On The Dilemma of Sleepovers
This is what happens when a person stays single for an extended amount of time. They start reassessing certain things that might not need reassessing, things like having a girl spend the night.
What was once no big deal and happily encouraged, is now something I weigh upon heavily. Do I want her to stay? If I don’t want her to stay, should I even invite her over in the first place? If I do invite her over, can she possibly get here by 7 p.m. so she can leave by 9 p.m.? I once dated a girl who wanted to do everything before 11 p.m. because that’s when she watched Law & Order and for such an occasion she preferred to be alone. Why can’t I find more girls like her?
To be clear, I am not talking about sex here. That kind of sleeping together is pretty easy to decipher and is nothing compared to the weight of really sleeping together. The last woman I slept with is different than the last woman who spent the night. And I would go into details, but I am sure the smart ones know the difference.
Sleeping over used to mean nothing more than I was tired and didn’t feel like going home. Or she was tired and she didn’t feel like going home either. Spending the night used to be the natural progression from bodies just shared. We did it, now we sleep together. Made sense at the time.
Then I liked the girl who spent the night. I liked her here in the mornings, so I would make her breakfast, and if she didn’t want my eggs and turkey bacon, I had plenty of cereal. I enjoyed that company, and I started thinking I would enjoy it with anyone who spent the night, until it was no longer just girlfriends spending the night.
It was girls who weren’t girlfriends, and all of a sudden the appeal of their company through the night began to lose its luster. These girls I would see in the morning were more of a distraction, less of a welcomed presence, and my whole attitude about this spending the night thing began to do a 180.
Now I much preferred her place to mine.”Too far”, I would say about my place. Or, “Not clean enough.” Sometimes, I would say, “Come over, spend the night.” Then, not five minutes of closed eyes would go by before I wanted to recant my offer. “Go home,” I gently suggested. “I got your cab fare,” or sometimes, “Here’s how you get to the A.”
My mother taught me better than that, and she also taught me no sleepovers on school nights.
School nights is what I still call those nights Sunday through Thursday. Those are the nights I especially can’t have a woman sleepover, and lately, I have found they are also the nights the girl doesn’t want to sleep over either. Last girl I invited over was more than welcome to lay under my covers, but said she couldn’t, she had somewhere to be at 11. She told me this at 10. We said bye by 10:30. More polite than the others who have skipped out at 3 a.m. with no notice, only a text message to tell me they got home safe, oh, and “Thanks.” And that all seems to be so simple, to just leave, but the beds are so comfortable and it’s so late and really, there’s no need to go right now. Take a nap, at 4 a.m., then wake up at 6 a.m. She can go home then. Or, if she must, she will go home now.
I don’t mind. Really, I don’t. I have no toothbrushes for the woman to use, and my shower curtain needs to be changed, a glaring fact I don’t mind putting off, but something I know she might judge me on.
Spending the night is this thing I used to relish in, not only because it was fun, but because I couldn’t do it when I lived at home. So like the way I sometimes eat dessert before dinner, just because I am grown and I can, I used to let any girl who wanted to spend the night, spend the night, no matter what night of the week it was.
Then, I shared my bed with women I cared about, and I started to realize it’s not this simple, normal thing we should do just because we no longer have to ask our parents permission. I realized my bed is my bed and my mornings are my mornings. To share those with someone I have lukewarm feelings for at best is a one-way ticket to the land of awkward good byes. Do we kiss? We definitely hug. But do we kiss?
Unfortunately, I won’t know the answer until the morning because it’s the only time the truth is out. The things we do at night are sometimes the things we won’t do during the day, making them nothing nothing more than lies. So I wait until the morning before I decide where I want to go from here. I won’t know until then whether or not her spending the night or I spending the night was a good idea in the first place.