...through a labor-inducing device!
In case you haven't read it here before...I am NOT a morning person. People who know me are rather surprised by that -- I am up between 5 and 6 a.m. most days. But, in the "olden days", the story was different.
Cathy, on the other hand, loves the earliest part of the day. During college, she often arose at 4 a.m. to study. Her dorm was quiet during those hours and she tended to fall asleep early anyway.
At the start of our marriage, Cathy would turn into a pumpkin as early as 10:00 p.m. and get up before the sun. I would do the reverse, trying to get to sleep by midnight or 1 a.m. and waking up at 7 or later.
There was a problem. One alarm clock. I didn't think much of it. My "scheduled" wife would use the alarm to nudge her awake in the morning and she would nudge me a couple hours later. The only thing, as all non-morning people understand -- is that one nudge usually didn't get the job done.
The first nudge had to be followed by a solid "shoulder-shake." I need to explain this one. My sweet, petite wife was also in gymnastics as a kid. (Think muscle-wrenching, bone-jarring, fingers-bleeding pain.) She quickly learned that she needed to shake my shoulders assertively. Two or three times our neighbors placed calls to the weather service about what they were sure was an earthquake.
When that didn't work (it usually didn't), Cathy would turn the lights on and make continuous noise all around me. Finally, bless her soul, she would yell, "It's 8:15! Are you going in at 9:00 today? Are you still going to ride your bike? Are you going to shower?"
About that time I would get some tiny message way down in the fog of my brain and think, "I'd better get up." Over the next few minutes, I would gradually accelerate to full speed. That means I would starting rushing like a runaway freight train and get angry at anything or anyone who slowed me down.
For some strange reason, Cathy didn't like this arrangement. I can't for the life of me figure out her problem. My puzzlement didn't change her resolve that we must do things differently.
The day came. She told me that, from then on, she would awaken me ONE time. I got to set the moment for the wake-up call, but she would not be my snooze button. I couldn't believe her "selfishness" when she refused to do what I wanted.
But I adapted. At first, I crawled out of my fog before it swallowed me again. Then. One day. I fell back asleep. I was late. It was horrible. I blamed Cathy. She refused to accept my responsibility.
Gradually I got my own alarm clock. By that time, I didn't really need a snooze button. I'm still not a morning person. But I'll be up early tomorrow. Probably out running before the sun comes up.
Dear reader, what bad habit did you have to break in your marriage?