Funny Bone: Fighting for our side of the bed!
Does your wife violate the territorial boundaries in your bed, too?
You know, growing up early in India, my sleeping comforts monotonically increased as I graduated from having to sleep on dirt floor (made of earth) in the hut in my village to concrete floor in Durgapur and then cots (or as we used to call “khat”). However, I had to share one cot with my two siblings.
But then I got a cot all to myself – although a very small one – when I moved to a residential school and that status remained thru college, post graduation and my first job in Bombay.
And then I moved to the US. Also, I got married. And then came the next step jump in bed sizes. For the first time, I learnt that I can buy “Twin”, “Fullsize”, “Queen” and “King”. And as Sharmila and I found financial footing in this country and grew up together, we kept on climbing the pyramid of bed chain too. And then I reached the pinnacle of that bed chain pyramid – a King size bed when we moved to Atlanta. And that is when all my problems started.
A King size bed is essentially two beds. And that suited me fine. Because I wanted my space. By this time, I was spending three nights every week in some Marriott bed. And I absolutely got used to that personal space. I could spread my hands and legs like that Leonardo da Vinci picture – you know where it has the picture of bearded man with two sets of hands and legs as if he is flapping? Like that. Without any beard though 🙂 That would go well only with a name like Rajib da Vinci or something like that 🙂
You can imagine my shock then when I realized in the very first night that Sharmila had no intentions of respecting the territorial boundaries. I would stick to my side of the bed – in fact very close to the edge to signal that I fully intend to respect her side of the territory. But throwing all such caution to the winds, she would just roll over to my side and go off to sleep.
And then I would spend numerous hours awake doing the math in my mind on how much total bed space is wasted in this country every night or for that matter how I wasted half the money I spent on that bed. I strongly resisted the urge to call up the store to see if they have a “Buy one, Return half” scheme or something equivalent 🙂
I certainly promised to take her as my lawfully wedded wife. And I also remember of having promised to take her in the holy state of matrimony. But I am quite sure – thanks to some deft Google searching – that I never promised to take her on my side of the bed! Forget marriage vows. We need a Geneva pact for marriages 🙂
I had heard that offense is the best defense. So, I tried various tactics. Started with some very subtle ones. For example, I would lay down very close to the Equator (imaginary line down the middle of the bed) and then in a swift move would shift to my edge. Quickly I realized, I am not the only one capable of that maneuver. Then the tactics became not so subtle. For example, I drew a chalk mark down the middle of the mattress one night 🙂 Finally, I would sacrifice all semblance of subtlety and just push her hard. If she was awake, she would yell (I would pretend to sleep and claim I was pushing something in my dreams). If she was asleep, she would wake up. Repeat the previous to previous sentence here 🙂
I have tried cajoling her, talking to her, increasing my travel to Marriott – really, short of marriage counseling, I think I have done everything. I still stand completely violated on my side of the bed.
Then one fateful night, I came back home from business travel totally exhausted. Everybody was asleep. She was on her side. Again, I repeat, she was asleep and on her side. I quickly changed and snuck on to my side of the bed. There must some kind of psychic powers she has. Under thirty seconds, she rolled over to my side. I was so perturbed that I sat up. And then shook her and woke her up. She asked me “What?”. I politely pointed to her side of the bed and excitedly asked her if we were expecting more company that night 🙂
That night I slipped a few rungs on the pyramid of bed-chain. Sofas can be tough on my back 🙂