I don’t want to sleep with a woman. I’m 40 years old, I’ve come this far in life without having done it, and I’m happy to continue not having done it indefinitely.
Of course, it’s not like Jess is asking me to have sex with her or anything. Neither of us have any interest in that (although I imagine it would give our husbands a tremendous kick). No, she’s invited to a girls’ weekend away, in a house in the country, with a bunch of friends. Sounds lovely so far, right? Except that there will be more women than there are actual beds, so some people will have to share, and she wants to share with me. And that thought fills me with horror.
Now, I’m not repulsed by the female form, by any stretch of the imagination. And I love my friends very dearly. It’s just that, well, I prefer to love them from a comfortable distance. You know. Where I don’t actually have to hear them breathing.
I don’t like to share my bed with my friends. To be brutally honest, I don’t like to share my bed with anyone. This poses a minor problem, considering the fact that I am married, and when I say ‘anyone’, I include my husband. Oh, don’t get me wrong; I like sharing a room with him, and I certainly like using a bed with him (provided I’m not too tired, the kitchen is clean, and all the kids are asleep). At the end of the evening, however, I would prefer us to have a nice cuddle, then move to twin beds and slumber – separately, but together – for the rest of the night.
I’m all for the concept of sleeping in the same bed as one’s partner – in theory, anyway. It’s just the practicalities that concern me. I’m a light sleeper, and my husband… well… he bothers me. He rolls over in bed (I know – how selfish is that?). He breathes, heavily at times (I know, inconsiderate again). He pulls the covers up. He pushes the covers down. He scratches himself. And he clears his throat. Of course, from the other side of the room, his throat clearing isn’t so bad. But from three centimeters away from my ear, it’s like being woken by a volcano erupting in my head. At two in the morning. Every single morning.
Furthermore, I like a lot of personal space. I like to sleep in different positions. On my back, on my tummy, arms behind my head, arms to my side, arms straight up like a soldier (rarely, but I like to keep my options open), legs splayed, knees drawn up to my chest, hanging from the chandelier wearing bunny ears and a tail (okay, so that one is my husband’s fantasy). And I don’t like to be restricted in my movements by anyone pushing my limbs out of the way when I fancy a good stretch.
And it’s not just in the physical realm that sharing a bed can be problematic. My husband and I do, rarely, have little arguments (using ‘little’ in the sense of ‘medium to big’), and after one of these rare occasions (using ‘rare’ in the sense of ‘ reasonably regularly actually’), having to sleep in the same bed together is really annoying.
My husband just rolls his eyes at my attempts to expel him to the couch, so I generally curl up in a tiny fetal ball at the extreme edge of my side of the bed in order to demonstrate just how cross I am. (Of course, I could retreat to sleep on the couch myself, but that would be inconvenient and uncomfortable, so I’d rather just stay and make my point.)
Still, buying separate beds at this stage of our relationship seems like too much of a statement. We started off in a queen sized bed (before I realized the throat clearing thing was not just a temporary allergy, and when arguing seemed like a laughable proposition) and now we’re pretty much stuck with it.
But sharing a doona? Out of the question. It’s been two single doonas for us for a very long time, and that’s how we plan to stay.
And as for the weekend away? Well, I’m thinking that this time, the couch is probably a good option.
But if Jess wants to cuddle? Well that’s absolutely fine.