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Still a Fan©

January 20, 2010

If you were to ask your neighbors about their sleep routine, you’d probably find some common responses.  You’d likely hear some say, “I’ve got to have my sleeping mask.  I can’t sleep if there is light!”  In some houses you would hear, “I always read in bed.  It makes me sleepy.”  And in most houses you would probably get, “I have to sleep on my own side of the bed.”

If you were to ask that question in our house the only thing you’d hear is me saying, “I can’t sleep without my fan!”

My poor husband.  He didn’t know when we walked down the aisle that he was promising to love me when I was sick, love us both when we were in the poorhouse, or find a place in his heart for the circulating fan that is my constant nighttime presence.

I can’t really blame him.  It doesn’t have the most efficient design.  I have yet to find one that MMS (Meets My Standards.)  My husband draws my attention to this fact nightly.

During the winter he complains.

“It makes the room too cold.  It’s like sleeping in an icebox,” he says.

“Pull up the covers,” I answer.

During the spring he complains.

“It doesn’t have a filter built in.  It’s stirring up my allergies.”

“Take more allergy meds.”

During the summer he complains.

“It’s too hot in here.  It doesn’t push enough air out.”

“Then stop wearing flannel pajamas,” I suggest.

During the fall he complains.

“It’s too big and awkward.  I keep stubbing my toe on it.”

“Take smaller steps,” I advise.

I’ve weaned myself off of the sleeping mask, and I don’t care which side of the bed I’m sleeping on, but I can’t manage to sleep unless I hear the gentle shhhh of the fan. 

 Last week I tried.  After I spent one minute out of bed using the restroom in the dead of winter, my bed sheets were frozen.  I stirred my husband.

“Honey, is it cold in here for you?” I asked.

“Check the closet,” he snorted.  “I think icicles are hanging from the rods.”

“We could turn up the heat,” I said.

“We’re too cheap,” he retorted.

“That tears it!” I yelled at the fan.  “You won’t beat me!  I’ll show you I don’t need you as a crutch to sleep!”

The next night I left the fan off.  Then I rolled over and waited for sleep to come.

First I listened to my husband snore.  When that grew tedious, I rolled to the other side.  In the kitchen I could hear the refrigerator cycle on and off.  I heard the walls settle down in the garage.  I heard the neighborhood dog bark in his repetitive rhythm, bark, barkbark. 

Hours later I put the pillow over my head.  I still heard the dishwasher turn on, sanitize the silverware, and turn off an hour later.  Lastly I heard the raccoons rifling through our trash.

When I heard the sound of my hair growing, I gave up.

“Where’s the fan remote?” I cried desperately, fumbling through the sheets.

As I finally drifted to sleep, I heard the heat click on.  I determined that the heat and the fan would have to battle it out on their own.  Two hours of sleep was worth it.

©2010, Kim Knuth.  All rights reserved.

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