January 24, 2007

The Madness Of Morning People

I love getting up early in the morning but I have a hard time considering myself a "Morning Person." This little hypocracy has plagued me for awhile. It's made me wonder what a so-called Morning Person really is.

I've always imagined that in order to be a Morning Person it is required that one be cheery in the AM. I'm not cheery. No, in the morning I'm quiet. Very quiet. I'm also fairly gruntled (it's too early to be disgruntled, I start off with gruntled and see if it develops into its dis-ed brethren later in the day). Sometimes I'm even angry. Stay away from me those mornings.

Sounds like I'm definitely not a Morning Person, huh? That's what I thought too. Yet the more I over-analyzed this whole concept, the more it all became clear.

Back in my youth, I probably was an Evening Person. This is much different than a Night Person. A Night Person shines well after the midnight hour. An Evening Person only has to be at their peak from, say, seven PM to eleven thirty, or so. Evening was definitely my time.

But as I grew older, I just had no interest in staying up late anymore. These days I strive to have my eyes closed and nose a-snorin' by 10pm.

So what with the early to bed, there goes my Evening Person street cred. So one day I all of the sudden decided I was a Mid-Afternoon Person. Whenever I'd go running at three or four o'clock, it was as if I had rockets shooting out of my ass. So I guess I had figured out that I hit my peak somewhere between lunch and the pre-dinner snack. Give me a race that starts at three o'clock, I'd tell anybody who would listen to me, and I'll kick all sorts of buttock. Of course there is rarely a race that starts at three o'clock, so I was pretty safe from having to prove such buttock kickedness.

However, somewhere along the way my Mid-Afternoon Person started taking mid-afternoon naps. It's tough to claim your true right as a Mid-Afternoon Person when you're snoring on the couch.

Around the same era I started getting up early in the morning. I don't know why I started doing this though I'm going to assume it had something to do with going for a run before work. Somehow at sometime, setting the alarm for somewhere between five and six stopped sounding crazy to me.

What I quickly realized was that being up and out during the early morning felt wonderful. When I'd go outside in the early morning hours for a run, it was completely peaceful. It's tough to find that elusive peaceful feeling here in the hustle and bustle and bruhaha of Los Angeles, so when I discovered that it lurks quietly in the wee hours of the morn, well.... I'm sure you could imagine my elation.

Don't get me wrong, I was rarely ever singing and dancing down the early morning streets like some long-forgotten outtake from Singing In The Rain. As I said before, I'm not a happy morning person. I am that person that can feel the peaceful serenity of early morning without having any desire to yelp for joy.

So now here I am waking up at the wee hours and fighting the labeling of being a Morning Person. And I suddenly realize that there are no more times of the day left for me. By process of elimination I must really be a Morning Person after all.

This past Sunday my body naturally woke up at 5:46am. I had not set the alarm - I didn't need to. My body just knew that it wanted to get up. I'm told this is what happens to us Morning People.

One of my favorite customs on Sunday mornings is to go to Starbucks at about 6am with the other Morning People (though they seem a lot more cheery than me). I get a nice warm cuppa so-and-so, then sit outside with my NY Times, read and relax. Around this time of year it's still dark outside at that hour and, if I must admit, rather cold. As a result, there are rarely any other people up and about. Even the most hardcore Morning Person gives these mornings a second thought. Hell, the birds aren't even awake yet. In my mind, though, it is about as peaceful as one could possibly get in Los Angeles. Us Morning People, we like the peace and quiet of nobody else around.

As I sat there reading the paper, I would oftentimes look up and soak in the serenity of my surroundings. As the sun began to rise above the treeline, the sky inevitably turned a fiery orange. The birds started chirping and the early morning dog walkers shuffled by, led by the eager sniffing of friendly, wet dog noses, anxious to fetch a tennis ball, chase a squirrel or lick an unsuspecting baby's face.

By 8am the world has awoken, the sky has brightened and Starbucks has gotten busy. That's my cue to leave and go back home. Which reminds me of a quote us Morning People like to say:

I like to get all my living done before 8am because after that it seems less like living and more like just putting up with stuff.

