My wife is a genius and as such is afflicted with all kinds of genius problems.  Ordinary people like me don’t have the same burdens.  Sometimes when I have trouble relating to her, she explains it like this.  “Heath, don’t feel bad, I operate at a higher intellectual level and these things are going to happen….”  She has such a sweet way of always making me feel a little better.  The funniest way I have heard her put this was in response to her mother when asked to explain her personality being so well developed for a genius.  My wife to her mother: “Mom, I had a decision to make:  I was a genius, yes, but I also wanted to be like you, pretty and popular.”  I am certain her mother felt much better after being relegated to a hot body with lots of friends….

One of the afflictions she deals with is a serious case of Night Terrors, and at times in the past, the terrors have been pretty frequent and involved.  Other times the sleep issues are kind of funny and very fleeting.  These are the ones that I will center on.  Following these nightmares, my wife usually has zero recollection of the previous night’s mêlée, and these are usually the funniest for her when retold because they are the scariest for me.

To give you some context to the story:  As the man of the house, I take certain responsibilities solely as being mine.  These include, but are not limited to the following:  Dog Crap Removal; Trash Taker Outer; Lifter of Heavy Objects; Yelling at Dogs; Washer of Cars; Cleaner of Dog Vomit; Killer of Mice, which I have only undertaken on one occasion, also for which my wife takes credit (she will take offense to me insinuating I did it even though I hit the mouse with a broom stick severing its leg—her role was to put the mouse into a Tupperware container we probably stole (see The Italian Job) and throw it in the trash, which I took out (see previous responsibilities).  She did get the mouse out from underneath the washing machine, but how hard is that?); All Driving While Hauling Anything; and finally, Head of Security.

Head of Security is the role I hold most dear because it makes me feel like a powerful player in the Phillips Family.  I have designed routes for egression and very complex plans meant to render a night intruder of any sort ineffective.  I have a drawer by my nightstand full of tools to help me take care of an attacker.  Its contents include:  a baseball, two practice fighting knives, a remote control, some of the underwear I no longer wear because I chafe when I wear them, and finally a gun with associated rounds.  If an intruder enters my house, he will face the entire contents of this drawer.

I have walked Whit through all possible attacks centered on the most likely avenues of approach and we have come up with emergency action procedures.  She has been briefed and has approved all courses of action.  Unfortunately, I had not planned for the worst case scenario…..the attacker comes from within, in the form of your wife.

I am almost sure my wife doesn’t want to kill me, however there was an incident earlier in the week where she attempted to kill me with croissants.  The problem rests in the fact that Sleeping Whitney is a different game altogether.  Awake Whitney recognizes who I am and seems to find me appealing enough to keep around.  Sleeping Whitney wants nothing to do with me.  Sleeping Whitney is scary.

One such example occurred shortly after Whitney and I started living together.  I knew she was a nightwalker and that she rambled on in her sleep all sorts of non-sensical phrases, but rarely did it go beyond innocent fun.  Whitney and I had just purchased our first handgun and were excited to have it as a measure in our home defense repertoire.  We both go to sleep that night and for the first four hours everything was normal.  Around 2 am, I am rustled from sleep by thrashing and moving about coming from the closet area.  Whitney is throwing things around and in a full on motivated search.  I say, “Whitney, what are you doing?”  Her response still echoes in my mind.  In a stone cold and emotionless voice she says, “I am looking for my gun.”  I naturally reply, “For what?”  She then says, “Who are you and what are you doing here?”  I then realize that Sleeping Whitney was trying to find a gun to kill an intruder who was in the house and apparently fell asleep in bed with her…..In the morning we discussed her attempted murder; she giggled and feigned no recollection of the incident.  I knew then that when I went to sleep I was sleeping with the enemy….There is a running joke that Whitney will be the subject of a Lifetime Movie called, She Kills When She Sleeps…

Sometimes Sleeping Whitney only attempts to give me a heart attack.  I once woke up to her pounding on my sternum area, screaming bloody murder that somebody was standing in the corner getting ready to attack us.  This causes an array of emotions from a man but mostly, when a man is attacked, he generally turns into a space cadet and just goes berserker trying not to fall victim to another man.  So, in this case, I rise from my sleep throw my hands in the air and go berserker trying to avoid falling victim to another man.  By the time I have come to realize that the attacker was the elliptical machine and not actually an attacker, Sleeping Whitney is back asleep all peaceful like.  In the morning we discussed her attempted murder; she giggled and feigned no recollection of the incident.

The above happens somewhat often.  Sometimes the attackers are snakes all over the floor.  Sometimes the attacker is an image floating above her in the night.  Sometimes she is confused.  Once Sleeping Whitney rose up in the bed and successfully completed a perfect karate kick and subsequently started screaming at an invisible attacker.  I rose up and grabbed the gun and pointed it towards the door while jumping out of the bed to find a better defensive stance.  When I hit the floor, I confused Sleeping Whitney.  My sudden movment had made me morph into the intruder.  I am now trying to calm Sleeping Whitney who is running back and forth across the room doing some kind of linebacker drill combined with banshee screams, which are loud enough to pierce my eardrums.  I yelled as loud as I could, “WHITNEY, GO TO BED!”  Her response:  “Gaaaawddd, you don’t have to scream at me…..”  In the morning, when we discussed the incident, she was mad at me for yelling at her for no reason……

Which brings me to last night.  Last night started very similar to the karate / linebacker / banshee incident from yesteryear.  Because I am a thinking and adapting man, this time I grabbed her before she rose up and said in the most soothing voice possible, “Whitney, it’s me, and I love you.  You are safe.”  Sleeping Whitney looked me square in the eye and said, “Why should I trust you, I barely even know you?”  Then I realized that Sleeping Whitney must have been having a one night stand in her dream……I just wanted you to know, because I have been holding it in for hours…..

  1. Lisa says:

    I like your wife, and I’ve never even met her! Also, I’m passing an award your way.

    • haphillips says:

      Damn! My first award ever!!! You are now my favorite person ever. At the same time, you have made me have to learn things like: How to link to other people for instance. Seriously, you are the coolest ever!!!

      • Lisa says:

        Thanks! Trust me, if I can figure it out, anyone can. Hint: When you’re on a person’s blog, click on their name in the top left of the screen. Copy the shortcut that appears. When you go back to type your post, type their name, for instance, Lisa’s Rant, then highlight the name and click the “link” button near the spell check button. Paste the previously copied shortcut in the appropriate box (you’ll see it) and then hit “apply link”. Done! You’re smart, you’ll get it. 🙂

  2. OMG! If you are going to own a gun, you clearly need either a new wife or a lockbox.

    Whitney, if you’re reading this, I’m voting for the lockbox…

  3. Off My Chest says:

    I actually laughed so hard I cried with this one. I am, however, easily amused. Don’t worry though – you have an award!

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