Starfish

It’s about three AM, and there’s someone in your bed.
Maybe you’re dating this person.
Maybe you don’t even know their name.
Maybe you’re both covered in sweat and an inch-thick coating of cranberry sauce.
In any case, who they are--or how they got there--is none of my business.
My question is: are they staying the night?

I’ve never known one topic to be as immediately divisive as the question of sleeping over--or not.
Some of my friends refuse to share a mattress with anyone, under any circumstances. For them, the thought of even the largest shared bed evokes only nightmarish memories of hogged blankets, unforgiving elbows and snoring that resurrected Christ.Their partners--long-term or otherwise--have to acknowledge that under no circumstances will there be big-spooning, little-spooning, or any other spoon-related configuration.
In short, they’re forked.

I guess it’s one thing to have a serious issue with sharing a bed under any circumstances.
But I find it pretty troubling that some people use this as an excuse to get themselves out of seeing someone once the sun is up--let alone actually having a conversation.
How is skulking home in the small hours of the morning any less of a “walk of shame” than doing so the next day? Some people go the other way entirely. For them, sharing a bed--for the whole night--is the main event, and it’s at least as important as anything else they might be doing with someone in that overnight timeframe.

Call me old-fashioned, but I think it’s nice that some people still appreciate physical proximity in the simplest sense. I have great empathy for these people. Trying to find someone for a sleep-over, not pillow talk is a time-consuming process, and it’s one fraught with difficulties. When you’d prefer a shared bed, having all the space you want sometimes feels like too much space entirely.

The best way to sleep if you’ve got your bed to yourself is to take up all the available space. Spread out as far as you can with each limb, and reach for every corner--in a starfish shape. If the whole bed is yours, why share?My friends find this immensely comforting. There’s something gratifying about the knowledge that the whole bed is yours, that you can have all the blankets and pillows, and that your snoring--if you are so afflicted--will offend no one.

For maximum hedonism, try doing this face down. Suddenly, it feels like you’re sinking into a giant, cushiony embrace--it’s really quite marvellous. I call this the bed starfish, and I’ve never heard anyone say anything negative about it.
Tired of sleeping on your side, on one side of your bed?
Starfish.
Fed up with the sense of empty space in your box-spring?
Starfish.
Need to find an echinoderm that can regenerate limbs?
Starf--you get the idea.

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