Late to the Party Bitter Friday Giftures

One time when I was in college, I was so distraught by a girl breaking up with me, that I slept in until 4 pm. It was the oddest sensation I’d ever felt. When I woke up, I went to the campus bookstore, and it was already closed for the day. People had already woken up, done a full day of work and were now going home for dinner. I was just waking up, looking for breakfast.

It felt like the universe was spinning incorrectly on its axis and I got accidentally flung to Scotland for a day and then flung back to the wrong time period. At some point, I stopped sleeping and was just closing my eyes. It felt so horrible, that I vowed never to do that again. I’ve wasted a lot of time in my days, but I’ve never slept in until 4 pm since.

The universe decided to punish me for that one crazy day, because I was blessed with a daughter that was hell-bent on not allowing me to sleep ever again. She had a giant sleep eraser and she used it on me all the time. She had a similar philosophy to my wife’s philosophy of money. What’s yours is mine, and what’s mine is mine. My daughter felt the same way about sleep. The times I’m awake, you’re awake and the times I’m asleep, you’re awake. I would always be right on the edge of sleep when the monitor would start broadcasting the faintest sign of a stir. My nerves would rattle like her rattle, and I knew it was only a matter of time before her stir turned into screaming and she was unavoidable.

She eventually made it through the night without bugging me and indocrinating me about the science of junk sleep. She was all about smooth transitions though. She smooth transitioned her habit of waking me at peak REM time, to her brother. She was so smooth that it was like jazz. She taught her brother the ways of REM interuptus and by way of sleep whispering to her brother. Because of her expert level technique, she started an unbroken streak of inefficient sleep for a full decade. I spent my entire 30’s as a zombie. I reached level 100 (the highest level) of taking 20 second power staring-at-my-computer-screen naps at work.

In fact, I remember a few fully formed 8-hour TV mini-series, a few movie trilogies and a few book series that came out of those 20 second naps. If I would have had the insight to write them down, I’d be striking with Writer’s Guild right now. Or being applauded for my series of books that are more famous and lucrative that the Harry Potter series.

That decade of horrible sleep produced was Bitter guy who was never late to work, because he would do anything to get out having to soothe a kid for at least 8 hours. I used to use an alarm clock to wake up early for work, but I realized too late that I never really needed to.

It’s because my daughter hypnotized my bitterness to wake me up just as she did, when I’m on the verge of REM. She was so good at the sleep hypnosis, that someday she will open for Taylor Swift. A hypnotist that makes people do weird things, and more entertainingly, at the exact moment when someone is on the verge of REM. If she does, say goodbye to your Z’s. Maybe she should open for REM.

Lately, I’ve had a few incidents of oversleeping. The other day it was by half an hour and today, it was by 55 minutes. It’s not like when I wake up late, I will be late for work. I start at 6:30 am, well before most people get in. It just late for me.

When I wake up late, it’s like getting jammed with a needle of adrenaline. I do my morning routine (skipping the unnecessary ones), but on fast forward. My brain hits the 20X speed on the fast forward button and I turbo through my shower, teeth and getting dressed. I do my morning scriptures and prayers, and I’m off like the Fast and The Furious.

I transform from a late 90’s computer using dial-up, to a high-speed commercial grade internet that sends texts before you think of them. I change from Thomas Anderson, office drone and computer hacker, to NEO in the Matrix. I transform from Orion Pax, robot repairman to Optimus Prime, leader of the Autobots. In other words, I go from slug to Turbo in a matter of seconds. This morning I poured on the gas and lit it with a match. I got ready in a matter of minutes.

When I wake up late, I spend the rest of the day trying to wear off the adrenaline I used to get ready. My nerves are usually already frayed, so the last nerve that everyone gets on happens a lot earlier in the day. My adrenaline crashes like most people’s caffeine crashes. Except my adrenaline crashes are more like 20 car pile ups that hamstring both sides of the freeway. Which is why I hate being late.

As such, all work and other important tasks have been sidelined, because Bitter Friday Giftures are the priority. They are never to be late. Let’s get to them…

When you are so distraught…

…you sleep until 4 pm.

And you wake up…

…and the world appears different.

When I woke up…

…the universe was spinning on its axis, and it was nighttime.

I vowed to never sleep until 4pm again…

…but my daughter vowed that I would never sleep again period.

When my daughter no longer woke me up all the time…

…she passed the torch to her younger brother.

She taught her younger brother the ways of REM disruption…

…in the form of sleep whispering.

Reducing my 30’s to the decade…

…of no sleep.

In those days, my 20 second naps at work…

…produced so many ideas…

That would have made me rich…

…if I would have remembered to write them down.

I woke up early just to avoid kids…

…so I would often show up to work way too early.

I never woke up late…

…until recently.

And when I’m late…

…I’m like Taylor Swift telling myself I need to calm down.


3 thoughts on “Late to the Party Bitter Friday Giftures

  1. Ha! REM interuptus! The world of parenthood; I remember those baby days well.
    I despise alarm clocks. I used one once; never again. I’ve got a built-in clock that works better than any alarm and I have never unintentionally slept in. Even now that I have the luxury of sleeping in, my body won’t allow it. Up with the f’ing birds.


  2. I was a full-time mother for 35 years, during which a good night’s sleep was a rare occurrence. Now that I’m an empty nester I should be able to sleep whenever I want to, but it hasn’t worked out that way, as old age brought with it a case of severe insomnia. I have trouble getting to sleep, I have trouble staying asleep, I wake up way too early and can’t get back to sleep. One morning by some miracle I managed to stay asleep past eight a.m., something that hadn’t happened in ages, and my husband panicked — he thought something must be horribly wrong if I was still in bed so late. He actually came into the room and WOKE ME UP because he was so worried. I could have punched his lights out.


    • That throat punch that you almost delivered to your husband sounds like what my wife threatens if I wake her up too. I’ve developed ninja like skills learned from the early days of my daughter’s inability to sleep to get around in the morning.

      Liked by 1 person

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