I must apologize to my mother for all the she-sounds-like-she-swallowed-a-peanut-type jokes I made as she dozed and snored on car trips. How was I to know that, many years later, I would be the one making great gargle and snort noises as the scenery flew by my passenger side window?
It happened, sneakily yet noisily. One time, after waking, my sleeping partner said I’d been snoring. I denied it at first; “I do not snore.” However, after repeated accusations, I finally had to face the non-melodious music: I was a snorer.
I soon became aware of the trumpeting elephant in the room that no one talks about and that I once participated in myself: snorism. It’s as though snoring is a shameful habit like picking your nose in public or owning a small dog that can’t be dissuaded from humping the legs of strangers. Which is why no one wants to admit they snore and why my mother may disown me upon hearing that I outed her.
Those whom the No-Snore Gods have smiled upon are quietly elitist. “You were snoring,” is usually said in an accusatory tone as, “You spit in my coffee.” Here is the difference, oh glorious and favoured Non-Snorers: If we spat in your coffee, it was because we meant to, generally when your backs were turned and you were making us feel badly about the noises we made in the night. Or in the car. Or on the couch. The nocturnal noises we make are a biological circumstance over which we are mostly powerless. I say mostly powerless because there are suggested remedies to alleviate our reverberations.
I once read that taping a tennis ball to the back of my pajamas to keep me from sleeping on my back would reduce snoring. Seriously? First, being intensely non-sporty means I have no tennis balls at hand. I suppose I could use a soup ladle but, second, I sleep in the buff and don’t relish the thought of ripping a duct-taped soup ladle off the skin of my back every morning.
There are recommendations for drinking different types of herbal tea before bed- but let me forewarn you, tea makes me pee. I might not snore, but I will be waking everyone up by stumbling out of the bed, cracking my shin on the dresser and swearing loudly four or five times a night on my way to bathroom. The next morning, I will be cranky, sleep-deprived and you’d best keep your eyes on your mug of coffee.
I read a list of possible solutions to my sleeping partner. “I could wear a whiplash neck brace and chew raw garlic before bed. It’s a good thing I’m not single,” I said.
He eyed me dubiously. “You still could be.”
What would you prefer? A snorer or a neck-braced, soup-ladle-taped, garlic-reeking, oft-peeing partner? I know what I would choose, but, then again, I can’t hear myself.