One of the unfortunate things about summer coming to an end is the fact that we’ll be back to using alarm clocks in this house in a couple of weeks. Esbee’s written about weening her boys off of the summer sleep-in schedule and slowly working them into their normal school wake up routine. We’ll probably try to do that soon as well, but with our two oldest going to high school this year and with high school being the latest start in this county (middle school is earliest, followed by elementary school) we’ll only have one that has to get up pre-dawn this year. Normally I’d say that’s a good thing except he’s also the only one we can absolutely depend on to sleep through his alarm and to not make the bus, and since his uber-responsible sister won’t be up to roust him that means Mom or Dad will have to do it. That’s truly unfortunate since no one in this family is truly a morning person. Now, we’re not the grumpy types. We don’t wake up surly and stay that way for an hour, rather we are just slow to wake up and we kind of ease our way into the day. In other words we don’t pop out of bed ready to conquer the day.
I was thinking about this and also thinking about our vacation last week and it occurred to me that we were very fortunate that our travel companions (my brother and his family, my Mom and Bert) weren’t conquer the world types either. All week we just kind of eased into the day, not having to rush around because someone just HAD to be at the beach by 9 a.m. because the day was awastin’. In fact if I ever write a travel guide I’m going to spend an entire chapter on choosing appropriate travel companions, and the first point I’ll make in that chapter is that morning people should not travel with those who are not because the nots invariably end up hating the morning people within 24 hours of the trip’s start, or whenever the first morning happens to fall.
And it’s not just travel. Working with a morning person is a royal pain in the butt for me. I need my half hour to catch up on reading, cull my email, drink my coffee, etc. Having a co-worker who insists on a 7:30 meeting or who starts the day with a perfectly neat desk and a bullet point to-do list perfectly centered in the middle is, to me, comparable to working with Attila the Hun.
My neighbor keeps trying to get me to go to the Y on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:45 a.m. to play basketball. That’s when the "mature" people such as myself play, and as much as I’m sure I’d enjoy it and as much as I miss my regular game of hoops, the idea of playing an hour and a half of hoops before sunrise is just too repulsive. Why can’t they find a gym that stays open until midnight and play from 9-11 p.m.? I’d be their most dedicated player!
I don’t have anything against morning people, especially when I don’t see them until lunch time. It irks me when they say things like "I don’t understand how anyone sleeps past 6:00. I find those hours before 9 to be the most productive of the day" and look at me like I’m somehow deficient or immoral. My retort is usually, "I don’t understand how anyone falls asleep before midnight. I find those hours after 9 to be the most peaceful and enjoyable. Maybe it’s because all those priggish morning people are asleep." Mind you, I don’t break out that last sentence unless they’ve really lorded their morning superiority over me. Live and let live I say, but if you’re gonna bring your air of morning superiority into my life then I’m gonna treat you like the puckered-butt you probably are.
For the most part I don’t get that condescension from morning people so we usually all get along. And honestly I find that they are valuable members of our community, even if I don’t understand them. Sure there’s the occasional problem, like mowing the lawn at 8 a.m., but for the most part I think they’re good people. I do resent that they get preferential treatment from certain organizations, for instance the YMCA opening at 5-whatever yet closing at the entirely too early hour of 10 p.m. during the week and 7 p.m. on the weekends. What’s up with that? Of course we night owls get it back at the movie theaters and certain fine watering holes, but like most people I prefer to resent what the other folks have and focus only on what I’m denied.
Now where’s that coffee?