Remarkably, with years of practice, I have learned to ignore the Ph.D postal carrier’s crack-of-dawn alarm clock most mornings. And even when I do hear its annoying beep, I usually don’t have a problem falling right back to sleep once the Swede stops hitting the snooze bar and gets up.
But it’s pretty hard to ignore a cranky yet still sleepy voice announcing from the bathroom (which is located directly across the hall from our bedroom door) that she’d left her lunch out on the kitchen counter all night.
Huh? What? Okay. Is someone actually talking to me?
Once I realized that I wasn’t dreaming, and knowing how tightly choreographed Dr. Darling’s very brief morning routine is, I groggily asked if she wanted me to remake her sandwiches for her. I heard her say something about it being a good idea to at least replace the lunchmeat in them, so I stumbled out of the bedroom and started toward the kitchen when that same irritated voice said that her lunch was already in her backpack.
This took a moment to register. I mean, why would she have already packed it if the sandwiches needed to be re-made? I pulled the lunch bag out of her backpack (which was sitting on a bench in the entry hall just outside the bedroom door) and noticed that, miracle of miracles, the drink yogurt was still cold. “How can this be?” I wondered aloud.
“I already switched out the yogurt,” she snapped from the bathroom.
“How was I supposed to know that?” I snapped back, to the degree that I am capable of snapping at 4:20 a.m. pre-coffee.
“Because I already told you I’d done it.”
I had absolutely NO recollection of that … probably because I was HALF ASLEEP AT THE TIME. But I was certainly starting to remember the degree to which Dr. Darling is NOT a morning person.
So I shuffled out to the kitchen (primarily to get out of the line of fire) where the coffeemaker was mid-brew and the microwave was humming away on her bowl of oatmeal. After replacing the room-temperature ham with some cold slices from the fridge, I returned both the sandwiches and the yogurt to her backpack before venturing in to the bathroom to take a leak.
Slightly more awake, but evidently having already forgotten how mean she had been to me only a few moments before, I asked if she wanted me to fill her insulated coffee mug before I went back to bed. This would have involved getting the right ratio of coffee to milk in an odd-sized cup that I rarely ever touched, and then ensuring that the lid was on tight.
She declined the offer “because it will only make me even more aggravated if you don’t get it right.”
At which point I thanked her for recognizing what a pill she was being and crawled back into the sack.
About 15 minutes later, after she’d eaten her breakfast and filled the coffee mug herself, she paused in the bedroom doorway on her way out and thanked me for doing the sandwiches. She also apologized for snapping at me and maintains we had a laugh about it, though I was half-way back to sleep at that point and don’t remember much of that part.
But the next time I’m awakened by a grumpy voice coming from the bathroom, I’m pretty sure I will chalk it up to a dream and stay the hell in bed.