Let’s Get Ready To Rumble: Why I Think I MAY Be Sleeping With A Professional Wrestler.

I remember a long, long time ago, almost 11 years in fact, when I laid in bed and heard a noise that to me evoked the same reaction nails on a chalk board. I was watching my new husband getting ready for work in our ensuite bathroom. He was washing his face and with each splash of water, he would “AHHHH.” At first I was totally startled. It was an “AHHHH” of satisfaction that was much too loud for 6:30 a.m. It was an “AHHHH” that I felt was completely unnecessary, especially for face-washing. And it wasn’t just one “ahhh”. It was like 4 or 5 in a row. Something so simple and innocent totally irked me. More than irked maybe, it kind of enraged me.

That was the first of many little things that he would do or say that would annoy me over the following years. I know that these little quirks that annoy people about their partners are normal. I’m not alone in being annoyed about my husband’s weird little habits. Surely, he’s got a list of things that I do that make him bat-shit crazy too. Actually, we were discussing these things awhile back, and he told me that it drives him absolutely insane that I never put the cap back on the toothpaste. It made me laugh, and then consciously do it EVERY single time I brush my teeth. I can’t help myself now. I snicker as I give the tube a press so just the right about of toothpaste drools out of the tube and crusts around the opening. I secretly love doing it. I secretly love annoying him with toothpaste. It’s one of the things I do to retaliate for the one thing he does that makes me want to kill him in his sleep.

Let me tell you now about the newest battle in our marriage. It’s over sleep. I thought about writing this all out one morning around 4 a.m. when I was up in the kitchen, drinking tea, feeling utterly exhausted. I could have gone back to bed. I could have, but I wasn’t going to waste my time. I had been up since 2:38 a.m. I know the exact time because I have been on a year-long mission to prove that I cannot share a bed with my husband. Or, rather, that I cannot share our CURRENT bed with him. You see, every single night, I am constantly at war, and my enemy is my best friend and much-loved husband. I don’t want to hate him at night. But I do. Every night I fall asleep easily. I’m always sleep deprived, so falling asleep while laying down comes 100 percent naturally. It’s once I’ve fallen asleep. That’s when the bed we sleep on becomes a wrestling ring/trampoline. Honestly. I once explained this to a good friend of mine while we were away on vacation. I acted it out for her in our shared hotel room. Me, sleeping quietly…curled up in a tiny ball (because, also, he hogs every inch of space). Then I showed her exactly how he sleeps. Cue sleeping husband…. laying peacefully…. and then it’s like a sudden earthquake. He thinks he’s just turning over in his sleep, but is is nothing like what a normal person would consider “rolling over.” It’s like he levitates above the bed, crashing down and thus, bouncing me awake, and often times off the bed. Honestly, I don’t think I can even write the words needed to explain this. I’ve taken elbows to the head from his crazed limbs flying every which way. But anyway, I had to act it out for my friend. I needed someone to understand, to see, it’s not that I’m crazy. He’s just not a person you can share a bed with. When I did, her reaction was this: “OMG… Are you serious? I would KILL him.” That’s exactly how I feel every night. He sleeps soundly, loudly and with wrestling moves like Randy Savage or Hulk Hogan. If you snuck up to our bedroom late at night…this is us…or at least it feels that way.

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He is also a person who likes to sleep as close to the other person as possible, which is against everything I believe in and problematic when you throw elbow drops like Macho Man. Sleep-time is for sleeping, not wrapping yourself around your partner like a boa constrictor suffocating its prey before eating it. He’s also a heavy breather which is completely different from a person who snores. He doesn’t snore so much as blows gale force winds at my face. It’s infuriating to say the least. Sometimes I burrow deep in the covers, making sure that every part of me is wrapped up, even my head, covered with a pillow to block the sounds and any sudden blows to the head. Just when I’m in the perfect position, with a clear and tiny breathing hole, he’ll roll over and his face will be thisclose, blowing his hurricane breath into my cocoon of safe sleep. That’s when I get up. I just leave. I can’t handle it anymore, and I know that if I don’t leave the room, I will do something bad. Something that may lead to my kids visiting me in jail.

When I voice these issues to my dear husband, he gets really upset. He hates hearing that I don’t want to sleep with him. I remind him over and over, that it’s not personal. I adore him. I don’t think he’s a hideous and grotesque monster. I just feel like I need to wear a helmet to bed, and well, that’s not going to be comfortable. I’m also miserable when I don’t sleep, and trust me, when you add sleep deprivation to my already prickly personality, LOOK OUT!

We were recently on vacation and for the whole week, we slept in a king-sized bed. The whole week, I slept through the night and actually didn’t have any homicidal thoughts. So, I broached the topic with him. I said, “you see, it’s not that you’re disgusting, it’s that I just need space. Look how much nicer I can be. All I need is sleep.” He still says it’s not happening, which I do NOT understand. Maybe he’s just pulling the same passive-aggressiveness that I am with my toothpaste tubes.

In protest of his unreasonable response to my pleas for a bed and not a wrestling ring…. This is my next course of action…

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10 Year Anniversary Part 2: Will They Renew Their Contract?

