— Life —

Sleep Masks, Sam and the Gecko

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Over the holidays I read Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s. In the movie version, Audrey Hepburn’s Holly Golightly character opens the door, wearing a sleep mask perched above her eyebrows. As unusual as this may sound, I’ve been a sleep mask connoisseur since my 20s.

Without going into details—yes, I know… that’s where the juicy parts are—my first marriage led to chronic sleep problems. Short of a sleeping pill and a sleep mask, or Vegas blackout drapes, it’s still hard for me to get to sleep.

The first sleep masks I bought were the best. I still have them. They’re soft, black silk with two, slim elastic strings you can’t even feel. While Holly Golightly’s sleep mask is adorable, I wouldn’t buy one like that. Here’s the skinny on sleep masks:

  • Masks with braid or lace around the edges look great, but dig into your face.
  • Your hair gets caught up in masks that velcro or tie in the back, and if the mask slips off, invariably it takes your hair with it.
  • Unless your head is smaller than a prize-winning tomato, masks with wide elastic bands make you feel like your head is caught in a vice grip.
  • Many masks—made in China—are padded with something akin to the fiberglass insulation in your attic. You’ll itch and scratch and windup getting out of bed to scrub your face. So much for sleeping anytime soon.

For the last two months, my sleep mask has come in handy. Since my master bath is being remodeled, I’ve been sleeping upstairs where the street light outside is bright enough to use as a reading light. About remodeling… How hard is it to remove a combination ceiling exhaust fan and light and replace it with a small chandelier?

This task has taken five guys, two days to complete. (For my realtors… Remember the flutter sound we kept hearing in the fan over the toilet? After the fixture was removed, I stuck my hand up through the ceiling… What’s this? Buried treasure? No. It’s the plastic packaging for the closet door handle and an empty beer can, but wait… There’s more! My fingers can’t quiet grasp it… Maybe if I stand on my tiptoes… Got it! A mummified mouse carcass! You can tell where the plastic packaging rubbed its skin off every time the fan came on. Flutter, flutter, flutter… )

Now to the gecko. Geckos are fast. This one was a dull brown and stopped in front of Sam’s bed. Before I could react, it’s tongue darted up sleeping Sam’s nostril. In one lickety-split, lightening-fast motion—more catlike than dog—Sam sprang straight up. I’m not sure which hit the ground first. Sam or his… poo! Poor Sam. He landed with a look of absolute surprise and humiliation.

Happy New Year, Dear Friends! I value and appreciate each and every one of you. Thank you for being a part of my life and for reading 1010ParkPlace!

Love, Brenda


  • Nancy Fox December 31, 2016 at 9:48 am

    I love your post Brenda! My husband has been wanting me to get a sleeping mask. He likes to read in the middle of the night and the light always wakes me up.

    • 1010ParkPlace.com January 6, 2017 at 10:49 pm

      Hi Nancy, You might think about getting one. Unless he reads out loud, it should do the trick! Thanks so much, Brenda

  • Barbara December 31, 2016 at 10:48 am

    The Sam story is a visual! I can only imagine either of my dogs handling that! Love your journey in this new home, Brenda. May 2017 be a wonderful year for us all!

    • 1010ParkPlace January 6, 2017 at 10:50 pm

      You’re the best, Barbara! Thank you! xoxox, Brenda

  • Haralee December 31, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    Poor Dog!! I am really laughing at him in kindness. I have been thinking of making sleep masks so I am intrigued with your expertise. I have yet to find one I like. Either they are too hot and I end up sweating or they are too tight. I have a big head and a lot of hair.
    My friend was remodeling her hall bath and the contractor found a storage room that had been walled up. Nothing exciting inside but she had them put a door on it for extra storage.
    Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year!

    • 1010ParkPlace January 6, 2017 at 10:54 pm

      Haralee, Girlfriends know I sometimes use sleep masks and over the years have given them to me as gifts. I hope they don’t read my note to you, but none of them have been suitable for all the reasons you and I have mentioned… and there are more I didn’t list. Good sleep masks are nearly impossible to find. Smart of your friend to take advantage of that extra space. Strange it had been walled up. That would make me curious… Always love seeing you here, Brenda

  • Mithra Ballesteros January 1, 2017 at 8:48 am

    Brave woman to root around in the dark spaces behind walls and ceilings like that! I would be interested to know how you handle waking up with a mask. Is it instantly blinding?

  • 1010ParkPlace January 6, 2017 at 10:57 pm

    “Brave… ” Yes, I’ll take that. I’ve had plenty of practice! FYI, I don’t sleep with my shades/curtains open, so no… It’s not blinding. Besides, when you awake, you’re aware you have the sleep mask on, so mentally, it’s an easy transition. Thanks, Mithra! Looking forward to reading your posts. Brenda

  • Leisa Hammett January 7, 2017 at 5:23 pm

    Oh, Brenda! That’s hilarious. I mean, that’s atrocious. But I’m laughing. But I’m sorry….I started wearing a sleep mask about five years ago. They’re wonderful.

  • Brenda Coffee January 8, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    It’s the hilarious nature of things that keeps them from being down right impossible! Thank you, sweet Leisa! xoxox

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