Kurt’s empty bedroom has done a formidable job of enticing me away from the confines of the marital bed, during our son’s absence.
Luckily, I developed a minor cold at the beginning of last week, which gave me the perfect excuse to move into his room under the pretence of not wanting to spread my germs or keep the old man awake with my coughing, sniffing and wheezing fits.
Sadly, it was only to be a 48hr cold – not the serious case of man flu I had hoped it would be – so I had to fake my symptoms for the following three days until we came away.
I’m sure that many of you can appreciate the sheer bliss of sleeping alone for the first time in over twenty years. No fights over the doona or space, and no unexpected (and frankly RUDE) pokes in the night when I snore. You see, the old man and I have developed very different sleep rhythms and patterns as we’ve aged and the only thing we have in common in bed these days is that we are both exceptionally light sleepers.
I am a night bird who likes to go to bed late, read late into the night, tip tap on the computer at whatever time creativity calls and arise as late as my schedule will allow me to the following morning. The old man likes to retire early, arise with the birds and is unnaturally and annoyingly full of beans from sunrise.
I used to think that older couples adopted separate bedrooms when their sex life dried up; It never occurred to me that the decision might be linked to certain other physical changes related to the ageing process such as the call of the weaker bladder, snoring, night sweats that make the bed hotter than a sauna and the resulting insomnia that increases middle-aged intolerances.
Dimming the light on my Kindle to a glow, batting my eyelashes and my suggestion of ear plugs are no longer effective strategies for keeping the wrath of the old man at bay.
Is it okay to want separate bedrooms? Or is it a slippery slope leading to a lack of intimacy that signals the beginning of the end?