Much To My Delight

Much To My Delight


While You Were Sleeping

 

There are two camps of people, generally–morning people and night people. I’m not going to tell you which kind I am, but  I will let you know upfront that some of my very first bras are still defrosting.

I’ve been a card-carrying member of the “morning person” camp since childhood, a fate that drew much ridicule in my pre-teen days as I was always the first one to fall asleep at slumber parties. Sweet little Southern* girls they were, my friends not only froze my bra as punishment, but on separate occasions also threw all of my clothes out a 2nd-floor window, used a mattress-sized maxipad as a kick-me sign, and hurled a small (but very dead) frog in my face. Sweet Southern girls, my ass. Those bitches were ruthless.

But now we’re all grown up and those girls are now women who spend their evenings praying for their small children to go down as easily as their friend Jennifer did all those years ago. I know this because I generally wake up around the same time as all the mommies with young children. They are typically the only people making comments on Facebook at 7 a.m. on Saturday mornings, usually with declarations like: “Dear Baby Jesus, All I ask is for one full night of sleep. ONE NIGHT.” or “Somebody send help. I need an IV of French Roast. Stat.”

So yeah, I still go to bed early and wake up early. Everyday. Weekends too. Call me a drip. Call me a party pooper. Call me an old lady. Just don’t call me after 11 because I will be knocked the eff out. Clearly, all of this will be subject to change if my husband and I decide to make a human, but for now, this is my life. Down by 11, up by 6:30.

texas lizzie's wedding 2006 042

The ritual in our house goes like this: Around 10:20 pm I settle into bed, then at 10:30, Vin comes into the room and reads beside me. I read too, for exactly three minutes until the book falls on my face. Vin removes the book, turns off the lamp, and turns on the big box fan in the corner to keep me cool and create white noise. The white noise is to block out whatever Vin then decides to do for the next four or five hours.

Because when I go to bed, Vinny’s night has just begun.

Born and raised in the city that never sleeps, Vinny burns the midnight oil until at least 2 or 3 every night. The only time I spend those hours vertically on purpose are if my best friend is getting married, the party of the decade is underway or I’m promised a glimpse of a lunar eclipse that only occurs once every 200 years. He goes to bed around 2, and he’s up around 9 or 10. On weekends–much later on both ends.

The man has a good four hours to kill late at night after I’ve gone to sleep, and while I’d never encourage it, if he ever wanted to lead some salacious double-life, he is certainly married to the right dupe. For all I know, he could be spending his late nights bouncing between boobie bars and grimy fight clubs. He could be plotting some great heist or gambling away our savings in Atlantic City. Instead, I’m pretty sure he uses that time to do freelance work, record music at his studio in Brooklyn, play Madden or guitar, watch copious amounts of Sports Center, and make midnight runs to the 24-hour grocery for questionable snacks. Thankfully, I’ve never found a red bra stuffed in the couch cushions or poker chips strewn across the coffee table. I have, however, found several half-eaten Entenmann’s crumb cakes on the kitchen counter. Scoundrel!

IMG_1137

Now, in the morning, I have my five or six hours of “me” time. I’m most productive in the early morning, so on a typical weekend I use the hours between 6:30 and 11:30 am to grocery shop, do food prep for the week, clean house, write or read in the yard, and take the train into the city for a long walk. I cherish this time and find that I don’t really enjoy sleeping in because it pains me to waste daylight hours. My circadian rhythms match those of an 87-year-old man (ie: my grandfather).

It used to really bother me that Vin and I lead such separate lives at the beginning and ends of our days. We both spend so much time at work that it seems like we should spend as much of our off-time together as possible. I’d love it if he were the kind of guy to join me on a 2-hour early-morning hike across the city, and he’d be elated if I joined him at a midnight movie without drooling down my shirt. But the simple fact is, he is a night owl and I am a lark. Unless we both miraculously get jobs that offer similar schedules or we experience a dramatic life change that would require a shift in our basic biological functioning, this is how days and nights are done, with each of us spending hours on our own while the other is sleeping.

