We interrupt this program to bring you the secret psychosis that I have borne for my entire life.
Last night, the same as every other night ever, I climbed into bed, neatly accordion-folded the duvet at our feet (just in case it happens to suddenly drop to 40-below in the middle of the night during the hottest summer in Canadian history and we need to get warm quickly but hypothermia has already set in and we couldn’t possibly traverse the chasm to the cedar chest where our blankets are stored which is exactly one step away from our bed) and proceeded to pull the top sheet up over my body.
For the first time in almost 16 years of marriage, my husband asked, “What, are you cold?” Despite the lovely breeze through the wide-open window and the other lovely breeze from the fan on our dresser (we have central air conditioning, but we* are too cheap to use it very much), no, I was not cold. The short answer, which I gave him, was “no”.
The long answer, which you are unfortunate enough to have stumbled upon blessed to have bestowed upon you, is as follows.
For as long as I can remember, I have slept with the sheet covering me. The only exception to this rule is if my sleeping attire has, for some reason, deviated from the norm and temporarily includes shorts or actual pyjamas. Most nights, my “pyjamas” are a t-shirt and underwear. This leaves me feeling somewhat vulnerable, but my sheet is there to protect me.
“Vulnerable to what?” you may ask. Let’s assume you did. Why, to people breaking into my house in the middle of the night, of course!
Behold my Kevlar logic. If someone breaks into our house and their intention is to find a defenseless woman to harm in unspeakable ways, I feel like the necessary removal of the sheet will give me the split-second that I need to come fully awake and flip into Jackie Chan mode and make the intruder limp away crying. Or, now that I’m married, it will give me the split-second that I need to scream and shake my husband awake so he can heroically do the Jackie Channing on my behalf.
If, however, said intruder breaks into our house simply looking to steal all our awesome, single-income/four-kid-family possessions, and he happens to sneak upstairs hoping to find lavish jewels (Ha! Doesn’t it just suck to be you, Mr. Intruder), and then he inadvertently walks in on me in my skivvies un-sheet-covered, one of two things is 100% guaranteed to happen:
- He will immediately forget his original intentions and convert into the intruder in my first scenario. In this case, without the distraction-providing sheet, I will be completely defenseless.
- Now that I’m old and repulsive, he will be permanently scarred by the sight of me in my skivvies and he will end up suing me for punitive damages even though he was the one committing the initial crime. It’s the day and age in which we live.
Of course this all hinges on the basic assumption that our intruder is wearing night-vision goggles.
I am well aware that this kind of crazy probably merits medication. But I am writing in hopes of liberating all of you from your presumed isolation in whatever particular “crazy” you harbour (which, if you love me at all, you will reciprocate by sharing below). Also, I think that after almost 16 years of sheet-tossing (which just isn’t as romantic as one might guess), my husband deserves the long answer.
We now return to your regularly scheduled programming. Oh wait…the asterisk…
* “We” means “he plus acquiescent me”. I have been out of the workforce for so long, and relying on someone else to manage all the bills for so long, that I have completely lost all sense of the value of money. Even though I do most of the shopping, in this cashless society I don’t actually see tangible, monetary matter changing hands. I insert chip card here, punch in my PIN, see numbers like “26.42” or “138.97” and it means very little to me. I know what money is and I understand the basics of how it works (true story: I used to be a branch office administrator in an investment firm!), but I no longer have any context for a day’s wages or mortgage interest. It’s all Monopoly money to me. So when “we” contribute to our kids’ RESP, or “we” formulate a vacation budget, or “we” open the windows instead of running the AC, it’s mostly blissful ignorance on my part.