Thursday, August 26, 2010

Not a Morning Person

I am not grouchy in the mornings.

My husband, a morning person, will disagree, but since we seldom take his word for anything, let’s move on.

Okay, I’ll admit, I used to be grouchy in the mornings. That was because people did not respect my need for quiet. Nowadays with just the two of us in the house, my morning-world is quieter, as God intended. If you try to converse with me, you’ll get my blank stare. I’m not crabby; it’s just that the words are deflecting off the sleep-shield surrounding my brain, and the only way to lower the shield is to prime me with coffee.

Not-morning-personitis is a generational thing. The morning after their wedding day, my father greeted my mother with, “Good morning!” She opened one eye and growled, “What’s good about it?” I’ve been known to say that if I knew I was never going to feel better than I do when I first wake up, I’d never wake up. One of my daughters told me, “I don’t care if it’s a list of things you’re giving me for Christmas, I don’t want to hear it in the morning.”

On a house-rental vacation with a sister, we got up the first morning, got our coffee, and my husband, she and I all retreated to comfy chairs in silence to read, watch TV, sit with a blank stare until the gears began to turn. After an hour or so, we began to speak. The next morning was the same. When her husband arrived that day, she greeted him with, “It’s been wonderful. We get up and nobody talks!” Guess who’s a morning person?

Do you live with your opposite? How does that happen, anyway? How about you? Morning person? Night person? I’d love to know—after I’ve had my coffee.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Never Mind

I love avoiding potentially humiliating situations.

The other day the nearly-new washer began making a terrible death-rattle. Our old front-loader sounded like a rocket lifting off in our laundry room. Guests would duck and yell, “What’s that?” But the new washer was advertised as quiet—we made sure of it. I would nip this right in the bud, call service and get someone out here pronto to turn the washer back into a non-conversation piece.

I went to see exactly at what point in the cycle the washer was going into spasms—and realized that a handful of hangers were bumping against a jumbo bottle of Tide on top of the hi-rise washer. And rattling.

Last month I received a postcard from the dentist reminding me of my appointment on the 26th. My husband was going to the dentist on the 25th, and I said, “I’m going the next day.” On the 25th when he got home he said, “I checked your postcard. Your appointment is the 26th of next month, not tomorrow.” (Why the dentist sends out reminders six weeks before an appointment, I cannot imagine. Gives you time to forget all over again. Or misread the month.) John said, “I screwed up and went in a day early. If you went in a month early they’d think we were both losing it.” Thanks for taking one for the team, honey.

And then there was the time the grocery bagger pushed the cart out to my car and the back hatch wouldn’t unlock, either with the button or the key. I was getting upset when I realized the car had an out-of-state license plate. And a Sarah Palin bumper sticker.

How about you? Any near-miss humiliation moments? Leave your humbling story. I promised I won’t repeat it. Much.

Monday, August 2, 2010

I Gotta Be Me

Got up feeling all domestic and homey today, maybe because for the past couple of days the temperature hasn’t soared into the mid-90s or above. After the usual tidying up I decided to make bread.

I love homemade bread, and make all different kinds. (How many people do you know who keep millet and rye flour and two kinds of flaxseed in the freezer?) This particular bread, Four-Seed Bread, is mixed in the bread maker, then shaped into a ring, left to rise, and then baked in the oven. As long as I was making bread, I decided I should make chicken noodle soup, too. I took out my Cook’s Illustrated The Quick Recipe book and started chopping vegetables and skinning chicken thighs. (To the dedicated folks at Cook’s Illustrated, anything under an hour is a quick recipe..)

So now the house smells like somebody’s grandma lives here. And I don’t mean the litter box/BenGay/need a shower kind of old person smell. The good grandma smell, like someone just spent awhile chopping, sautéing, and simmering, just for you.

I know, a lot of you are crying, “I don’t have time to be all homey and domestic!” Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. I’ve always been this way. When I worked 40+ hours a week, with three teenagers and all their activities directing the other hours of my life, I still made suppers (often started the night before) and bread.

Why did I bother, when there were restaurants and frozen foods all over the place? Well, I’ll tell you, I spent a lot of years being a square peg in a round hole, so to keep my sanity I did the things that made me, me.

What do you do?