What’s next . . . separate bedrooms?

We mustn't be too quick to judge others who choose separate bedrooms.
We mustn’t be too quick to judge those who choose separate bedrooms.

Not that there’s anything wrong with separate bedrooms, especially if you share with someone who snores or has restless leg syndrome. I totally get it. Although there was a time when I thought it meant the marriage was dead or one partner was getting his or her jollies in someone else’s bedroom. It’s funny how the strong and frequently misguided opinions of our youth gradually bend to accommodate a new and more realistic point of view. At one time I couldn’t understand why some people didn’t like to drive after dark. Now I totally get it. And I made fun of people at parties who congregated according to gender, with women in the kitchen and men in the livingroom. How boring and stereotypical, I thought. How naive and immature I was.

As life goes, lunching with girlfriends is about as good as it gets.
As life goes, lunching with girlfriends is about as good as it gets.

Now that I’m “of a certain age”, I’m seeing the practicality of so many things I once looked down on. Last week ten of us met for lunch—four guys and six “girls”. The restaurant couldn’t accommodate us all at one table so the guys were seated at a table next to us ladies. Separate tables, one cheque. No problem. We’ve discovered in recent years that whenever we go out as a group to a restaurant, the conversation is much more lively if the guys sit together at one end of the table and we sit together at the other, close enough to talk back and forth but much more conducive to mutual interests. No more girl/boy, girl/boy seating.

Parties now tend to go the same way. And there’s nothing wrong with that. The guys just don’t seem to enjoy our animated discussions about decorating, fashion, books, or whether GMO’d food is bad for us. Nor do we want to talk about the Jays, football scores or the relative merits of various pressure washers. We still have may highly animated mixed-gender conversations about politics, sex, the economy and other issues though. In fact, collectively I have no doubt that given the opportunity we’d do a much better job of running the government (Federal, Municipal and Provincial), the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Toronto Transit Commission, The Hudson’s Bay Company and the United Nations.

The reason for gender separation in social situations is related to, well, gender. Women share feelings. Men share tools. We’re different but compatible. There are plenty of things we enjoy doing together (see bedroom issues above) but we also enjoy certain things not shared by our spouse or partner. My husband loves golf; after two holes I’m ready to slit my wrists. I love reading and writing; my honey has little aptitude for either. I’m good at words; he’s good at numbers. He loves watching football on television; I love that he wears headphones to watch football on television. My girlfriends fulfill my feminine needs; my honey has my back on everything else.

Growing older means becoming wiser and more forgiving. We no longer worry if someone doesn’t like us—call it their loss. Life is complicated and the more we accept and appreciate our differences the easier it is to get through the day. We’re now starting to understand why people older than us prefer to sleep in their own beds at night. The inconvenience and hazards associated with traveling are becoming increasingly more evident, and I can’t believe I’m saying that.

The level of interest in dinner conversation can be highly subjective and related to gender.
The level of interest in dinner conversation can be highly subjective and related to gender.

Fortunately my guy doesn’t snore, except when he’s had too much red wine but I’m willing to overlook that, at least until it reaches decibels that shatter our crystal wineglasses. I appreciate his perspective on issues even when it differs from mine. But he can never fill that space occupied by my female friendships and I will never be a threat to his guys’ breakfasts and lunches dedicated to sports scores and whatever else it is they discuss over piles of pancakes and greasy bacon.

The world is an infinitely more interesting place when we make an effort to understand things beyond our comfort zone. Hate often springs from a lack of understanding and the inherent insecurity that accompanies it. While we’ll probably continue to break into gender groups for really good conversation over dinner, you can be sure when we do the boy/girl thing, the decibel level will be just as intense as our opinions on politics, social issues and how to run the world. Boomers are an educated, informed and passionate group of people. But we’re not quite ready for separate bedrooms yet.

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Lynda Davis

As an early Baby Boomer, born in 1947, it seems to me that as we approach our retirement years, Boomers have gone from being the energy driving our nation to slowly becoming invisible. We risk losing our identity as society remains stubbornly youth-centric. And the irony is that Gen Xers and Ys are not the majority; we are. BOOMERBROADcast is my platform for being the voice of Baby Boomers, women in particular. We've generated a lot of changes over the decades but there's still a long way to go. After a 40-year career in the corporate world, I've taken up expressing the observations and concerns of our generation. Instead of pounding the pavement in my bellbottoms with a cardboard sign, I'm pounding my laptop (I learned to type on a manual typewriter and old habits die hard). If you have issues or concerns you would like voiced or have comments on what I've voiced, I'd love to hear from you. We started breaking the rules in the sixties and now that we're in our sixties it's no time to become complacent. Hope you'll stay tuned and if you like BOOMERBROADcast, share it with your friends. Let's rock n' roll! If you would like to be notified whenever I publish a new posting, click on the little blue box in the lower right of your screen that says +Follow→ Lynda Davis

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. I’m with you, Brenda!
    It’s twenty years since we got separate beds, although for most of that time we had a massive bedroom so could fit them in the same room, and I liked that. Much preferable to sleeping on the edge of the mattress trying to avoid flailing feet and knees and elbows. Snoring too is more manageable from a few metres away than right there in my ear.
    I realilsed that “for better or worse” wasn’t actually a promise to go without sleep for the next thirty years, and it was all up from there.
    In our current house we have rooms at the opposite ends of the house and I’m not quite so happy with that. It’s reassuring to hear someone else breathing.
    On the gender interests topic, Lynda, you’ve nailed it. How grown men can talk for three hours about wood splitters, solar panels or pressure cleaners I do not know. They work,they do what they’re designed to do, what’s to discuss?

    1. Separate bedrooms are the perfect solution to overcoming the sleep deprivation associated with snorers and flailers, and a much better choice than justifiable homicide (ha ha). I know several couples who are living happily ever after since choosing this option. Thanks for your comments. . . and I’m thrilled that a fellow Boomer is tuning in all the way from Australia!  Lynda Davis Follow my blog at: http://www.boomerbroadcast.net Social commentary on life from a Boomer Broad’s perspective e-mail: lyndadavis1@yahoo.ca For further insights into the Boomer perspective on business, fashion, mind and body, order my new book, BOOMERBROADcast. It makes a great hostess, birthday or Christmas gift. Click on this link: http://www.lulu.com  or http://www.amazon.com

      1. Nice to hear from you, Lynda. I’ve never got as far as contemplating homicide, fortunately, although the idea of a bucket of icy water was quite tempting for a while.

  2. Your day will come and when it does – enjoy a good night’s sleep! 🙂

    1. King-sized beds help a lot but sleep is an essential food group! Gotta get it or you’re no good to anyone, least of all yourself. Thanks for the reminder.

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