Little know fact here: Before she became Mrs. Nixon, Pat Ryan once worked as an x-ray technician. Personally, I think the ability to see through a man’s body probably helped her in the most intimate moments of her marriage. Either that or just shutting off the lights. If I ever see naked pictures of Nixon, I fear I’ll never be able to un-see them.
Here’s how this Nixon scandal came into my life:
My husband is a restless sleeper. He worries about everything and he takes those worries to bed. He’s sought help for this problem from his doctors. And when I say doctors, I mean all of them: the general practitioner, the gastroenterologist, the urologist, his dentist, anyone with a diploma on their wall who can provide him with an “educated” answer. He’s even sought help from friends and neighbors with the same problem, which is, “just as good as going to a doctor and it’s free.” God forbid he should trust his wife who just tells him to go to bed at a reasonable hour and get up with the sun.
When the “doctors” advise him to take supplements like melatonin, he’s a great patient, always ready to pop another pill. He also believes in the “all natural” cures, which is why he’s such an easy mark for all those t.v. doctors. I point out to him that dirt is "all natural," but he doesn’t make the connection.
When we had our bathroom remodeled, I had the contractor cut a huge medicine cabinet in the wall behind a full-length mirror. It’s 16 inches wide and 5 feet tall. I thought we could share it. But no, it houses all of his supplements from those t.v. experts: Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil, Dr. Suess. One pill, two pill, red pill, blue pill.
The real doctors who tell him to change his lifestyle to cure his sleep problems, are talking to a brick wall. He stays up watching old movies on television or surfing sports sites on the internet until 2 or 3 a.m. So he sleeps until noon. We have a DVR. He can watch television on any schedule. As far as I know, the internet is pretty much a 24-hour service too. Sometimes I think he just doesn’t want to change because he likes breaking the story. I watch plenty of news. I’m also a speed reader, so it takes a lot to get the story before me and I think he derives a great deal of pleasure from finding something out before I do. During baseball season this year, many of those stories happened at 2 a.m., usually after a west coast Yankees game and they involved a Yankee player named Alex playing, or not playing, because he was, or was not, suspended for taking, or not taking, supplements which are, or are not, illegal or all natural under major league baseball rules. None of this is need-to-know stuff for me. But he likes it and he wants to share, regardless of my REM cycle or my early morning schedule of dog walking and pickleball. (That supplement thing between him and Alex is mere coincidence.) It’s not always Yankees news I get at 2 a.m. Sometimes it’s the death of a celebrity or the birth of a 2-headed animal. A lot of news seems to happen at 2 a.m. eastern standard time.
When my husband finally comes to bed, he usually has nightmares that are loosely related to the last thing he saw on t.v. or on some web site. Many of them are violent and cause him to toss, turn and yell in a clear voice. No mumbling. I get every word.
When he yells, “Adrian, Adrian,” I know he’s not calling out for an old girlfriend. He just watched Rocky.
After an old John Wayne movie, I hear, “Giddyup, bang, bang, pilgrim.” And yes, he really says “bang, bang” and holds his finger like a gun. The first time that happened, I was hysterical. I couldn’t believe he was actually doing that in his sleep.
Since then, there’s been the Clint Eastwood movie outbursts: “Ask yourself, do I feel lucky? Do you Punk? Bang, bang!”
There’s almost always a “bang, bang!” This from a man who’s never even shot a gun.
Many nights, he automatically goes into the guest room to spare me from these outbursts. And I appreciate that.
He was not in the guest room on Nixon Night. That’s what we call it now, Nixon Night. He came to bed late again. He tossed and turned a little. I had nowhere to send him. My brother’s family of 5 was visiting and the 2 guest rooms were full. So was the couch. When I could tell he was about to start yelling, I shook him to wake him up so I could get to sleep again. That usually works. Not this time. He looked right me, as if he were fully awake and yelled, “Naked pictures of Nixon, naked pictures of Nixon.” He woke up the whole house and we all wanted to know: What about the naked pictures of Nixon? What about the naked pictures of Nixon? The late night movie that brought on his outburst was All the President’s Men. I’ve seen it a thousand times. There are no naked pictures of Nixon in the Watergate scandal. There are some seedy lines in the movie involving Deep Throat and Katherine Graham’s ta-tas, but Nixon remains fully clothed in all pictures. So what was he thinking and why? He dreamed up naked pictures of Nixon just like I dreamed up my naked pictures of Robert Redford.
Melatonin? Sleep? He says he’s not getting enough. And I’m not exactly sure what he means by that.