Since I can remember, my family has nagged on me about not being a morning person. “Oh, don’t mess with Kate in the morning!” “Kate, are you grumpy yet?” “Nobody move, Kate’s awake!” I have realized though that it is not that I am unhappy in the mornings. I just need some quiet time. When I wake up, I need about half an hour (sometimes even an hour) to be by myself. I’m not unhappy, I just need to slowly wake up. What makes me unhappy is when people start poking at me and talking to me a lot. THEN I get grumpy.
Being married to a morning person is a challenge, but we’ve worked it out pretty good. I like to get up really early and Chris likes to sleep late. This means that I can get up and read and/or stare into space for my half hour to full hour before Chris even turns over in the bed. On the weekdays, I get up to go to work much earlier than Chris does, so I usually get dressed in the quiet and I use this as my time to wake up. Its a flawless plan. A solid morning routine is truly key to a happy marriage (at least MY happy marriage).
There are times though when Chris needs to get up early with me and it really just throws me off kilter. This morning was one of them. First, it starts off all wrong because I generally don’t wake up with an alarm clock. I have one of those freak of nature bodies that is set on its own internal Timex and I can usually wake myself up when I need to. Alarm clocks bring back haunting memories to me of my Mom or Dad throwing my bedroom door open at 6:30 in the morning in high school and shouting, “TIME TO GET UP!” Its just unpleasant to wake up to. (For the record, my parents still take me up this way when I am home visiting…) Â Chris, however, needs a high school marching band to get him out of bed.
So this morning I wake up to a blaring alarm clock and Chris talking 90 miles an hour about his iPhone that he is getting today (incidentally, the iPhone debacle will gets its own full entry soon). He’s talking about the weather and his schedule and what we’re doing tonight. All the lights are on, music is playing, the TV is blaring. Then he lets the dogs out, so they are bouncing all over the place. Lucy’s moaning to be fed. Molly’s laying across my freshly ironed work clothes. It is so the opposite of quiet at 7:30 in the morning that all I can do is straighten my hair and count to 10 (about 100 times).
On top of it all, Chris realizes that it is April Fools Day. Everything became an April Fools joke. I couldn’t find an earring and when I asked him if he’d seen it he said, “Yes – April Fools!” And on and on (think middle school boy). And after every joke he would bust out laughing. Then he started planning how I could use April Fools jokes during my day. “Walk in and tell your boss you quit! April Fools!” And the laughing continues…
Not. Funny. And definitely Not. Quiet.
Last night I had my first migraine. Â I thought that I had had one or two before, but those were nothing compared to this. Â It felt like my head was exploding, and the only way I felt remotely comfortable (in the largest sense of the word) was by pressing my palms on my eyelids and burying myself under my comforter. Â I thought I was dying.
When it finally passed around 10:30 PM, I stumbled out of my bedroom to find food and to check on my class discussion boards to make sure I hadn’t missed any deadlines during my cranial breakdown. Â My saint of a husband comes to me and says he thinks my stress level has contributed to my migraine/ability to function and he had downloaded some meditation music for me to listen to while I try to sleep. Â Now, this is super sweet on two levels. Â First, he is trying to take good care of me and second, Chris knows nothing about meditation. Â He is more of a beer and Nintendo kind of guy. Â So the fact that he would go out of his way to think of something to soothe me was just the sweetest.
I get back in bed and he hooks up the meditation music for me to listen to and try to sleep. Â He goes out to work on his thesis and I am laying in bed and both dogs are in their houses next to me, sleeping.
The first meditation song comes on. Â Its nice. Â Babbling brook, I think. Â About two minutes into it, a man’s soothing voice comes on to lead breathing exercises. Â Molly literally thought a man was standing next to her house in the pitch black dark. Â She went ballistic! Â I came out of my migraine-enduced haze and managed to calm her down by turning on the lights to show her that no one was there. Â She finally settles down. Â I get back in bed.
