Tuesday, June 25, 2019     Volume: 20, Issue: 16

Santa Maria Sun / Humor

The following article was posted on May 5th, 2015, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 16, Issue 9 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 16, Issue 9

Sleep is for wussies


haven’t been sleeping well lately. Lack of sleep makes me a cranky guy, and nobody wants to be around cranky guy. You see: Cranky guy is the kind of guy who has little temper tantrums about stuff he normally doesn’t really care about. “Why didn’t someone take out the trash last night?” “Why did we overdraft our bank account?” “Why don’t we have any toilet paper?” My wife’s response to my crankiness is always the same, “Take the trash out yourself, watch the bank balance yourself, and go to the store yourself if you want toilet paper.” I calm down, take a breath, as not to encourage a fight, and slowly respond, “Well, Honey, I’d love to do those things but, one, I can’t buy things at the store when our account is in overdraft, and two, since I’m already on the toilet I’m going to need that paper before I can go to the store.” 

“Hold on,” she says, exasperated with me. “I think we have some paper towels in the garage.” 

Yes, sometimes life can be rough. Some could even say life is a pain in the butt.

Let’s get back to the real cause of my crankiness: lack of sleep. I’ve decided it could have something to do with my wife’s nightly iPad gaming habit. To wind down from a stressful day of dealing with cranky guy she likes to play games on her iPad while in bed. Ironically, it’s this game play that is keeping me awake and causing me to be a cranky jerk to the whole family. Our problem is the timeless age-old question of which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Every single night I toss and turn, but I just can’t fall asleep because of the blinding white light emanating from my wife’s side of the bed. Aside from the light on the iPad screen, my wife jiggles the bed with her constant swiping and tapping. I look over at the screen, and I have no idea what she is playing. She is planting trees, moving tiles—honestly the games don’t even make sense to me. I can understand needing to stay up until the wee hours of the night to try and get a perfect score on a song in Guitar Hero (shamefully, I lost a year of my life to that game). But I don’t understand staying awake all night to move trees around a grid. The whole premise just seems ridiculous to me. 

I plead with her and ask if we can both go to sleep. She always answers, “Yes, just let me finish this one game.” I know she’s lying to me. She waits until I am not moving, and then, assuming that I am asleep she starts another game. More blinding light, more swiping, more not getting to sleep. 

“Honey, please turn that thing off. I’m tired and I have to get up early tomorrow for work.” 

“I told you I will … once this game is over.”

“You said that a half an hour ago. I know you started another game; I can see your score is reset. C’mon, this isn’t cool.” 

“Just roll over, you big baby. The game isn’t keeping you awake.” 

“Oh really? You’ve decided it isn’t keeping me awake. I’m just awake because I like not sleeping. It has nothing to do with the bright light from your screen piercing my eyes.” 

Piercing your eyes? You don’t think you are overreacting a bit?” 

“You know I have sensitive eyes.” 

My wife’s iPad gaming has slowly transitioned into more facets of her life. It isn’t just late at night anymore, when I’m trying desperately to sleep. It’s during most of the day now, too, although she won’t admit it. The problem with the iPad is while she has it in front of her, I don’t know if my wife is using it for work (not likely), banking online (obviously not), reading the news (maybe, if you think looking at pictures of Channing Tatum is news), or stalking people from high school on Facebook. The reality is she’s doing none of those things. She is gaming. Yes, even Channing is taking a backseat to her games.

Ultimately, what I’m seeing her do on her iPad a lot is moving trees around a grid. I will wake up in the morning, groggy from a lack of sleep, and see my wife in the living room, sitting on the couch, drinking coffee and completely focused on swiping her screen left and right, up and down. How is this entertaining? There’s no car chase, no music, no angry bird crashing into a bunch of pigs. What is it about these elementary games that has her so addicted?

“It’s simple,” my wife, whom I love, explained to me. “These games don’t ask me what’s for dinner. They don’t ask me where their pants are. They don’t ask me if they should take an Aspirin for a headache. They don’t want a ride to the mall from me. They don’t have bad breath in the morning and want to cuddle. They don’t ask me how long to heat something in the microwave. They don’t ask anything of me. I just move things around, my score goes up, and I’m happy. Life is simple.”

I realized she was really communicating something very important to me. “OK Baby,” I said as caringly as I could. “I understand what you’re saying.” I gently put my hand on her shoulder to convey to her she meant the world to me. I looked her right in the eyes. “I love you, Honey. Now, do you know where my black socks are? I overslept and I’m going to be late for work.”

Rob does his own laundry now and wears a mask to block the iPad light at night. If you enjoy Rob’s storytelling check out his novel, Cadet Blues, on amazon.com.

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