Monday, February 16, 2004

Why is it so embarrassing to be caught asleep? I can understand it if you are discovered with your head down on the desk at work or if your snoring fills the classroom, but when I am in the privacy of my own home taking a little catnap or sleeping in past 9am, why do I feel shamed into convincing the caller of the telephone ring that just woke me up that I'm actually awake?
Ring. Snort. Ring. "Hello."
"Is Tamara there?"
"Could you tell her that Jackie called?"
About to hang up....
"My number is 323-481-....
I listen. Then I repeat back the numbers. Slowly. AS IF I AM WRITING THEM DOWN.
It's insanity. Do you think she was fooled?
We are forced to go to bed when we're children. We whine and moan and throw a fit. We plead, "Five more minutes pleeeeaaaassee?" We won't go down for a nap. We renegotiate our bedtime in the 5th grade. My bedtime was actually governed by the current season of television. "You may stay up and watch Family Ties, but then it's off to bed!" One year, there was a racy show on TV at 10pm. It was about the teenage son of a single mom who had an affair with one of her friends. He had his shirt off quite a bit. Sometimes, my sister Joan and I would stand quietly in the darkened hall outside our bedroom to watch TV long after bedtime. Sometimes we would hatch a plan to retrieve slices of Virginia Ham out of the refrigerator. Nothing better than eating rolled up forbidden ham in the top bunk.

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