But back to my story...

I don't shower before I go to Starbucks on Sunday mornings because, let's be real here folks, why shower at 5:30 in the morning just to go get a cup of coffee and read the paper. On top of that, I usually go for my long runs after the Starbucks adventure and Lord knows nobody showers before a long morning run. Especially Morning People.

This past Sunday, however, was a rare weekend rest day with no workouts on the schedule. So without the run to break things up, somehow I missed the point where I was supposed to take a shower. Next thing I know, Catherine and I are running around town conducting our daily activities. Before I knew it, it was nearly noon and Morning People definitely don't shower around noon. It was far too late by then - I missed the shower window.

As we walked down the street towards the store for our first errand, I looked in a store front and saw my reflection. My hair was all over the place in a wonderful display of chaotic bedheadedness - a true display of Morning Person-osity. The highlight of it all was a fairly large, two-inch lock that was sticking out from just above my right ear. I played with it for a while, pushing it back and forth. It was fun. It was like a weeble - it wobbled but always came back to the upright position. I tried to tuck it behind my ear but every time I did - KaPOINGGGGG! - it popped right back out again. Weebles wobble but they don't fall down.

Oh well, I thought. I don't mind if nobody else does. And I can't imagine anybody else will, as long as I don't thwack them across the face when I turn my head.

Fast forward a couple of hours and Catherine and I are walking through Barnes & Noble, searching out a gift for the birthday party we're committed to that evening - a party that will undoubtedly be filled with dreaded Night People. Oh, those fearless Night People.

We're minding our own beeswax, meandering through the Fiction aisles when I notice a twenty-something fellow coming up to us, looking all uber-hip with his ruffled hair and MTV-like duds. He was staring at me as he approached. This can't be good.

Excuse me, he said as he stopped us somewhere between Stephen King and Dean Koontz.

He looked at me.

I noticed your hair, he continued as I thought about the horn protruding from my upper ear. I work for the Calvin Klein Salon and I'd like to offer you a free haircut.

I was stunned silent. First of all, what's he doing hawking his wares in a Barnes & Noble. Second of all, talk about a crappy way of attracting new customers.

No thanks, I'm not interested, I replied as we began to walk off, me feeling a wee bit coiffure insecure. But I'll consider that an insult, I said.

Actually, I didn't say that last part, mostly because I didn't think of it fast enough. But I should've said it - and intentions are half the battle. (Yeah yeah, that's not an official saying, but I'm sure there is some Intention-related saying out there that I should quote but I just can't think of one).

The thing is, I found the entire sales pitch quite funny. And Catherine found it down right hilarious. As soon as the initial shock of the exchange wore off, we snuck into the Biography aisle and, hidden there between Georgia O'Keefe and Theodore Roosevelt, we laughed ourselves silly.

Sometimes us Morning People get a little bit fuzzy after the sun rises. We can't always be expected to get rid of our bedhead or pillowface amidst the overwhelming anticipation of being outside before anybody else. Sometimes, we are so serene from the peaceful early beginnings of a day, that we just don't care what other people think. And so, by the time we're in the public eye, it's really too late to make a difference.

I suppose that's one of the many benefits of being a Morning Person.
Lucky me.
I can't wait to get the club handbook and find out what other benefits this Morningness has in store for me.


Robin said...

LOL, so he didn't like your Dagwood look eh? I had a hairdresser do that once to me about my son (I was cutting his hair at the time at night when he was asleep, because his head is so darned sensitive and he would freak out about it). She actually handed me her card. Like you said: Not Good Advertising.

I used to be a morning person, but I'm working the process in reverse. I figure by the time I'm 80, I'll be closing the nightclubs down.

cat said...

sexy bed-head aside ... as the person that shares each morning with you, i can tell ya ... you're no "morning person" ; ) ... at least not in the traditional sense.

xoxo ^..^

Robin said...

You've been tagged! Details here: http://ironmom.blogspot.com/2007/01/tri-tag.html