August 23, 2011

Let’s Have Pillow Talk

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You know that moment when you’re lying down nose to nose with someone and you scooch back a bit so that the blurs of his features slowly become sharp again? Or the moment when you lose track of what you’re saying as you stare at the ceiling, talking into the darkness, when a voice coming the other side of the bed finishes your sentence? It’s the moment when acquaintances become friends, and friends become more than friends. This column is dedicated to that moment.

Obviously, you can have deep conversations at an after-hours party when everyone else got sick of playing Kings or over warm pizza bagels, closing out CTB. But whether it’s your boyfriend telling you about his parents’ divorce or your one night stand proving that he has more on his mind than his lax pinny might imply, pillow talk is the most intimate of exchanges in any relationship. Not dinner dates or coffee breaks or thoughtful comments in passing, but literal, horizontal, lights-out pillow talk.

The atmosphere of pillow talk simply breeds conversation. You’re in your pajamas or nothing at all, at your most natural, maybe even your most comfortable. There’s just enough anonymity in the dark to share your secrets, your fears, your insecurities. You can ask those weird, deep questions that there are no answers to or have the simplest revelations in amazement without feeling stupid. You can let out your inner nerd, freak or conservative.

Sometimes in the middle of these talks you have a feeling of realization and you say to yourself, “This is getting really deep.” And from that moment on you can never really look at the other person in the same way. Maybe you don’t talk to him anymore or you see him around and act like nothing happened, or maybe that person is now your significant other. The point is that you both know a little more about each other than the Average Joe, and if you ever hear someone talking shit about said person, you have a natural urge to defend him. Cause you know what he’s really like. You’ve talked ‘til the sun comes up and the guards come down. You know what his patronus would be, what his bar mitzvah theme was and that he texts his mom goodnight every day; that behind the Ray-Bans, he’s awkward, intelligent and real.

Unfortunately, not all pillow talk is good pillow talk. Good pillow talk can be the potential impetus of a deep and meaningful relationship, but bad pillow talk is just as relationship-scarring as bad sex. Bad pillow talk can be as much a deal breaker as under endowment or over enthusiasm. Bad pillow talk can expose that the guy you’ve had a crush on for months is little more than a very handsome shell of a person or, on the other hand, that you don’t really care about his overzealous self-comparison with Dostoevsky.

But take heed hesitant pillow talkers — having bad pillow talk doesn’t mean you suck, or that the other person sucks; it just means that maybe you suck together. When people talk about having chemistry in bed, pillow talk should play just as big a part as the act that tends to precede it. In any case, bad pillow talk has the same cure as bad sex — just roll over and pretend to fall asleep. Works every time.

In a way, pillow talk is like writing a column. I’m letting to you into my thoughts and leaving you free to interpret, enjoy and judge. I can’t promise it will be philosophically insightful every time, but I hope it will make you think a little, and potentially want to cuddle.

Pillow talk is the best gauge of a person’s true personality, the most personal and direct way to get to know someone. I don’t think every dance-floor make-out needs to turn into an all-night snuggle fest and I definitely don’t want to squash attempts at connecting over candlelit meals. I just tend to believe that the best conversation tends to happen over a good ol’ jersey knit (so soft!) pillowcase. So hop in, move over and don’t hog the covers.

Original Author: Rebecca Lee