My husband JR is an excellent sleeper. He can sleep anywhere at any time, entirely unconstricted by conventional boundaries. It doesn’t matter if we’re in the middle of a dinner party; he’ll leave the table, move to the nearest flat surface, and go to sleep. While I have an extensive, regimented nighttime routine, carefully developed to combat pervasive insomniac tendencies, JR needs no preparation whatsoever. He just falls asleep. It’s astounding.
The other night, JR went to sleep a couple hours before me, which is the norm. When I found him in bed, fully dressed with his glasses still on, I debated whether or not to wake him. Sleeping JR can be a real brat. Here’s a typical example:
Me: “JR, you’re snoring.”
JR: “You’re snoring.”
Me: “No, I’m lying here listening to you snore. Could you roll onto your side?”
JR: “Just go to sleep and you won’t hear me!”
Out of concern for the wellbeing of his glasses, I decided to wake him. After his eyes popped open, he asked, “How did I get here?” I replied, “The same way you get everywhere,” then concluded with: “Free will,” at the same time he said, “Magic?”
This exchange brought to mind another recent occasion when we offered very different simultaneous answers. Someone had asked us for the key to our relationship’s longevity, and JR replied, “A sense of humor,” at the same moment I said, “Time apart.” JR loves to tell that story. I maintain that both factors are important.
Besides his ability to sleep, JR has another magical power: an unparalleled sense of direction. This is something I lack entirely, so it makes no sense to me when I start to guide him somewhere and he says, “I know. I’ve been there before.” Seriously, what the hell does that have to do with anything? If you plunked me down in the center of my hometown right now and asked me to take you to the house where I grew up, I would not be able to do it. JR, on the other hand, has internal maps and intuition that are baffling to me. When he helped me move to Orcas Island back in 2012, we arrived after dark and drove around the island for about an hour, trying to locate the AirBNB where I’d be staying for three months. The directions I’d been given didn’t correspond with reality, and when we found ourselves in downtown Eastsound for the third time, I started to panic. JR, however, remained totally chill. He set the directions aside and said, “I think I know how to get there,” then proceeded to drive us straight to the house. Upon arrival, I felt like I’d just watched the parting of the Red Sea. That was eleven years ago, and I’m still in awe.
JR finds my lack of directional prowess equally baffling. He’s shocked every time I don’t know how to get somewhere, as well as every time I do know how to get somewhere. What can I say? I like to keep him on his toes.
While JR and I aren’t always on the same page, I think we’re at least in the same book. I’ll call it I Don’t Know, It Just Works: Life With a Couple of Goofballs. It’s not finished yet, but when it is, I guarantee it will be interesting enough to get banned in Florida.