By June Mathews
This month marks 34 years I’ve been sharing a bed with Jimmie (For those of you who don’t know who Jimmie is, he’s my husband, so sharing a bed with him is perfectly OK).
That means it’s been just a little less than 34 years that I discovered Jimmie can be awfully entertaining when he’s asleep.
I remember well the moment I discovered this. We were still living in our first home together, a tiny townhouse with the most appalling multi-colored shag carpet you’ve ever seen (I made the mistake of allowing Jimmie to rent us a place on his own; otherwise, I never would have agreed to live with that ugly carpet).
It was midsummer, and the air conditioner was broken. The apartment manager had been promising to get it fixed for two days, but ours wasn’t the only unit on the blink. Thus, the resident handyman was quite busy. We understood the delay, but our patience was running thin.
The upstairs level was stifling, and for me, sleep just wasn’t happening. But Jimmie, who can fall asleep any time, anywhere and under any conditions, was snoozing away. Plus he’s always been a bed hog.
“Move over!” I hissed, not really thinking my low volume demand would do any good. He had to be at work early the next day, and I didn’t want to wake him. But to my amazement, Jimmie rolled over to his side of the bed without breaking his rhythmic snore.
Had to be a coincidence, I thought, but I leaned closer.
“Move over!” I whispered in his ear.
Again, Jimmie slid closer to the edge of the bed and kept on snoring.
I briefly thought about seeing if I could move him off the bed and onto the floor, but I knew that would likely cause more problems than it would solve. So deciding to leave well enough alone, I stretched out on my side of the bed – and a little bit of his – he was no longer using it, after all – and finally dropped off to sleep.
I awoke the next morning realizing I’d stumbled upon a potentially amusing bit of information about my new husband. But I knew I’d have to use it carefully if I didn’t want him to make him nervous about what I might do.
But really, what could he do about it? Stay awake 24 hours a day? Hardly. Even back then, Jimmie could barely make it through the 10 o’clock news without dozing off. As for me, however, that’s often when the show begins.
For example, the first time Norma Rae ran on TV, Jimmie fell asleep early on. So by the time it got to the scene near the end of the movie where Norma Rae leans over to speak to her sleeping son, Jimmie had been snoozing for a while. But he evidently wasn’t sleeping soundly enough to keep him carrying on a fairly lucid conversation with Sally Field.
“Honey, wake up,” she said from the screen.
“OK,” said Jimmie, nodding his head.
“Wake up, sugar, I wanna talk to you,” she continued.
“OK,” he said again.
This went on until I could no longer contain myself and woke him up by getting so tickled I spewed Dr. Pepper across the room.
While some wives might take offense to a husband who falls asleep so easily in her presence as my husband does in mine, I learned a long time ago to make the best of it, sometimes even taking advantage of the opportunity to entertain myself at his expense
No, I’ve never done the shaving-cream-in-the-hand bit or stuck his hand in warm water. I don’t have to. All I have to do is watch and listen, and sooner or later, he’ll do or say something worth waiting for.
But do me a favor: Please don’t tell him I told you all this. It might ruin his sleep, and I’d feel bad about that.
And I’d feel even worse if it ruined my fun.