Death by pillow

By the time you read this, I will be gone. Smothered by my wife’s pillows.

This is not a metaphor.

When I met her, she had the normal amount of pillows a human should own — three: two that are mostly bad and one that has the orthopedic neck support of two slices of deli ham. You never get rid of terrible pillows because you’re never sure how to properly dispose of them. I douse mine in salt and bury them in backyard out of fear.

However, despite my best efforts we have become overrun. Every day I check the pillowcases to see if there’s cash or passports hidden inside and every day I’m disappointed. There’s no other explanation. Even the pillows seemingly have their own mini-pillows. Because we wouldn’t want any pillows being uncomfortable as they unnecessarily take up massive amounts of space.

Was it my personality that caused her pillow-hoarding obsession? I’d like to think so, because this bod is so hard that she needs some “yin” to her husband’s chiseled “yang.” But then my four-year-old stuffs his face on my lap and pushes my stomach yelling, “Dough Daddy!” so that can’t be it. Being a patient parent with the knowledge that “kids say the darndest things” I let his insult slide, the only punishment being legally changing his name to “Nutz.”

It’s not like she brings a new pillow home every night. She’s much too crafty for that. The trick is in the subtlety. One “decorative” one here or there. A few received as “gifts.” Then more to replace “lumpy ones” that somehow remain on active duty. My couch is now 78 percent pillows. We may have, at one time, had three children. It wouldn’t surprise me if one was lost forever in the Bermuda Pillow Triangle. Last week I had enough.

Wife: “What are you doing?”

Me (shoveling pillows): “Legend has it there’s a couch under here. Kids! Bring the wheelbarrow! We’re finding the couch today.”

Kids: “Yey!”

Wife: “Oh har har.”

The bed is worse. It’s like there’s a nightly pillow orgy that I’m reluctantly obligated to attend. It’s uncomfortable, which is odd to say seeing as though the topic is pillows. There are no fewer than 10 in our bed, three I’m convinced are pillow babies resulting from the nightly canoodling. Two body pillows inject themselves like Kelly replacements, neither of which are for me.

I just think it’s hurtful she names them. “David” is her favorite though “Lt. Commander Riker” is also a favorite.

This may not be true. However, they do form a protective shield against my “completely inhuman body heat.” It’s like I’m in quarantine.

Sometimes I attempt to climb the wall but the defenses are surprisingly solid.

Women are very protective of their pillows. If you don’t believe me, try and remove a woman’s pillow. It’s been nice knowing you.

She thinks I don’t notice when she brings these fuzzy disasters into our home, but I do. I’m the Dick Tracy of Noticing Stuff That Personally Affects Me.

“Let me get this straight,” she begins as I try and sneak away because as a husband I’ve learned nothing good can come from sentences that begin this way. They never finish that sentence with, “you want to go to Las Vegas with your college roommates for the weekend but leave me here with the kids alone? Well why didn’t you say so earlier! Just stay a few more days. You deserve it!”

Instead they say things like, “I get my haircut SEVEN INCHES and dye it blonde and you don’t say a word. One of the children puts paste on the cat, which then tries to lick it off and pukes all over the kitchen and you’re oblivious. But I bring home a little pillow and THAT’S what gets your attention?”

“Exactly,” I reply, “I notice the important things.”

Nobody pulls a fast one on THIS guy.

If you need me I’ll be trying to find my wife to tell her how offended I am. All I need is one of those rescue robots used to excavate earthquake victims. And possibly a bloodhound. I’m sure she’s in there somewhere.


Kelly Van De Walle can be reached at vandkel@hotmail.com or via the floor. The bed is for pillows now. I have too many bones. Follow him on Twitter @pancake_bunny.