I know that people are supposed to know a lot about each other before they marry. What are our spending and saving goals? How ambitious are we both? Is he nice to waitresses? Did he have to do chores as a child? Et cetera.
But nobody told me to ask if you have complementary sleeping habits. Take me, for instance. My sainted father just, sort of, doesn't. He was awake when I got up, awake when I went to sleep, and even if he looked asleep he would talk to you. I myself have a touch of The Insomnia during times of stress. I'm refreshed after seven hours and enjoy a nice afternoon nap every couple weeks, and can go for a long time on less and be reasonably high functioning. No big deal. Not just that, but if I did sleep 9 hours a night I really think I wouldn't feel well.
So imagine my surprise at finding myself married to a serious sleeper. I have met people like this before, old roommates and such, who need 9 or 10 hours a night. And for all of them I shrug it off and just chalk it up to It Takes All Kinds. They must just need sleep, right?
But in my own husband? Ha. There have been stages on my way to acceptance. First, the panic--how would I deal with the loneliness of the sleep widow? How would he protect and provide for me if he was sleeping NINE hours a night? How, I ask you? HOW?????? Surely if he reeeeeally loved me as much as my father does he would sleep as much as my father does, right? (See the math there? I'm very smart.)
Then there was the Changing Him phase--see, all he was missing all these years was someone to WAKE HIM UP. Guess how that went? And don't you wish you were married to me?
Then there was Changing Him, Deluxe Passive Aggressive Version--if I stomp around and vacuum and turn up the music really loud he will see what he is missing in all these hours spent sleeping, wake up, and do the vacuuming himself and then lovingly kiss my forehead and wonder what he had done without me. No dice. Off to another nap (seriously! another one!) he would trundle.
Then there was Acceptance, 1.0--I no longer saw him as a freak of nature whose need for sleep (and I finally did see it as a need) does not make him a bad husband, nor me a poor wretch with a sleeping albatross around my neck for LIFE.
Most recently, Acceptance, 2.0--I slowly started to see that if he gets the sleep he needs then life is better for both of us. And--are you ready?-- he might actually be the one to know how much sleep he needs. And all in all I probably sleep a little more myself just from the good influence, surely not a bad thing. So what if I'm the one to hear the bumps in the night? I know karate. And I often have some nice Nora time in the evenings.
I calmly and meditatively, with open heart, await Acceptance 3.0, also known as Acceptance 2.0 with Patch For Acceptance of Hibernation Sleep Levels During The Common Cold. The upgrade has also, I hear, removed the Get Over It It's a Darn Cold For Heaven's Sake and Do You Really Have To Swallow So Loud bugs. When I'm there, I'll be all, you need three naps a day and to sleep all night? Of course you do, my dearest, dearest love of my life! May I offer you some chicken soup? A fresh trash bag for your gorgeously damp and creatively balled up tissues? A cookie? No, you're right, this is the worst cold EVER. Ever. No one, not even you during your last cold, which was really bad, has ever had it like this.
And I'll mean it, right down to my toenails. Ohm.