Last week while I was deprived of access to this blog, I was chafing to write a post about my dear, adorable husband. He is a wonderful man, you know, and also very funny. He is funny when he means to be funny, but he is also sometimes funny when he doesn’t mean to be, and it was something along those lines that I wanted to write about.
And what I wanted to write was this.
One day last week he was late getting up and out the door, and he mumbled to me while he was brushing his teeth that he needed a new alarm clock.
“Why?” I asked him. “Why do you need a new alarm clock?”
He said it was because the alarm clock he currently has doesn’t wake him up.
I thought that was funny.
We all know that there are Plenty of Reasons to stay in the bed. It might simply be that you are tired. There is no place better in the world when one is tired than in one’s Very Own Bed. You know this is true, especially if you have ever been Utterly Exhausted and Not At Home. It might be that it’s raining. That’s a good reason. There is nothing like lying in one’s bed when it’s raining outside, and you are certain that All The World is soaked, and you are Dry. And warm. And cozy. Or it might be that, right now, currently, this morning, you have on your bed the very softest, very palest, pale yellow sheets. They might not be Elven, but they are exquisitely soft, and it’s best, in that situation, to Stay Where You Are. Believe me.
What was funny about Bill’s concern about the failed alarm clock was that I was right beside him when it went off. I know I was there, and had you been there, you would know too, because it is a dreadful alarm: a kind of swinging chirp, with a little lift there at the end, as though it’s trying to be positive about the whole situation. But what’s to be cheerful about? Remember what I said about the sheets.
Bill never turns off his alarm near as soon as I’d like. I am amazed, in fact, by his talent for sleeping, and for Not Hearing Things. So invariably I am lying there, shocked into consciousness by the maddeningly cheerful alarm, waiting for the man to Stir, to lift his arm, and to give that alarm a good thwacking.
And on that morning, the morning when the alarm did not do it’s job, I saw him stir. I saw him raise himself up, and turn over, and Shut The Alarm Off. And then he went back to sleep.
So, you see, that’s funny. Because it is Clearly Not the fault of the alarm.
In that case.
What I couldn’t have written about last week is what happened this morning. Last night, before we turned off our lights, I asked Bill if he had set his alarm. He replied that he had set it for seven and, as I needed to get up too, I did not set my alarm, because I knew For Certain that I would hear his. We both needed to get up and get on with the day in good order, because we both needed to be at the church building bright and early for the start of Vacation Bible School.
Far Too Early this morning, there was Emma Grace, standing next to my head, her blond hair all massed around her face. She wanted to watch television, and I wanted to tell her that it wasn’t time to get up yet. It was Far Too Early, and she needed to go back to sleep. Then I looked at my clock, and you know what? It was seven-thirty. Suddenly Bill and I were both leaping out of the bed, madly getting ready for where we needed to be.
In the midst of the dash I asked him about his alarm. “Didn’t you set your alarm?” I asked.
And he told me that he had indeed set his alarm, for seven, and that it did indeed go off. But he hadn’t set it on the buzzer (which produces the chirp); rather, he had set it on “music,” which makes the radio come on.
Ah. I know about this, because this alarm clock/radio is the same one I had in college, and a long time ago now its radio function gave out. Oh sure, you can tune it in, and believe you have a good signal going. But walk away, or turn your head, or think about something different, and the signal is lost, silence returns, and you’ve got Nothing.
Which is what we had this morning. Which is how we overslept. Which is why my husband needs a new alarm clock.