This Sid needs no waking up. He's found sitting at his desk in i Wrote Those before the birds tweet the first tweet and is seen writing way beyond the last computer shuts for the night, at least on our side of the globe. Sid Balachandran is a super-man to many. He is a prolific and versatile writer, a fun and loving dad and an at-your-service husband, or so his blog reflects. His writings make you laugh at yourself, nod in agreement whole-heartedly and impress with the parenting gyan he has to share.
While he shuttles at mach speeds between the roles he plays in real life and the posts he writes in the virtual world, a lot of us sit wishing we knew the secret behind his energy. It could just be the home-mulled wine he drinks to spread good humour and cheer around.
Cheer reminds me! Seldom do you meet a writer who is as appreciative of your work as Sid is of those he likes to read. Goes to show he is reading and assimilating, apart from writing, and is willing to evolve as a serious writer even as he keeps his funny bone polished and ready to tickle and be tickled. Plus, he already knows What Guys Want and about Interpreting Women. All this, after Mr. Murphy helps him deconstruct parenting. I know he will go a long way, and for that I wish him luck.
Now, Bedroom Brawls is, umm ... ahem ... I'm not going to tell you. Go ahead and read!
It’s one of life’s unpleasant truths. The fact that couples argue. Yes, some of them (or us) may deck it up in fancy phrases such as minor disagreements or misunderstandings. But the crux of the matter is that any couple in a healthy relationship will argue. And why wouldn’t they? After all, they are two different individuals, often from completely distinct backgrounds with their unique outlooks on life and its idiosyncrasies. And there is no other room in the house that hosts more of these “disagreements” than the humble bedroom. Before we let our ultra-imaginative minds wander off without a tether, I’ll just confirm that I’m not talking about the physical act of love. Or pillow fights. They both deserve separate posts.
Before I go ahead, here’s something that I usually both prefix and suffix most posts with. Yes, a disclaimer. The “activities” described in this post aren’t always a Man V/s Woman thing. It could even be a Man V/s Man or Woman V/s Woman scenario.
Premier Inn, a rather well established hospitality chain in Britain, managed to put together a survey, not so long ago. The survey was mainly aimed at heterosexual couples that slept together (i.e. in the same bed). The results of the survey (about 2000 people were surveyed) showed that on average, couples fought about 167 times in a year in the bedroom, over a number of reasons. Of course, “fight” might be too strong and physical a word. So let’s coat it in a bit of sugar, and say, “bickered”. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons, shall we?
The attack of “the blanket hogger”
In terms of “activities that cause boudoir discontent”, this probably ranks way up there. Let’s look at this example. Person W (hence forth to be referred to as Ms. W) loves to be wrapped up like an Egyptian Mummy, failing which sleep is quite arduous to come by. Person M (hence forth to be referred to as Mr. M) is not that fond of blankets in general. He’s more of a free spirit and will normally only use a blanket as the last resort. Kind of seems like an ideal scenario, doesn’t it? Fast forward to say 1 am. Ms. W finds herself shivering. She opens her eyes, only to discover that her blanket is now being hogged by Mr. M, who ironically gave her the long lecture about not wanting any blankets in the first place. Thereby ensures the vigorous battle for ownership of the blanket, which finally ends in a truce, with both of them agreeing to share the blanket, but not before they’ve both lost out on some quality sleep time.
Certainly, the obvious answer to this would have been for both of them to have separate blankets. But then, cuddling becomes a slight issue. Hence they prefer to have one large blanket. But here’s the thing, even with separate blankets, co-sleeping couples may still find that one of them has to invariably fight for their share in the middle of the night.
