Cruel intentions

I think my boyfriend is trying to kill me.

At first, it was just a jokey sort of thought, like when someone accidentally bumps into you and you laugh about it, teasing, "What, are you trying to kill me?" But then that person keeps bumping into you, especially when you happen to be standing in conspicuously dangerous places, like on the edge of a steep cliff or in front of a blazing fire or on the side of a busy freeway, and suddenly you begin to think: holy shit, he IS trying to kill me!

And the thing that gets me is, he’s so cool about it. He never exhibits any signs of animosty during the day– it’s only at night that his behavior gets shifty. In the middle of the night, in fact. When he should be asleep. When he probably thinks *I’m* asleep. When he starts trying to get me to sleep with the fishes.

He makes like he’s fallen asleep. The heavy breathing, the intermittent bouts of light snoring. And just when I think to myself, oh good, he’s sleeping, now I can try and get to sleep myself– it happens. Just when I’m about to slip into my comfort zone, just as I’m finding that safe and cozy place in which I can let my mind contentedly drift off and meander into the dreaming state, I feel it. And suddenly I’m wide awake and totally on edge.

He’s done it again. He’s stolen the blanket from me, and in one sharp movement, a hostile move I’ve come to term: The Tug.

You probably think I’m kidding. You probably think what he’s doing is normal, perhaps even unintentional. Which shows that you clearly don’t know me or the situation.

See, there are several factors at play here. First, The Guy likes to keep the house between 72 and 74 degrees F. And as if that’s not enough, he has a fan blowing at full power, sittting on the nightstand. He grew up with a fan in his room, so it’s something of a "comfort" sound, and as he has enough trouble sleeping as it is, whatever eases his insomnia in any way, shape, or form– we swing with it. Me, I like silence, and in the mornings after he’s left for work, I reach over and turn *off* the fan, and indulge in a blissful hour of quiet, quiet sleep. But this is beside the point.

Cold house. Fan blowing (I should mention here that he always points the fan AT the bed). And I’ve developed a quirk of late, a deep dislike of physical restriction which comes in the form of clothing. Especially at night-time. My solution? I sleep naked, or as near to naked as my self-consciousness will allow.

The crowning touch to this dilemma is this: my circulation has, over the last five years, been shot to hell. Where I used to be absolutely immune to the cold, I have now swung over to the other extremity and start shivering when the temperature drops under 90 F. AND HE KNOWS THIS.

And so I make my case. My boyfriend is trying to kill me.

Oh, I’ve tried to come up with excuses for him. "Maybe he just doesn’t have enough blanket to begin with." So when I made the bed, I started to let the blanket fall more on his side of the bed. Nothing changed. "Maybe he’s just cold." THE BOY IS NEVER COLD. In the middle of winter, when I had icicles hanging off the tips of my nose and ears, his hands and feet would be radiating heat and he would complain that it was too warm, then go and turn down the thermostat EVEN MORE. He used to roll his eyes at me because I like to sleep under three down comforters, whereas he can barely tolerate sleeping under one. "Maybe I’m sleeping too close to the edge and there’s just not enough comforter to go around." But even when I slept in the middle of the bed, I still found myself, without warning, cruelly and suddenly exposed at two in the morning.

And he goes about his strategy in such a charming way. First, he does the Sneaking Snuggle, scooting close to me and pretending to cuddle. Neither of us can sleep so close to each other, however, a fact we both know well and accept– the shifting and squirming and tossing and turning our bodies inevitably do, with or without our conscious intent, requires a separation of at least two feet. But out of need for romance and closeness and squishyness (on my part, anyway), we developed a habit of cuddling either right before falling asleep, or right after waking up. And not only has he started to take advantage of the former habit, but he’s doing it IN MY BED. My orgasmic king-sized bed which I got for a ridiculously good price, my bed which sits on six-inch risers and is swathed in luxuriously smooth sheets and pillowcases from Bed Bath & Beyond, my bed which I gave to him after I moved out of Anthem and he moved down to Green Valley.

Now, the Sneaking Snuggle allows him to grab hold of the middle of the comforter. Thus, as he shifts back to his side of the bed, he pulls it with him, gradually exposing me inch by inch. And then: The Tug. Which leads, on my part, to The Discomfort and The Resentment and The Freezing My Ass Off.

Slowly but surely, I’ve caught on. Now, I tuck my end of the comforter (ALSO MINE) under my body, disarming The Tug and preventing him from claiming the entirety of the blanket. But, oh, he still tries, and I can feel the blanket straining as he keeps tugging unsuccessfully.

