My wife won’t let me sleep. I don’t know why, I just know that that she won’t let me sleep.
Maybe she believes that sleep deprivation makes me more compliant. Or maybe she is trying to kill me and doesn’t want me to see it coming. Whatever the long game is for her, I haven’t figured it out. My wife is intelligent, driven, and ultimately willing to do whatever it takes to reach her goals. She is also devious and patient. She does not mind playing it slow when she knows it will end in her favor.
I don’t think I am being hysterical or overly dramatic when I make this claim. The fact that it is happening is incontrovertible. But, why do I think she is doing it on purpose? Well, let me walk you through her routine and I’ll let you decide for yourself if it sounds intentional or not.
It starts in the evening. My wife often works late, so several nights each week she gets home in time to eat, put away some dishes, pick up the piles of debris I have been carefully building all day, and then maybe sit down for five minutes to watch some television with me before it is time for bed. As soon as we crawl under the covers, she will turn to me and ask me how my day was. This is how the whole grueling ritual begins.
I tell her it was fine. She then presses for details, so I usually say something like, I ate too much pudding and watched a couple movies on the tv. She is still not satisfied with this response, so she will ask, “Anything else?” To which I say, “Did I mention the part about the pudding?”
Next, she wants to tell me about what she did during her day. My response is generally along the lines of, “Dammit, woman! Stop talking and let me go to sleep already, you harpy!”
Not really. I not only want to sleep through the night, I would like to live through it as well. But, I think you can start to see what I’m up against.
As bad as the evenings are, the mornings are infinitely worse. My wife sets her alarm for 4:15 AM every morning so she can “go work out.” That’s what she claims anyway. I think she just wants the excuse to set the alarm for such an ungodly hour in the morning.
When the alarm goes off, it wakes me up. My wife typically hits the snooze button at least once. Each time the alarm goes off, it wakes me up again. It is a pattern of abuse as cruel and systematic as any Chinese water torture.
She then gets up, gets dressed and leaves the house. We have our house alarm system set up so that it chimes every time someone opens an exterior door or window. We rigged it that way when the girls became teenagers because … well, … teenagers. So now, when my wife leaves in the morning, the alarm chimes and it is just loud enough that I can’t sleep through it. When she gets home an hour and a half later, the same chime goes off.
Phase two of her tormenting routine starts when she comes into the bedroom, turns on the lights in the bathroom and starts to run the shower. This is followed by a series of bangs and crashes as shampoo bottles are thrown around, cabinets are opened and slammed shut, and various items are bounced around the bathroom counter. This goes on for several minutes and, just when I think it is starting to wind down, she goes for the big guns:
The hair dryer.
When this baby kicks on, all hopes of sleep are gone. I am forced to burrow deeper under the covers and pull a pillow over my head in an attempt to mute the auditory assault. It rarely works, but it is the only defense I have, so I go with it.
Eventually, thankfully, the hair dryer is silenced. Afterwards, there is usually a few moments of quiet as various hair care products and makeups are applied. It is during this brief respite that I at last lapse back into blissful slumber.
When the house is silent, and I have fallen back into the loving hands of somnus, that is when my wife administers the coup de grace. She leans over the bed, kisses me on the cheek, and says, “I love you. I hope you have a nice day.”
Once again, I am awake. And usually for good at this point. I, of course, remain in bed and try to fall back asleep for another two or three hours, but it is rarely successful. I find myself dragging my weary body out from under the covers at the crack of ten o’clock most days. It is a brutal beginning to the morning.
To combat the fatigue, I am forced to nap on the couch in the afternoons. This also helps to prepare me to do battle with the monster that calls herself my wife when she gets home late in the evening and starts the vicious process all over again.
By now, I think that anyone reading this can understand my pain and the hell I am currently living in. I thank you for your empathy, your kind wishes of support, and your prayers for my well-being. It helps to know that all of you are on my side in this struggle.
I will muddle on the best I can, despite the hardships I am forced to endure. Maybe one day, I will even figure out why my wife is determined to torture me in this manner. Maybe.
Right now, however, it is time for my nap.