The Survival Clause of the Marriage Contract

>> Friday, March 12, 2010

One of the trickiest things I am finding about being a blogger is how much can I out my friends and family before they get offended. You might tell me that I should write how I feel and (insert your expletive of choice) my family and friends, but you don't have sit around the Thanksgiving dinner table with them, and you don't need them to babysit. I do. So, I really do not want to offend. I love these people. (Well, most of them, at least.)

I have a few guidelines I use:

1. If the person is dead, the worst they can do is haunt me from the grave, and I'm willing to take that risk. So far, so good.

2. I can write whatever I want to about Toddler until he is old enough to read. Then I will find a way to make a new rule.

3. If the person can't remember doing it (e.g., alcohol), it's their own fault and they are fair game. After all, how can they be upset if they don't know I'm talking about them?

With those guidelines, I can usually filter what I can write about and what I should keep to myself. Trying to apply these rules to my Darling Husband sometimes is difficult, though. Let's take things that happen after we go to bed. (Oh, please! Your momma would wash your brain out with lye soap for thinking that! Step back away from the gutter. Back ... back ... further back. Now stay there and don't move.)

Darling Husband is one of those people who can sleep anywhere, at anytime. He can function to a small degree when completely unconscious and remembers nothing about it mere moments later. So, on the theory that he doesn't remember it, I should be able to tell you, right? On the other hand, it's hard to disguise that I'm talking about Darling Husband. I mean, you would think I've totally gone off the deep end if I started telling you about this random friend of whose sleeping habits I am intimately aware ... or you'd begin to wonder about what I'm doing with my nights, right? (Although I will take this sentence to note that I actually DO have a friend who sleeps so hard he cannot be woken up without a sonic boom. I know this because he fell asleep on my couch once. And his wife told me, too.)

So, here is the story. If I get in trouble for telling it, I hope one of you will open up your homes and take me in.

The other night I woke up in the dark to a splitting headache. I didn't go to bed with a headache, but there it was, waking me out of a sound sleep. The pain was in my frontal lobe area, right above my ocular interface. You know -- my forehead. Now, when I go to bed, usually the circumstances have to be pretty dire before I am willing to get back up. If I could, trust me, I would pay for someone else to go to the bathroom for me so I could stay in bed. You will understand, then, what I must have been feeling to stagger out of bed and find some pain killers. After finding and carefully identifying said pills through the pain, I staggered back to bed, fell asleep again, and woke up to no change. My head still hurt, only this time, it was worse, and I was feeling a tad queasy. Middle of the night migraine? I didn't even care, just MAKE IT STOP!

By this point I was afraid to move far, much less leave the bed, so I reached my hand out and tapped Darling Husband. "Honey, I need help. My head really, really hurts. Can you help me?"

"Sure," he mumbled and promptly began scratching my back. Darn it, he wasn't awake. He was in that survival state of semi-conciousness that some people develop to deal with the people who want to talk to them while they are sleeping. "Honey!"

"What? I'm helping!"

"Darling, how on earth does scratching my back help with my headache?" (Not that I mind a good back scratch -- let's not be mistaken about that!)

"What headache?"

Finally I woke him up enough to help me figure out what other medicines I could take without interfering with what I already took, and he went and got them for me, along with a drink. What a nice man he is. (That is what my grandmother used to say. "What a nice man." She said that all 6 times she met him. Sadly, she never remembered any of the prior times, but at least each time she thought he was a very nice man. Now ... if she comes back to haunt me, I'll let you know.)

Once Darling Husband is actually fully awake, he is all the clarity and help anyone could ever ask for. Figuring out that he is talking in his sleep is always the challenge. My clues usually come from the nonsensical responses. "Honey, did you hear that? Do you think Toddler is okay?" "I'm sure the cats are downstairs," he might say. That's a clue. Did you catch it?

So, you tell me. Is it fair game to tell this kind of story? I guess I will let you know that, too.


ASK March 14, 2010 at 12:56 PM  

I think that your rules are reasonable and clear without being overly restrictive. I was intrigued by the line about the person who is difficult to wake up - sounds like my kind of guy.

MOLLYC March 14, 2010 at 3:46 PM  

Twenty years ago, if I woke my husband suddenly, he would want sex. Now, if I jolt him out of sleep, he just gets out of bed and goes downstairs to feed the cats...

Karin Kysilka March 16, 2010 at 8:49 PM  

ASK -- I suspect that difficult to wake man is EXACTLY your kind of guy.

MOLLYC -- I'm not certain, but we may wish to investigate whether we married the same man.

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