I open my eyes and stretch my legs. Wow, I muse to myself, I feel great this morning! And why not? The sun is streaming through the skylights, my cats are purring next to me…
I flip over, check my phone.
7am. SEVEN. AYE. EM.
I should be in school already!
I run down the stairs, my breath coming in little panicked gasps. I dump a can of cat food onto a plate, slam it on the floor, and fly into the shower, washing my hair in record time. I fling myself upstairs, dripping wet – no time to dry, Self, YOU’RE LATE – and dress, ignoring that horrible clothes-on-still-damp-skin feeling.
You don’t deserve dry skin YOU HORRIBLE CREATURE, I think.
Throughout the process of getting dressed and collecting my belongings, I stub my toe, hit my head twice, and almost fall down my winder staircase no fewer than eight times.
WHO CARES YOUR LIFE IS WORTHLESS, I mentally hiss at myself.
By the time I’m driving down 517, already halfway through my 15-minute commute, my heart is fluttering, sweat collecting between my shoulder blades.
My thoughts sound roughly like this: WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO YOU IDIOT YOU’LL NEVER GET ANYTHING DONE HOW COULD YOU SLEEP THROUGH YOUR ALARM YOU DON’T DESERVE TO BE A TEACHER HOW WILL THE STUDENTS EVER LEARN WITH SUCH A HORRIBLE HUMAN BEING FOR AN INSTRUCTOR DON’T EVEN GO TO SCHOOL TODAY JUST TURN AROUND AND STAY HOME YOU’LL BE DOING EVERYONE A FAVOR
And when I burst breathlessly through the school doors, the 50% of the staff who have already arrived by 7:40 just smile politely at my disheveled mess of an existence and keep walking. Why? I’m not late. I’m still twenty minutes early. Even worse – I have no prep for today. I’m not actually teaching any classes – we have an assembly in the morning and I’m going on a walking field trip with my students in the afternoon.
I remain sweaty and quite openly disgruntled for the rest of the day.
As harrowing as you surely found that story of woe and ruthless alarm clock neglect, my husband, upon reading, this will laugh and mock me mercilessly.
Let me explain.
Josh wakes up, stretches his legs, smiles, and sniffs the air.
His nose twitches.
Something’s wrong! he thinks. The pitch-black sky is slightly less pitchy than usual!
He sniffs the air again.
“OH NO IT’S 6AM I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE AT WORK SIX AND A HALF MINUTES AGO!” he screams, and I wake up just in time to see him impale his torso on a ceremonial sword and heave his bleeding body out the window.
PS – In our six years of teaching, I have seen my husband wake up late for work once. He woke up at 5:45am instead of 5, and, although he did not commit honor suicide, he did yell and slam his belongings angrily until I woke up and scowled at him until he left. I believe he made it to school by 6:45. He was still grumpy when he came home that evening. Clearly, there’s a reason we get along so well.