Why am I dreading the holidaze?
Like millions of Americans, I am a light sleeper. I mean a really, really light sleeper. I live 20 miles from the airport and I am often awakened by the sound of airplanes flying miles above my bed. I don’t sleep with lights on, or music, or the television. In fact, I hold my breath all night to avoid the sound of air rushing in and out of my nose. Okay, not really, but I need darkness and quiet in order to get a good night’s rest.
My sister is not a light sleeper. My sister could sleep through a war movie with surround sound at the highest volume on the world’s loudest speakers. She must go beyond REM sleep. She’s almost on COMA sleep.
Anyway, during the holidays we always go to my folks’ home to spend some quality time together, all six of us. Just like the old days except now I have two teenagers so Mom insists on cooking two pans of biscuits every morning.
I must be honest. I am dreading the holidays. Why? I’m glad you asked.
Here’s the problem. My folks have three bedrooms. That means I share a bed with my sister or sleep on a pallet—on the floor. The last time my sister and I shared a bed, she was four and I woke up with three toes in my mouth. Well, many moons have passed so last Christmas I thought, “This will be fun like a little slumber party. We’ll talk all night and really bond.”
What was I thinking? I suspected all along that the noise I heard the last time I spent the night at sissy’s home was not the icemaker or the air conditioner like she surmised. No, that noise was her. The woman snores like she’s being paid to do it. I’ve been to concerts that weren’t as loud. True, she had a cold and she was very tired but good grief. All of our bonding dissolved after about thirty minutes of her nocturnal bugle blowing.
I started out by shaking her gently. That didn’t work. Then I sort of tried to push her on her side. She rolled over and kept right on snoring. Next, I put two pillows over her head. They barely muffled the sound. In desperation, I punched her in her back as hard as I could. She didn’t freakin’ move. She didn’t even pause from snoring for a moment.
Exasperated, I sought refuge in the bedroom with my sons’. They were in a king- sized bed but I couldn’t find an inch of space between them. They were sprawled in every direction like they heard me coming. I just wanted a little room at the foot of the bed. Have you smelled the feet of any teenage boys’ lately?
I continued my pilgrimage to the den where a nice, big sofa awaited me. It was right next to the nice, big fish aquarium with the world’s loudest pump. I convinced myself that the fish could survive one night without carbonated water. I was about to pull the plug when I noticed one of the fish staring at me. He looked so mean. He opened and closed his little mouth. I swear he said, “I’ve got friends that walk. If anything happens to me, you’re history.”
So I took my little pillow and blanket to the living room where my mother showcases the world’s smallest couch. It’s very cute but it’s obviously designed for people with very small rear ends. The cushions are about ten inches wide. If I lay on my left side, my knees floated in the air; the extremely frigid “we turn the thermostat down at night” air. If I flipped to the right, my not so small rear end hung over the edge and it was hard to keep my balance, but at least the flashing Christmas lights outside the window didn’t seem so bright.
So I harnessed myself to a hook on the wall behind the sofa using the belt on my housecoat and spent the night dreaming I was falling off a cliff.
The next morning, I packed the car before anyone else arose. I packed everyone’s stuff. I told my kids to wear the clothes they tossed on the floor before going to bed . My sister refused to drive because she was sore. She didn’t know why and I didn’t tell her.
You know what? This year, I’m staying at a hotel all by my lonesome no matter what Mama says.
© Monica Frazier Anderson 2003-2007. All Rights Reserved