Song #2 – This one is a tropical rain forest. Â It is wonderful. Â You can hear light rain on leaves, sounds of the forest, it was perfect. Â Lucy, however, was irritated. Â I guess the insects woke her up because she started this heavy, dramatic sighing every 2 or 3 minutes. Â It is difficult to meditate on the calm of a rain forest with a pouting dog next to you. Â So I moved on to the next song.
Song #3 – I’m suddenly at the beach. Â The ocean waves are rolling, I’m relaxing again. Â And then – sea gulls. Â Molly’s up again. Â This time, she jumps up, absolutely convinced that there are sea gulls in her house. Â She starts running laps her in 3×4 ft. crate. Â She’s chasing sea gulls so violently that her crate is bumping against the wall. Â Again, this can somewhat disturb a meditation session. Â So I get up, turn the lights on, show Molly that there are in fact no sea gulls in her house. Â She lays down. Â I get in bed.
Song #4 – Thunderstorm. Â Need I say more?
Needless to say, I did not fall asleep with my meditation music. Â Instead, I fell asleep laughing at my thoughtful husband and my two stupid dogs. Â I slept through the night for the first time in weeks.
I have not written about the Ultimate April Fools Day Prank that was pulled off on April 1, 2008 because up until now I could not talk about it without becoming so angry at my sister that I would begin shaking and spitting out vile language like a sailor. I just didn’t feel that was healthy, so forgive the delayed blog.
Now that I am past that stage, however, I feel the need to share what I am willing to bet is one of the top 5 best April Fools Day jokes in history. Before I tell you about it, you’re going to need some background on my sister, affectionately referred to in this posting as The Lying Jack Ass (LJA). The LJA is, like me, in her early 20s. But that is really about the only similarity there. She’s single – I’m married. She’s carefree – I just signed a living will last month. She’s trendy – I wear a cardigan every other day. She was her sorority president in college – I cried through rush and never pledged. Got the picture?
(The Lying Jack Ass at Christmas. Classy.)
More necessary background to know is that she works in PR for a company in Atlanta and has been talking about how some of her clients are going through major restructuring. Many of her clients are international. Okay, I think that’s it for background.
So, April 1, The LJA sends out the following email to our parents and me. The title of the email is: BIG NEWS: Family Discussion Needed ASAP:
I thought it was time for an update on our dogs and the little weight loss issue (see Death By Diet). We had people over this weekend and everyone made a comment on how much weight Lucy has lost. We are estimating she’s lost about 3 pounds so far, which is a lot for a little dog. She hasn’t adjusted to the amount of food she gets everyday and is still, however, just as miserable as when she started her diet. She continues to lay beside her empty food bowl and yell at us. Her vet said she should have more energy and be a happier dog once she lost some weight but, alas, this is not the case. She is still hungry all the time, barks at us for no reason, and attacks Molly frequently. Whatever. At least she’s not the only chihuahua in the “medium dog” weight classification chart anymore.
Molly is losing a little weight herself, which the vet said would be nice. She doesn’t mind the diet food and is spending most of her days now avoiding the Lightweight Lucy.
This afternoon Chris had McDonald’s for lunch. You would have thought the dogs were in heat. They rolled around on the floor next to him while he ate, just waiting for something to fall. When he was done, he took two french fries, like he always dones, and made them do tricks for them. It was like the Doggie Olympics in our house.
Before he could even ask them to do anything, they were both running frantically through their repertoire of tricks. The minute he stood up, Lucy lifted her paw in the air and just sat there waiting to give him five. When that didn’t work, she sat down, walked up on her back legs, then sat back down and put the paw up again. All this without Chris saying a word.
Molly was just as bad. Chris stood up with the french fry and she immediately dropped into her army crawl, then she sat, then she laid down, then she played dead, then she sat, then she laid down, then she crawled some more, and finally she gave up and just sat.
Our dogs are such sluts for McDonald’s french fries! With so much activity before even opening his mouth, it was hard to ask them to do anything. Chris ended up just giving them each a french fry and calling it a day. What hot dogs!