Good Morning to You
By Horace J. Digby
Iím not a morning person. There Iíve said it. Remove me from the "A List" if you must, but Iím glad itís out in the open.
Morning people dominate the world with their wide-eyed euphoria and jingles like "early to bed and early to rise," "the early bird catches the worm," and, "nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina in the morrr-orr-orrr-niiiing." They imprint us with their tyrannical propaganda and then shove us into a world where schools start in the morning, jobs start in the morning and people who sleep past noon are charged for an extra night at most motels.
Some of us are afternoon people. We shun sunrises and donít particularly want to see an early bird get a worm. We like to think that Carolina might be just as lovely at, say tea time. We have biorhythms tuned for an eleven oíclock breakfast, but live in a world where major restaurants stop serving breakfast at 10:30.
Next the morning people will want us to join organizations like Late Sleepers Anonymous with meetings (in the morning) where they will teach us to go to bed early. I for one, canít sleep if I go to bed early. I toss and turn and then finally go to sleep just before the phone rings (usually around 10 a.m.).
Morning telephone calls are another problem for us afternoon people. I always disguise my voice. I donít pretend to be Woody Allen. I just try to sound awake. Before picking up the phone, I croak a verse of Do Re Mi, or recite the Gettysburg Address. Sometimes I slap my cheek and recite Peter Piper. But I always answer the phone before I am ready.
"Hello," I say, in my brightest voice, which still sounds like Iím in a coma. "Hello," I say again, confusing more words with sounding awake.
"Were you asleep?" they ALWAYS ask. I could jump into a vat of ice water and scream "Hello," and they would ask, "Were you asleep?"
The right thing would probably be to tell the truth. But then the caller (whom ever it is) might think I had tried to fool him or her by pretending to be awake. So, I lie.
"Me? Asleep? No, Iíve been awake for hours," I say in a voice that is both too loud and still sounds like Iíve just gargled with Novocain.
What is the attraction in getting up early? Certain animals, like cats can take a long, low, luxurious stretch and be off in a whisk. Thatís fine for cats, but when I tried it once I just pulled a muscle in my back and had to roll over to sleep it off.
And just what is it that morning people do? Do they all read newspapers or drink coffee? For all we know they donít get up at all. I have long suspected that my wife sets her alarm just three minutes before mine, then jumps up and pretends to be awake until I leave for work. What ever the morning people are doing, why do they hide it from us? Why canít they do it out in the open, say, at noon? It must be a plot. Why else would they write all those jingles? "Rise and shine" indeed! It is a conspiracy. Need more proof?
Morning people have convinced us that they are the majority. If that is true, then why does every radio alarm clock ever invented have a snooze button?
We need to find out what they re up to sitting there alone, in the morning, in the dark. We need a volunteer to wake up early. It wonít be easy, but here are a few tricks that might help. They are brutal, but they have been tested.
Method one: The volunteer can convince herself that she has an early meeting. I do this by leaving the office without checking my calendar. The problem is I worry about it all night, until around 3 a.m., when I have to drive to the office and check my calendar (people who donít have offices probably just drive around all night).
Method two: The volunteer can set her clock ahead. Many have tried this and failed. If you just set your clock ahead your subconscious will adjust for it and you will sleep late anyway. What you have to do is to arbitrarily fiddle with the knobs, twisting them forwards and back like shuffling cards until you really donít know what you have done. Then when the clock goes off in the morning youíll have to get up to find out what time it really is. A variation on this is to move west (to a different time zone) but not reset your clock. If you move far enough west, you can sleep until noon but it will still only be 7 a.m. when you wake up.
Morning people claim that the extra time they gain getting up early gives them an unhurried, relaxed time. Whatís the point of that? If they just want to relax why donít they stay asleep. And if they get too relaxed, donít they fall back to sleep. Then where are they? They are late for their meeting with thus-and-so that's where they are (and let me tell you, thus-and-so is getting fed up with the whole thing).
We late sleepers must stop taking this lying down. Or perhaps we should take it lying down (slogans are all so confusing). We need a national foundation, or perhaps a Late Sleepers Awareness Day (an afternoon would be even better). We should teach our children about famous late sleepers in history, like . . . there must be someone besides Rip Van Winkle. Perhaps Disney will get behind us on this.
Sleeping late works for me. Sure I may feel guilty, but Iím not losing any sleep over it.
Visit Lexington Film, LLC!
Copyright © 2004 Lexington Film, LLC. All rights reserved