It’s raining, it’s pouring, the Boyfriend is snoring… and keeping me awake!

Life, at Casa de Goodman, is good right now.

I’m thin, I’m happy, and I’m cohabitating with a guy who likes folding the laundry, sharing the cooking, emptying the dishwasher, walking my dog when it’s cold out, and organizing the kitchen. Aka all of the stuff that I suck at/would rather jump off a cliff than do. He even thinks I look better without makeup than with it (okay, so his vision clearly sucks, but that’s okay by me!), and for some completely and utterly inexplicable reason, he loves me for the total weirdo that I am.

There’s just one teeny, tiny, itty bitty, little, inconsequential-to-anyone-else-but-potentially-insurmountable-to-me problem.

He snores.

Loudly.

Every night.

And I’m the world’s lightest sleeper/an insomniac on a good night.

Houston, we have a problem.

Especially because no sleep for Sara is the approximate equivalent of no tv and no beer for Homer Simpson.

So, like with all of life’s great problems, I turned to my mother for help. My father is a chronic snorer, and I knew she’d have a solution for me.

Unfortunately, I forgot about Operation Mama Goodman Wants Grandchildren, so her answer was to suck it up and deal with it.

Thanks mom.

Next, I tried talking to the Boyfriend about finding a solution.  He claims he does not snore.  Despite the fact that he snores so loudly that he often wakes HIMSELF up with his snores, then looks at me and says, “Did you hear something?”  At which point, he claims it was our upstairs neighbors, whom I firmly believe are either rolling a boulder Sisyphus-style across the floor every night or else are engaged in the BEST game of Raiders of the Lost Ark EVER.  (If it’s the latter, I so want to go play with them.  If it’s the former, they just need to cut that crap out.)  But that’s never what actually jolts him awake in the middle of the night.  It’s his snoring.

It was time to solve this problem on my own. I already have a white noise machine, but the Boyfriend is louder than that. Actually, he’s louder than the combination of my white noise machine, the white noise app on my phone (used for travel), an oscillating fan, and a rabid platypus giving birth to a full-sized rhinoceros. Which meant that my first solution (earplugs—but the super cute, Holly Golightly-styled tassel ones, dahling) was ineffective.

And, as my best friend constantly reminds me, I look terrible in orange. So plotting his death, while satisfying at 3am when he’s sprawled like Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man across the entire bed, with Rosie sleeping on my side in the sliver of space left for me, and snoring louder than the Concord’s sonic booms, is out of the question.

Plus, I’d miss him (albeit not his snoring or bed hogging) if he was gone.

But this is really a safety issue. Not just because I’m even more sleep deprived than usual and am therefore far more statistically likely to fall asleep at the wheel, make soap, start an underground fight club, and/or shop for shoes I don’t need and can’t afford as a form of stress relief. But because when the zombies finally attack, we won’t survive the first night. They’d hear him snoring no matter how well we hid and then Rosie and I would be devoured as well. And that is simply unacceptable.

I read online that snoring is most common when someone sleeps on his back. So even though I’m the world’s least cuddly sleeper, I figured that telling him I wanted to cuddle could fix the problem.

It did not. It just meant that he was snoring directly into my ear.

And apparently he can’t breathe when I put my pillow over his face to muffle the sound. I kind of felt like that was his problem, not mine. But he disagreed, and I wasn’t trying to fight. These are the sacrifices you make for a successful relationship, people.

I contemplated the idea of trying to convince him that a gag would really be a sexy role-playing thing as opposed to a method of forcing nose-breathing, but I don’t want to open that door. No offense to anyone who’s into that stuff, but it’s just not my thing. AT ALL. Let’s blame Pulp Fiction for my aversion to anything along those lines. But when it’s being forced on Marcellus Wallace, I just don’t find it appealing. And neither does Marcellus Wallace.

So I tried gently waking him up when he starts to snore. At which point I was mauled by a wild bear. Or at least that’s what I thought was happening, because he does a pretty good impression of a mauling wild bear when woken unexpectedly mid-snore. Some Bactine and a Tetanus shot later, I won’t be trying that again.


Then I had a Dorothy-with-the-ruby-slippers kind of revelation. I’ve always had the ability to make him stop snoring. I just needed to figure it out for myself.

It was so simple! I have a dog. And that dog has a bark control collar! No, not the shock kind. I couldn’t handle that (on Rosie. It might be funny on the Boyfriend. No, it wouldn’t. But it would be HILARIOUS on someone ELSE’s boyfriend. Note to self—suggest shock collar to someone else who has the same problem). She has the kind that sprays her in the face with water when she barks, which stops the barking, makes me laugh hysterically, and sends her to hide in terror under the bed.

Perfect.

Of course, there are two problems with this solution: I probably still won’t be able to get a good night’s sleep because of the insomnia issue and the Boyfriend definitely won’t be able to get a good night’s sleep due to the being sprayed in the face with water every time he snores issue.

