bed etiquette, it’s a Saturday again and one of the joys of not having to jump up, race into work, take children to sport is the choice of lazing in bed. As you know in your teen years time was just measured by your sporting commitments, school commitments and most importantly your social commitments, so bed was something that you could stay out of or get into depending on your life choices. I use to love reading in bed then. In your twenties it can become a place that you share, perhaps with a partner, or child or pet, a sanctuary at the end of working hours and your day. Even living in a shared situation you could go and lie or sit on your flatmates bed and just talk. It was barely heard of that you had a TV in the bedroom then, I can’t recall anyone I knew that had a TV in their bedroom during these years. In your thirties and fourties your bed becomes a place that you share full time with someone else should you choose to.
Here is where lines should be drawn and etiquette should be adhered to and bed space respected. I married later in life so had many a night in a queen size bed on my own, my daughter would sometimes crawl in and chat but she would always go to her bed, when we got Pete the Golden retriever he began to sleep at the foot of the bed until he developed a thryoid condition and lost his fur then I use to find him in the bed just so he could get warm. As soon as we had his problem diagnosed and he is given daily medication his fur has grown back and he no longer looks for the bed, he has a lambswool coat now that he wears in winter.
Now I share my bed with my husband, early on in our relationship I brought my own quilt so that I would not end up quiltless as he tends to place the quilt between his legs and roll over taking all bed clothes with him. He too was use to sleeping alone plus he has a sore hip from his many hours of tractor driving, motor cycle riding, horse riding and all things farming, so he flip flops in bed. As a nurse I have introduced him to taking the odd anti-inflammatory to help him (me) get some sleep at night especially when he tells me he finds it hard to sit for long.
But this morning I awoke at my usual time, choose not to walk but decided to laze in bed. He loves the radio & I the TV, he reaches up and flicks it on, this noise is soothing to him and he goes back to sleep snoring. I turn it off and flick the TV on, he sleeps through this. Every body snores so one must just get use to the sound or nudge that person over when it becomes too much. Spare bedrooms are good and should be prepared so that if you do have to get out, do so. There is nothing worse than a bad nights sleep when they are snoring and in a deep sleep and you choose not to do anything about moving out. I opt out if I need to, so that I don’t have to lie there, getting angrier and angrier. It is not his problem I can’t sleep & I hate that feeling of waking up feeling washed out and grumpy. I am a morning person, so I opt out.
But the thing that is a mood killer, an opportunity missed and rude is the “passing of wind” “fluffing” “farting” “letting go” “dropping one’s guts” or any other term is is known by. As a nurse I know everybody passes wind for if you didn’t you would end up with a serious medical condition of your bowel, many a patient has been asked after key hole surgery have you passed wind yet? if the answer is no we keep you in longer it is an indication that no trauma has been done to the bowel during surgery, passing wind shows the bowel has ‘woken up’ and is working properly. Everybody should have an understanding and know their bowel habit & smell. Bowel cancer is one of the most curable cancers should people talk about their stools, habits identify difference in smell and then and do the test. As a nurse in a training hospital we were taught many things and the importance of being able to identify things by smell such as gangrene, sweet breath (diabetes) and malaena (blood in the stool – we didn’t say things such as pooh or shit they are known as stools). Whilst one sleeps one has little control over this action it is controlled by the anal sphincter and that is opened by the build up of gas, everybody does it and it normally goes undetected or unnoticed.
Boys & men seem to delight in doing this and as soon as they are comfortable in your company many choose to share it with you. It is not something I have encouraged nor appreciated in any relationship I have had. But they do it, with no fear nor consideration for the people who are left to get the surprise (if they do it quietly) of the odour once it drifts. Or worse still (in my opinion) they do it loudly, laugh and continue on with what ever they were doing without blinking an eyelid nor moving. I laugh as I write this because it astounds me that they (men / boys) have no shame. We don’t talk about this subject much as it is not high on our agendas to discuss bowel habits, as women we talk about loves, life & children and ourselves. So to all men out there, there is no more a mood killer than doing this, you have been warned. Don’t say I didn’t tell you so.