Saturday, December 11, 2010

In case there was ever any doubt

I am not a morning person.

This morning, as I do every morning (so it should be pretty much automatic by now), I made a cup of coffee. We use a French press and, while the water was coming to a boil in the kettle, I glanced down and realized that I had put the grounds into my mug instead of into the press, and I had put my sweetener on top of the grounds. D'oh! I guess I wasn't as wide awake as I'd thought I was.

As I corrected the situation, I reflected that there are a few things I should NOT do in the morning (at least before my coffee):
  • Assemble a nuclear weapon
  • Perform brain surgery
  • Take an IQ test
  • Challenge Stephen to a game of ... anything
Steve, on the other hand, is the opposite. He should not do any of the above after 5 p.m. In fact, we have proof of our mental shifts.

One summer at the cottage, we discovered and became obsessed with playing a card game called Klabberjass. We kept score. (You bet we did!) As a matter of fact, we kept a running score over many, many years. We still have the book. If you look closely, you will see that early in the day, Steve wipes the floor with me, but it shifts in the afternoon and, by evening, I am waxing that floor with Steve.

I suppose this body-clock asymmetry could lead to marital friction, but we've made it work for us.

When we had infants, we established a "duty" schedule: if the baby woke before 3 a.m., I was on call. If he or she woke after 3 a.m., Steve would get up. (Pity the baby that started fussing at 2:45!)

We also acknowledge that first thing in the morning is NOT a good time to have a conversation with me, especially if it is on sensitive topics. It's not so much that I'm irritable (though I often am) as that I just don't "get it." I misinterpret, misunderstand ... it's just a recipe for communication disaster.

I guess we are a little like Longfellow's ships [yes, this is the second time I've quoted Longfellow in this blog. I had no idea I was such a fan.]:
Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing,
Only a signal shown and a distant voice in the darkness;
So on the ocean of life we pass and speak one another,
Only a look and a voice, then darkness again and a silence.

          ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Pt. III, The Theologian's Tale: Elizabeth, sec. IV
While that poem elicits a sense of sadness and missed opportunity, I prefer to think of our two ships as mooring alongside each other in the night. He sails at dawn; I sail at dusk.

1 comment:

  1. I am so glad we complement each other.
    I am so glad we compliment each other too.


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