Sleep Alone? Yes, Please!

It’s finally happening. People all over are starting to come around to my way of thinking, well, at least on this one issue…but, it’s a start.  It’s taken some time but finally couples are starting to see the benefits of sleeping alone…GASP!

A 2011 poll by the National Sleep Foundation found 11% of married or partnered couples don’t share the sheets with their significant other. I know it’s only a low percentage but sign me up because I’m totally on board.

This is no news to my husband (whom for this post I shall refer to as Homer). He knows if we had a room to spare and he agreed to sleeping in separate beds that I’d be all over it like a fat kid on a Smartie…And I just might get my chance, I just have to move to Britain by 2015 because according to the National Association of Homebuilder’s, 60% of new houses there will have “his and her” master bedrooms by then.

I better start planning my move because I’m getting me one of those houses!

Is it wrong to want to sleep alone? It’s not that I’m in a loveless marriage (please don’t send me inquiring emails) I love me some Homey, it’s just that I prefer to have a bed to myself. I have a hard time getting to sleep, my mind is in a constant state of GO!!  So, when I fall asleep I like to remain that way. And if for some reason you disturb me, well, let’s just say you better bring protection.

When I was working full time I would be in bed before Homer so I could try and fall asleep before he came to bed, it was my only chance to fall asleep gracefully. Somehow this worked to a degree because if he woke me when he came in with his moving, tossing, gas passing business then I would already kind of be relaxed and had a better chance of falling back asleep.

But now that I don’t have to get up so early, I go to bed later, which means most of the time we are turning in together. This is not working for me. He seems to be doing just fine. Albeit, he has his own issues with sleep but they seldom have anything to do with me.

I settle in with my pillow tucked under my neck, turn on my right side and stare for about fifteen minutes, making sure not to get too close to Homer because I hate to be touched when I’m sleeping. Yes, I have lots of rules. Then, I move onto my back and lie there like a plank of wood and wait for sleep. Just when I’m dozing off, nine times out of ten, Homer clears his throat or does one of his famous double rotations with a twist and startles me awake causing my anxious little heart to race. And the cycle begins again.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t blame him, I mean I guess he can move if he wants to but it’s very disturbing.

Lately though, well, two times this week he has taken his life in his hands by waking me up because apparently I’ve been snoring; I must add here that I never snore, but Homer has been known to let a few lose after a night with Bud Light. I know he’s getting a little of his own medicine by having to deal with this interruption and that should be satisfying but somehow it’s overshadowed by knowing that I’m snoring and not lying peacefully like Snow White. Snoring is so not sexy.

The kicker to all this is those two nights when he woke me, I was having the best sleep I’ve had in a long time. So you see, if we could agree to sleep in different rooms (with mandatory options for midnight visits) we could snore, flip, fart and scratch our way into a better night’s sleep. We would wake up refreshed and ready to tackle another day with possibly enough energy left over for a “conjugal visit” before retiring.

Your room or mine?

To Hell In A Hand Basket

This post is long, but so true. I can’t make this shit up.

I had a customer service day from hell.  I noticed my online file with a government agency was incorrect. They had an important date wrong in their system. I know because I have a photocopy of the original. Thinking it would only take a second to fix (my first mistake) I dial the 800 number provided under their heading, “We’re ready to help you.”

It rang busy six times before I was lucky enough to talk to the automated attendant.  Of course then I had to monkey around with pushing one, then enter my social insurance number and my password, then push two, then one, only for the computer to recite the same wrong date. Good, I think, I’m finally to the part where I get to push zero for a real live person.

“We’re sorry we are experience a high number of calls. Please return to the automated information line or hang up and call back later.”

Obviously, they had no idea who they were dealing with. I hang up and call back and keep calling back (because that’s who I am) until their computer finally identifies that my
SIN has been entered eight times and finally puts me in sequence. However, “the call volume is high.”

Was that supposed to scare me? I’ve got time. I call their bluff and wait. After about five minutes Angie picks up.

“Can I help you?”

I always fall for it; they set you up right away pretending to want to help you.  I tell her the issue with the date. It says 2010 when it should say 2011. She asks me some
security questions and then punches some buttons.

“Is says 2010.”

“Yes, I know. That’s why I’m calling,” I said with absolutely no tone whatsoever.

“Well, I’ll put a discrepancy in the system and have them look into it.” Then she continues to tell me the multitude of red tape that had to occur to fix it.

First of all who are they? They are everywhere, doing everything. Don’t they
get tired? I sense her about to hang up. “How long will it take?”

“5-10 days.”

This is a standard answer. I know because I used to give it for a living. So I explain that it doesn’t need investigating it’s an obvious key punch error. I have a photocopy of the original document in front of me, the date is 2011.

“Well, I don’t have the copy in front of me, just what’s on my computer.”

