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2012-01-05

Sleeping Around

Mikie Baker

The kindness of others got me through the holidays because "Home Alone" is a sad way to spend Christmas.

Luckily, I wasn't worried about burglars - only a special day without Dearly Demented Mom. So I did what any smart and sassy woman would do. I got the hell out of Dodge.

A weeklong pilgrimage to parts unknown can be a real eye-opener.

Forget a new mattress - the old one looked great when I got home.

Frankly, over the last week, I've slept in much stranger places.

My preferred sleeping arrangements are still with a man. Since that hasn't happened, I've developed my own habits that I cling to. I prefer complete darkness, a non-stop ceiling fan and an open window with a room temperature perfect for hanging meat.

Evidently, I'm the only woman of a certain age that does.

I've been subjected to temperatures only a Devil could love, windows painted shut long ago and 200 watt hall lights. Now I know why Joan Crawford slept with that mask over her eyes.

Don't take me wrong. I had a blast everywhere I traveled. I experienced Christmas Day over and over. Everyone welcomed me into their homes with open arms. They fed me like a Queen - even though that means I have to lose more weight now. I am a lucky woman to have my family and friends. I just wish they all slept like me.

When I went through that "certain age," I never had night sweats. Last week I did. Heat can make me do that. Waking up in a sweat, kicking off all covers, sheets and a nightgown will only give you temporary relief and nightmares. Trust me. You've been in some of those strange dreams.

Then there's light. How can you sleep with a house lit up like, well, Christmas? I came to near death once by sleeping with a pillow over my head.

I did sleep on a really comfortable couch one night. Problem was the HD-TV blared on until the wee hours of the morning, the hall lights stayed on 24-7 and some stalker kept checking to see if I was asleep. Kind of like poking a baby just to make sure they're still alive.

Bathrooms are a completely different issue. How hot or cold is that water?

Is it a place where you might slip and require not only a trip to the emergency room but hip surgery, too?

At least I know my 7-year-old towels still look like a brand new Martha Stewart Wal-Mart collection compared to some I've used in the last week. I swear I've dried off with towels that originally came out of a Biz Detergent box.

Then there was disease. A viral I-can't-breath-or-quit-coughing plague was rampant in the Big City. Wherever my travels took me, I was accosted by Mucinex and Halls Cough Drops. Thank the Lord I was supplied with wine. I still believe alcohol can kill any germ known to man.

There were many great moments and plenty of laughs and love. Though I might be sleep deprived, I will never be unloved. And, truth be known, all those people who took me in are probably still talking about how much I snore.

But, still, as I write this there are no sirens blaring, no wall-to-wall traffic and real deer outside that don't light up. The herd won't leave me alone because they missed me and this winter half-dead country at the Dancing Dog Ranch looks rather beautiful right now.

I guess Mom was really right about sleeping around.