The Persistent Snorer
Men do it. Women do it. Why I’ve heard 20-month old babies do it. From time immemorial, snoring has been the undisputed leader amongst the primary causes behind bedroom brawls. But yes, of course men take the flak for it; well at least the lion’s share of it. And no, it’s not without reason. The thing about snoring is that it’s usually a one-way street. The only person that isn’t bothered by it, is the person who’s rumbling, rasping and grunting. I understand that there could be plenty of reasons for this “phenomenon”. Sometimes it’s a medical issue whilst some other times, it’s just too much of beer. But if your partner is a light-sleeper, don’t be surprised if you’re frequently woken up in the middle of your deep slumber with a series of pokes and prods. Of course, you could always gift him/her a pair of earplugs :).
The Fireplace V/s The Icebox
Some like it hot and some like it cold. The room I mean. The challenge is often finding the middle ground. And the weather or month rarely makes a difference. You need the comfort of a warm room to sleep, whereas your partner would rather have it feel like an igloo. The biting cold forces you to make more frequent trips to the washroom, when you’d rather be trying to sleep. On the other hand, a warm room makes your partner complain about how they find it difficult to fall asleep in a pool of sweat. The easier solution would be to try using a table fan for the Iceman (or woman) and an extra single blanket for the heat seeker.
The bed-space skirmish
I’ve been woken up, far too many times, from my deep slumber with the phrase “Get Off Me” ringing in my ears, No, it’s not what you’re thinking of ;) The thing is, I’m a sprawler. And of course, that means that my legs (and other parts - hands et all I mean) often cross over into my wife’s territory, sometimes even attacking her. Until quite recently, I used to think that I was the only one with such a problem. However some in-depth Google research and random survey results from strangers have shown me that I’m not alone. If you still would like to continue sleeping in the same bed, my request would be to invest in a larger King-Size bed. Trust me, those extra 16 inches help. The bitter truth is that, when it comes to beds, just as with other private zones, size does matter. I meant a larger bathroom. What were you thinking about? :)
The Right - Left Predilection
This might not be one of the most common reasons for most bedroom brawls. But it’s a matter of habit, and hence worth mentioning. Most couples in a relationship usually have their preferred side of the bed. And it often remains that way. The subject only crops up when one of you fancies a change in the side, for reasons unknown to the other person. We all have our reasons to choose which side of the bed we’d like to sleep on. For me, it’s usually the one closest to the door and away from the wall. What’s yours?
Switched On or Turned Off
This is another one of those seemingly teeny-tiny frictions that have the potential to fire-up discontent in the bedroom. Lights - On or Off. Even though we’re both bibliophiles, there are days when I want nothing more than to read. And ironically those are often the days she just wants to sleep. The tables have been turned quite a few times too. So the light becomes a bit of a challenge. Of course, this is one of the easier things to solve. Just makes sure that there are reading lamps on both sides of the bed. Failing which, you can always get one of those small reading lights that fixes onto the stem of the book.
Apart from the occasional delays, timing can make and break relationships. I meant the timing of going to bed, that is. Of course, there’s a saying that “couples who go to bed together, stay together”. But sometimes, it just isn’t possible to retire to bed together, especially if you have young kids. Or if you have different work timings. Talking about timing, another one that often causes a bit of tension is how quickly you fall asleep. If both of you are lucky enough to nod off to sleep as soon as you hit the bed, then this point isn’t really relevant to you. With most couples, some of the most delightful conversations are held under the darkened ceilings of your bedroom. However the thresholds for each person varies slightly and should you find yourself dozing off while listening to your partner, then be prepared for battle the next morning.
Come to think about it, it’s rather ironic that these seemingly trivial little rituals have the potential to cause displeasure in the bedroom. After all, a little loving tête-à-tête can provide amicable solutions to most of these. But then, they do happen. Because sometimes the simplest things can cause discontent. And that my friends, is the ugly truth behind bedroom brawls.
