A friend came to me the other day and told me his fiancé was going to be moving in with him. I issued to him one of the most important bits of advice I could…in fact, maybe it was indeed a cautionary tale. No, it wasn’t, “Go ahead if you think there is no hell.*” It was more insightful. “Go to your bedroom,” I explained, “and make damned sure you know what side of the bed you want. That first night, the first official night that you two are living together, will set the gold standard. And if you think vacations in a nice hotel are going to get you a reprieve, forget it. You will never sleep on the other side of the bed…ever. Choose wisely.”
I know it doesn’t seem like such a big deal at the time. For my part, I was still reeling from the fact that someone (other than four other dudes at college…you know who you are) was willing to live with me, a real, live woman no less, that it seemed like a trivial matter at the time.
Not that it matters much. In fact, when Bonnie was recently out of town, an experiment was in order. No, not the one where I watched the DVD’s I picked up in Myrtle Beach last year. After the kids went to sleep, I crawled onto her side of the bed. The side is either the right or left depending on your perspective. I am sure there are some guidelines about the delineation…but to me it is kind of like figuring out the difference between stage right and stage left. Doesn’t it just, well, depend? Anyway, after I figured out her alarm clock and swapped pillows, it was all sort of anti-climactic.
I came to realize the one downfall of this, at least in my case, is when we are not home. She is more of a TV watcher in bed and I am more of a reader. This works fine at home where we both have access to lamps. But on the road, we are usually sharing a room with the boys. So we are inevitably left with a bed with a light on only one side (and it is usually one of those that are mounted to the wall where you have to hit the switch eight times while you cycle through the endless possibilities of lighting combinations.) I always end up on the side without the light and the bed about two and half inches from the wall.
GW famously said as the great “decider,” (or was that the great “decision-er”) “You are either with us or against us.” Say what you will about the man, but he knew the importance of picking the right (or left) side.
(* This was a quote from Gene Collier, a Pittsburgh Post Gazette columnist and funny guy. Cite my sources I will.)