Muhammad Ali Goes to Bed

When I was three, my father banned me from sleeping in his bed.

Which meant when I had nightmares, I had to sleep in a sleeping bag on the floor next to their bed. Know where a scary place to be when you’ve just had a nightmare is?

On the floor next to the bed. Staring into the deep, unending blackness under the bed. Where everyone knows the monsters hang out.

To be fair, my father had his reasons. Extremely justifiable reasons.

Sleeping in bed with me has been likened to sleeping with Muhammad Ali.

Which, although I know it’s true due to unanimous consensus, always leaves me a bit confused.

When we were kids and my dad worked the night shift, my mom, sister and I would share the master bed. I would consistently wake up with Lauren’s feet planted square in the middle of my back, shoving me off the bed. I clung on with two inches or so of total bed space.

It’s possible this was a defensive maneuver on Lauren’s part. But it always left me wondering how if she was that aggressive a sleeper, how I could be the bad one.

However, it is indisputable that I am an alligator rolling, blanket stealing, kidney punching, UFC style fighter in bed.

No, seriously, I’ve woken up with bruises I’ve given myself while sleeping.

Now, I’m sure that some of you will point out that this basically amounts to a sleep disorder and a huge detriment to anyone who might want to share a bed with me. And that it basically makes my husband a saint.

However, I saw it as a clear sign that we needed a King Size bed in the new house. It would protect us all.

This, in turn, gave way to a new fear. My mother-in-law swears that a marriage is kept together by the closeness a queen-sized bed forces. That her mother used to say that and that, sure enough, her own marriage began to disintegrate when they got a king sized bed.

Since I’m all superstitious and stuff, this worried me. I keep fretting that I’ve jinxed myself by distancing myself from my husband and getting a king sized bed. The jinxes weigh on my mind more than they should.

Especially when my rational brain reminds me: he’d probably rather have the distance than be awakened by kidney punches and karate chops to the throat.