[Image courtesy: freedigitalphotos.net/ David Castillo | Photostock | Ambro | foto76 | WikiHow | Daily Mail | 123rf.com]
Oh my goodness. This was a hoot. I prefer to sleep diagonally. I've had pillows thrown at me, been kicked, pushed into a more suitable position. The fact is that I hog the double bed, sleep in the middle and then slowly move into a 60 degree or 45 degree angle. I even had the ex actually place bolsters in the middle to clearly demarcate sleeping areas. It did not workReplyDelete
Ritu - The same here. I started off as a "diagonal" sleeper and now a sprawler. Some days just to get away from the wife's constant poking, I confine myself to the rather comfortable couch :) Glad you enjoyed the read.Delete
Goes without saying that I loved this 'divine collaboration' of Sakshi and Sid, and the post truly does justice to Sid's awesome powers of human observation and converting them into ready to understand, easy laughable, but deeply profound posts.ReplyDelete
I used to be a 'sprawler' until my wife gave birth to a true blue sprawling prodigy. Now, almost the entire night goes by in me trying to keep the little one's feet out of my mouth, her head out of my tummy, and all other funny positions.
As for the "On Off" conundrum, both of us have Kindle Paperwhites now and therefore don't disturb each other or the little one when we want to read in complete darkness.
Sakshi, I think the mythological bit is slightly overpowering Jairam's choice of words. Divine indeed. It's more the case of "Asura meets Devi" kind of scenario here.Delete
Jairam - I too am a sprawler. Rather was like you mentioned. It's a constant battle; so much so, that there are days I voluntarily offer to sleep on the couch :) You're giving me another idea for a post. Something that's been written plenty of times before, but nevertheless I'd like to give it my twist !
I really need to get the Kindle Paperwhite. Thank you for your wonderful comments :)
Siddd you've done it again!!! Can't stop chuckling... Brilliant post! :D :DReplyDelete
Aditi, Thank you :) If I ever write a book about spousal relationships, cliched as the contents might be, I will gladly send you an autographed copy !!Delete
Nice job Sid! Its is a very good article to read...and the I believe the last line have been borrowed from the movie 'The Ugly Truth' - befitting one liner to summarize the whole thing :-)ReplyDelete
Joby, so it takes a post for you to drop me a line. Ok, I'll take that offline. Absolutely, "The Ugly Truth" a romedy as it might be, actually sums up the entire man-woman thing quite well :) Thanks for the comment. And do ping me on FB once in a whileDelete
And Sakshi your intro to the man was perfect! He is a sweetheart!ReplyDelete
Aditi - Sakshi's intro was way too kind. I might just want to frame that for future reference (including this comment of yours). As for the thank you, kindly refer my previous point :)Delete
So true!!! I am the victim of a snoring spouse - and yest, the prodding and poking part happens nearly always!! You should do another post for couples who co-sleep with a child :-)ReplyDelete
beingFab - Thank you. And yes, that is indeed the subject of my next post. So stay tuned :)Delete
Great observation Sid. I am a sprawler and my husband is a snorer, and yet we try to underplay our shortcomings lest it affects other kinds of play.ReplyDelete
Thank you Alka. In our case, I'm both the sprawler and snorer :) Of course, other kinds of play take priority at timesDelete
Charming post, Sid! And subtly humourous without being judgmental.ReplyDelete
Great to see Sid on your blog, Sakshi.
