The European is a very heavy sleeper. And by “heavy,” I mean that it’s a very good thing that he quit smoking a while back because I’m pretty sure his house could burn down around him and he wouldn’t notice.
This is the only thing about him that truly distresses me. Well, that and the fact that he wears black crew socks with his sneakers. When I brought this to attention, he very quickly reminded me that he is European, that he thinks the white, ankle-length athletic socks that Americans wear are “stupid” and that he is never going to change his mind on this account so there was no use trying to convince him. I decided, for once in my life, to shut up. I mean really, what business of it is mine if he wants to persist in wearing strange socks?
Sleeping, though, is another matter. He takes forever to wake up. And until he’s had his first cup of coffee, he just mumbles, stumbles around in his sexy underwear and, upon noticing that his cat has snuck into his room, grins and proceeds to say things like, “Cat and Kat. Two cats in my bed.”
This wouldn’t be such a problem if it wasn’t for the fact that I am a morning person. And a light sleeper. And now that I’m about to become a home owner, I’ve basically stopped sleeping all together, not because I want to— I love sleeping— but because I keep having nightmares. They run the gamut from showing up at work naked (because I’ve packed all of my clothes for work and have nothing to wear) to volunteering at a Dickensian-style orphanage and accidentally dropping a baby on its head. (No idea where that one came from.)
When I do finally wake up, I lay in bed worrying about my house, my down payment, my mortgage, whether or not I’ll find a roommate, my dance company, our current “growing pains” and all of the inevitable drama that occurs when you have eight very talented, very passionate and very artistic personalities working together, my manuscript, my lack of progress on said manuscript, my college courses, whether they’ll have sufficient enrollment to run, health insurance (or rather my current lack thereof), lesson plans, syllabi and my seemingly endless collection of half-finished DIY projects for my new house.
I know it’s not The European’s fault that I’m a bit more stressed out than usual. I feel, however, that co-ed sleepovers endow you with certain rights: the right to take a shower and be given a clean towel, for example; the right to drink ridiculously sweet coffee in bed so long as you promise not to spill; the right to borrow toothpaste; and finally the right to be held if you wake up worrying about non-existent orphan babies.
Especially if you ask to invoke this last right.
We’ve been joking that relationships (and life in general) would be so much easier if everyone was like his cat: she’s a bit of a diva and always lets you know exactly what she wants.
As such, when I woke up in the middle of the night for the umpteenth time, I decided to tell The European exactly what I wanted. “Will you hold me?” I asked.
“Yes,” he replied. But instead of reaching his arms out towards me, he rolled away towards the foot of the bed.
I was vaguely horrified.
A few hours later, still unable to sleep, I asked, “Is it okay if I go into your office and find a book to read?”
So I did.
When he finally woke up to discover me curled up with a book next to him, he had no recollection of our previous conversation.
“You said it was okay!” I insisted, afraid that he’d think I’d been snooping through his things without permission. “I asked you.”
“It is okay,” he assured me. “But I don’t remember.”
“How can you not remember? I asked you and you said ‘yes.’ You actually answered me!”
His response was something involving the cat, or perhaps coffee. To be honest, I’m not even entirely certain he was speaking English.
Then again, we had been out until three o’clock in the morning the night before. And I know that he’s not a morning person. Plus I don’t think I’d be able to speak all that coherently in any language other than my native tongue if I was in his shoes. And seeing as he speaks like five languages (and is perfectly delightful once he’s fully awake), I figured I should cut him some slack.
All the same, the next time we spend the night together, I’m going to wait until he’s asleep and then ask him if I can borrow his car. And his credit cards.