I lay in bed this morning, my cat nestled beside me snoring, and thought about how difficult it would be to share my bed with someone—other than a cat—on a permanent basis. I love sleeping. I love my pillows. I love my 300 thread count cotton sheets. I love my Duxiana bed. The idea of waking up next to someone every day for the rest of my life is very appealing on some levels, but the idea of having to share a queen-sized, or even a king-sized bed, with another person is less than appealing.
Prior to 1925 there was no such thing as a master bedroom. The term did not exist. Much as the infamous metal sign in the Hollywood Hills which originally read “Hollywoodland” started as a real estate promotional stunt to market an undesirable area of Los Angeles, the concept of a master bedroom was created as the United States entered the Great Depression. It was a time when land was at a premium and most married couples could not afford two bedrooms. One large bedroom occupied less square footage. It was an illusion of grandeur, and a fantastic marketing tool. By the 50's, master bedrooms were common place. Today’s critically acclaimed TV show Mad Men, set in the 50s, has Don and Betty Draper sharing one bed in a master bedroom. However, in the 1969 TV series The Brady Bunch, Mike and Carol Brady shared a master bedroom with two single beds, because it was a family show. Eventually the master bedroom became the norm, as did sharing one large bed.
I used to go running with a girlfriend of mine who is a therapist. While we ran we would talk about life, men, and relationships. One day in passing she let it slip that she and her husband had separate bedrooms. I was shocked. She was so together. I mean, she was a therapist for Christ's sake! I immediately questioned her about the status of her relationship, but she assured me that she and her husband had an active sex life, they never fought, and they were perfectly happy. I didn't understand. I was raised to assume that if a man and women weren't sleeping together, that meant they weren't having sex, they weren't happy, and they were no longer in love. Evidently that's not always the case. My therapist friend said that sleeping in separate beds is what kept her relationship with her husband fresh. In fact, it was so important to her, it was a condition under which she agreed to get married.
Many studies have shown that sleep is an important part of a healthy sex life. As we get older we don't sleep as well. We have back problems, neck problems, sciatica issues and some of us even snore. I used to be a heavy sleeper, but as we age we all have our challenges. While I enjoy sex as much as the next person, I have never liked sharing my bed. This is the problem with being single so long. I am stuck in my ways. I am spoilt. I do not want to share my bed. I need my beauty sleep. What is that saying? A well-rested woman is a happy woman. Okay, so I made that up, but it happens to be true. Feel free to use the expression, just send me a 50 cent royalty fee per use.
I wonder if my future husband—whomever that may be—will understand if I choose to spend the night alone, or will he be offended? I've never been much for basking in the afterglow. I guess I'm wired more like a man that way. After sex I just want to roll over and go to sleep. I rarely want to cuddle. I don't like another body touching me while I sleep. I don't want to be scratched by his toenails. I don't want to have my arm fall asleep while I lie on my side being spooned. I just want to sleep. Perhaps I can take some solace in this thought: while I might have to share my bed and my comforter, my pillow is mine alone.
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