To be fair, I can’t really blame him. Who wouldn’t want such a fantastic bed, fantastic sheets and comforter and pillows (THE PILLOWS, ALSO MINE), all to himself? That hour of solitude in the mornings is not only blissful because of the silence, but because of the solitude as well. I gloat in my ability to stretch out in every direction, to take up as much space as possible, to delight in as much of the glorious bed as is physically possible. It was, after all, mine and only mine for six lovely months preceding my bestowing it upon him as a gift. So no, I can’t blame him at all for wanting to be alone with the bed, for wanting me out of the picture so as to have the bed ALL FOR HIMSELF. And what other option does he have? He can’t break up with me, because then he faces the risk of me taking my bed back, and that would leave him with NO bed, a possibility far worse than having HALF a bed. No, best to have me offed. I understand. Really, I do.

I just wish he’d be a little more direct and knife me or something. Freezing to death? Not really my thing.

Nothing better to do and it makes for good filler… what have I resigned myself to?

[this was published on the wrong week]

1. Are you wearing shoes? No.
2. What’s the third letter in your name?
"R"
3. How old is your pet?
I have a cat who turned six this summer.
4. What kind are your underwear? Mesh Brazilian from Victoria’s Secret.
5. Are you sick?
A little, but that’s nothing new.
6. Are you in school?
USD grad, May 2004
7. Is the bathroom open? Um… yes.
8. Are you on a laptop?
My baby Kipper! I dreamed The Guy got an iBook and I named it Pot Pie.
9. Are you watching mtv?
Does anyone watch MTV anymore?
10. Are you smiling?
No.
11. Do you have on eyeliner?
I don’t even own eyeliner.
12. Is it early?
Ish. It’s earlyish.
13. Are you blonde?
Honorary.
14. Do you have a myspace?
No.
15. Are you in high school?
Thank god, no. Those places can kill you.


17. What color is your shirt?
I’m wearing a dress because I’m going through an I-hate-bras stage. But I do have a Count Chocula shirt upstairs, and that’s light brown.
18. Name one of your friends? Heather? Hopefully? Even though I haven’t talked to her in weeks and I practically live right down the street from her?
19. What color is your bathing suit?
I bought a bright turquoise one on massive sale a month ago. Not too thrilled about the color but the cut, man, the cut is AMAZING!
20. Does your school start in August?
My alma mater? I don’t know. I think so.
21. Did you go on vacation last month? Technically.
22. Ever been on a cruise?
Yup. Bahamas. Two words: Cruise Director. Four more words: Make For Bad Relationships. Thirteen more words: Especially When You Are 16 And He Is More Than Twice Your Age.
23. Do you have a sister?
Yup.
24. Are you upstairs?
Nope.
25. Do you have lots of freckles?
Yes. So CLEARLY I *must* be Irish because Irish people have freckles. I actually inherited all my mother’s freckles; where she got them from, I’ve nary a clue. We’re defective Asians.
26. Do you have a friend named Alex?
I knew a guy in high school named Alex.
27. Does your name end with a Y?
It does when people misspell it.
28. What’s your middle name?
Lee.
29. Are your ears pierced?
Three holes in each ear.
30. Do you own a digital camera?
Canon EOS 10D.
31. Do you live in Florida?
No. And thanks to the hurricanes, neither do a lot of other people.
32. Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend? Amazingly enough, yup.
34. Are you listening to rock?
I’m listening to the sounds of "Full House" because that’s what’s currently on the ABC Family Channel, which I turned to hours earlier because there was an episode of "Gilmore Girls" on and I had me a hankering for "Gilmore Girls" when I woke up this morning.
35. What color is your chair? Honey blonde wood with reddish mahogany trim. They used to be black before The Guy stripped them, re-painted them, and re-finished them. I love handy DIY guys.
36. Where’d you get your pants?
All my pants come from either Express or A&F.
37. Can you type with your feet?
Sure.
38. Have you dyed your hair red?
It was a red-based color, but because it was the first time I’d ever dyed my hair, the color didn’t really show through. Freshman year of high school.
39. Are you tired?
Usually.
40. dO yOu WrItE lIkE tHiS?
If I did, would you do me a favor and shoot me?
41. l!k3 th!$?
[no answer]
42. Are you an idiot? Savaa-aaaant.
43. Can you count to 100?
One, two, skip a few, ninety-nine, one hundred.
44. Can you lick your elbow?
No.
45. Did you try?
Once upon a time. The little girl from "No Flying in the House" could kiss her elbow, though.
46. Do you have a license?
To drive? Yes. TO KILL? Sadly, no.
47. Are you bored?
Mmmm.
48. Can you finish this survey?
Trying.
49. What time is it?
12:21 p.m.
50. Do you have to pee? Kind of. Maybe. A little. Wait. Um… no… no, actually, no, never mind. Nope.

