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I wake up in a panic. My legs are trapped, twisted into a tortuous position by something soft and light, yet unmovable as steel chains. My head rests on something hard. A table? A chopping block? I do not know. My arms… oh, God. Why I can I only feel one of my arms? The other one is lifeless, trapped under a heavy (115-pound) weight that is somehow also radiating heat like the sun. And suddenly, I remember where I am. My girlfriend’s bed. The torture chamber.
I like to think of myself as a good boyfriend, one who compromises and tries to make sure the relationship is balanced for both partners. As such, I spend several days a week sleeping at my girlfriend’s apartment instead of staying in my own bed every night like I have done in my past (more selfish) relationships. Her place is closer to my gym, she has a much comfier couch, and all in all, this shouldn’t be an issue at all.
Except that her bed is deeply inferior to mine.
I know, I know. Everyone thinks their bed is the comfiest and best and everyone has different sleeping habits. But it’s ruining my life.
First off, she has no air conditioning, nor any window unit in her room which, in August, leads to a room temperature of roughly 118 degrees. I am half Italian and half Israeli, and can easily sweat through my sheets in a climate-controlled temperature, so this is a serious issue. I wake up every night at about 3 a.m. with a perfect outline of my body soaking the bedspread. A sweat angel, if you will. Her bed also features the normal girl combination of several blankets and sheets that find a way to twist around me in the night, and what seems like 30 square feet of unnecessary pillows that I toss periodically to the ground in my sleep-deprived daze. The biggest issue, however, is the fact that her bed frame contains both a headboard and a footboard, which is like sleep in a full-sized crib. I’m not here to brag about my height (5’10” is the average height of an American male, no big deal), but I can’t fit in this fucking cage of a bed. I sleep on my stomach, and thus far, my only option has been to stick my ankles through the gaps between the iron bars on her footboard. As you can imagine, anytime I want to move positions in my sleep, which, granted is often, I wake up to feeling like my legs are caught in a bear trap. This may seem like an exaggeration, but I assure you it is not.
Now this problem has nothing to do with my actual girlfriend. She is amazing, and hands down the easiest person to sleep with I’ve ever encountered. She takes up a third of the bed, does not move around in her sleep, and accepts my role as little spoon most of the time. Sure, she radiates heat like a portable furnace, but I’ve yet to find a female that doesn’t. The problem only lies with her bed. I already have the back problems of a 60-year-old coal miner, and as I write this column, I’m lathered in a disgusting amount of Icy Hot in an attempt to soothe my pain before I have to go move kegs for 12 hours. My brain knows it’s not my girlfriend’s fault, but my back is bitter and illogical. Every time I wake up in the middle of the night contorted into a position that I never learned in the one beginner’s yoga class I took, my back seethes in anger.
“Just break up with her,” it whispers, “you deserve better than this bed.”
I try not to listen, but I’m breaking. Is there another way to resolve this? Do I buy her a new bed? Sure, that’s an extremely weird move for a three-month relationship, but it might be the only thing that makes us last until month four. Do I tell her we will only be sleeping at my place from now on? I can’t justify that decision when she wakes up at 5:30 in the morning to get to work and I sleep for another four hours every morning. Will she be offended if I just sleep on the floor next to her bed, like a dog? I’m running out of options, and I can’t keep lying to people about why I’m limping or walking like a hunchback. No one believes I tweaked my hamstring playing volleyball or threw out my back lifting heavy at the gym. They all know the truth. I’m in an abusive relationship with my girlfriend(‘s bed). .