2007.01.24 Read it and weep

Written by David Green.

By COLLEEN LEDDY

My sleeping pattern is beginning to irritate my husband. When left to my own devices, my body inclines toward bedding down at 4 a.m. and waking at noon. This schedule harkens back to college days when I rarely took morning classes. I knew in high school that I would never realize my lifelong dream to be a farmer when, finally given the opportunity to work on a farm, I cringed daily when awakened at 5:30 a.m.

David might not mind my habits so much if I just slipped quietly and unobtrusively into bed, but most nights, especially in the winter, I create a disturbance as I trip over laundry baskets or knock a pile of clothes off my dresser as I add my recently removed sweatshirts and scarf to the mess. And then I fiddle around my bedside table looking for my bed socks. It takes a while for my eyes to adjust to the darkness and I usually send my reading lamp or a box of tissues to the floor as I feel around for the socks.

My feet are freezing, heck, my whole body is ice cold, and I don’t want to shock the heck out of David as I ease my way under the covers. But try as I might, I almost never fail to wake him out of his slumber. In my defense, he is an incredibly light sleeper. Even when I am as quiet as the proverbial mouse, even if he is snoring like a bear in winter, just my mere presence seems to wake him.

It was 5:30 in the morning last week and I had just snuggled into bed. I was deep under the feathers when the idea for a summer reading program theme hit me. The general topic at the library this summer is food and I’ve been kicking around several catchy phrases for several months now, but this was a really good one.

“Read it and eat!” I said aloud, delighted with myself. David had been stirring, so I figured he was awake.

“Read it and eat.”

“Read it and eat.”

“Read it and eat.”

“I don’t have any paper up here,” I said. “I’ve got to remember it. Read it and eat. Read it and eat.”

“Shut up and sleep!” David responded groggily.

I know he’s getting annoyed.

“I want to hear you make a pledge about when you’re going to go to bed tonight,” David said amiably Sunday night after I’d been consistently climbing into bed around 3:00 and 4:00 in the morning.

“I’m gonna try to go to bed at 1:00,” I said, “but I might be in the middle of something.”

“Just put it down and go to bed,” he advised.

“You’ve been married to me for almost 25 years...” I reminded him.

“Yeah, but I slept through most of those years,” he said.

I laughed, but I made a very concerted effort to go to bed early Sunday night. I made it by 1:30, but, unable to sleep, read until 2:30. And then I had the most bizarre dreams. I woke at 9:00 feeling as if I had never slept at all. This early-to-bed business just doesn’t sit well with me.

I will keep trying because I love my husband and he is good to me. Just this evening when I was making dinner and complained of a pounding headache, he retrieved the aspirin for me so I wouldn’t have to dry my hands.

And, in anticipation of frying smells, he offered to replace the nice jacket I had on with the more casual one hanging in the bathroom. We’re always trying to avoid smelling like fried onions.

“It’s the pink one,” I said, referring to a pink sweatshirt with a zippered fleece inside—a double layer against the cold of our house.

As he put the pink sweatshirt through one arm while I pulled cloves of garlic from the bulb, I noticed the inside layer was missing.

“What about the orange one that goes inside?” I asked

He muttered something about pulling that one out because I asked for the pink one, but went to retrieve it

“If you think this is orange...” he started, as he brought it into the kitchen.

“Don’t argue with me,” I warned, head still pounding. “I think I may have a cerebral hemorrhage.”

“There’s not enough cerebral to hemorrhage,” he countered.

He is right, of course. The inside fleece is more maroon than orange. But I’ve moved on to the chopping stage and I’m holding the knife.

    - Jan. 24, 2007 
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