Mornings are a sweet time for me as long as I can inch into the day with coffee and the newspaper and e-mails: s-l-o-w-l-y, q-u-i-e-t-l-y, and d-i-m-l-y. Since I rarely sleep beyond 5 or 6 am, I’m the only one awake here except for the birds, so I am falling into my own morning rhythms at that magic moment when they begin their songs.
Meanwhile, my spouse is unapologetically catching up on all the sleep he missed during his working career. See how it works? He sleeps, I’m awake, but I’m QUIET. I may be a little sleep-deprived, but if it bothers me, I take a nap later. Win/win. Everybody’s happy.
Any time I do sleep longer, it’s a mixed blessing. I wake up feeling like I’ve been hit with a 2×4 in a tropical rain forest: headache, stuffy nose, and reptilian eyes that resist opening.
Today was one of those days.
Our bedroom bay window faces east and a cheery soul like the one to whom I’m married loves leaving the blinds open so that he can awaken with a full blast of sunlight streaming in on his face. I am not a cheery soul. If I happen to be still abed past sunrise, I turn my head in the other direction and pull up the covers to block the light. Such was the case this morning. I slept until 8:15.
Correction: I was awakened at 8:15. Who knows? I might still be sleeping had not Mr. Cheery Soul, who can’t leave the confines of the master suite without being showered, shaved, and dressed, opened drawers and clanked the drawer pulls.
I opened my eyes so narrowly that a shape shifter would have been impressed. A wise man would have gotten the message, but there were none in the room. Mr. Cheery Soul chirped, “Boy, you were really snoring last night. You had all pipes going.”
“What time is it?” I rasped. I couldn’t see the clock for the glare of the sun.
He told me and added, still in that annoyingly chirpy voice, “Why don’t you stay in bed for awhile?”
Why, indeed. Once consciousness looms, my bladder signals urgently that growing three babies who stomped it in utero for 27 months had permanent consequences. I staggered out of bed and into the bathroom for relief.
I managed to wash my face without looking in the mirror. I continued my blind stagger into the den where Mr. Cheery Soul clicked his computer which burst forth with “Good Morning Girl!” as sung by, he informed me, the Neon Philharmonics.
Perhaps oblivious to the fact that his life was hanging by a thread, he followed the Neon Philharmonics with his own whistling version. Dear God, no…! Not the dreaded whistle!
I swear to you that there is not a worse whistler in the western hemisphere. It isn’t just flat, it curls up on the edges and slides down the ear canal, causing painful vibrations to the human eardrum.
Since there was no way this was going to be a good morning, I decided I might as well finish it off royally and do the dreaded deed. I would collect the fecal sample that the doctor’s nurse had called to remind me of just yesterday.
If you are lucky, you have never heard of the OC-Light test. Perhaps you have gone the popsicle stick smear route. This test makes one pine for the sticks or even a colonoscopy. Let me just report that following the psycho lab technician’s adamant instructions involved Saran Wrap over the toilet bowl, a sample bottle, and a grooved probe. Believe me, I’m leaving out the most gruesome details.
It involved more adeptness than I possessed. My grandmother’s phrase. . . rather be shot with sh– and killed for stinking came to mind. I have now showered, scrubbed the bathroom, and prepared one heck of a surprise for the lab technician.
Mr. Cheery Soul has offered to take me to lunch since it’s been a bear of a morning.
He’d better not whistle.
(Okay, that’s not me. My friend Birdie had a bear of a morning, too. She looked outside on her deck and saw this visitor. Yowsah! That’s enough to make one leave the newspaper in the driveway!)