But on the plus side, remember how good Brad Pitt’s abs looked in Fight Club? There are benefits to not being able to sleep I suppose. You’re just not allowed to talk about them.

Do teachers get detention for being late too? I hope not…

It’s no surprise to anyone who knows me that I have a problem with chronic lateness. I know that the psychological explanation for this is that I value my time more than the time of others and therefore am just a horribly rude individual who has no regard for anyone else.

In other words, psychology just called me a giant jerk.

Which might be the direct result of me skipping all of my psychology classes in college, then acing the tests. Well played, psychology, well played.


 But in reality, the answer is far more complicated.


Actually, it’s pretty simple. The universe hates me and conspires against me to make me late, no matter what I do.

Case in point: my resource teacher sent out a very tactfully worded email just before spring break warning the English department that if we were going to be out of the building for more than 15 minutes, we needed to take leave. Which included leaving early if we were off seventh period (guilty last year… unfortunately, I teach seventh period this year, so no more sneaking out at 2:09 to beat the onslaught of student-driver traffic) or arriving after 7:25, even if we are off first period.

Which, I’m pretty sure was aimed DIRECTLY at me as I have had to slink past my administrators in the front hallway more times than I can count at approximately 7:27. They’re very nice about it and usually just laugh at me, while I hang my head in self-inflicted Jewish guilt and shame while whispering vows to arrive on time the following day.

Or at least sneak in another door of the building.

But after that email went out, I knew I could NOT be late anymore. My leave days are FAR too valuable to be wasted on my chronic lateness. Well, okay, OFFICIALLY, they’re not right now because there are no US Bruce tour dates on the horizon. But those days carry over to future years. So I still plan to hoard them like my mom is hoarding baby clothes in the desperate hopes that I will soon become impregnated by my perfect (aka Jewish) boyfriend. So being late is NOT an option! (You hear that mom? I meant that as a double entendre! It’s not happening any time soon, so there’s NO reason for them to know you by name at Buy Buy Baby! I’m on to you woman!)

So for the first day back from break, I had a foolproof plan: I set my alarm for 20 minutes earlier than I would normally wake up, knowing that I would need those full 20 minutes to arrive at school two minutes earlier than usual. Why? Because arriving at 7:27, the parking lot is as empty as the shelves of a DC area grocery store when a single flurry is in the weather forecast. Any time between 7:03 and 7:25, however, it’s like the world’s worst game of Mario Kart as every horrible teenage driver and angry, late-for-work parent drives the wrong way down one-way lanes to get the kids in the building on time.

 So using math (for the first time since high school calculus—don’t let your math teachers lie to you kids, you’ll NEVER need math in real life!), I calculated that it would take me ten times as long to make it through the parking lot, ipso facto, waking up 20 minutes earlier was a definite way to arrive at school on time.

Except that math failed me when I accidentally set my alarm for PM instead of AM and woke up at 7:02. EPIC FAIL.

But I’m a survivor! I picked myself up from that catastrophe (and may have texted my work BFF, who came and snuck me in a side door. LOVE YOU!!!!!), and tried again yesterday.

And I did it! I woke up at 4:40 (because I’m a psycho exercise addict and was more willing to wake up twenty minutes earlier than cut my 5am workout short), did my whole 5am (sorry, 4:40am) workout, got showered, dressed, prettily made up, and hustled my cute little teacher butt out the door BEFORE 7am! It was wonderful! A miracle! It was like the heavens parted and Leonardo DiCaprio himself descended on a cloud with a choir of angels to praise my ability to leave the house early enough to get to work on time! Hallelujah and praise Leo!

I stuck to the plan exactly and drove like a demon, just like I always do when I’m running late for work, and I arrived within a quarter mile of the school with twenty minutes to spare!

Where I then sat, for the next twenty minutes, waiting in the turn late to get into the school because two teenage drivers got into an accident and were out of their cars screaming at each other, taking cell phone pictures of the damage, threatening to sue each other, then stopping for a leisurely breakfast of bagels and smear on the side of the road, while blocking every lane of traffic.

I finally got around all of that (they could have at least offered me a bagel!), pulled into the parking lot, ran (no easy feat in high heels, let me tell you! But I was dedicated! I would get there on time, even if it meant a broken ankle!) to the school, composed myself, and walked in the front door.

At 7:27.

Because I forgot that it doesn’t matter what time I leave my house. I could leave at 6:03 or 7:23 and somehow, through some vortex in the space-time continuum that I do not, cannot understand, still arrive at school at 7:27 each and every day.

So maybe it’s a good thing that there are no impending Springsteen tour dates. Because it looks like I’ll need a little time to save up some more leave before he plays any more US shows. And if anyone wants to prop a door open for me and save me the humiliation of trying to come up with a valid reason other than that I’m chromosomally incapable of arriving places on time, I’d appreciate it.