Rob Taylor: Bed of Roses " where I would happily sleep until noon
February 11, 2008
Sometimes, freaks of nature come in human form … like the aliens among us who are up and at ’em at 4 a.m. for no particular reason. You probably know your neighborhood Sleepless in the Ski Slopes ” the one who releases the barking dog outdoors, like clockwork, an hour or two before your alarm clock goes off.
I recently came face-to-face with one of these Ben Franklinites (early to bed, early to rise) at the coffee shop in Cooper Creek Square. He was talking way too fast for me at 9 a.m., but I still managed to catch every second or third word.
“Four in the morning is the best time of the day,” he insisted, scolding those who “burned daylight.”
I toyed with Mr. Earlier-Than-Thou, confessing that as a teenager, I used to get up at the “crack of noon” on Saturdays, only because I was hungry. He excused himself rather quickly, realizing that converting me to the dark side of morning – a.k.a. the “Wee-Wee Hours” – was a lost cause.
One week later (at work), I was ambushed by Greta – his female equivalent. Greta is definitely a morning person, although I wouldn’t rule out noon and night either. Her smile is penetrating no matter the hour, emitting optimism and warmth. When asked,
“How are you?,” her rock-bottom reply begins at “marvelous.”
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After exchanging a morning hello in the break room, it was clear that she was smelling the roses at full throttle – percolating about the Middle Park football team, scrap booking and the new construction somewhere near Dilly Docks.
Then – quite abruptly, unprovoked – she said, “My husband doesn’t like flowers on the bed.”
Though only half awake, her words jolted my morning stupor like an Amtrak train breaking in a new horn during its 5 a.m. run through town. Silently, I replayed the conversation in my mind, attempting to connect the dots that would explain how innocent chit-chat morphed into a husband’s distaste for bedroom flowers. I was drawing a blank.
Unprepared to acknowledge her remark, I looked to the faces of two co-workers within hearing distance for help. They were clouded by the rising steam of their coffee cups.
“Uh,” I said, still reeling.
“Why in the world are you telling me this?” I thought. “I don’t want to hear this.”
There were no words. Dazed, I slammed down some more coffee and tried to clear the mental images of her skipping around and tossing rose petals.
“Just don’t say anything,” I whispered under my breath. “Maybe it will go away.”
“I think he’s insecure in his manhood,” she added, nonchalantly.
I nearly gagged and spewed espresso. Somehow I sucked it down and swallowed hard; the coffee went down the wrong tube, causing a violent spell of coughing. With a series of whispers and hand gestures, I assured everyone that an ambulance wasn’t necessary. And so they continued …
“I don’t like them on my bed either,” a face said, suddenly emerging from the fog of his “World’s Best Husband” mug. “My wife does, though.”
Repulsed, I gave Greta and the newcomer a jaundiced eye. Just as my tongue-lashing about what is and is not appropriate water cooler talk was about to surface, the second face behind the coffee cup spoke.
“I don’t like flowers either. I have bears on my bed.”
“Bears!” I nearly shouted, stunned by the revelation that everyone else had been discussing quilts and comforters.
I backpedaled and did some serious “splanin” between spontaneous bouts of laughter.
“It was honest mistake,” I said, “My mind isn’t usually in the gutter.”
No one was buying it.
Now I am more careful. I don’t talk to anyone before 10 a.m.
If cornered, you might squeeze a “good morning” out of me, nothing more until lunch.
Afternoon is – after all – the appropriate time for soap operas, although I just don’t have the stomach for them.
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