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National Editorials & Columns

Sleeping with the enemy

I have been married to Christine for three months and the thing I can’t stand about being married the most are people who insistently ask me if I enjoy married life. They ask it in this condescending, self-satisfying tone like they are half expecting me to answer that marriage is terrible.

So naturally the crash course of such conversations eventually leads such people to inquire if there are any annoying habits, quirks or behaviors that Christine exhibits frequently that get under my skin. Um, I lived with her for three years. It wasn’t like Christine waited until the marriage certificate was signed, sealed and delivered before she started using my shaving cream, wearing all my good shirts, clogging the shower drain or constantly complaining that I leave the toilet seat up.

I mean, so what? I leave the toilet seat up. As a man I hardly see how that is a big deal.

Fact of the matter is I love being married. It’s better than anything in the world and let me tell you why. I don’t mean this in a chauvinistic way, but food doesn’t purchase and prepare itself you know. She washes my clothes. She cleans up my messes. She picks up my toys when I leave them scattered on the living room floor.

And besides, nothing beats the obligation of consensual sex.

No, I love being married, and to be honest there isn’t a single thing about Christine that bothers me. Those things were discovered long ago. I accept Christine just the way she is — so long as she is conscious.

Once she’s unconscious, specifically asleep, she can be a real nightmare.

Christine is one of those people who worries about falling asleep and falls asleep faster than pulling a plug out of a power outlet. Head to bed — boom. She is asleep, out to the world around her. Many nights I toss and turn and to provide myself entertainment I oftentimes turn and watch Christine sleep, which I realize is quite unnerving.

To Christine sleeping isn’t sleeping. To Christine slumbering is a full-body contact sport. She throws more kicks and elbows than a sanctioned MMA fight. She doesn’t saw logs, she chainsaws them with both hands. At this point I would be better served by wearing a mouth guard and shin guards to bed. Maybe even a cup.

No, definitely a cup.

The worst thing about it is Christine is so bony. When she accidentally and repeatedly elbows me in the ribs it feels like I’m being the recipient of a prison knifing.

But flailing around like a crazy woman when she sleeps is just the start of it. She talks in her sleep, too. Talking isn’t even the right word for it. It sounds like someone speaking coherently in tongues, and most of the time I can only make out one distinct word. Last night she was carrying on and I could only make out the word “doughnut.”

Against my better judgment I am choosing to inform you that Christine is an Olympian drooler. This isn’t an exaggeration, nor is it hyperbole. She could easily drown herself or me (perhaps even the two of us) to death with the volumes of drool she salivates in her slumber. One time she fell asleep with her cell phone near her head. She drooled so much that she crippled the circuit board with her saliva and rendered the technological apparatus immobile.

Thankfully, her new cell phone is protected in a drool-proof case.

But what I can’t stand is her love of the snooze button. It’s called an alarm clock, not a sleep-a-little-bit-longer machine. I fail to see the point of getting an extra five minutes of sleep after hard rock anthems have blasted out my eardrums, but that’s just me.

So do I enjoy being married?

It’s a dream come true — almost.

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