Sleeping With Strangers
When I got married last
year, I assumed that meant my days of waking up next to strange
men were over.
I was wrong.
These days, I never know WHO
will be laying in bed next to me in the morning when I open my eyes.
Will it be sweet, guileless, Sound-Asleep-David, burrowed into the
blankets like a woodtick, snoring obliviously? Or will it be
since 4 a.m. and dying to tell me about all 43,897,621
message board posts he's written already this morning????
Will it be
Anxious David, who has also
been awake since 4 a.m. (but who chose to stay in bed and stoically
obsess over the job/the stock market/the brakes on the Subaru/the
broken CD-burner, so as not to wake his slumbering wife?)
Or will it be Stoopid
This morning I watch as
he emerges from beneath the blankets. "In exactly four hours,
thirty-three minutes and eighteen seconds," I say to him
experimentally, "it will be the official start of spring. What do you
think about THAT?"
He blinks at me
uncomprehendingly ... eyes glazed, mouth hanging open slightly, a tiny
thread of drool hanging from his bottom lip. He looks as sharp as a
"Huh?" he says.
It's Stoopid Dave,
"Never mind," I sigh.
There is no sense in even trying to communicate with this guy. He
needs, at minimum, a ten-minute shower and a bucket of caffeine before anything
I say to him will process.
"I thought you were one of the
Davids," I tell him. "Go take your shower."
As Stoopid Dave obediently
shlumps off to the bathroom, I sit in the middle of the bed and finish
trowelling on those last four coats of Maybelline. As I trowel, I
listen to Matt and Katie wax exuberant over the first day of spring
Spring. Bah humbug.
For most of my life I've
hated spring. And why shouldn't I? I look hideous in pastel
I've got hay fever around the clock. Easter candy -- with the exception
of Cadbury Creme Eggs, maybe, or those little foam rubber chicken
things -- is a total
waste of *calorie molecules,* as far as I'm concerned. Plus spring is
the time of year when people are supposed to shed their winter coats
and emerge from hibernation and reunite joyously with the rest of the
world and stuff. I hate that. It's difficult to camouflage how
are/how hungover you are/how unhappy you are in
the harsh unforgiving light of springtime.
(Although now that I'm
no longer fat/hungover/unhappy, this probably doesn't apply
anymore. Perhaps it's time to give spring another chance.)
Fifteen minutes later,
I've achieved full Maybellinization and am heading now to the kitchen
to pack our lunches. Suddenly, a shiny pink man bursts from the
bathroom, all transformed and energized and bursting with excitement.
It's Mega Dave!
Even without caffeine,
it's obvious that his engine has already started thrumming. "First day
of spring, huh?" he says. "You know what THAT
means, don't you?"
I'm about to say Yes,
I do know what it means: it means new sandals and
fresh asparagus and The Academy Awards on Sunday night
-- but he beats me to the punch.
"It means that BIKE RIDING SEASON begins in
earnest!" he thunders happily. It's time to
Knuckle Down! It's time to Get Serious! It's time to
As he runs around the bedroom,
getting dressed -- pulling
on socks and underwear, yanking a dress shirt off the hanger, stepping
into slacks, knotting his tie -- he spins off into a
typical Mega Dave
rant, all about how we've got to start raising the challenge level.
First we'll start working on some hills. Now that I've got the
bike for it, we need to do some HILL WORK!
And some road work! According to Mega Dave, we need to do lots
and lots of ROAD WORK! We've got to get off these
multi-use trails and out on the REAL
ROADS! Multi-use trails are for
wimps! Real cyclists climb HILLS
and ride on ROADS!
And speaking of hills ... am I aware of the fact that Mt.
has an average FIVE TO SEVEN PERCENT
GRADE?? So it would be PERFECT
I don't know. Maybe
Stoopid Dave isn't so bad after all. Yes, he's desperately in need of a
comb and a shot of Listerine. Yes, talking to him is a little bit like
spitting down an abandoned elevator shaft: you're never quite sure if
anything ever hits bottom. But at least Stoopid Dave lets me get a word
in edgewise. And at least Stoopid Dave doesn't have me climbing Mt.
Hamilton at 6:53 a.m. in my nightgown, on a work day, before I've even
had that second
cup of coffee ...
.. and while -- for the
next four hours, eighteen minutes and forty-three seconds, at least
-- it's still WINTER.
throw a rock