As previously mentioned, my husband and I have wildly different circadian rhythms. He falls asleep by nine, whereas I don’t even try for another five hours or so.
Partly, this is because I’m a freelance writer who must squeeze in work whenever a toddler isn’t demanding I admire her pee or open up yet another yogurt cup.
But mostly, my husband and I are just differently wired. He gets groggy by 7 PM, while I will literally have no memory of any conversation we have before 9 AM. “Write it down!” I’m always reminding him. “So I can read anything worth remembering after coffee.”
On the other hand, whenever I accidentally wake him up in the middle of the night, he jumps up, looks at me as if I’d just dumped the cat box all over his room, then repeatedly grunts while flinging the covers over his eyes to avert the horrors. He claims to have no memory of said reactions, but his disapproval is nevertheless made abundantly clear.
So my stealth skills have dramatically improved because I like a challenge (even if said challenge is just moving things around in your husband’s room so he wakes up confused).
Still, I’d been trying to stop that lately until the other night, when I realized I’d left my phone in his room and… argh… it was 3 in the morning. I didn’t want to wake him up, but I needed to count up how many Anglo-Saxon kings died suspiciously young in the Kingdom of Mercia.
Why? Because they didn’t have a lot of reliable methods to figure out causes of death back then and so many kings died within a couple of years of taking the throne, often in their early twenties, and aren’t you curious too?
Maybe not, since I’m uniquely weird like that and in retrospect, this question probably could’ve waited until the next morning. But it didn’t feel like it at the time.
Plus, I’ve now been tiptoeing around my husband long enough that I assumed I could slip in to access Google and sort out all the Anglo-Saxons without my husband ending up any the wiser.
And I approached this mission like a ninja boss: I squeezed the door knob completely before opening the door. Leaving the light off, I walked toe-heel, toe-heel to the nightstand to quietly melt my hand over my phone. I really thought I was getting away with it, when…
He suddenly lurches forward in bed with enough force to knock a pillow off.
He turns his head toward me.
He takes a deep breath, rubs his temples, and says…
“I’ve been letting her use my dragon costume again.”
He sighs in relief.
Okay, so the man was clearly dreaming. Apparently, about loaning out his dragon costume again.
Wait a minute. Who has been borrowing his dragon costume? It sounded like an admission. I try to imagine any situation where you’d be nervous about admitting this fact.
Wait… he’s obviously been loaning out his costume to some other woman and had to finally come clean about it before all the costume-swapping led down a dangerous path. I mean, a kid wouldn’t fit into a grown man’s dragon costume, right? So my husband must’ve been loaning it out to some lady on the sly. To some nefarious end.
“Who borrowed your costume?” I asked him.
“I don’t remember,” he said.
“You were JUST telling me about it.”
Like that’s not suspicious. Knowing he’ll be mindswept by full consciousness any minute now, I scramble to satisfy my curiosity via a different route:
“When was the last time she borrowed it?”
And he looks annoyed, like I’m asking him to remember what he ate for dinner two Thursdays ago.
“It was…” he starts. “Borrowed what?”
“Your DRAGON costume.”
He blinks a lot.
“I have NO idea what you’re talking about,” he says.
Dang it. I guess we’ll never know.