Why I Wouldn't Mind Being Barbie (It's Not Why You Think)
December 17, 2008
For the past few nights, I've been troubled by something. Something kind of embarrassing, considering that I've been doing it for 30 years now: lying down to sleep. How could I forget how to lie down?
I can only fall asleep if I am flat on my back, head tilted to the side – but not too far, I don't want my neck to be sore – hair covering my out-turned ear (to keep it warm, obviously). There is nothing more comfortable to me than sprawling out flat, staring up at the ceiling, legs and arms flung this way and that. Of course, there's also my husband to consider. And how my legs and arms sometimes find themselves jamming into his ribs and calves. And how he kind of dislikes that.
Sleeping on my stomach is totally out – that's just way too uncomfortable. My bottom sticks out weird, and the only way I can manage to lie on my stomach is to shove a pillow under my abs for support. Call it sway back, call it my ghetto bootie, call it whatever you want. I'm simply incapable of stomach-sleeping.
So lately I've been trying to learn how to sleep on my side. I used to be a side-sleeper exclusively, and perhaps that is why I am so perplexed about my sudden inability to stay still once in position. For one, my spine feels all twisty and weird, so I spend a considerable amount of time trying to straighten myself out. This leads to bending and un-bending and re-bending my legs (I've even tried putting a pillow between my knees, to no avail), adjusting my body's angle, then flopping to my other side and trying again.
Second, and most importantly, what am I supposed to do with my bottom arm? Do I extend it out beyond my head? That works only so long before my wrist starts to go numb. Bend my arm into a V shape to cradle my head? After a while my shoulder falls asleep, but I usually can't stay that way for long before I start bending my legs again. Align my arm under my body? Then I just want to detach it, the way I used to, umm, adjust my Barbies.
I'm really at a loss here. Do you sleep on your side? How do you manage? Can you come to my house and demonstrate? I think I need lessons.
(Or maybe I just need to flop over onto my back again. It's what works, afterall.)