04 July 2011

Everybody's doing it!

Us humans like to know we are normal. Of course, the flaw in this need is that the definition of normal is reliant on so many uncontrollable variables. There's culture, age, gender, values, class.... etc, etc, that get in the way of finding our own 'normal'. I would like to think that sleeping in a separate bed from my husband has a 'normalness' to it and this, on deep reflection, is one of my key drivers for writing about the behaviour.

I am beginning to write a book about sleeping separately with a friend who also sleeps separately from her husband. Our need to have our own beds shares similiarities and has different motivations. However, we both experienced a certain level of joy when we first disclosed the details of our bed time realities to each other. I think that even knowing one other person shared my 'not so normal' behaviour, made me feel a little less abnormal.

I did know that other friends would sometimes - or often in some secret cases - sleep in a different bed to their partner, but I had not met someone who was a purposeful separate sleeper like me. 

Sue and I have talked about our decision, and the implications of such, for a few years now, and as mentioned, have started to write a book. In researching our book we have discovered that there are quite a few famous folk that share our need to slumber solo. Some share the need for separate rooms and some go so far as enjoying a good relationship that exists across separate houses.

Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter quite famously have separate houses - albeit houses that have an adjoining corridor. Bonham Carter speaks quite fondly of how their arrangement allows them to enjoy their own domestic decorating styles and televison habits. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are rumoured to sleep apart due to Tom's snoring, and snoring apparently keeps Kevin Jonas, at the tender age of 23, apart from his wife of less than two years. And then there were the very extreme measures taken by Mia Farrow and Woody Allen who maintained separate apartments across New York’s Central Park for a number of years. Unfortunately, one might not consider that a great example, considering the outcome.

So to know that famous folk are 'doin' it too', just makes me feel that little more mainstream. Because if you consider the percentage of famous people to ordinary people, I figure there is some normalising in those numbers to help me justify in feeling confident that there are lots of couples out there who kiss each other good night each night, then hit a pillow in different beds.

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