One year, my buddy John had this New Year's resolution:
If I feel like taking a nap, I'm just gonna take the nap. I'm not gonna fight it anymore.
Napping is one of my favorite hobbies, but I've gotten lazy with it the past few years. Like most things, I blame Steven. When you're in a relationship and you live together, napping works like this -- the person who gets home first gets the nap. Steven is the one who wakes up at 4:30 am to go to work, and typically gets home an hour or two before me. I've got no chance in hell of winning the nap. Sometimes I think he rushes home through traffic just to secure his rightful ownership of the nap.
Some of you might ask -- why don't you just join Steven for a nap when you get home? If you ask this question then clearly you are not currently in a relationship. A major rule of taking a nap is that you can't get caught by your significant other taking the nap. You have to sneak the nap. I don't know why it's like this. I don't write the rules of relationships. But for whatever reason, it is crucial that the other person is not aware of the nap. If they are aware of the nap, then shit talk ensues. "Oh, so you took a nap, huh? Must be nice. Wish I had time to take a nap. But someone has to start dinner/mow the lawn/go grocery shopping/take out the trash/fill in your least favorite domestic chore here."
Steven is better at sneaking the nap than me. Men typically are. Steven's dad can fall asleep in his chair with a roomful of noisy people, a loud television set, multiple cats and dogs climbing on him and not be disturbed at all. What's best is that he'll suddenly wake up and immediately go back to what he was doing -- not acknowledging at all that he was dead ass asleep, and snoring loudly just two seconds ago. My dad also has a sleeping chair, but his is conveniently located in his own living room. Away from pets and noise; not that that would stop him. The crazy thing about my dad napping is that you really can't tell he's napping. He's sitting there in his La-Z-Boy recliner, hands over his stomach, glasses on, staring straight at the television like he does when he's awake. You really can't tell he's asleep at all. I've had full conversations with my dad before while he was totally asleep.
Steven is still a young man, so he hasn't quite mastered his napping technique yet, but he's got a pretty solid base nap. He lays on the couch, fully clothed and naps. Not as sneaky as his dad's and my dad's recliner naps, but it'll get there. Steven typically has his head wedged under his folded arm. I think that this is completely uncomfortable for him, but he does it simply to make it look more realistic that he was "just watching TV" and not napping.
Steven's major handicap is Brooklyn. She is a dead giveaway. Brooklyn loves naps and feels no need to camouflage her love of sleep. If you are napping, then she is napping. And she really gets comfortable when she naps. She'll wedge herself tight between you and the couch or even between your legs. If you wanna know if someone has been napping, then just look at Brooklyn's face, that's the tell. Her face will be all smushed and distorted (known as Brooklyn smushy face), she'll have an unusual amount of sleep boogers in her squinty eyes, and she'll look unbelievably pissed that you just woke her up from her nap.
I'm horrible at hiding my naps. The first problem is that I can't fall asleep sitting up, or even reclining. I have to be fully horizontal. Another problem is that when I nap, I can't be wearing any sort of jewelry or pants. I've tried to nap in shorts, sweatpants, whatever. I can't do it. The pants must come off, as well as any jewelry. So when Steven comes home and I'm wandering around the house without my engagement ring on and not wearing any pants, with a pissed off look on my face, then he can only assume that: A) I'm having a torrid affair with Leonardo DiCaprio, or B) I'm taking a nap.
Only since Steven has been out of town, have I reconnected with my love of naps. That is probably the best and only good thing about living alone...naps. You can take them whenever the hell you want, and you really don't have to explain yourself to anyone. But in case you do, I have found that following your nap with a grand gesture usually minimizes any potential trash talk you may get from your significant other. In essence, you need to counteract the nap. So when you list off your daily activities, it goes like this "I came home from work, checked the mail, took a little nap.....(then quickly add before your mate can say something smartass)...then I went for a 3 mile jog/mowed the lawn/gave the dog a bath/baked your mom a birthday cake/fill in your own equally impressive grand gesture here." It works every time.
The other day I took a nap in Brooklyn's room. Yes, she has her own room with her own twin bed. No, she never sleeps in there. Yes, she sleeps in the king-sized bed with me and Steven. (sigh) So I was taking a nap and I took off my pants and set them on the floor with my engagement ring. I woke up some time later to see Brooklyn nestled on my pants and chewing on something. A loud clicking sound coming from her mouth. The scene that followed would only be appreciated and/or appropriate on a dairy farm in the Midwest. In one swift motion, I had her jaws pulled apart with one hand while my other hand was traveling far down her gullet, searching for my diamond ring. I would like to say that my forceful dental exam of Brooklyn was unusual, but with her being a beagle, it's an almost daily occurrence. Luckily, she was not, in fact, chewing on my engagement ring, but one of her own fingernails. Yes, she eats her own fingernails. (Beagles!) She was actually sitting on my engagement ring like a chicken trying to hatch some sort of bridal egg.
Am I happy that my beloved engagement ring was actually a half inch from Brooklyn's booty hole and not traveling down her throat? Absolutely. Am I upset that this little incident eclipsed my much needed nap? Yes. But there will be other naps. There won't be other engagement rings.