Thanks Rickie. I'm honoured to be hereDelete
What an interesting post! I nodded in agreement many a times esp with the blanket hogging. However, it is my daughter's blanket which would be grabbed by my husband as he prefers her soft fluffy quilt than my plain bed sheet :)ReplyDelete
Thank you Vaishnavi. Hmm..maybe I should get my son a fluffy quilt and then take it off him. HE doesn't seem to care much for any kind of blanket productsDelete
Thank you Sneh :)ReplyDelete
I sleep diagonally taking all the space with 4-5 pillows fluffed around me with my cosy blanket wrapping me. After reading this.... I seriously don't wanna marry :/ReplyDelete
Sheethal, it's not that bad. And I exaggerate (Well, not too much:P).Delete
Sid, I'm scared of you. Did you peep into the bed rooms? I am a sprawler with a snoring husband and two girls hogging the bed. This morning around 3, suddenly something heavy falls onto my nose almost breaking the bone. It was only after a while that I realised that it was the little one's head which fell from on top of the bed. To me, the argument is more with the girls than with the snorer. Very well observed. :-DReplyDelete
And Sakshi, I loved the into you gave to Sid. Just perfect! :-D
Oh no, Rekha - In just a sentence you have reduced me to a peeping tom :) Just kidding. It's just experience. With some generalisation of course :) Oh, I'll be doing a piece about co-sleeping with kids too...So hold on :)Delete
Wonderful post. Subtle humour to go with pointers one can relate with. Nice!ReplyDelete
Thank you :) Glad you enjoyed itDelete
Saved most of these since I remained single. The only time I face issues is on treks - mainly related to snoring. My tent-mates cast aspersions about the cacophonous orchestra that plays in the vicinity of my head. Lies! Why I have never heard myself snore :)ReplyDelete
Suresh, neither had I. I say had.,...because...Darn technology! My wife actually recorded it. Though I suspect some amount of video editing has been done. But until dig up the truth, I am forced to accept that I may snore :(Delete
*clap clap* and yes I will now clap a bit more. Masterpiece. And Sid you have actually pointed out things that are soo common I had to keep nodding all the way. Especially retiring to bed part, since I am a late sleeper and hubby dearest likes to capture more winks before office, this is a huge bone of contention.ReplyDelete
Having said that, Sakshi you have so sweetly introduced Sid to us if I was him I would be on cloud nine by now :-)
Out of the world awesome writing! :D
May I take a bow, Richa ? I'm going to anyway (*taking a bow*). Oh, the bones of contention are plenty my dear.Delete
As for Sakshi's introduction - I think I'm way past Cloud Nine...I think I sped past it on my way to Cloud 99 :)
Thank you !
Good one, nice to pin the facts down..LOLReplyDelete
Thank you Bhawana....pin the facts down :) Love that usage.Delete
Very good one! Just yesterday me and the other half were having a "nice" conversation on which side of the bed we prefer :)ReplyDelete
Thank you Seeta. "Nice" conversation eh? How lovely. .:)Delete
That was quite a bit of research you put... Loved the subtle humor in it.ReplyDelete
We fight for mostly the light off/ light on bit bcoz of my reading craze! :)
Thank you PreethiDelete
hahaha Sid, that was so funny and so true! My husband snores and I can't begin to tell you what all stunts I've tried to sleep with his snores. And temperature, oh yes, sometimes we are arguing about too hot and too cold. This was really funny. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Loved your introduction of Sakshi and hers of you as well!ReplyDelete
Thank you Rachna. I used to think we were the only one. But then research and observation proved otherwise. Glad you liked it :)Delete
Brilliant and hilarious. It was as if somebody just wrote all the fights we have ever had in bed. There are more fights like who will face which side to sleep and who will hug who.ReplyDelete
Thank you Neha :) Well, of course, there are the more personal fights, especially the "cuddling" ones .....I've just included the more non-personal ones.ReplyDelete
Haha, that's one funny list! The real problem comes, however, when more of those things combine. I used to date a guy who loved to sleep with socks on (he believed that he wouldn't catch cold like that, silly, haha) and the bedroom doors had to stay closed. I, on the other side, hate socks and love sleeping with open doors. You cannot imagine the quarrels we had every night :D not to mentioned he snored really hard.ReplyDelete
One thing that is strange is that many of the problems disappear once you change your bedroom design. My boyfriend, at that time, was behaving differently when we slept in hotels or at our friend's place or a mountain cabin :) either way, I loved reading about the survey, hugs, Kay xx
Thank you Kay. Strangely enough, I've heard about the "sleep with socks" bit too. I suppose bedroom design does have a thing or two to do with it too. Thanks for stopping by :)ReplyDelete
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