My husband calls me a rule follower. I prefer the term traditionalist. I sleep at night and work during the day. Why? Because that’s how things were done in my home growing up. Besides, I am at my best for writing between 10am and 4pm, so that’s when I work.
Every once in a while, I wonder what it might be like to write at midnight or sleep during the day, but generally I get over that idea pretty quickly because if I nap I wake up cranky and crabby, and I’d need entire meals to stay up all night because that’s when I’m hungriest. Also, these fantasies of writing at all hours never occur to me on my own. They’re always spurred by some other writer’s tweets about pulling an all-nighter and finishing a draft. It’s not that I’m in a rut…it’s more that I live by habit. It was only a few years ago that I was standing in the grocery store on the cereal aisle looking at the Cap’n Crunch and I realized that if I wanted some, I could just buy a box. Seriously. I’d never considered this an option because we didn’t eat sugar cereal when I was a kid. I actually did buy it, although I hid it in the cart under the vegetables so no one would see it. Guess what? It hurts the roof of your mouth if you eat too much. It’s not just crunchy, but scratchy too.
From early childhood, I learned that rule-following was a good thing, so it’s not surprising about the cereal. My mother was a light sleeper and had to get up early and even as teens we were sent to our rooms at 9pm. We could read or do homework or sleep. My brother generally just climbed out his window and went over to the neighbour’s while I went to bed because that’s what rule followers traditionalists do. That’s right. All the way through high school I was in bed by 10pm, snoring away. Sometimes on weekends I’d fight the battle for the right to watch music videos, the volume so low you’d think I had it on mute, until midnight, but only when I was feeling rebellious.
I am blessed and cursed with a roaring fast metabolism. I can pretty much eat whatever I want, but I can rarely sleep through the night without waking up hungry, even if I’ve had a snack before bed. For the most part, I combat this by getting up and having a glass of soymilk around 3am. I guess it gives my stomach something to do until morning besides keep me awake. Anyway, I knew I’d chosen the right man to marry when shortly after we were together, I woke up hungry and brought a bag of cashews back to the bed to munch on quietly. My husband sat up, leaned towards me and held out his hand. “Hey,” he said, “Can I have some or are you going to eat them all?”
I wonder if he likes Cap’n Crunch?