Yesterday I watched a TV report on sleeplessness. It was the typical "Wow, big discovery" report the media just adores. In two minutes or less you learn something you never needed to know. This big discovery was one of those "mostest" things. Louisville was named as the city with the most insomniacs. This was not a scientific study, but rather the result of some questionnaire that probably came in the Cheerios box.
I just go nuts with the time these studies require of me. This is completely my problem because I can't not listen or read the results of a study. I always take the little quizzes in magazines and newspapers. You know those little "Take This Quiz" to learn whether "You're Ripe for a Reinvention of your Life" or "Will the Young Man with the Low Riding Pants Trip First on His Shoelaces or His Pants?" The insomnia number was particularly seductive because I am a high ranking amateur insomniac. Sleeplessness studies are a kind of challenge to me. Someone who hasn't slept well in a month is fodder for my smirking cynicism. "Ha," I think, "I haven't slept well for years." I'm bragging about my problem. That's what sleeplessness does to an insomniac pro like me.
Now like all "serious" studies, an expert on sleeplessness explained why she and the other experts thought some people slept better than others, were more successful at sleeping. Happily married people slept pretty well unless one of them was a major irritant, e.g., snored. She then went on to tell us how unpartnered people slept. Unpartnered? What in the name of blue blazes is unpartnered? I tuned in very closely – full attention. Apparently, unpartnered means sleeping alone.
What a dreadful term. What if the unpartnered loser is sometimes partnered? What about the unpartnered isolationist who prefers to sleep alone regardless of marital status? How about the unpartnered who sleeps with a pet? Laugh if you must, but plenty of people sleep with pets, toys even.
Why didn't this "expert" use the terms sleep alone or sleep with others. Gosh, that would have covered the mattress. Right? If I hear this term again or, even worse, read it somewhere, I will probably never sleep again. Undressed, unloved, unlovable, uncompromising, undeserving, unrepentant, unatural, under the sheets – whatever! For all of us unpartnered sleepers, I suggest a small discreet campaign of describing the unpartnereds' ability to read in bed, eat in bed, phone in bed, compute in bed, watch movies in bed, hog all the blankets, sleep in the middle of the bed, buy sheets that please us alone, etc., etc., etc. Unpartnered indeed!