And then, out of nowhere, come those sweet little moments that make you realize every cloud in the nighttime sky does indeed have a silver lining.

Jen & Vin at the Bar

 

One night last week, the motor in our bedroom fan completely conked out. Of course, we didn’t realize it was broken until it was 10:30 and I was already tucking in for the night. I kicked the blanket off the bed and wrestled the sheets with my bare feet, my legs poking their way from beneath a cotton tangle so I wouldn’t drench them with sweat. I told Vin I’d stop by one of the variety stores near our apartment on the way home from work the next day. He shut off the lamp, kissed me goodnight, and walked into the living room. If he turned on the TV, he must have had to lean in to hear it. My white-noise machine had officially kicked the bucket, and he always tries hard not to wake me up.

Still, shortly after midnight, he did.

I rolled over in the pitch dark, and through squinty eyes watched Vin remove the broken machine from its perch in the corner and carefully plug in a new fan so I could get a good night’s rest. He’d managed to find one of the only Home Depots that stayed open until midnight, hopped in the car, and bought a replacement. It was such a loving act, and it was one of those moments that reminded me how lucky I am to be married to such a thoughtful and kind person.

I mean, sure, he could have made this sweet gesture right after a quick stop at Cheetah’s Gentleman’s Club, but I really doubt it.

 

 

*(technically, Texans are Southwestern but it doesn’t sound as gentile. Plus, you know I don’t really think y’all are bitches. Love ya, mean it.)

Jenn P.

30-something psychotherapist. Loves cooking, hosting parties, exploring new places. Texan by birth. New Yorker by choice. Likes to tell little stories. Pull up a chair; I'll tell you one.

  • Katherine Walsh
    Awe so sweet of him. I am also a white noise/fan sleeper. We even need to bring a small fan when we travel so my partner and I are able to drown out the sounds of the night. Glad you guys make the different schedule work so well.
    • http://muchtomydelight.com/ Jenn from much to my delight
      Those noises from the fans are totally hypnotic. And as a therapist, I used to have a white noise machine outside my office. My body was so confused, because they make me sleepy!
  • Mandi Kane
    I love this. Definitely not a morning person. Most things I regret in life happened before 8 a.m.
    • http://muchtomydelight.com/ Jenn from much to my delight
      And I’m always worried I’m missing the party after 11!
  • http://writemeg.com/ Meg
    Love this post! That Vinny — what a guy. Fans as an act of love . . . totally get it. I was absolutely not a morning person until I met my husband, who repeatedly thinks nothing of rising at 5 a.m. for ham radio symposiums (not kidding) and has had his coffee, breakfast and world-saving opportunities before I used to blink at him from the shadowy confines of our bedroom. I’ve come around to his way of thinking and hate “wasting” daylight hours, too; I’m usually in bed by 11, then up by 6 or 7, even on the weekends. It works. It’s all good. We get tons o’ shit done, that’s for sure!
    • http://muchtomydelight.com/ Jenn from much to my delight
      You’re the best commenter, Meg. You’re so sweet to always leave a kind or funny word. I have no idea what ham radio symposiums are, but it sounds like I wake up early enough to find out.
  • http://daina-newyorkstateofmind.blogspot.com/ Daina Ankrum
    One of my favorite posts yet. I laughed out loud several times, and enjoyed every word of it! Live up your morning time. We should plan an early morning coffee meet up soon!
    • http://muchtomydelight.com/ Jenn from much to my delight
      We should do a walking photo shoot somewhere. Didn’t you put that on your bucket list? My camera is getting dusty!
  • http://houseofhblog.blogspot.com/ Heather M
    This is hilarious. Your posts are the best way to start my day – it’s like getting to read a really great, really short book every day.
    • http://muchtomydelight.com/ Jenn from much to my delight
      Thank you Heather. You always leave the sweetest notes!
  • Mallory Frantz
    I know we have already established our similarities, but this seals the deal. Cheers, my fellow lark!
    • http://muchtomydelight.com/ Jenn from much to my delight
      Aw, mal! You’re the cutest ever.