by Hannah Binder
Point Blank Perspective is a blog addressing common places, events, and experiences that we encounter in life. These are described in a column-style with a blunt and one hundred percent upfront attitude.
From the time I can remember I have always been a morning person. It does not exactly help in establishing me as a cool college kid but it’s a deeply rooted lifestyle that appears unshakeable.
I believe that I must have lived another life before this one. Somehow, Freud must have met this earlier ‘me’ and seen how absolute my childhood and parental tendencies were. On a brisk morning he ran into a short girl with curly, brown hair, probably drinking coffee or saying something considered inappropriate even though 5 other people within close proximity might be thinking the very same. He asked,
“Now, young lady, why on Earth are you up and visibly teeming with energy before the clock tower strikes 9?!” (In this alternative timeline, Freud sounds suspiciously like Doc Brown without the jigowatts and me instead of Michael J Fox.)
Past-me laughed and shrugged in a most unladylike manner and answered,
“I can’t help it! My parents rose at dawn all the time I lived with them. I have no choice but to follow suit! No matter how I try to break the habit!”
And Freud ran home to write his theology on the impact childhood has on our adult psyches.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: there’s no mention of any especially bubbly girl anywhere to support the claim of Freud’s inspiration.
To this doubt I argue Freud’s editor was surely a night owl and omitted the girl from Freud’s tale on account of his dislike for morning people.
Growing up an early bird, sleepovers were particularly painful for me. I remember packing activity books (Do they still have those or are young early risers limited to tablets now?) and colored pencils to occupy myself when I’d inevitably wake up first. As I got older, the period of time in which I was the only one functioning in the mornings, waiting for my friends to finally throw off the covers, elongated. Unfortunately my friends’ parents’ sleep patterns often didn’t follow those of my own parents who were up by 6 on the weekends in my earliest memories. This stretch of loneliness the morning after sleepovers led to unorthodox ways to pass the time once I ran out of word searches or tired of reading in the living room window seat the dog normally slept in because it was away from the bedrooms.
I developed a terrible habit of snooping through coffee table books and dusty awards. I could spend half an hour just looking at paperweights on home office desks. I gained a newfound respect for people with snowglobe collections or those that framed insects and hung them on their walls. God, I’d think to myself, I hope Emma’s dad has his back-scratcher collection out this weekend. I’m surprised I didn’t start making friends based on their parents’ hobbies. Stamp collector? Pass. Hunter? Seen it. Your mom turns lawn flamingos into lamps? What time can I come over on Saturday?
If I was lucky then someone in the household would have a knack for photography and decorate their walls with comical family photos. I’d arrange myself in contemplative positions before these in case someone happened to find me up and about at the early hour so that I might be able to instantly launch into a conversation.
Oh you’re up too! I was just admiring your photos. No I’ve not been up for long, no worries. Breakfast? Sure I could eat.
The prospect of breakfast always caused even more problems for me because I am one of those unfortunate souls that wakes up ravenous. Whether it’s 5 AM or 8 AM, I am ready to start the day and if that means that I have to make breakfast for everyone instead of waiting on someone else to dig out the mixing bowls than so be it.
No, no, I don’t need to wait for you to roll out of bed, shower and shave, and select an outfit after standing in front of the closet for twenty minutes, I’ll find the eggs and english muffins on my own, thanks. I’ve spent so much time familiarizing myself with people’s kitchens that Sears should hire me to stage their display kitchens.
One morning I remember waking up before the other two girls at the sleepover and I began my, then perfected, routine by tiptoeing out to the kitchen where there was more light to read. I was surprised to discover the girl who’d invited me over had a particularly bright-eyed dad that had coffee brewing and was reading the paper by around 7 when I joined him. We seemed to share the same stunned shock at each other’s presence, like we’d both accidentally interrupted the other’s familiar quota of solitary time. Once we’d recovered and come to terms with altering our morning agendas, I sat down with him at the kitchen table and we chatted about a trip the family had taken last summer and was planning to repeat that coming July. I didn’t even have to pose in front of a photo for an uncomfortable amount of time to start a dialogue. He even offered me a bowl of cereal to tide me over until the rest of the family ‘decided to join the world’, as he so eloquently put it. When he offered to show me his collection of fishing hats to help pass the time, I knew we were kindred spirits.