I think it was Robert Benchley who said that the world is divided into two groups, those that divide people into two groups and those who do not. This is certainly true regarding beds, not just the size and shape but the “tucking”. Some people are pro-tuckers and some are distinctly anti-tuck, and as typical in our marriage my wife is extremely anti-tuck while I am definitely pro-tuck. I guess my pro-tuck position comes from my days as a military cadet where my bunk had to have military corners with the covers taut as a drum. This is difficult to achieve yet the Army expected you to sleep in your bunk – not on top of it but under the covers. To sleep in the bunk and under the covers and still have it pass inspection each morning is no easy feat. What you learn to do is to sleep without actually touching anything, you sort of wiggle in and slither out in the morning without actually moving in your sleep. To this day I can sleep in a bed without it ever appearing to be slept in. Naturally as my wife observes me sound asleep with my arms crossed across my chest, she commented that all I need is a Lilly because I appear to be ready for a “viewing”.
Naturally I disagree with that assessment but she maintains she cannot sleep in a bed with me when it is tucked, because then she must sleep “Egyptian Style”. Which I am sure causes you to ask precisely is meant sleeping Egyptian Style? Haven’t you ever seen those Egyptian paintings? You know – the ones where the person is shown facing you but their feet are turned to the side!! THAT is what my wife describes as sleeping Egyptian Style because she feels when the bed covers are tucked in her feet are trapped in the Egyptian position and must face to the side. And with that observation I am ready to describe a recent event regarding sleeping styles.
We were staying in a hotel recently where the Chamber Maids had raised the art of tucking a bed to a high art. The sheets on these beds were stretched so tight that the Flying Wallenda`s could have used them for a safety net. These maids must have been built like the incredible Hulk to get these sheets this tight. To turn down the sheets required the strength of ten and even then all that got you was a tiny little space which you could use to struggle into this drum like structure. In fact this bed could be used as a birth control device or even to restrain inmates because movement once inside was virtually impossible. In fact even breathing was a challenge – in short I loved it.
However, my darling wife could not get her bed untucked. She pulled and struggled while calling down all of the dark forces of evil onto the heads of the Chamber Maids, the Hotel, and me for (silently) laughing. Having fallen exhausted across the still well tucked bed she activated the “Knight in Shining Armor” alarm. So I jumped into action grabbing the edge of the well tucked sheet and gave a mighty yank. The sheet did yield some and with a second yank accompanied by all of the appropriate grunts and mopping of sweat stained brow, the bedding came loose enough to allow my wife to snuggle in for a good night’s sleep. But alas, it was not to be.
Sometime around 1 AM, I am startled awake by what appears to be a snow storm in the room. White things are flying through the air, whirling like a tornado. All of this is accompanied by shouts and muttering about Egyptians, iron maiden torture devices, curses, and calls on Satan to punish all tuckers!! When this storm of bedding subsided my wife’s bed looked like a white capped volcano – sort of like Mt Kilimanjaro, with the snowy little head of the wife peeping out of one side. When I enquired if I was one of the tuckers whom she was condemning to Hell to be tortured eternally by Satan, she turned her head toward me -- showing her red pupils like something out of a horror movie and said – and I quote “You tucker!!” or at least something that sounded like that and promptly closed her eyes in what I assume was peaceful sleep in a totally untucked bed.
But this is just the most recent example of what has become our own version of BEDLAM. As I said I can sleep peacefully in a bed and leave it pristine and orderly while my dear wife attacks her bed with a vigor normally associated by a SWAT team dealing with a serial killer. But the differences go much deeper than mere tidiness. For example my normal body temperature wouldn’t excite your average funeral director while hers can melt ice at ten paces. Obviously this has some seasonal advantages – you would think – but alas – No.-- I require piles of quilts, blankets, which my wife views as weak and effete while she sleeps under the stars like a pioneer woman, comfortable with only a light weight nightgown – in the dead of Winter she might add a sheet as cover.
Obviously these differences in sleeping style are not easily reconciled and inevitably must lead to a compromise.
So Phyllis sleeps
with her feet uncovered so they can “breathe” and that pitiful lump of covers
in the corner is me.