For us, it was anything but love at first sight. I first met Nick on the school bus after we moved to Consecon when I was in the eighth grade. He was the boy who kicked pop cans under the bus seats at me, and I was the girl in the hideous green winter coat that resembled a garbage bag. I didn’t know Nick by name. I never saw him anywhere but the bus and that was that. I was friends with basically everyone he knew, and yet, I never ever spoke to him. It wasn’t until I told his younger brother that I thought he was “hot” that I even learned his name. It didn’t take long for him to start driving me to school, and then to one day park the car and say “so, does this mean we’re dating?” When I said yes, he said “OK, you should probably kiss me now.” After that, we were inseparable. We dated through the rest of high school, even after I moved again. When I just shy of turning 18, he proposed to me. I will never forget that December 2nd. We were watching Sleepless in Seattle. I was exhausted from work, and nodding in and out of sleep. It wasn’t romantic-comedy worthy material at all, but it was so very us. A few years later, we got married.

When I was a little girl, I thought my life would be just like the Disney movies. Even on the day I got married, I still believed that we’d just get married, and that was it. Happily ever after. Just like that. What I’ve learned in 10 years, is that “I do” is no guarantee of a happily ever after. That there is no fairy tale ending, because marriage isn’t an ending at all. It’s a beginning. It is the beginning of a lot of good times and bad times, a lot of happiness and a fair share of sadness. It’s a lot of work. It’s not all about romance or the pink-fluff that the movies sell us. I know that it was a shock for both of us. We got married as two kids really, and in 10 years we’ve grown up together. Just as we have grown and evolved, so has our marriage. It has become the sturdy base on which we are building our life together. In 10 years we’ve accomplished a lot together. We have been on the brink of financial disaster, marital disaster, and had a few total meltdowns. We’ve also created 3 beautiful little human beings who have given us a reason to keep pushing through together. We’ve shared so many smiles and bouts of uncontrollable laughter. We’ve been busy making memories together that will keep us forever young (at least in each other’s eyes).

Our marriage has never been perfect, and it never will be. I think the 10+ years we’ve put into this relationship has taught us to accept and appreciate that fact. We will never be perfect, and we don’t want to be. I was told that every ten years a husband and wife face what is called “the contract year.” Now is time to reflect on the last ten years and decide whether or not to renew the contract. This made me laugh. Really hard. I wouldn’t change a thing… except maybe the snoring thing. But that aside, I’d do it all over again. Here’s to 10 more years!!

So, for our anniversary, Nick and I went to NYC. We had a great time. We saw shows, and played tourist. Everything was perfect until we were ready to fly home. As per usual, we faced a delayed and finally cancelled flight (flash flood warnings). Doing what we do best, we rented a car, and drove home through the middle of the night. A perfectly “us” way to end our 10 year anniversary celebration!

Picture time!

Before we got married…

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Us now…

 

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Finally, years later… we made it to the top of the Empire State Building for our own Sleepless In Seattle moment. 

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After the Storm

I’ve had a lot of time to think recently. I spend the majority of my days driving (we won’t get into that), and when I’m not belting out songs along with the radio, I’m usually thinking “How the hell did I get here? Why am I driving a laundry van around, concerned about what I’m going to feed my kids for dinner and when I’ll have time to get to the bank?” I wonder how in 9 years I went from a lost girl, to a lost-again and then found wife, mom and woman.

I got married when I was 21. I’m not going to lie about it, I regretted that decision for a few years. I spent a great deal of time in the early stages of our marriage totally hating it. I hated it so much, I found a way to get out of it as soon as I could.  I was not ready to get married. I had no concept of what marriage was. In fact, the night before I got married, I laid on the bathroom floor of my hotel room crying. I had no idea why. I didn’t know that I was afraid. I didn’t know what to do. When DH and and I got married, I had absolutely no idea how hard it would be. I was a kid. How could I? I left months after we got married, moved away to go back to school, and lived with one of my friends from university. I totally bailed on my husband. I felt guilty, but I also felt normal again. All of my friends were either still in school, or were just starting out on their own. They didn’t have mortgages, husbands or real responsibilities. I was jealous. I felt like I had made a mistake. After a year away, I missed my best friend. Although I had gone away, we still talked and he was still very much my husband. We did have to keep up appearances, prove that we were fine, and all was well with the newlyweds. I’m pretty sure we weren’t fooling anyone though. I actually can’t believe how great he was during this time. I will say, that if he had done the same to me, I don’t know if I would have stuck around. I’m thankful he did. I’m very grateful that somehow we found our way to “happily married.” It took us almost 3 years. We were both too young and totally different people than we are today. We grew into our marriage. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it. Through all of that, and then years of struggling with depression, it’s a wonder that we’re still standing. I’m sure there are many people who are totally shocked that we’re still married. I’m so proud of us though. We pushed through, when a lot of others wouldn’t have. I have come to terms with a lot of the hurts we inflicted on each other. They’ve made us stronger as people, and as a couple. I’m happy and proud to say that I married the right person, at the wrong time. I don’t regret it anymore. In fact, I’m so damn happy that it happened. It was worth it, and I’ll always fight to protect it.

That said, I feel like we are two survivors after a tornado has ripped through our trailer park. We’ve made it through the storm that comes with getting married young, having 3 babies in 4 years, and building a business to sustain us. But now what? Where do we go from here? How do we pick up the pieces, and move into the next stage of our life? I don’t think there is an answer. We look around us, and see the people who stuck by us, and we celebrate them. We celebrate our kids, because they gave us a reason to keep pushing through. We celebrate the life that we have created together. Maybe we’re going to leave those pieces for awhile, and just enjoy the rainbow that comes after the storm.

You look like a lobster, but I still love you. 

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