How to Keep Monsters from Eating You
I'm 38, and there are monsters living under my bed
My name is Andrew, I'm 38 years old, and there are definitely monsters under my bed. It's okay, though- my girlfriend and I have developed a set of rules that will help to keep us safe from the monsters and help us sleep at night. If you have trouble sleeping at night, you'll probably want to jot down a few notes during this article, or you might just want to read this right before you get into bed to induce sleepiness. Either way, I'm cool with that.
When I get into bed, I have a compulsion that started with childhood, where my feet have to be covered up (I generally sleep barefoot). I can come up with no other reason than an irrational fear of monsters for needing to have that security of my feet needing to be covered, even in the middle of summer.
My naked feet, irresistible treats for monsters
Rule number 1: body parts, especially feet, must be covered
All body parts except for your face must be covered. Feet are the most important example of this rule in action, but they're not the only thing. If you're leaving out your arm, you're taking a chance with the monsters, but it's better than leaving out your feet (sometimes you get hot, and you can bend the rules a little). Never, ever leave your feet out.
Did you fantasize about monsters as a kid?
Rule #2: never hang out over the edge of the bed
The edge of the bed is a serious no-man's land. In my youth, I had a really active imagination, and it didn't matter if I had just had a spoon full of sugar or a caffeinated soda, or if it was time to go to sleep at night: my mind was going to do its thing. One construct I came up with is that the edge of the bed has a certain property, no doubt due to the monsters who live under the bed: they are capable of blasting a plane of energy out that completely surrounds the bed, directly upwards from the floor. If your poor hand or foot is hanging over the edge of the bed, prepare to have it surgically severed off by this blast of energy. Turns out, these monsters are pretty high tech.
No man's land, the edge of my bed
Never sleep alone
Whenever possible- and this may seem obvious, but it bears repeating- never sleep alone. Monsters under your bed are far, far less likely to attack you in the middle of the night if you're with someone else. In the unlikely event that you don't have a significant other, I heartily recommend adopting a senior Dachshund from the DRNA (Dachshund Rescue of North America) or other reputable organization. Weiner dogs, especially senior ones, make lousy guard dogs, it's true, but they make amazing monster guard dogs. Nobody is going to mess with me with these crazy animals on the bed with me!
We all have our quirks
What does this say about me, that I still have monsters in the back of my brain at age 38? Of course I fully know there are no ultra-futuristic harbingers of doom here in my bedroom, but my brain still bounces back to childhood, if only briefly, at night. I should mention that this is only the very loosest of "fears" in the sense that I have just built up a subconscious habit of balling up under the covers in a particular way, and making sure none of my skin is exposed, and so forth, through force of habit (three and a half decades of habit, as it turns out).
What are some of your crazy quirks? Do you have rituals before you go to sleep, or something you absolutely must do before you get into bed? I'd love to hear about them! We all have our odd compulsions, and life is all about living with them and embracing them, as I've done here. Happy sleeping!