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2011-03-17 digital edition

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2011-03-17 / General Stories

Sleeping Disorder

I don’t know if it’s a physiological problem, a cultural problem, or a gender problem. All I know is that I don’t like it.

Why is it that my husband can sleep in the middle of the day at the drop of a hat, but he can’t get a full night’s sleep? He told me I simply have to stop dropping hats, but I’m thinking hats don’t have anything to do with it.

I remember long ago, when I was a child, we used to go to Grandma and Grandpa’s house for holiday dinners. Grandma would work all day long, cooking the meal, tidying up, setting the table and even washing the dishes afterward.

Yet, it was Grandpa that would fall asleep in the La-Z-Boy after the meal. It must’ve been truly exhausting for him to watch Grandma work her tail off.

My husband and I are showing signs of this trend continuing in the twenty-first century.

One of the factors here could be my own vanity. When I cook a meal, I want it to turn out perfect for my guests. Because I am not the best cook in the world, this takes some real effort on my part and the kind of precise planning that is somewhat difficult for me and completely foreign to my husband. When he comes in the kitchen and starts poking around, he doesn’t really want to help out. He simply wants to see what can be eaten before the meal is served. In actuality, he is screwing up all my careful planning. So I shoo him out before he unbalances my perfectly arranged pickle tray.

There is plenty that he could do, but nothing he really wants to do right. The right way, by the way, is always my way. I call him in when it is time to cut the meat because that is a job he wants to do right. In all honestly, though, if I’d let him cut it with a chain saw, he would.

After dinner, he makes sure that he loads at least one plate into the dishwasher that still has meat chunks on it and one upsidedown cup, totally ignoring the laws of physics and dishwasher mechanics, so that I’ll shoo him out again to entertain our guests. It is truly amazing that this man can function outside of our home.

Then, instead of entertaining our guests, he, and every male guest older than 18, will fall asleep where they are sitting, just like Grandpa did.

I wonder if Grandma ever decided to take a well-needed nap, too? She could have sat down in her matching La-Z-Boy, propped up her tired feet and snored as loudly as Grandpa. They could have left a note for their guests, pinned to their lapels that read:

“If we fall asleep (these things happen) please help yourself to the leftovers and let yourselves out.”

But no, for some reason, women are born with the knowledge that it is rude to fall asleep when you have guests. Grandma always toughed it out, stayed awake, and entertained her guests over the deafening roar of Grandpa’s snores.

If the present day is any indication of history, I’m almost certain that Grandpa thought that the perfect ending to those “restful” days was a romp in the hay with his wife. I’m just as certain that when it came time for such things, Grandma fell exhausted into bed and Grandpa was cursing the day he married his “frigid” wife.

Grandpa lived to be 72. Grandma lived to be 93.

Laura Snyder is a nationally syndicated columnist, author & speaker. You can reach Laura at lsnyder@lauraonlife.com Or visit her website www.lauraonlife.com for more info.

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