A fellow military spouse once told me that I reminded her of Lucille Ball’s character in the iconic 1960s television show, “I Love Lucy.” I’m a throwback kind of gal, so I took the comparison as a generous compliment.
However, although I can totally relate to Lucy as a scatterbrained housewife, yearning to make it in showbiz (well, writing anyway) and I think I’d look fabulous with a fiery ginger up-do, hot red lipstick, and a crinolined polka dot dress, Lucy had one thing I only dream about.
Lucy slept in a twin bed.
Insignificant detail, you say? Well then, why was Lucy so darned bright-eyed and bushy-tailed while I grope through my days in a perpetually drowsy fog? It’s the twin bed, I tell you.
Despite her ditzy disposition, Lucy was smarter than you think. She knew better than to snuggle up to snoring Desi night after night. When it was time to get her 40 winks, she did it right, snoozing soundly, all the way across the room. I, on the other hand, climb into bed each night with my husband of 20 years, and pray that I can manage to squeeze in five meager hours of shuteye over the racket of my husband’s rattling airways, located mere inches from my eardrums.
Mercifully, my husband is not a snorer who continually emits the decibel equivalent of a gas-powered buzz saw night after night. He is an inconsistent snorer, producing anything from mild wheezing, to mattress-vibrating snorting, and every buzz, rumble, snuffle and gasp in between.
Some evenings, my husband’s slackened sinuses project nothing more than a steady nose whistle punctuated by soft snorts here and there, and I am able to get a decent night’s sleep using a strategic combination of earplugs, elbowing and whispering, “Honey, turn on your side!” But typically, his snoring is more relentless, waking me several times throughout the night and turning my mornings into something out of “Dawn of the Living Dead.”
And on evenings when my husband makes the mistake of partaking in scotch and cigars with our base neighbors around our fire-pit, his snoring is so loud that I have been known to grab my pillows and retreat to the silence of our living room couch.
Recently, a Finnish study found that women who suffer from chronic sleep deprivation have significantly impaired ability to maintain peak cognitive performance. Furthermore, current headlines read “For snoring spouses, separate beds may save marriage,” “More couples getting ‘sleep divorces’,” and “When happily ever after means separate beds.” It seems that, scientifically, twin beds might be good for our relationship.
But the problem is, I can’t help but feel guilty when I stomp off to sleep on the couch.
Lucy and Desi got away with it, but in today’s society, sleeping in separate beds gives the impression that there’s something wrong in the marriage. As much as I secretly love to have our bed to myself when my Navy husband is away from home, I’m not willing to suggest that we trade in our queen for a of couple twins.
So, instead of Lucy’s hot red lipstick, I will apply concealer to the bags under my eyes, and hope that, despite my chronically impaired cognitive performance, I will remember that love is definitely worth losing sleep over.