Slices of Life... Late Night TV Guy pays no heed to bedtimes
For the most part, my husband is an extremely rational and logical human being. There is an orderly and predictable pattern to his days. He showers in the morning; brushes his teeth after meals. He rises early and goes to bed at a reasonable hour...
For the most part, my husband is an extremely rational and logical human being. There is an orderly and predictable pattern to his days. He showers in the morning; brushes his teeth after meals. He rises early and goes to bed at a reasonable hour. He is a reasonable man - for the most part.
On rare occasions, however, something peculiar overtakes him and he becomes a mysterious stranger not concerned with clocks or bedtimes. About once a month, he becomes inexplicably and permanently rooted to the couch, remote control in hand. The hours tick by and he isn't moving until after some very late show is over.
It is on these nights that I know he has become Late Night TV Guy.
Late Night TV Guy truly believes he needs no sleep. He is wide awake, with a tenured spot on the couch. Unless he has a craving for a bowl of ice cream with chocolate sauce, he isn't moving - no way no how - until Letterman is over.
Invariably, by about 11 p.m., Late Night TV Guy can be found, head tilted back, breaths vibrating audibly in the indisputable rhythm of slumber - but don't tell him I told you so. He is watching TV (wink), just leave him be.
Back in my naive days, I thought it I should rouse him and direct him to bed. This didn't work very well. First, he is too big for me to move myself. I had to wake him - really wake him - to get him to stand up on his own. Once asleep, Late Night TV Guy doesn't want to be really awake. He'd rather roll over and catch a few more Zs. Plus (again, I never said this) Late Night TV Guy can be rather grouchy when pulled from a good dream.
Over the years, I've learned it's best to embrace Late Night TV guy's nocturnal ways. When you've been married to someone for two decades, you come to terms with each other's unconventional quirks. I put up with Late Night TV Guy, and he puts up with a couple dozen or more of my (tiny) eccentricities, not the least of which includes giving him a starring role in this article.
I most definitely have the best end of that deal.
Time has taught me that Late Night TV Guy will come to bed on his own. He just needs a little nap on the couch first.
Usually, by about 1 a.m., I roll over and he is there, right where he's supposed to be, sleeping with the happy confidence of a man who knows he can make it through Saturday Night Live any day of the week.
Last night, things didn't work this way. Late Night TV Guy seemed especially excited to watch the Baseball All Star Game, so at about 10 p.m. I checked the fridge to make sure we had ice cream and then went to bed. The last I saw, Late Night TV Guy was in position on the couch with the remote securely in place in his right hand.
Next thing I knew, it was four in the morning and the spot next to me on the bed was cold and empty. I rolled over and tried to go back to sleep, but the clock read 4 a.m.! Within three seconds, I was wide awake and filled with the vibe that wives and mothers know best - worry.
My thoughts immediately focused on the negative. Why didn't Late Night TV Guy come to bed? What was wrong? A whoosh of all possible medical mishaps shot through my brain. Was Late Night TV Guy (gulp) all right?
I had to go check on him. I wouldn't wake him. Just make sure that he was breathing. I figured that would be pretty easy. I'd probably hear him sawing logs from the top of the stairs.
The night house was quiet. As I tiptoed toward the family room, I could make out his shape on the couch. He was lying perfectly silent, an ominous sound. I crept closer, my heart beating fast now, and tried to see if his chest was rising and falling. I couldn't tell.
I didn't want to touch him because I didn't want to disturb him. I just wanted to make sure he was alive. So, I crouched down and gently, ever so gently, put my index finger under his nose. It was at that exact moment that he decided to jump about two feet into the air. I jumped, too.
He was alive - and awake. "What're you doing?!?" he rightfully demanded.
In half a millisecond, my fear segued to embarrassment. What was I supposed to tell him? "Oh, sorry, honey, I just thought maybe you were dead so I was feeling for air under your nose." I didn't think he'd buy that one.
So, I just turned and went up to bed. He followed about a minute behind me. We didn't speak of the instance again.
When you've been married to someone for 20 years, you come to terms with each other's unconventional quirks. As you can probably guess, I'm chock full of 'em, not the least of which includes night stalking. Dealing with Late Night TV Guy is minor in comparison to the adventures I put us through.
Thankfully, Late Night TV Guy is an adventuresome sort.
Jill Pertler is a syndicated columnist and freelance writer working with graphic designer Nikki Willgohs to provide writing and design and other marketing services to businesses and individuals. You can check out their Web site at http://marketing-by-design.home.mchsi.com/ or e-mail Jill at firstname.lastname@example.org .