*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.
I dated a man who worked the third shift and lived with his parents. While there isn't anything wrong with either of those things, his sleeping schedule caused tension between his mother and me.
We saw each other twice a week, on my days off from my job. In order to make our opposite schedules work, I'd visit him after his work shift ended, knowing he would be asleep for most of my visit.
In retrospect, it was a foolish idea. We didn't have the same sleep schedule, and I wasn't coming over to snooze. In fact, I tried several times to sleep the day away while he slept, but I couldn't. I'd already had a full night's sleep before going to his house.
I took to letting myself into the house while both his parents were at work and my boyfriend was asleep, then entertaining myself for hours until he woke up. Although it sounds like I was an unwelcome guest, I assure you I was invited. Not by my boyfriend's parents, of course, they couldn't stand me.
After I'd checked to make sure my boyfriend was sleeping, I'd tiptoe into the kitchen and do the family's dishes from the previous night's dinner. I'd pet the dogs, let them out into the backyard, and play with them until they were ready to come back inside.
Sometimes, I'd sit in the window and stare off into the street. Rarely did I ever turn on a television or a radio. I wanted to be quiet so as not to disturb my sleeping host.
When late afternoon or early evening rolled around, Sleeping Beauty would get up, and we'd watch television and have dinner before I went home.
During that time of our relationship, my boyfriend's mother noticed I was in the house while her son was sleeping. It took some time for her to figure it out because she was usually at work during the day, but when she started taking more days off and eventually quit altogether, it was impossible to hide my presence.
Several times, I let myself into the house as usual without knocking, only to find my boyfriend's mother in the kitchen as I was about to bake a pan of garlic bread, my specialty. That was awkward.
Eventually, she brought up my visits to my boyfriend. Erroneously thinking I was sleeping there when she was at work, she told him, "Tell her to sleep at her own house."
"Did you tell her I don't even sleep here?" I asked. I can't remember his answer; I only remember being dissatisfied.
Shortly before my boyfriend and I broke up, his mother banished me from her house altogether. She did me a favor.
What would you have done? Comments are welcome.
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