Sigh.  Obviously Angie had a big lunch because she doesn’t want to go digging through files for paperwork.

“Do you have access to the original copy?”

“I can get a scan of it.”

“Okay. I’ll wait.”

Angie hates me. She drops the phone, probably mumbled to her co-workers and made crazy hand gestures to the phone; maybe even flipped me the bird.  Hey, I’ve been there and I’ve seen worse.

“Okay I have the document. It says 2010.” Suddenly Angie’s voice has a hint of snarky.

Now I’m flabbergasted because I’m starring at a photocopy that clearly says 2011. “Are you sure you’re looking at the right document, #999654?”

“Yes.”

“A scan of the original?”

“Yes.”

There’s a problem here somewhere. “Where is the original?”

“Nova Scotia.”

Sigh. For those who don’t know me, I live in Ontario. For those that don’t know Canada; this document might as well be at the North Pole. Of course I know she doesn’t control where the originals go, so I’m still trying to be supportive. See how I’m working with her here?

“Well, something has been clearly mixed up. Since you have access to scanning can you email me a copy of what you’re looking at?”

“It clearly says 2010, but I can put in a request that you require a copy and they will mail you one.”

Again with the they, “And how long does that take?”

“5-10 days”.

Again, I’ve been on the other side of this conversation and she’s going to do nothing further to help me.

“Please send it.” I give the necessary details and hang up. This is not over, I think as I leave to pick the kids up from school. If I hurry I can make it to the local office before it closes and maybe they can clear this up quickly.

I drag the kids there all grumpy and hungry (me and them) and went in. The lady was very pleasant and sort of smushy and warm like how I like to think of Grandmas. She
takes my paper and looks up my account. Clearly on their system someone had typed in the date, my original is handwritten. So it wasn’t a scan after all. Angie,
you did me wrong.

“Well, you are absolutely right we’ll get that fixed up right away.”

I was kinda disappointed; she had really struck me as the type of person who would’ve said, “In a jiffy.”

“When will that be?” I asked.

“5-10 days…”

You would think the day would have ended there, but alas, it did not. If you still have the strength, read on…it’s worth it.

By this time, I’ve had it. My daughter is in tears because she had a terrible day dealing with hormonal grade six girls and she was “starving!” I tried to be sympathetic but really all I wanted was a glass of wine and some chips.

“Hey kids eat free on Tuesday,” said my young, innocent and yet to be scorned son.

The advertising restaurant (who shall remain nameless…Oh, who gives a shit, it was Denny’s. That’s right; those who judge shall be judged themselves…or something like that) was right across the parking lot. Well, I’m no dummy. This is the answer to my prayers, who cares if it’s 4pm.

In we go; kids instantly happy. I looked around. There was no one, I mean NO ONE in this restaurant but us, two waitresses and a cook. I’m concerned, but I feel myself
being lead to our table.

The kids order a hot chocolate, but their machine is broke, so they get lemonade and pizza. At this point I wanted a big greasy burger and fries to wash down the distain, but I did a bunch of self talk as I looked at the menu, which had more grease on it (I mean physically on it) then I wanted in my entire meal. I decided on grilled chicken on a whole wheat bun and a salad. And begrudgingly, a Diet Coke.

A bit later the waitress came back with my salad. The same salad you get in a bag at the grocery store. Now I know what I’m getting at these restaurants but did they have to make it so obvious?  Iceberg lettuce, bits of red cabbage and the dried up shreds of carrot? Yummy.

It didn’t matter. I ate it. But, like the kids pointed out, “Where the heck are our drinks?”

The waitress comes back and announces they have no whole wheat buns. What other kind of bun would I like?

“Well, do you have multigrain or rye?” I don’t know what I was thinking.

She tells me she “doesn’t know their names” and went to get a menu so she could point to the pictures of sandwiches.  As it turns out, my choices were a white bun or bread.

I tell her bun and she goes away. But, shit what about out drinks?

I look to the kitchen where I can see her behind the glass reading the paper. She must have forgotten. Give her a break I tell myself, you’re extra sensitive right now. Finally
she starts to fiddle with some plates.  With her bare hands, I watch her arrange our veggies on a plate. She grabs a handful of Goldfish crackers and puts them in a bowl, leaving a few in her hand that she promptly pops in her mouth, fingers and all. And if that wasn’t enough, she picks up more veggies and places them on the plate.

Was she kidding me? My first reaction was to walk out. But it quickly occurred to me that I would have to cook dinner. Plus, my daughter would go absolutely, hormonally ape shit if she didn’t eat soon and although I don’t let her rule the roost there are times when I just can’t deal with it.

“Excuse me, but I’ll need you to wash your hands and re-plate these,” I said to her before she could leave. “I saw you eating with your fingers in your mouth while you were getting this.”

