I woke up this morning—as I do most mornings, honestly—to a call from my friend Alexis. Yes, I’m one of those people who talks to her long-distance bestie almost every day. I know, you wish you were her but that’s not what we’re here to talk about so please try to contain your envy at this woman who not only gets her updates more than twice a week but has an uncanny knack for calling me when I’m naked.
I have a point and I’d like to get to it, if you don’t mind.
Once we’d run through the usual topics—all the news since yesterday seasoned liberally with analysis of what we should have done/said and our various neuroses—she announced that her husband is finally coming home tomorrow (he’s been away on a business trip of some sort; I really don’t pay attention to his body-counting conferences) and she’s excited about this not because she’ll finally get some help with the damned kids,* but because he’ll be available to tuck her in at night.
ALEXIS: I know it sounds dumb—
ME: Nope. Husband tucks me in too.
ALEXIS: Right? it’s the little things.
ME: When he’s gone, I really notice having to turn off the light myself, and miss him all over again.
ME: Of course, my husband never tried to kill me…
All of which got me thinking about our little bedtime rituals, and the intimacy that comes with them. It’s not just about the naked stuff—although that part is great, and I highly recommend it to anyone; you don’t even have to be completely naked, if time is a factor. But for real intimacy, nothing beats fighting someone over the blankets.
ME: Tuck meh.
HIM: Hang on. (starts making bed around me)
ME: (climbs under blankets, flops back dramatically) Baby, I like it like that.
HIM: (continues straightening and arranging blankets)
ME: Noooooooooo! I said like dat! Now it’ll take me forever to put it back.
HIM: Not forever. Just wait ‘til I leave then steal ‘em back.
ME: (moves top comforter)
HIM: I SAID WAIT ‘TIL I LEAVE! Gawd.
ME: ‘s not stealing.
HIM: … (comes around for kiss)
ME: (urgently) Nyiiiiiii! (points at exposed feet)
HIM: Oh. (moves top comforter to cover my feet)
ME: I know you don’t expect my feet to do their own “stealing.”
HIM: (pauses at door) Of course not. I WOULDN’T WANT THE BLANKETS TO FREEZE!
When I got engaged the first time (long story that; let’s talk about it never) everyone warned me that sex eventually fades from a marriage, and that what you’re left with is whatever intimacy you’ve built outside the bedroom. Now, I haven’t been married long enough to lose interest in sex (seriously, who are these people?) but I’m gonna call bullshit on that “outside the bedroom” stuff. I mean, if you’re not talking and laughing and bonding and fighting in the bedroom, where the hell are you doing it? In the kitchen?
With the knives?
ME: (snuggles) You’re almost my favorite husband
HIM: Almost, huh?
ME: Yeah. The guy who comes in on Thursdays also does massage, so—
HIM: Does he also do this?
ME: … Yes, actually. I’ve been meaning to tell you. Don’t be mad!
* Not what she calls them, inexplicably.