WRONG SIDE OF THE BED

Many years ago, the wrong side of the bed was clearly marked by the presence of a “pot de chambre,” that is a chamber pot. Upon awakening during the night, a careless move to the floor on the “wrong side” of the bed resulted in disaster. With the passage of time and the introduction of in-house plumbing, the chamber pot has been transformed into a planter, or flea market novelty.

The pot may be gone, but the expression “wrong side of the bed” has endured as an explanation for annoying personal behaviors. Getting up on the “wrong side of the bed” is now considered to be the cause of grouchiness, moodiness, depression, lethargy and a host of other regrettable feelings and behaviors, not the least of which is “feeling lousy.”

Perhaps there is a “right side” of the bed, which if located and used will ensure vigor, good will, affection and sex. The physical structure of most beds offer few cues as to the right or wrong side, let alone the good or the bad side.  Beds with a headboard, and/or a wall behind the bed offer just three possible “right” sides. One might eliminate the foot of the bed as an escape route, and thereby enhance your chances of choosing the “right side” by 33 percent.

The prospect of having just two choices to select the “right” side might be too risky. One might move the bed to the center of the room and then have four sides to choose from, or at least three sides with a rotating `foot.’ For the avid gambler, a circular bed would offer a limitless search for the “right” side.

It’s possible that the number of bed sides and their locations will not solve the demand for a splendid morning personality. We must hit the floor on the “right side” and the design of beds offers no help.

The presence of a bedmate insures a forced choice of the “right side.” In a bed with a head board, foot and partner, the “right side” is most likely your own side. Whether such a choice ensures a personality change is a much more complex issue, and never under your direct control. Furthermore, the sleeper is never concerned about the side of the bed to get up on. Sleepers just get up after a nights sleep. They could, if asked, describe their mood. It is the observer, that is, spouse, friend or `other body’ who feels compelled to identify a cause for the sleeper’s mood.

“Boy, I see that you got up on the wrong side of the bed today.”

With that pronouncement, the sleeper quickly surveys the bedside looking for the infamous “pot de chambre”. Not finding any, the newly awakened must assume total responsibility for the mood in the bedroom or immediately leap to the other side of the bed with the hope that there lies the “right side”, and acceptance.

Honey, It’s Time To Go To Sleep

Marriage changes many lifelong preferences and habits. We change the food we eat, and the clothing we wear. We change our hairstyles, and we even change our friends. Oh, but habits in the bedroom are difficult to change. Conflicts arise about the amount of window to leave open, the number of pillows and who gets them, and even blanket control. When to close the lights, and go to sleep can disrupt the most beloved marriage…

The evening wore on, and I decided that I was not going to read in the t.v. room, den, kitchen, living room, carport, bathroom or the greenhouse. I was going to read in my bed. What’s more I was going to read on my side of the bed. I was going to read until I felt sleepy and then I would close my reading lamp and go to sleep. Regardless of how nicely my wife requested that I close my light, or read in another room, or stop reading and “just go to sleep”, I was determined to read in my bed. I was being stubborn, but if I left the room with my book, our marriage might have been wounded forever.

“Darling, let’s go to sleep.,” she cooed.

“O.K. As soon as I’m done reading.”

“But I’m tired, let’s go to sleep honey,” she sighed.

“I’m not sleepy yet, I’ll soon be finished.”

“It’s late, darling,” she declared.

“I know, soon honey, soon.”

“It’s 11:30,” she snapped.

“Yes, I know.”

“I’m really very tired, Frank,” she pleaded.

“Go to sleep honey.”

“I can’t,” she moaned.

“I’ll turn the light down, just try to sleep.”

“You know I can’t sleep with a light on,” she said between clenched teeth.

“Try,try. I’ll be done soon.”
My wife pulled the covers over her head, and turned her back to me. I turned the light down. I could hardly read the words.

“Frank, are you done yet,” she gently asked.

“Soon,just a few more pages.”

“Aren’t you tired?” She sat up in bed, and stared at me.

“No!”

“It’s late!” She was angry. It was now 11:35 p.m.

“Listen honey, I’m going to read downstairs.”

“But it’s late aren’t you going to sleep?” She truly couldn’t understand me. She actually was dumbfounded at my lack of desire for sleep.

“No. I’m not sleepy. I want to read.”

“But I want to go to sleep!”

I wished she did go to sleep. I was beginning to feel guilty for staying awake.

“So go to sleep I’ll be downstairs.”

“I can’t sleep.” My wife was near tears.

“But you said that you were tired.”

“I am, but I can’t sleep if you’re not in bed.”

I wondered if that was a trap. My quilt was turning fast toward anger.

“Sarah, I’m not tired and I want to read. Go to sleep! ”
I started to leave the bed…

“Frank you’ll never get up in the morning,” she said as a devils curse.

“Don’t worry.”

“Where are you going?” she said with fearful voice.

“Just downstairs to the living room.”

“But I can’t sleep I’m exhausted Frank. Why can’t you just go to sleep? Why do you fight sleep? It’s late.”

I looked at her pleading eyes. I caught a glimpse of the clock. It was 11:50 p.m. She was right. It was late. I closed the book, and I closed the light. I was exhausted.