She nods, clearly confused and takes our plates back to the kitchen.

My daughter says, “Um, our drinks?”

Crap! I forgot to ask again!!

I watch her wash her hands and plate the (hopefully clean, but doubtful) food. She brings them and my chicken sandwich. No pizza. No drinks.

“Can we have our drinks?” I finally say.

I have to mention again that up until then, we were the ONLY ones in the restaurant. I mean, she wasn’t exactly busy.

She disappears, clearly shaken. At this point the other waitress springs into action (not really but whatever) and seats another couple beside us. It also should be noted that these two came in with NO KIDS. Why on earth would you eat there unless you had kids that could eat for free?!

Our waitress brings the kids pizza. We all stare at her.

“Drinks?”  We say in unison.  She disappears, I assume to spit in our food.

I hear the man beside us asks if the turkey club is made of lunch meat or real turkey. A fair question I think.

“Oh,” says Waitress #2, “we’re outta turkey.”

OUT OF TURKEY!…SERIOUSLY?

Our drinks arrive, but I’m too busy listening in on the conversation next to us to acknowledge it.

The lady wants nachos, but doesn’t want the peppers, they give her heartburn.

“I’m sorry, they can’t make them without peppers because earlier in the day we cut up the onions, tomatoes and peppers and put them in the same bowl to save time.”

The woman just stares at her and then looks around at the empty restaurant.  Hey, at least her waitress was sorry!

I look at my son who was staring at his dinner like it was dipped in ass and scoffed down my sandwich figuring if I eat it fast, it might stop my gag reflex.

“I know I`m in public but I have to fart,” he says out of the blue.

I nod and tell him to do it at the waitress station.

He doesn’t because I raised him to behave better than how I tell him.

“How much did you tip her?” He asked on our way to the car.

“I told her not to pull on Superman’s cape. That’s a good tip.”

“We better get moving, what if she comes after us?” he said, concerned.

“I’d like to see her try.”

“Would you punch her in the face?”

“Probably,” I said, just totally done.

“I would to then.”

“Me too,” says my daughter.

They make me smile.

Spinning Out Of Control

I was late. My heart accelerated the closer I got.

Please let me get there before her.

I pull into the parking lot, park and grab my water bottle, towel and gym membership. I speed walk to the front doors, scan my membership and bolt through the security doors. Out of breath before I even start.

I’m first! Yay me! 

I scored my favourite bike at Spinning class. I had won the race before my butt even had a chance to get chaffed from the seat and it felt awesome.

The same woman and I have been doing the dance with this particular bike for five weeks. She knows it and I know it. There are at least 25 bikes to choose from and the max number of people who have ever attended a class are six. So there is no doubt we have fallen for the same cycle.

Nothing hurts more than walking in to see her sitting pretty on my ride. Don’t get me wrong, I have no ill will toward this woman, as far as I know she could be a fabulous human being, a real Mother Teresa, but at that moment only one word comes to mind.

Bitch.

And today, when she rounded the corner smiling at me and began adjusting a less superior bike I knew what was on her mind.

Right back at ya.

I know what you’re thinking and you’re right, I do have bigger things to worry about considering I left my job 3 months ago and money is a little tight. But if you’re thinking that all bikes are the same (like I did in the beginning) then you would be wrong. It’s like sleeping in a strange bed; it’s just not the same. Besides, it’s not just the bike, it’s
where it’s positioned; just slightly off center to the instructor, close enough to hear but far enough away that she can’t tell when I’m not increasing my resistance as much as I should. And most important, it’s right underneath the fan, which is the ultimate bonus.

I know, it’s a little foolish. When I first started, I was stunned at the fanatical relationships people had with particular bikes. The class was clicky. I felt like I was back at school. One man would actually elbow you if you so much as looked at his bike. And if you were a newbie and accidentally saddle up on his baby, he would stare you down until you got so uncomfortable that you would never show your face there again.

They scared me, but luckily now that I’m unemployed (I’m grasping for upsides here) I don’t have to go to that crazy ass class anymore. I can go to a morning class, where people are calmer because the day hasn’t beat the snot out of them yet. We are nice to each other and don’t announce any distain for not getting our favourite bike. We suffer in silence like adults.

A different crazy ass group where our only oddity is the older gentleman who wears his racquetball goggles during class; which I find more eccentric than psychotic given that I’ve never ever seen him with a racquet or a ball.  Maybe he’s been around the block
for a while and wears the goggles for protection in case he mistakenly takes someone else’s ride.

On a side note, I wouldn’t be surprised if he also sports a cup. He’s just that kind of guy.

You know what’s funny? Not getting my bike is more distracting than having
racquetball man beside me conquering his highest mountain for 60 minutes.

Enough said.