My partner snores, and not daintily. Should I marry her anyway?
In Love But Not Lovin’ It
Dear In Love,
If all of us quiet sleepers rejected our snoring partners, the species would die out next week. I speak from experience! My spouse snores like a Harley Davidson, so I sleep with earplugs every single night. In fact, I am so wedded to my earplugs, I even wear them when I’m alone. Plus an eye mask. Plus a mouthguard…it’s not pretty.
But do not be disheartened! There are many ways to skin this cat (as I type that expression, it occurs to me how disgusting it is). First and foremost, your sweetie should talk to her doctor and get a script for a sleep study, to see if she suffers from sleep apnea (this is super easy, done in your own home/bed, only for one night). CPAP machines, which help with sleep apnea, can be much sleeker and less cumbersome than the gasmask-like contraptions of yesteryear.
If she does not need a CPAP, there are other remedies like white noise machines, side sleeping, additional bedrooms and spiked bludgeons. I have a friend who is a big snorer with sleep apnea and while traveling, she literally tapes her mouth shut, which forces her to breathe through her nose. It looks super weird, but she claims it works great.
If I can tolerate snoring – with my misophonia, insomnia and hair trigger – anyone can.
I am traveling to Europe in a few months with a group of friends. Normally, I don’t travel in groups, and I think I’m starting to remember why. All the tickets are bought, the hotels reserved and paid for, and some of our museum visits and other activities are booked. When we were planning all of the above, everything went really smoothly. But now that it’s getting close, there are a few issues that have come up that are increasing my anxiety and making me question my decision to do this. In no particular order, these include:
COVID precautions– everyone’s vaccinated, but we are all over the place in willingness to take basic precautions while traveling, like masking on the plane. I’d like us all to wear masks when we’re inside museums, etc., but others think this is ridiculous. Last I checked, COVID was still with us. Do they know something I don’t?
Getting to the airport – I don’t want to get to the airport earlier than we need to, but I’ve heard enough horror stories about various airports and TSA that I’m willing to get there three hours ahead of our flight. One friend agrees, but the others want to sleep in as long as possible (it’s an early a.m. flight) and plan to arrive “in enough time.” I have a feeling they will do the same thing when we’re flying between countries in Europe.
Packing light – we’re going to be gone for less than two weeks, and none of us is Carrie Bradshaw. I plan to take a carry-on bag and pack accordingly. They plan to take a carry-on bag and check another bag – or two, in one case. Schlepping extra bags around will slow us down and make everyone cranky from schlepping. I don’t want to wait at baggage carousels, and if any of them ask me if I can carry something for them, I’m afraid I’ll get violent.
Is it a mistake to travel with such a disparate group of travel styles? What do I do now? Any advice, Gabby?
Good Trip/Bad Trip
Dear Good Trip,
Finding traveling partners that match your travel style is tough. The bar is high since it requires enjoying the same things (museums vs. walking tours for instance) at the same pace, having the same budget and taste in lodging, and generally being flexible in terms of wake-up times and openness for adventure. Traveling exposes annoying habits like nothing else, with the possible exception of, oh yeah, marriage.
The key here is flexibility. You can get to the airport any time you want and meet your friends at the gate. That’s easy. And you can pack as light as you want as well. You may indeed have to wait at the baggage carousels, but I consider this taking one for the team. As for COVID, you may have to mask more than you’d like, just to protect yourself.
Going forward, these may be things to talk about before the tickets are bought. In any case, before you get violent, tell your friends that you are taking a day to yourself away from the group and then, you do you. And encourage everyone else to do the same. You’ll all be much happier as a result. Plus, you dont wanna stand on trial for murder in a foreign country. So complicated!
My next door neighbors have backyard chickens, including two roosters that are up with the sun and LOUD at 6 a.m. What to do to get some early AM quiet?
Have you talked to your neighbor about it? There may be a noise ordinance in the city that will be in your favor. However, it may also, um, rustle some feathers. You could try the aforementioned earplugs or white noise machine, or maybe both. Hopefully you will be able to have a friendly chat with your neighbor – can you soundproof a hen house? – and find an amicable solution. At the very least, it sounds like you deserve some nice fresh eggs!
Dear Gabby appears in the RoundTable every Monday. Yes, Gabby is an advice columnist – but not just any advice columnist. Because that would be boring! Gabby combines wisdom with wit. And a pinch of snark. She is not a trained therapist by any means, but has seen and loved many in her day. Her aim is to make you think while she makes you laugh. Gabby welcomes all questions and queries and is only too happy to hear your opinion, no matter how much it may diverge from hers. Write to Gabby at firstname.lastname@example.org.