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Snore wars

[ 2010-06-17 09:39]     字号 [] [] []  
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By Rosalind Warren

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The man I love is as calm and pleasant as the day is long[1]. He treats me with love and respect. He’s gentle and soft-spoken[2], a perfect joy to be with. But when night falls, Mark undergoes a ghastly transformation.[3] No, he’s not a vampire. Are you kidding me? Vampires are hot and trendy[4].

It’s much worse. Mark snores.

He doesn’t just snore. He also mutters and shouts and flails around.[5] I love the guy, but he’s a challenging bed partner.

My ex[6] was just the opposite. Asleep, he was gentle as a lamb; it was when he awoke that I had to watch out. He and I slept quietly in each other’s arms. I’d fall asleep holding him and wake up eight hours later, still holding him.

Mark and I start out quietly holding each other. Then he falls asleep and the wild rumpus[7] starts. He moans. He cries out. His legs bicycle wildly. He slams his fists down on the bed, jolting me awake.[8] Entering deep sleep, he sprawls[9] onto his back and emits a variety of noises that are loud enough to set off car alarms, stopping only to shout nonsense phrases, or worse, yell “Oh no!” or “Look out!”

Last night I awoke to the sound of his moaning in fear, “It’s on the third step! It’s on the third step!” I nudged[10] him into a more wakeful state. “Skip the third step, Sweetie,” I suggested. “Try going right from the second step to the fourth step.”

“Can I do that?” he whispered.

“Of course you can,” I soothed[11].

He fell back into deep sleep, smiling. I enjoyed 10 wonderful minutes of calm before the sound and fury started up again.


Because Mark sleeps through it all, from his point of view, I’m the awful bed partner, the harpy who spends the night inexplicably shouting, “Cut that out! ” and pushing him around.[12] He’ll pin[13] me under the dead weight of a restless leg. I’ll shove[14] it off. He’ll attempt to roll over onto me. I’ll push him away. He’ll cry out. I’ll shush[15] him. After I’ve woken up a dozen times, my responses can become quite testy[16], if not rude. OK, downright[17] hostile. By the time we rise from bed in the morning, it’s a wonder we’re still talking to each other.

Many of my friends sleep apart from their partners because of snoring. My Internet research tells me that 25 percent of the population snores. And 80 percent of couples with a snorer sleep in separate bedrooms! I also learned that astronauts rarely snore in space. Even if you snore on planet Earth, there’s something about deep space that makes snoring subside.[18] Some nights, after being jolted awake once too often[19], I’d happily send my beloved into orbit[20]. But I’m pretty sure I’d miss him in the morning.

Appliances come with warning labels.[21] So do drugs and toys. Why not men? “This man appears quiet and amiable but will emit loud gibberish and thrash around when unconscious.[22] Approach with extreme caution.” If Mark had carried this warning label, would I have turned and fled? Maybe not. But at least I’d have gone into sleeping with him with my eyes open.


1. as...as the day is long: 非常……。

2. soft-spoken: 说话温和的,声音柔和的。

3. ghastly: 可怕的,恐怖的;transformation: 变化。

4. trendy: 时髦的。

5. mutter: 低声轻语;flail:(臂或腿)无法控制地乱动。

6. ex: <口>(某人的)已离婚的丈夫或妻子,前情人。

7. rumpus: 喧嚣,吵闹。

8. slam: 猛打;jolt: 颠簸,摇动。

9. sprawl: 伸开四肢(躺)。

10. nudge: 用肘轻推。

11. soothe: 安慰。

12. harpy: 残忍贪婪的人,泼妇;inexplicably: 莫名其妙地;cut out: 停止,放弃。

13. pin: 把……压住,使不能动。

14. shove: 推。

15. shush: 发出“嘘”声使……安静。

16. testy: 易怒的,脾气暴躁的。

17. downright: 完全地,彻底地。

18. deep space: 外层空间;subside: 减弱,减轻。

19. once too often: 次数太多。

20. orbit: 轨道。

21. 家电总带有警告标识。

22. amiable: 好脾气的;gibberish: 莫名其妙的话;thrash: 打,击。