Back to thinking *inside* the (idiot) box

Just for the record, this is all The Guy’s fault.

Our current DVR lineup:

Sunday: Curb Your Enthusiasm, Extras (HBO)
Monday: Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations (Travel Channel), Kitchen Confidential (Fox)
Tuesday: The Office (NBC), Gilmore Girls (The WB)

…okay, so it’s not as bad as I for some reason thought it was. But given that I never used to watch television *at all*, it feels like my life has suddenly deposited itself on the couch. And "Gilmore Girls," yeah, so I’m the one who programmed the weekly recordings of "Gilmore Girls" and I did it without even asking The Guy if it was okay, but COME ON, Lorelai and Luke are engaged! And Lorelai and Rory are estranged! And there’s a dog named Paul Anka! And really, if it weren’t for the beauty of DVR, I still wouldn’t be watching this show because I’m just no good at committing myself to the time slot of 8 to 9 p.m. every Tuesday.

And if it weren’t for The Guy, there would be no DVR in my life. Which brings me back to my original statement: this is all his fault. Even "Gilmore Girls." The full-blown return of my "Gilmore Girls" addiction is so totally his fault. (And have you SEEN Lorelai’s ring? Have you SEEN the size of that rock? Who knew owning a diner could be so lucrative? Or, ha ha, Luke-rative! Okay, enough of this, it’s time to go to bed. See what watching TV does to a person?)

Tip #5: Man vs. Skillet

Tip: Cookware is neither as stupid nor as defective as one might think, so one ought to be nice to one’s cookware. For example, if one is making grilled cheese sandwiches on the stovetop using a frying pan, one might suddenly notice that shit, goddammit, the frying pan is emitting vast quantities of smoke AGAIN, didn’t this just happen last night? and what the HELL is WRONG with this FRYING PAN? But before one begins to work oneself into a tizzy and start hurling obscenities at the frying pan, one might want to notice the intensity of the flame beneath the frying pan and check the bottom of the contents in said frying pan. Because chances are, there’s nothing wrong with the frying pan.

Chances are, you’re just burning your food.

Unforeseen benefits

I’m actually starting to have some fun with the fact that I’m on medications. For instance, just this morning, I discovered that, when filled, my week’s worth case of pills sounds delightfully like a pair of maracas, and I shook it enthusiastically as I descended the stairs. Good times with the meds!

A Dreyer’s Dilemma (or, The Meds Need to be Bumped Up Some)

You know you’re having a bad day when you fall apart because you can’t figure out if you like Cookies ‘N’ Cream ice cream better than Vanilla. Or is your favorite flavor actually Banana? What about Blueberry Cheesecake? Mint Chocolate Chip? Macadamia Nut Brittle? Or, ohh, Coffee. And the flavor choices keep piling up in your head and you become swamped and confused and inevitably torn, because YOU REALLY LIKE VANILLA but vanilla seems so plain and safe and boring and you DO like all those other flavors, you just really think you like vanilla BEST, but what if you only like vanilla best because that’s the easy way out and you don’t like commitment to begin with, let alone commitment to something that might be a risk, something like Tin Roof Sundae, and really you just need to suck it up and latch onto something that isn’t a white-washed, bare-wall sanctuary, but really, what if you just like vanilla and if you go with another flavor, oh god, is that like CHEATING on vanilla? and suddenly you’re crying because you never meant to hurt vanilla’s feelings when vanilla has been such a constant friend and companion to you, always there when you need it and never varying in its delicious wonder, never bitching at you for trying to change it into something it isn’t when you top it with nuts or hot fudge or whatever, but accepting that you love it for what it is and that you simply want to accent its vanilla perfection, and really vanilla has never turned its back on you and now here you are, insulting vanilla and doing everything you can to ABANDON it and–

Um, yeah. It’s just probably not a good day when you find yourself getting worked up over ice cream. Probably a good day to just, you know, sleep.

It’s the end of the world as I know it

They’ve just installed a moderately large and obnoxious Starbucks by one of the entrances to our local mall, a wonderful mall (which was admittedly more wonderful when it used to have a Game Keeper, but things like this happen, I understand), a mall which has until now been coffee-chain-store-free.

First it was the freaky Build-A-Bear Factory. Then came the laser skin thingamabobby center. Now it’s Starbucks. And in the food court is a sign announcing the coming-soon arrival of a Quizno’s Subs.

I have a feeling I shouldn’t be nearly so irate about my mall becoming so damn commercial. But why Starbucks? Why? WHY NOT A COFFEE BEAN, DAMMIT?