Okay, show of hands. How many of you who sleep with another human being on a regular basis have a dedicated side of the bed? (No, the cats and/or dogs don't count because everybody knows the dogs always take the middle and the cats sleep on your head).
Before you get married, people tell you that you'll argue about money and who does the dishes and the laundry and the whole toilet seat up or down thing, but nobody warns you about the hand-to-hand combat over who gets which side of the bed. After twenty three years you'd think we'd have this settled, but we've always been a little slow.
To start with, neither of us really cared all that much. I ended up with the left side of the bed. Then, just when I got settled in, we switched bedrooms. (This was back in South Dakota when we actually had such a thing as a spare bedroom. My husband says the longer he's married to me, the smaller our houses get. I say we're trying to reduce our carbon footprint. He says...well, we won't get into that.)
Anyway, in the new bedroom the right side of the bed was closest to the door. As a new bride I came equipped with a red tick coonhound named Weezy who didn't believe in drinking water from a bowl. She'd get up in the middle of the night, wander into the bedroom and shove her nose in my face, her way of asking me to come turn the bathtub faucet on for her. The first night we slept in the new room she strolled in and slurped the ear of the person closest to the door. My husband was not amused. I was immediately relocated to the right side of the bed.
This lasted for a couple of years. Then one day I roped a calf in our practice arena and my breakaway hondo malfunctioned, and instead of the rope flinging harmlessly off to the side it zinged straight back and nailed my mare, Scotty, in the nose. She reared and fell over and I landed on my elbow, doing bad things to the bursa and tendons in my shoulder. Suddenly, laying on my right side was not an option and I am incapable of facing toward the middle of the bed while sleeping. Once again we swapped sides of the bed.
We stuck with this arrangement for about a dozen years, despite my campaign to swap sides after our son was born, my side being the one closest to his crib. Then we moved back to Montana, into my parents' bunkhouse, in which the bedroom was originally my grandfather's chicken coop. The roof slants down to the point where the north wall is only four feet tall. After driving his head into the ceiling several times in the middle of the night, Greg begged me to switch sides, which was fine by me because my side was by the door and our son was in his get up at 2 a.m. with leg cramps stage. Sorry, honey, you're closer.
Then Greg got his hip replaced and couldn't lay on his left side so we had to switch again. That lasted just over a year.
At the beginning of this past summer I had one of those female surgeries that plunge you into instant menopause, complete with hot flashes and night sweats. I happened to notice on chilly nights I slept better. And then I realized that, thanks to our crumbling foundation and prevalent north wind, the left side of the bed is always colder, so I made him trade me spots.
So here we are, back where we started. Who knows how long this will last. All I can say it, thank God we never had bunk beds.
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