Beep-beep-beep-beep. Four staccato syllables.
Better than the alarm that shrieked like it wanted us to put on fireproof clothes and slide down a pole, or the one that squealed so high it was nearly-but-not-quite in a dogs-only frequency; and better even than the one I'd set to blast mariachi music. Like I was trying to punish myself for something. (I'm not sure for what. I'm not sure what sort of behavior deserves that sort of awful punishment. Too bad Obama decided to shut down Guantanamo Bay. He mighta coulda used my alarm clock over there.)
So even though the four-beep alarm always wakes me, it isn't quite annoying enough to encourage me to get out of bed. I usually end up pondering stuff. You can ponder, and still be immobile. Pondering's great that way.
First, I think: Don't make me get up.
It comes, unbidden, every morning. Years and years worth of mornings. So that now, it is a mantra. (An unhelpful mantra.) I can't remember its genesis, but it was even before the time I had to get up at five for early morning Seminary, in the cold, dark house on the hill. Mom didn't (and doesn't) believe in 'fake heat.' Fake heat is the heater. And you couldn't turn it on, even when parts of you were turning blue. I think the coldest I've ever been is standing naked in my bathroom in that Andasol House, the house where I lived in high school, waiting for the water to heat up, so I could step into the shower.
Did I mention this cold, dark house was in Los Angeles? Which shows you that my life hasn't been very cold. Or very dark. And that I'm pretty much a wussy.
So I think: I'm very self-aware, for a wussy. I should write this stuff down. Is good, whiny stuff!
But then, I think: no one wants to read stuff written by a wussy.
That's why I can't write the Great American Novel. I'm lazy, and nearly angst-less. There is nothing to write about. (Brr! Cold showers. 50 degrees, sometimes! WAAA!)
I open one eye and squint at the clock. I can't see the time. Am very blind.
I should get up. Even though it is still dark. It won't be, for long: Soon the sun will be so bright, it will burn your eyeballs. In January. I tire of this desert sun.
Yes, yes. I know. Only a wussy complains about sunny days. Is very unattractive.
Even I know that.
Yesterday was another 80 degree January day in the desert. It is beautiful. It is. Sometimes it is hard to remember to be greatful for it.
Then I think: Don't make me find clothes for the kids.
I always find clothes for them, so they won't go to school looking like goobers.
They don't get all ironed up or anything; just, you know, decent. Presentable. I know that the Love and Logic book probably specifically forbids this, because I'm being a helicopter parent or a drill sergeant, or a poison fairy or some other horrible thing; and making sure their t-shirts match their pants will probably encourage them to be alcoholic womanizing adults, who steal money from my old-lady purse, but you know what?
They'll look decent doing it. Toxic livers, V.D., or rap sheets, maybe, but not high-water pants!
My other option is homeschooling. The first rule of homeschooling would be nobody gets out of bed before eight o'clock. Or rubs any vocal folds together. But most homeschooling Moms are very organized and get all sorts of stuff done, usually at four o'clock in the morning, from what I hear. They are not wussies. And actually, sometimes their kids look pretty goobery. Is probably some kind of fantastic parenting technique, of which I am completely unaware (or pretending to be). So I'm not sure I really want to join that cohort. Or even, you know, if they want me. Well, probly they'd let me in. They do seem very inclusive.
So then I think: What was that?
Oh yeah. Today is supposed to be rainy. I love rain.
Then, my husband stirs. And I remember how last night, I was watching Barefoot Contessa make a chocolate cake with butter cream frosting, which Contessa Ina called the best in the world. And I asked Jake, with my tongue partly in my cheek: "better than Chili's Molten Chocolate Cake, you think?" He just grunted, or raised an eyebrow, in that way a man does, which makes you think he knows you are alive. The glazy eyes, though, make you think he probably isn't listening, since you aren't really saying anything, anyhow.
And then, he went to return some movies, and he came home with chocolate cake from Chili's. And so we sat up in bed and ate it, and spilled chocolate and caramel on the clean, white sheets.
Which sounds sort of sexy.
And it was.
But maybe not in the way you are thinking.
Because the sexiest part? The listening. Even behind those glazy eyes. Is tricky boy behavior.
And BTW, the cake? It WAS better than Ina's, cause hers ended up being full of coffee. Which is ick.
So then I think: I sure have a good life, for a wuss.
And then, I pray:
Thanks for my life.
The husband. And all the listening. And chocolate cake.
And the TIVO in my bedroom, on which I can watch Barefoot Contessa at all hours. Rain and thunder. Sun. School-teachers.
The kids. And their clothes. And angst-less-ness. Great American Novels (even if they aren't mine). Self-awareness. Los Angeles. Fake heat. Nice alarm clocks. Warm beds.
Please help me to get up.
And then, I did.
I got up.