Sunday, October 3, 2010
The Last One Out
There are certain aspects of sleeping with another person that are important to honor. First, if you snore, figure out a way to not. Second, if your partner snores, figure out a way to not hear it. Third, if you fart always say "excuse me" even if you whisper it in the middle of the night. Fourth, acknowledge that sleeping with that person is actually the most intimate thing you will ever do with them, even more intimate than sex, because if someone is truly comfortable enough with you to actually go to sleep in your presence, then that person is allowing him or herself to be completely vulnerable with you. Fifth, and certainly not the least important by any stretch, whoever gets out of the bed last should always make it.
That last one is about respect and responsibility. Yes, some couples share in the making of the bed. They are actually rare. If you are one who doesn't care about how your bedroom looks or whether or not at night you are able to get into a bed that's been made, then this will likely not phase you whatsoever. I am one who does not like getting into a bed at night if it looks like it has been slept in for weeks and unmade. It simply grosses me out. But then there begs the question of who makes the bed?
A general rule of thumb for me is this. If you have had the luxury of actually sleeping longer than your partner, then have the courtesy of making the bed when you are done. It is completely rude and obnoxious for someone to lolly gag in bed, no matter what day of the week, and then expect the partner to make the bed after finally hauling their sorry butts out of it.
Don't get me wrong. I believe that a person should be able to sleep as long as they like. I have way too much respect for Dream Time to think that at the crack of noon everyone should be up and at 'em. I don't sleep in much. I have a biological clock that doesn't allow for that. But I also don't expect everyone else's clock to be synchronized with my own. I do, however, want whomever is out of bed last to have the courtesy of making it and not just walking away and leaving it for the other person.
It is amazing how many couples have daily tension in their relationships over things like this. My advice to them is to always create a set of rules and regulations for their relationship that must be honored. Now and then circumstances will not allow for them to be honored, but honored they must be on a more common daily basis, otherwise, believe me, the tension will destroy the intimacy that is associated with the bedroom. After all, who wants to sleep with or have sexual relations with a lazy slob? I know I wouldn't. Also, one person, even if that person is not working outside of the home, cannot be expected to do all the house or yard work. That burdens the person and creates resentment in the relationship that will eat away at it until the relationship is utterly destroyed.
Now, the other thing that we do have to understand is this. If our partner is doing something like making the bed after he or she exits it, we cannot demand that they make it exactly the way we would prefer. If we are going to do that to them, then we can just suck it up and make the bed ourselves. There is nothing like doing a task that is in the rules and regulations and having someone nag you during or after that task is complete about how you did it so wrong. I figure that if someone's is making the effort to at least pull the sheets up then just shut up. If somone does that with my bed, I am also not in any way going to go back and "do it right" either. I might as well have just done it from scratch if I am going to do that. Nope. I just appreciate that the bed got made to whatever degree and move on.
I also don't think that a person must acknowledge appreciation all the time for tasks that are done by the other person which simply needed to be done. So no, I don't always say, "Gee, thanks for making the bed" to someone whose responsibility it was to do that anyway. Nor do I expect it. I might do that sometimes, but not all the time. After all, this person is an adult and can simply step up. Hearing a thank you from someone who never steps up to their responsibilities around the house simply begins to sound like a hollow attempt on their part to make it look like appreciation when actually it is just that they are relieved that, yet again, they are off the hook to live up to the daily responsibilities. I also don't always say, "Thanks for loading the dishwasher" or "Thanks for dusting the furniture". Those things needed to be done just as much as shovelling the snow from the driveway needed to be done. It is simply something that must be done so do it. I do, however, thank the neighbour for shovelling or blowing out my driveway if I get up in the morning and find it done already. That was not their responsibility. It was simply a gift of service, and one that will be returned at some point in the future. That is a different kind of relationship.
So in your intimate relationships, make sure that you are not always the one neglecting the responsibilities of household tasks. Make sure that you are not always the one stepping up to those responsibilities either. Yes, you can sometimes acknowledge that they have been completed and show gratitude for that fact. You don't always have to do so because, as I have said, they just needed to be done. Set up rules and regulations for the relationship. It is part of the business of partnership. Have a partnership meeting and work out a division of tasks or at least a list of tasks. Sometimes if your partner, if the type who doesn't notice the things that need to be done, has a menu of things, then he or she can look at the living environment with new eyes and begin to notice that , lo and behold, the laundry is sitting there and I can fold that stuff while watching the game! That is sooo hot!