Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Alarm-Fail Follies

It happens to everyone at one time or another, though never in the exact same way. It's always startling, frustrating, and disorienting in the moment, and often funny in retrospect. It's the alarm-clock fail. How many meetings and flights have been missed in its wake? Far too many to count, I'm sure.

All I can say is that I was lucky I had nothing on my calendar before 10:00 this morning, because I was happily enjoying a camping trip with Jerry Seinfeld, Ben Stiller, a kid named Eric that I hadn't spoken to since second grade, and an unidentified, 90 year-old Tony Award-winning actress in Cambridge, Massachusetts when I heard Geoff grumble "What happened?" from across time and space.

I came to on the couch in Geoff's office/the spare bedroom, to which I was now slowly recalling I'd been evicted at 1:30 a.m. There had been a pee-in-the-bed/scary dream incident, the culmination of which (as usual) was both kids in my bed and me somewhere else. 

Except this time I forgot to set my cell phone alarm clock. 


I have a new "come-to-wakefulness-via-natural-sunlight" 30-watt light-bulb-based alarm system which, in theory, is supposed to slowly wake you with "natural light" meant to emulate "the sun." A doctor-friend told me to get it one day over margaritas, so naturally I ordered it on Amazon an hour later. I have used it exactly once since plugging it in about a month ago. 

During last night's pee incident, I somehow managed to turn it off while forgetting to turn on the iPhone "crystal" ring tone for our usual school-day rise-and-shine time of 6:40 a.m. (This precise wake-up time has been carefully calibrated to allow for the maximum amount of sleep while minimizing the volume of yelling and screaming required to get places on time. The latter still happens of course, but not enough to warrant moving the clock back even a single minute).

For better or worse (better, I think), the thing Paige currently fears most in life is getting a tardy slip at school. She got dressed in record time and presented herself to me for departure while I was still standing naked in the bathroom swallowing Prozac and trying to assess the collateral damage from the glaring red "7:35" that had blasted into my eyeballs just moments ago. 

"I don't care if I skip breakfast" she announced triumphantly as Geoff poured Isaac a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios. Her right front tooth, loose for weeks, was hanging by a thread and her hair was sticking up in eight different directions. I was certain the school would call child services, but I was determined to encourage her punctuality and demonstrate that I too could get ready for work in ten seconds if need be, despite not working as a firefighter for a living.

"Why can't I ever get you out of bed on a school day but on weekends you're up at 6:00 a.m.?" I asked with my mouth full of toothpaste. I knew the answer to this rhetorical question was "cartoons," and she knew that I knew it. Which is why she answered my question with a question of her own: "Are you going to do all your makeup shenanigans?" 

"No, I'll skip those today," I told her as I simultaneously spat into the sink and threw on the granny sweater I had just bought at Anthropologie for 20% off. A migraine was beginning to set in. I grabbed a non-travel mug of coffee and let it slosh all over my raincoat as I hustled Paige and her gigantic backpack out the door. "Are we going to make it on time?," she asked nervously. "Yeah yeah yeah," I muttered between gulps of coffee. 

I don't remember much else about the morning commute, but I know Paige made it to school before the bell rang and that I arrived at work looking sharp in my granny sweater. I'm not exactly sure what happened to Geoff and Isaac, but I don't consider that to be my problem right now. 

All's well that ends well in the alarm-fail follies. Amirite??



The infamous granny sweater.


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