Because I get into work first most mornings, people think that I’m a morning person.
I most certainly am not. During my teens, twenties and even thirties I stayed up late, never ever going to bed before midnight whether I’d work next day or not. I was not just a night owl, I went to bed to the sound of night owls waking after six hours sound sleep.
And since I am at heart a night owl I cannot also be a morning person, since someone who is both is so ridiculously alive that normal people should be allowed stone him in the street. I think I get up so early precisely because I’m not a morning person, because I’m afraid, not just of sleeping it out, but of sleeping it in, out, in, out and sleeping it all about. Because I have this inner fear of waking late one Tuesday morning to find that it’s actually Thursday afternoon, my mind forces me awake, most mornings just before my alarm has gone off.
A non-morning person in the morning is like a non-drinker faced with a yard-of-ale, or a non-intellectual faced with Ulysses, a confused and tortured soul. He wanders into his bathroom, switches on the light without remembering to shut his eyes first, and is jolted by the sound of his pupils hitting the back of his skull. He can’t remember whether the toilet handle goes down or up, can’t remember whether the toilet seat goes down or up (ok, he leaves it up, but that’s just instinct). He can’t remember which way to turn the the shower control to make the water hot (and, though there are only two possible directions, it’s astonishing how often he will choose wrong). He stares at his toothbrush as if it’s a Swiss Army knife, baffled by the fact that it has two ends and having to guess wildly at which end to apply the toothpaste. That’s if he can figure out which of the tubes and jars actually contain toothpaste (important Tinfact: even if you live completely alone, there will always be at least eight jars in your bathroom that you have no recollection of buying, nor any idea what they’re for). It’s important that he gets this right, as a man who cleans his teeth with Sudocream will find that the taste lingers, possibly until the end of time.
He has learned by long experience to wear t-shirts rather pyjama-tops to bed because at that time of the morning he has as much chance of getting a button open as he has of twisting off one of his nipples while wearing boxing gloves.
He will also have learned to leave out his clothes at the end of his bed the night before as he cannot turn on the bedroom light, since his wife is also not a morning person. Trust me on this.
Thus when he leaps springs falls face first out of bed all he has to do it grab the pile of clothes, pick two shoes off the floor and carry them all into the bathroom. How hard can it be?
Well, as this picture from this morning will tell you, harder than you’d think.