Yesterday I bought a door. It’s not a door TO anything. It’s a door that is going to BECOME something. That something? If I get my way — and I usually do — it’s going to become a headboard.
It has a hole where the doorknob used to be — I think that would be the perfect place for a reading light. Imagine that? A reading light in the bedroom. Who’d have thunk it?
What we currently have in the way of bedroom lighting is a giant overhead light and two sources of “ambient” light. The enormous dome light is ridiculously bright. It’s not useless, though. For example, if you are searching for a needle in a haystack it comes in handy. Don’t scoff. My bedroom is the repository for all things that currently have no other “home” — so, don’t discount the fact that there could be, housed in its recesses, a haystack.
I also think that I owe it to science to use this light as infrequently as possible — because I fear that it may well be a source of confusion to amateur astronomers — the ones who are foolhardy enough to point their telescopes in the direction of our residence. On more than one occasion — owing to its brightness — I’ll bet these stargazers got super excited — thinking that, perhaps, they had found an as yet undiscovered small planet. That’s the type of thing those folks get worked up about.
In addition to the dome light, Fang and I each have our own individual lamps. I’m probably playing “fast and loose” by calling them “lamps”. Mine is some kind of metal monstrosity that would put one in mind of those searchlights they use out in the middle of the ocean — the ones that are employed in “man overboard” operations.
Again, I hope those star-gazers have a sense of humor — because if they think the dome light is a small planet, my light could surely be confused for one of its moons. I often wonder if we’re not the subject of all kinds of astronomical alerts — the kind that read “Don’t be fooled into thinking that what you’re seeing at coordinates 529XYZ is a planet! After no small amount of investigation, we’ve concluded that it’s just someone’s idea of bedroom lighting!”
Fang’s light is kind of like the poor stepchild of lighting. The light bulb strength is probably measured in lumens, as opposed to watts. One of those small flashlights, available at dollar stores nationwide, would likely put off more light than does his “lamp”.
I had a friend who commented, upon obtaining a GPS, that the device saved his marriage. On the face of it, that sounds like a borderline crazy statement, but I understood what he meant. The same could be said for the effect that the tablet computer has had on my relationship. Fang and I both have one now. Equipped as they are with back lighting, these models of modern technology have virtually eliminated the nighttime arguments that had, sadly, become a hallmark of our relationship — arguments that were a direct result of the wacky lighting arrangement that we were operating with in the bedroom.
Fang always wanted me to turn off my light once it was time for him to turn in for the night. (I would not be surprised to discover that he and the astronomers were in cahoots!) The problem is that Fang’s bed time is far earlier than mine. For years I fooled with every book light known to man — to no avail. I hate them. They are just no substitute for real light.
The other problem with this whole “I need complete darkness to go to sleep” bullshit — and the thing that stuck in my craw the most — was that my husband can, quite literally — I am NOT kidding! — fall asleep on a picket fence — a REAL one, not a PROVERBIAL one! Often, what would happen would be that he would fall asleep in the living room FOR HOURS — lights blazing, people talking, television blaring, mariachi bands roaming through — with no regard to that which was happening around him — and then, BOOM! he would awaken and decide to come into the bedroom — where I was, and had been for hours, engaged in reading, doing a crossword, or watching a television program. It shouldn’t come as any shock to you that, manic multi-tasker that I am, I was usually involved in some combination of all of these activities. (Once in a while I was also crocheting!)
Upon awakening, he would stagger sleepy-eyed into the bedroom and, like a prison guard at 10 PM, call “Lights Out!” I found this behavior incredibly annoying — not to mention passive-aggressive. Sometimes, I’ll admit it, I would go into the living room — where he was snoring in the chair — turn out all the lights, power off the television, and show the mariachi band to the door — in the hopes that he would just remain where he started out for the remainder of the evening. I’ll admit it, I did all of this so that I could continue reading, crossword puzzling, and/or catching up on missed episodes of Masterpiece Theater.
More often than not my clandestine operations were successful. On those mornings, those glorious mornings, — the ones when I would find him still in the living room chair — semi-conscious, slightly dazed, and rubbing the crick out of his neck — he would ask me why I let him sleep there all night. I would feign surprise. Often my response was something along the lines of, “Oh, I had no idea you were out there. Sorry.” Because I am a good life partner, I would offer him a pain reliever for his neck. Really, it was the least I could do.
While I will be forever grateful to the person who invented the back-lit tablet computer, once in a while I still want to read an actual book or do some type of paperwork in bed — placing a light on the headboard will allow me to do that. More importantly, I’ll be able to do these things without having to engage in the nightly ritual that leaving him to sleep in the chair entailed. And, to be honest, I was getting a little sick and tired of hearing about his aching neck.
photo credit: man sleeping