Who would have thought a sticky piece of plastic could save a marriage?
Not I...but then, how often do I think about sticky pieces of plastic at ALL?
Let me back up and explain.
Beloved and I have been married for just over 37 years. We both will tell you that they've been the 29 happiest years of our lives.
Something that has been making our lives less than happy recently has been the Richter-scale-level of my snoring. It used to be that, whenever Beloved was having trouble sleeping because of my slight nasal rattle, she would just have to say, "Dewey, you're snoring," and I would roll over onto my side and that would be the end of it. For the past several months, that has changed in a couple ways:
1) It's gotten more difficult for Beloved to get me to hear her voice over the sound of my own upper respiratory system.
2) Rolling onto my side doesn't stop the noise.
I've tried sleeping with my head raised on an incline. We've turned our bedroom fan on high to increase the white noise level. The only results have been a kink in my back and needing to use an electric afghan to stay warm (and yes, I'm talking about the dog breed).
It totally got serious the other night, when my nasal vibrations knocked Beloved out of bed. That's when I decided to put some money on the line. The next day, I trekked to our local big-box discount department store in search of the store-brand equivalent of BreatheCorrectly Nasal Strips.
And I DO mean search.
I had no idea where nasal strips would be shelved. Of course I knew enough to go to the Pharmacy/Health section of the store, but beyond that.... Sleep Aids? Nose Drops? Heck...Marital Aids?
I finally found them just under the eye drops and contact lens solution. Apparently, the store manager decided to be as anatomically correct as possible...because...you know...where the nose is on a person's face.
How To Correctly Use Nasal Strips
You may be surprised to learn, as I was, that using a nasal strip involves actually stripping the nose. It seems a person's face is naturally oily enough to render the adhesive on the garden variety nasal strip ineffective. So, Step One is to use soap, water, and a flame thrower to get rid of all dirt and oil from the surface of your nose.
Let me clarify that last phrase...get rid of all dirt and oil from the OUTER surface of your nose. I missed that part in the written instructions.
Step Two is to remove the paper backing from the nasal strip, exposing the sticky part of the sticky piece of plastic mentioned in the opening of this article. Please note...this particular step is not an official part of the written instructions. I had to figure it out for myself...including which side was the actual...you know...back.
Step Three involves placing the nasal strip on the correct part of the nose and pressing for 30 seconds. It's very important to find that sweet spot called The Correct Part of the Nose. Place the nasal strip too low, and your nostrils will be flared out to your ears. Too high, and the bridge of your nose will be a fulcrum for sucking your eyeballs out of their sockets.
I strongly recommend you do a trial run of Step Three before carrying out Step Two.
* * * * * * *Having navigated my way to the perfect placement of the aforementioned nasal strip, I quietly slipped into bed. I could both feel and see that my nose was, indeed, expanded to a level of openness previously enjoyed only by the sky in Montana.
Beloved experienced a deep sleep, uninterrupted by any snoring from me at all, leading her to happily unpack her luggage.
When I woke up, I realized why the nasal strip had been so effective: I had sniffed half of our electric afghan into my wide-open nose, making snoring impossible.