So, yeah. Last month’s wicked cold really knocked me on my butt. I felt as though I had swallowed a freshly-edged machete and then pulled it out through my right ear canal. Sleep was difficult, because even if I could breathe, my lower back hurt so much that I just couldn’t get comfortable. Peter fled our bed and camped on an air mattress in the living room, which was good, because once little Sean fell ill he insisted on sleeping with me. Got misery? Add a stuffy two-year-old … all … night … long.
Kudos to Peter for using his ingenuity to avoid the cold. He managed to bypass our heinous germ and just get food poisoning instead. Lucky bastard. He finally did come back to our bed when my cold was over, and I was merely suffering the fallout of my subsequent sinus infection instead. I was still a bit of a mess though.
One night I came to bed after wrapping Christmas presents until after one in the morning, and I just could not get warm. I crept into bed, exhausted and wrapped in my robe. I was trying to be careful not to wake Peter, but I felt him stir in the dark beside me. He didn’t say anything, but I felt him reach over and press on my arm a bit. Knowing full well that this gesture is often Peter’s way of testing the waters for late-night nookie, I did the only natural thing a devoted wife could do – play dead. He pressed on my shoulder again, but I was determined to appear deeply and irretrievably asleep, so I kept absolutely still. I thought my game of possum was going rather well, but then I felt Peter sit up and grip my freezing feet under the covers. That was new. I figured that Peter was either branching out into some untapped conjugal territory, or perhaps I was just intruding on his space. Either way, I felt I should speak up … and then this happened:
ME: I’m sorry. Are my feet too cold for you?
PETER: Oh my gosh! I thought you were DEAD!
ME: What??? Did you really?
PETER: Aw, man! Maybe it’s because I was half asleep, but you were just cold as ice, and you weren’t moving and–! Holy crap!
ME: Oh no! I’m so sorry, Honey! I didn’t mean to scare you. I wouldn’t have ignored you, but I thought you wanted sex. I’ll go put on some socks.
PETER: … What?
And THAT is the foundation that every strong marriage is built upon – the horror of waking to find the other one cold and dead beside you … and the faith that had they been alive they would have loved to have rocked your world! You know, had it been before 11:30 … and the kids had gone to bed on time … and I hadn’t eaten that second egg roll … and I had showered at least once that week … and I hadn’t taken that nighttime decongestant … and you hadn’t told that offensive joke at dinner. Yeah, it totally would have happened.