Why You Should Learn to Communicate Better With Your Spouse
By Holly Geely
“I need shortbread, now! At least a hundred!”
Will’s shout woke Jerry, who woke up and switched on his bedside lamp. A brief check confirmed it was two o’clock in the morning.
“We don’t have any flour,” said Jerry.
“Shortbread is the key! It’s the only way to save the world!” said Will. His arms flailed wildly with the importance of his words. He was a hand talker while awake; in his sleep, he was a full-body talker.
“We can buy some, but none of the stores are open,” said Jerry.
Jerry was used to Will’s nighttime declarations. Will never remembered them when he woke. His cryptic announcements (e.g.“The end is nigh!”, “None shall be spared!”) had at first been spooky, but as the messages grew more ridiculous, Jerry stopped worrying.
“It’s always two in the morning,” said Jerry.
“The shortbread! They must have shortbread!” shouted Will.
“Two in the morning, with alarming regularity. I think you need to go to a sleep clinic. Or maybe a psychiatrist.”
“PUT JAM IN THE MIDDLE!”
Jerry sighed and shook Will’s shoulder. Will woke with a snort and his arms were still.
“What?” he demanded.
“You were doing it again,” said Jerry.
“No I wasn’t,” said Will.
“I’m not having this argument again. Why would I make this up? You talk in your sleep, Will. At two in the morning.”
“This isn’t funny anymore. Quit waking me up like this,” said Will.
“You wanted shortbread,” said Jerry.
“Shortbread. At least a hundred shortbread. You said they needed shortbread with jam in the middle.”
“Are you okay, Jerry?” asked Will.
“I’m fine. It’s you who’s babbling about Christmas desserts. I shouldn’t have let you drag me to that Christmas market. It was clearly bad for you.”
Will reached over Jerry and switched off the lamp.
“Go back to sleep,” said Will.
“I’d love to, but apparently I need to make a buttload of shortbread.”
“Cut it out. Seriously.”
“Sure. As soon as you stop shouting in your sleep.”
“Good night, Will. I look forward to having this argument again at two tomorrow morning.”
Jerry grabbed a handful of the covers and yanked them off Will. It was a petty form of retaliation, but it was all he had. Will had already fallen asleep and made no protest.
Supreme Glub approached the Control Deck.
“Have you sent the message?” it asked.
“Yes, Your Supremeity. The Human has been informed. They will ready the Delicious or they will be exterminated.”
“The Human Christmas is my favourite food,” said Supreme Glub.
“We land in approximately ten Earth days. We have spotted the first Twinkling Lights on front lawns and balconies. The Delicious is soon.”
“Excellent,” said Supreme Glub. “Wake me upon arrival, and ready my bib.”
“Yes, Your Supremeity.”
Supreme Glub’s many eyes narrowed. “And ready the cannons, Mini Glub. We do not make threats idly.”
“It will be done.”
“Why are you baking so much shortbread?” asked Will.
“Remember how you rolled over and slapped me last night?”
“I didn’t do that,” said Will.
“You did. You rolled over and slapped me and said ‘Start on the shortbread already or we’re doomed!’ After which you denied slapping me. So now I’m baking shortbread, because you know what? I don’t want to be doomed.”
“Why are you putting jam in the middle? I hate jam,” said Will.
“I’ll jam this dough up your nose if you don’t leave me alone,” said Jerry.
“Honestly, what’s gotten into you lately?” asked Will.
“The constant two a.m. wake-up screams,” said Jerry.
“You’re the one waking me up at two every night!”
Jerry rolled a ball of dough and chucked it at Will. It went splat against his chest.
“You know what? I’ve had enough. I’m not really mad that you talk in your sleep. You can’t help that.”
“I don’t talk in my sleep,” said Will.
“It’s the denial that gets me. Why deny it? Why can’t you take my word for it? So maybe my suggestion of a sleep clinic was extreme. That doesn’t mean you have to shut me down completely.”
“I don’t talk in my sleep,” said Will. Again.
“You could humour me. You could make an effort on my behalf. But you never do, do you? Not even at Christmas.” Jerry punched the remaining dough. “Enough is enough, Will. You’re spending Christmas without me this year.”
“You’re overreacting,” said Will.
“Bake the shortbread yourself, Mr. Psychic. Have fun with the end of the world,” said Jerry, and he stormed out.
“The Chosen Human did not deliver the Delicious,” said Mini Glub.
“Fire away,” said Supreme Glub.
Holly Geely is like Scrooge after his transformation, except she didn’t build up a fortune first so she gives mostly socks and love. She blogs at https://hollygeely.com
Holly has participated in the Advent Calendar in the past, find her contributions here: Franz and Helga and Their Just Rewards, Midwinter, He Quit Before Christmas