…That way I’d be able to get into bed with the ultimate stealth. I would also conveniently already be wearing some pyjamas.
Some nights Mrs Grump heads off to bed much earlier than I. Take Sunday evenings for example. Whereby Mrs Grump would like to get an early night to get plenty of rest and to wake up to face the working week refreshed and full of beans, I prefer to hang onto the weekend by my very fingernails refusing to accept that a new week is coming and I have to go back to work. It’s as if I’m losing my freedom and I can visualise the sand seeping through that hour glass. It’s not uncommon to be surrendering to the inevitable, grumpily going to bed at 1am Monday morning.
So I go to the bathroom to do the usual routine before bed. Y’know, have a wee, check for any wayward hairs protruding from my nostrils or ears, brush my teeth, gargle mouthwash, apply nasal strip, yes, a nasal strip. It’s for my benefit as much as the good lady’s. If it stops me from snoring, it stops me from getting punched in the back of the head in the middle of the night.
But then comes the difficult part. Getting into bed without waking Mrs Grump.
It’s not until you try to get into bed quietly in the dead of night that you realise that every action you take seems to be as loud as a jet engine.
Last night for instance, I step out of the bathroom and switch the light off. My eyes have not adjusted to the darkness and so I’m stood in total black. I tentatively reach out to the glass of squash I have resting on the banister at the top of the stairs. Pick it up and walk over in the direction of the door to the bedroom. I reach out to where I think the door handle is. Bump. Found it.
I turn the handle. Is this the squeakiest handle known to man? Gently I push the door open. The hiss of the door dragging along the thick pile carpet. Just how thick is this carpet? Perhaps lino should be considered for ease of stealth.
I decide to pause to see if I have awoken Mrs Grump. Much like sneaking into the cave of a dangerous wild animal, if I awake it, my life could be in danger.
She’s still asleep. Good. I’ll sneak in. But I can’t sneak in. It is physically impossible. Because my slippers just simply won’t allow it. You see my slipper of choice is not the shoe style slipper that surrounds your foot completely. No I’ve opted for the classic sandal style slipper.
This is the very same slipper as what I’ve got! I’ve got a left one too! With no back, these slippers not only provide easy hands free entry or exit, they also provide a unique anti stealth ability. I’m trying to sneak into the the bedroom with the stealth and finesse of a drunk on crutches.
I’m in the room, time to shut the door. Still I am in complete darkness and I can’t see a thing so I start to close the door without being able to gauge how far open the door actually is and therefore being unable to detect how far away from being closed the door is. Hissssssssssssss as the door moves over the carpet. The slower I go, the quieter the hiss. After about two minutes of just standing there closing a door in slow motion ( to see this with night vision would be very amusing)………… bump. The door is shut. The bump never ceases to startle me.
Not even a stir from Mrs Grump. I’m doing well. I am in the lair and still alive.
For some reason as you’re trying to move what must be three feet towards your side of the bed, the jeans you’re wearing appear to suddenly become the most starchy, noisiest material ever invented.
I have change in my back pocket. I take it out reaching blindly for the bed side table. Do I try to order the coins into a neat pile and place it on the laminated Ikea chipboard? Oh, no, that’s a schoolboy error. Put the coins on the carpet. I’ve got this shit down!
Time to undress. I undo my belt. The buckle swings and rattles loudly. Perhaps I should apply some WD40 to it. I promise myself that I will do that at the weekend. Then the starchy, noisy material of my jeans increases in volume so once again I am forced to behave in slow motion. I now look like I’m undressing in space.
Forgetting that I was wearing glasses, I almost send them flying when I try to take off my t-shirt. Getting ready for bed is proving to be like running the gauntlet.
Casual PJ bottoms. You know you’ve reached a certain age when you can appreciate some comfortable nightwear. Thing is, in the pitch black it is difficult to tell which is front or back. Standing there feeling my way around the waste band not being able to see a thing searching for a the washing instructions tab and missing them, I decide to take pot luck and just go for it. I lift a leg and almost fall, a little disorientated by not being able to see anything but I maintain my composure. I am in luck. They are on correctly.
I decide it’s a bit chilly so I wander over to the wardrobe to find a t-shirt. When I get there and carefully open the the door so the handle doesn’t bang against the wall, I realise that I can’t see anything so I go and fetch my phone to use it as a make shift torch. All the while trying not to bang into the bed or shine the light in the good lady’s direction. I grab a t-shirt, head back over to my side of the bed, slip it on, realise it’s on back to front, switch it round and then try to slide into bed without detection. Difficult to do when you’re bed creaks at the slightest movement. Pass wind and it can sound like you’re on the Mary Celeste!
This is the point where I have to become Neo from the Matrix and a ballet dancer and a limbo expert!
How do you get into bed without applying any weight to cause a cracking noise? I just had to hope for the best but if I get it wrong now all my hard work could go to waste. At the very edge of the bed, I gently start to place my weight onto the mattress, whilst slowly leaning back. I try to spread my weight over the mattress. Then I lift a leg and slide it under the duvet closely followed by the other. No major creaks and no major cracks. I pull the duvet up and there I am, mission accomplished. After all that messing about. I managed to get into bed undetected. A sigh of relief and a smile of accomplishment.
Mrs Grump then gets up to go to the loo. She’d been awake all along.