Night time is for sleeping (and snacking) by Deb Joelle

captain crunchMy 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?


10 Replies to “Night time is for sleeping (and snacking) by Deb Joelle”

  1. Your husband sounds darling.

    I love that moment of “hey, I’m the grown-up now! *I* make the decisions.” So glad you splurged and bought the Cap’n Crunch! Even if it does make the roof of your mouth hurt. And even if you realize you prefer following all the “rules” 🙂

  2. Joelle, we grew up in completely opposite households! (As kids, my brothers and I ate at McDonald’s constantly, had sugar whenever we wanted, and never had a curfew). I’m stricter with myself now than my beloved parents ever were with me. But I still love a bowl of Cap’n Crunch every now and then. (P.S. If you ever really want to break a rule, try making s’mores in the microwave. Just put a marshmallow on a graham cracker with chocolate and microwave for 20-30 seconds).

    By the way, I’m COMPLETELY envious of your metabolism!

  3. I’m a rule follower, too. I don’t like Cap’n Crunch, but Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch? Yum. Still best to not overindulge, though, because the roof-of-the-mouth thing still applies.

  4. Rule-follower here as well. I don’t think I’ve ever pulled an all-nighter, ever. I like to get all my work done as soon as possible, and turn it in early.

    Count Chocula is my favorite sugar cereal. It’s crunchy, chocolately, and *not* scratchy. Fruity Pebbles is a close second. But I haven’t indulged in either in a long time, because my new rule is, less sugar!

  5. I had a moment like your grocery store moment in first year. It was with chocolate chip cookie dough though (the pre-made kind — I bet they didnt even separate the wet ingredients from the dry)… it ended with a big tummy ache.

    My fav sugar cereal: cinnamon toast crunch or french toast crunch!

  6. My cap’n crunch moment? Second week of college over a hamburger. I never looked back! I was raised a traditionalist…was busting at the seems to break out if it. Find myself back there these days though…it’s a comfortable place to be.

  7. I would love to do what you do, Joelle, with your fabulous metabolism and ability to sleep at decent hours. I do sleep, but it is less predictable. But, come to think of it, isn’t it our body’s bio-rhythms rather than our mind’s sense of rules that creates our sleep habits? Also, yes, you obviously married the right man. I love that cashew story! How adorable.

  8. I was raised like you, Joelle, and despite a brief-but-wild rebellion during college (Marshmallow Matey’s instead of the oatmeal I endured at home, thank you very much), I’ve discovered that I enjoy being a traditionalist–just not the oatmeal.

    I’m a daytime writer and nighttime sleeper too (unless my kids are up at night). Give Victor a high five for me for being so cool with your munching needs at night. Cashews…yum.

  9. I still have moments where it dawns on me that I’m a grownup and I can do what I want to do. I’ve always been a rule follower too. But I’m also a bit of a night owl — less so than I used to be, but more so than most.

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