LaughLines: How to Sleep (Almost) Anywhere

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The weather’s been awful this winter, and we’ve seen lots of news reports of stranded travelers at airports, sleeping on floors and benches.

I can relate, since I’ve slept in some very odd spots over the years.

When I was in college, I slept in a few cars. Not sure if this is a rite of passage, but when you’re a student on a road trip, you can’t afford a suite at the Marriott. You just suck it up and make yourself comfortable in the back seat. If you’re lucky, it’s a hatchback.

I once woke up in a hatchback in the middle of a field, at Tanglewood. A great outdoor concert spot, sure, but I’ll be danged if I remember how I got there or in this particular car. I went to see Linda Ronstadt (before she got fat and skinny again), but then, after knocking back beers, it’s all a blur until I woke up in this car.

Someone else was in the car, by the way, snoring away in the front seat. I didn’t stop to see who it was – I just hightailed it after checking to make sure I had my wallet and all my clothes on.

I once slept in baggage claim at LaGuardia Airport, after my flight was cancelled. I was prepared to sleep in the gate area, and that would’ve been okay given the vending machines, rest rooms and CNN on TV. How did I know they close down the gate area at midnight for cleaning (they clean??!?). That meant schlepping down to baggage claim and using my carry-on as a pillow. Note: Did you know those security announcements run 24/7? They do.

I’ve slept in movie theaters (“Field of Dreams” – baseball is boring even with Kevin Costner), church (going to hell for that one), and even during an MRI. That last one was surprising, since they give you that little panic button before they grease your sides and slide you into that little tube.

Panic? Hey, I’m a mother, a wife and a small business owner. I did what any self-respecting woman would do when she lies flat on her back. I went to sleep, despite the technician constantly haranguing me via a little speaker (“Are you all right? All right in there? Everything okay??”).

I slept pretty soundly. Much roomier than a hatchback, come to think of it.

About Cate Drew

I’m on the high side of 40, with three dogs, two teens and one husband, living in a small New England town in a house that’s never quiet. Ever. It’s not that I have a really colorful life – I just tend to write colorfully about it. And there’s plenty of material: marriage to the Man of a Thousand Bad Ideas,.. my mom, who moved Dad’s coffin closer to the street six months after he died so she could visit his grave as a kind of drive-up window…our dog posse…our kids…lots of siblings and in-laws, former co-workers, old boyfriends -- they’re all here. Toss in 14 years of Catholic school and you’ve got a lot of guilt, too. Which reminds me: forget “high side of 40.” I’m 51, damnit.

  • Kathy Trombly

    I can relate! Never had an MRI but from everything I’ve heard, it seems like a great place to escape the chaos of a houseful of kids! I could probably sleep there too!