M sleeps with a hammer next to his bed. Also, I am very confused about the canoe escape pamphlet. Maybe I should be more helpful in the middle of the night.)