Dreaming of a spare bedroom

The calm before the storm

The other night I was at dinner with friends and the conversation veered onto the subject of our other halves and, more specifically, the things they do that annoy us. It wasn’t a short conversation, as I’m sure you can imagine! Putting all the usual complaints to one side (not listening, not closing the toilet lid, hogging the remote control – you know what I’m talking about, ladies!), a particular grievance made us especially animated: their return home after a boys’ night out.

Our discussion revealed that my friends and I have other halves with a propensity towards causing as much disruption as possible on their return home from a boozy night out. Since their return is usually in the small hours – after we’ve been peacefully sleeping for several happy hours – the commotion they cause is guaranteed to wake us. From inviting friends round to put the world to rights over one last drink, nosily making beans on toast (and dropping the pan in the process), waking us from our slumber to ask us if we too would like a sandwich at 4am (how considerate!), falling over and being sick, my friends and I have seen – and heard! – it all.

Even when he’s at his most well behaved, my other half follows a routine that involves, first, stomping to the fridge for a bottle of water, then stomping to the bedroom, where he flicks the light on and spends 10 minutes or so repeating stories from his night out, whilst intermittently nosily glugging water. I’m a heavy sleeper and have been known to sleep through alarms, blissfully unaware of the shrill bleeping designed to wake me. But my other half gives me no choice. I can’t even pretend to be sleeping as he’ll keep on talking until he gets a response.

So, what is the solution for dealing with these merry and naughty boys (and girls)? How can we stop them from spoiling our precious sleep? Simply asking our other halves nicely if they wouldn’t mind trying to be a little quieter after their next night out, and possibly even undressing in the bathroom, really doesn’t work after 10 pints of lager. I know, I’ve tried. We need to be tougher.

Try following my friend’s example: she’s implemented a rule that if her other half returns home after midnight he must sleep in the spare bedroom (and, of course, she will do the same when she is home late). Most of the time, this works really well for them, and even encourages her other half to come home before the curfew to avoid sleeping alone in their spare room.

This only really works if you have a spare bedroom, though. I’m not sure what the answer is if you live in a one-bedroomed flat, like me and my other half. Theoretically I could try to impose a rule that the late-night drinker (him or me) must sleep on the sofa. But, at 6ft 4in, the chances of my other half agreeing to that are as remote as getting him to agree to a romantic night out with me during the World Cup. Plus, I don’t really fancy spending the night on the sofa either, to be honest.

So, what’s to be done? I’ll be trying ear plugs and an eye mask the next time he’s out late. All other suggestions are most welcome!

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