By Lori Clinch
Ever since the beginning of our marriage, my husband and I have had an ongoing power struggle I like to call the Normal Person vs. the Morning Man. Simply put, Pat loves to wake up before the early birds and I am a normal, well-rounded human being.
Pat has made constant attempts to mold me into a morning person and has tried various tactics to wake me in his pre-dawn hours. There is his early morning whistle, his personal rendition of Jack LaLanne and his strategic placement and implementation of floodlights.
Being a woman of a stubborn nature, I have always been able to ward off Pat’s early morning attacks. With a well-situated pillow and a death grip on the edge of the blankets, I can usually stay in bed for 10 minutes longer than he is willing to fight me.
I have learned to ignore the way he claps his hands. I have managed to keep my eyes tightly shut as he fires up air compressors, and I can even swallow the panic I feel when he asks me if I paid the credit card bill.
Back in the day, I would not grow weary of smacking the snooze alarm until 7 a.m. Hating the fact that I had to rise and face the day, I would reluctantly throw back the covers.
With a look complete with hair standing straight up and oversized jammies, I would crawl to the kitchen in hopes of some form of caffeine. Pat would be standing at the ready and although that may sound romantic and caring to some, it just wasn’t so.
I always felt that if he truly cared about my needs, he would send me back to bed with reassurances that he started a load of wash, did the dishes and took care of the credit card bill, but the Jack LaLanne in him would not stand for it. I’m not bitter, mind you, but that didn’t mean I had to like it.
I fought him and his early morning ways for as long as I possibly could, but in the last couple of years something has changed. Suddenly my eyes are popping wide open long before the sunrise, my body refuses to rest past 5 a.m. and although I can’t prove it in a court of law, I know my Pat is to blame.
This latest plan of attack seems more brilliant than ice water on the spine, worse than halogen lamps and more effective than placing an air compressor next to my pillow and shooting off nail guns.
Although he will deny it, Pat’s new strategy is subtle, sneaky and downright deviant. “What could it be?” you might ask. “Is it a bucket of water? The use of smelling salts? A well-placed set of bongo drums?”
Heck if I know. All I can say is that at or around 5 a.m., I am not only awake, but feel as though I am fully rested and I suspect the man has somehow reprogrammed my brain.
Will he stop at nothing?
One minute I’m dozing blissfully and dreaming about landscaping and the next I’m giving up my pillow, relinquishing warm blankets and crawling out of bed.
There was a time when I could not only have slept through a nuclear blast, but the sound of a man nailing down wood floors outside the bedroom door.
These days my eyes not only pop open, but I’m fully awake at the sound of a barely audible alarm clock.
Just last night I told my Pat, with love mind you, that I planned on sleeping in and that he was not to disturb my morning slumber. I was upset when my eyes popped open at 5 a.m. Disgusted when I could not return to my slumber, I was ready to throw my pillow at the wall, for it was doing me no good.
They say this is normal for a woman in her early 50s. That as she ages, nature plays a dirty trick and that sleeping in becomes a thing of the past. Still, I smell a rat and I’m pointing a finger at my husband.
Lori Clinch is the mother of four sons and the author of the book “Are We There Yet?” You can reach her by sending an email to email@example.com.