Manifest Destiny & A Queen-Sized Bed

It's been a while since I've had to share an entire bed with someone on a consistent basis, and it's taking a little getting used to now that I'm married again. I love Ashley to death, she knows this; however, with her sleep habits our bed may not be enough for the two of us. At one point I used to own a king-sized metal framed monster, but I always thought it too large. It seemed such a waste for so much sleeping space to go un-used when children in India sleep on the floor of their huts. I remember describing the enormity of that old bed to a friend pointing out how looking across to the other side of the mattress felt like viewing the flat planes of Nebraska, and in order to communicate with one another, phones with a long-distance plan needed to be set up on each night stand. The last I heard that bed hit an ice berg in the North Atlantic and sunk 300ft in some freak accident. Too bad. It would be nice to have again as it appears Ashley has adopted some form of Manifest Destiny in her occupation of "our" queen-sized slice of heaven.

At first I figured Ashley's complete dominance of the bed was merely a matter of her getting used to sleeping in a new bed. It took me several weeks to find my groove when I first got the mattress a few years ago, and now I'm quite happy with how the springs are contoured to my body. It only stands to reason that Ashley shouldn't be expected find comfort in such a short time. At this point, however, I'm pretty sure she will not find that comfort on just one side of the bed, or with one set of covers for that matter.

I've come to think of Ashley's sleep domination in the same general terms as the German occupation of Europe during World War 2. Like their treaty with the Russians, Ashley has married me and we have divided the bed in two like it was Poland. However, in the middle of the night, when I am the most vulnerable Ashley has overrun my borders forcing me to the very edge of the bed in the same fashion the Germans turned on their Russian allies and pushed them to the brink of collapse. Foolishly, like the French, I believed I could halt her advance by setting up a Maginot Line of sorts consisting of pillows placed between us, and just as the French did, I watched her roll right over the top of it and then take all of the remaining blankets. This, of course, forced me to my Dunkirk where I evacuated to the couch in Mother Living Room ("God Save the Queen!") in order to prepare for a future invasion of the bed again.

My analogy does not end here as, "Da Fuhrer" has her own version of Italy and Japan in the form of Allie and Avery, who after a bad dream, wetting the bed or an early wake up will join the "Mother"land in the quest for complete mattress domination. Together, they are an axis of slumbering evil, and yet I've learned, divided, they can be defeated. Like Italy, I usually can buy Allie off with the promise of a fresh batch of pancakes, and by taking away one Care Bear at a time in a fashion similar to "Island Hopping" I can bring down the "Land of the Rising (Before The) Sun."

Apparently, like the belching disorder, this bed-time blitzkrieg is a hereditary condition shared by Ashley and her girls. On the occasions I have witnessed them passed out together in the same bed, I could only describe what I saw as something close to those scenes shown on TV where fisherman drop hundreds of epileptic fish from a net onto the ship's deck. It's a bit disconcerting to note the fresh set of bruises sported by each of them as they climb up to the breakfast table, anxiously explaining how they all had the same dream of Harry Potter casting spells on them while using a baseball bat instead of a wand.

I will admit I have worried a little over what this quirk of Ashley's could mean for our marriage, but then I looked to the example set by my parents. For nearly 25 years they slept in the same double-sized bed, changing the mattress only after they had mashed it to the thickness of a Ritz cracker whereas Hobos would complain after being forced to utilize its services. During the entire life of that mattress my mom and dad fought, bickered and complained upon any mention of sleeping together in the same bed, but little did they realize at the time how strong it made them as a husband and wife. Finally, several years ago, they broke down and purchased a Seally mattress similar to the ones many middle-aged couples use today. Now they get along great as my mom sleeps on the pull-out guest bed and my father sleeps in his recliner or on the floor in front of the TV. There has never been a happier or more well-rested couple in the history of marriage to date.

With this as my inspiration, I feel confident Ashley and I will be able to work past this little problem. I mean if I can get past the snoring which is louder than a chorus of chainsaws buzzing redwoods, the constant sound of rushing water made by her drool on the pillow, and "that other thing" that sounds like ducks angrily debating on CNN's Crossfire and smells like twice-baked Alabama road kill then certainly I should be able to make allowances for her version of nocturnal interpretive dance depicting urban sprawl.

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