Do you have a side of the bed? Can you absolutely not sleep on the “other” side or else you’ll toss all night?
That’s me. I have to be on the right side of the bed (from the point of view of being in the bed.) Even during the (many) years I was sleeping alone, I still stayed mostly to the right side, although I admit I’ve gravitated toward the middle as of the last 10 years.
I suppose it started when I got my first double bed.
I used to have to share a room with my brother. My entire childhood, we had twin beds on opposite sides of a room (aka my side and the slobby side). When we finally moved into the farmhouse outside Toledo, we had an extra room that my folks wanted to keep as a guest room. Eventually I persuaded them to let me have the room, on the condition that when we had guests, I had to hit the couch. It was a good deal… we rarely had stay-over company.
Anyway, my bed was positioned such that it was right beside my desk. That’s where I put my hanky, or drink, or whatever else I might need at night. So I got used to gravitating toward that side. It stuck.
So now I have all my stuff on the end table beside my bed… my alarm clock, box of Kleenex, and always a glass of water. Every single night, I draw a glass of water for my bedside. I only ever drink from it maybe once a month, but on that one night, it’s totally worth not having to get out of bed to wipe out a wicked case of dry-mouth.
It’s only been a matter of luck that every girl with whom I’ve shared a bed from then on either preferred the left side, or didn’t care. I used to worry about what would happen if I ever encountered a potential mate that wanted “my” side. I’m sure some top-level negotiations would have had to take place.
Not that it matters, ultimately. Whichever side I’m on, I know I’m only getting about 2 feet of it.
OK, Pinky’s generally not that bad. But it’s funny. Sometimes when we stay at a hotel that has a king-size bed, well, you’d think that with all that extra room, I’d have room for my elbows at my sides. But no. She will chase me across the bed, in slow motion throughout the night, until I’m cornered at the edge and hanging on for dear life.
I guess I should just be thankful it’s only Pinky that I have to worry about and not a steady stream of cats and kids and dogs.
Now that I think of it, my dad was always on the right side of the bed and mom was on the left. I know this, not because I used to crawl in, God forbid, we kids NEVER dared try that. I know because I used to bring them coffee on the weekends. Yes, really.
Mom taught me how to make coffee when I was in 3rd or 4th grade. This was pre-Mr. Coffee days too. Big metal pot, metal basket inside, filling up the pot to the correct level… it was a big responsibility. Every weekend morning I’d get up, make coffee and around 9:00 I’d pour one black and one with milk and tiptoe up the stairs and into their room.
What can I say, besides the words “perfect child?”
Then I’d run down and pour myself a cup, then run back up and we’d all have our morning coffee together. (Calm down… it was only half coffee, half milk, two spoons of sugar. As I got older, I changed the proportions accordingly.) I kept up this routine until I was a sophomore in high school, at which time I discovered that it was much more fulfilling to sleep until 11:00.
OK, where was I? Oh yeah, Dad was always on the right side. Maybe that subconsciously rubbed off. But, I think it’s more like the early conditioning of having a shelf on that side. Who knows?
So do you have a side? Have you ever had to sleep on the off side? How did that go? And are you the bed hog, or the one clinging to the edge?