As we get older, we lose skills: memory, strength, the ability to keep our jowls tight against our jaw bones; lots of things. But I possess one skill that is only improving with age, thanks to my unique life choices:
I have the reflexes of a Red Bull Jedi.
I share with you, Grasshopper, the three keys to my prowess.
1. Marry a Man Who Acts Like He’s 13-years Old
In 10 years, I have not passed within 5 feet of my husband without him poking, pinching, tapping, bopping or otherwise tweaking me. He thinks it’s HILARIOUS. I think it explains why nearly all his ex-girlfriends can’t say his name without spitting. It’s a little bit like being cursed to spend eternity in the back seat of your parent’s car with your exasperating little brother, except you can’t moan “Mom, he’s TOUCHING ME!” to anyone but the dog, who has proven himself useless in these situations and will only slink out of the room to demonstrate his bravery by humping the pillow.
The downside of Mike’s behavior is my slow decent into insanity. The upside, is that like a master of “The Force,” I’ve developed the ability to “feel” Mike coming and can usually sweep block his attack. I earned a red belt at a rinky-dink karate dojo at one point, and living with Mike is like 10 years of private training with a Monk who took a sacred Vow of Annoyance.
2. Get a Dark Colored Dog
Nearly every night I end up roaming the house in the dark. I have to go to the bathroom, am thirsty, can’t sleep, or am up carefully drawing tiny green dots on my colorblind husband’s face in revenge for whatever he most certainly did to me the day before. The usual stuff.
Even though I try to be careful, at some point, I will almost step on Gordon Labradoodle, who is totally invisible in the dark. My chocolate-hued Gordon will scramble to his feet, scaring the bejeezus out of me, and I will perform a spastic dance, arms flailing, that generally ends with me hanging from a bureau by three fingers, covered with water from the now half empty glass I just refilled. BUT I WILL NOT HAVE STEPPED ON THE DOG. Sure, it looks insane to the casual observer, but they shouldn’t be in my house at 3am, anyway. And the impromptu rain dances keep our lawn almost as vibrant green as the dots on Mike’s face.
3. Sleep in a Bed with the Immature Husband and the Invisible Dog
I sleep curled in a tiny ball to make sure Gordon Labradoodle has all the room a 65lb dog sharing my bed might require, which, coincidentally, turns out to be approximately the length and width of a King Size bed minus the space of my 6’2″ husband. The bonus is both the dog AND the husband roll, pulling the covers off me as they go. Avoiding frostbite has required I develop two additional reflex skills:
- When I hear Mike start to move and feel the covers trying to slip away like a magician revealing his trick (Ta Da! Her shoulder is freezing!), I snap out of a dead sleep, grab and clutch the blanket, and hold it in place until the tension releases. (This also helps with strength building.)
- The dog is much sneakier and I always awake to find half my blankets already balled beneath him. Luckily, every 40 minutes he likes to re-position himself. I wait until he stands to shift and circle before laying down again. When he does, I yank the blanket back before he can plop his full weight back upon them. Victory is mine!
Now you know the secrets of a suburban Ninja. I’m sorry, but now I have to kill you. Don’t look up next time you walk down your hallway; I’ll be wedged up there ready to pounce.