It has long been said that opposites attract, however, there is one dichotomy of lifestyle that has long been the bane of happiness within our household at the end of West 12th Road, and that is our individual sleeping habits. The problem stems from the fact that my beloved Grace (aka - she who must be obeyed) is a "night owl" who rarely retires until well after midnight and arises several hours past sunrise. Unfortunately, I am a member of that much rarer avian species, the lark, often-times referred to as the "early bird," prone to becoming very drowsy in the early evening and yet awake well before the sun appears on the horizon. It is not uncommon to find me all tucked in by 8 or 8:30 in the evening while the rest of the family is still up and running, only to be up and rattling about the homestead at 3:30 in the morning.
Grace is prone to hitting the snooze button on her phone's alarm a number of times before she even attempts to rise from the bed and when she does, she isn't exactly thrilled with the idea of engaging in any conversation until she stumbles to the kitchen to have her first cup of coffee. On the other hand, having been up since the wee hours, generally in a great mood, I have already enjoyed that day's sunrise, prepared the morning coffee, fed the animals, cleaned the litter box, emptied the dishwasher, and started the wash. I often find myself over in Stop and Shop in Rockaway when it opens at 7 a.m. if anything is needed and, if need be, gas up the car on the way home to await my beloved's awakening from the sleep of the dead.
Even something as simple as going out for a meal can be somewhat disconcerting as our sleeping habits also present obstacles to overcome. As an early bird, breakfast is my favorite meal, and I find that if I eat anything after 4 p.m., all I want to do is go to sleep. On the other hand, Grace prefers dinner and does not want to even think about food when she first awakes. Needless to say, Sunday brunch is a big deal in our household.
One of the benefits of having an early bird in the nest is that there is no need for alarm clocks. One of the first things I do when I get up is to check the kitchen table for notes from family members asking to be awakened at a certain hour.
Grace constantly reminds me that our routine can be somewhat annoying when, for instance, as she arrives home from work in the evening only to find me struggling to keep my eyes open in the living room recliner, or worse, already in bed. Sometimes, if I am already asleep, she will sneak up on me and yell in my ear, "Aren't you a lot of fun to have around the house?" to which I will inevitably respond that she should always keep in mind that the early bird gets the worm to which she responds, "Yeah, but remember, the night owl gets the tequila and has access to the sharp steak knives while you sleep your life away!"
Now that kind of repartee might prove worrisome to many but I should add that, despite being an early bird, I am blessed with the ability of uni-hemispheric sleep, during which one half of my brain sleeps while the other half remains awake, the ability to sleep with one eye open so to say, which is particularly useful in those instances when Grace might be really annoyed at me.
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