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Kansas City MO 64131





Cindy Maddera

Michael and I are incompatible sleepers. I think I've mentioned this before. Chris and I were the same way, though I was less afraid of sleeping next to Chris. Michael has long arms that flail. Any way, one of the many secrets to a successful relationship is separate bedrooms. People are rude and cranky when they don't get a good night's sleep. They also tend to direct that rudeness and crankiness towards the person who caused them to not get a good night's sleep. Michael and I have our own bedrooms. Michael's room has a window a/c unit. Mine does not. During the Fall and Winter, we have sex in my room. During the summer we have sex in his room. This system works well for us. 

The thing that throws a wrench in all of this is the size of our house. We are a two bedroom house in desperate need of a third bedroom. The Cabbage and Michael have been sharing his room, which is fine for now, but the Cabbage is quickly approaching seven. She needs her own space. Yet, despite this, we hem and ha between moving and just making this house work for us. That's because normally the Cabbage is only with us every other weekend. During the summers we have her Monday through Friday every week. This, of course, is usually the time when we start talking about adding on to the house or moving to something bigger. Talaura said to me once that midwesterners are spoiled on space. I couldn't agree more. It is one of the reasons for the hemming and hawing.

This summer Michael cleaned up the basement and basically recreated our living room in the basement with our old couch. He's arranged all of our not-sure-what-do-with left over furniture into a sort of comfortable den. He's got the old TV hooked up to our old Roku and he's placed the a rug down on the floor. There's a side table and a lamp and he's stuffed pillows into a ductless vent that just happens to be right next to my bed to reduce noise. Before, I could hear everything in the basement. (One time I woke up because I could hear a rabbit being tortured by the cat and I swore it was happening in the living room because the sounds were so loud. It was all happening in the cat's dungeon.The cat is a jerk.) Michael's made it really quite comfortable down there and because it is a basement, the temperatures are relatively ambient year round. This is kind of important because a.) Michael is always hot and b.) that part up there about our seasonal sex habits and how there is currently a six year old residing in the bedroom with an a/c unit. 

So the other day, I asked Michael if he thought the basement was cool enough. He looked at me and asked "Cool enough for what?" He can a be bit slow on the uptake sometimes and when he saw the look I'd given he said "Oh!...OOOhhh! I don't know, but we should find out." We told the Cabbage that we were looking for 'important documents' in the basement and then hurried down the stairs while tugging off clothing and giggling like teenagers. Then we soon found out that though we were acting like teenagers, our bodies are not as nimble as a teenager's. There was a lot of "how about.." "yeah, what about..." " that's not going to.." "maybe if you move..." "CRAMP!" Also, the basement is still kind of a dirty basement. At one point, I touched the wall with my fingertips and then immediately regretted it. So then all I was thinking about was my contaminated fingers. When we were not trying to figure out the logistics of what we were doing, we would have sudden pauses where we would whisper "wait! did you hear that?" and "is that the dog or the kid?" Then we would be very still while we listened for pounding foot steps indicating a child headed in our direction. Turns out the thrill of getting caught does not just apply to being caught by your parents in the basement.

We emerged some time later after finding those 'important documents', Michael with a twinge in his back and me with a sore shoulder. Michael is more determined then ever now to really make that basement work for us and has started talking about futons and some sort of curtain/wall system. Just as long as his vision doesn't include velvet paintings and lava lamps, I'm game.