March 20, 2002
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 wild-eyed/overcaffeinated Ю僱êrvØ¡, wide-awake 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 Dave?

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 doorknob.

"Huh?" he says.

It's Stoopid Dave, alright.

"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 other 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 some more.

Spring. Bah humbug.

For most of my life I've hated spring.  And why shouldn't I? I look hideous in pastel colors. 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 fat you 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 Formulate Our Riding Plan! 

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 right 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. Hamilton only has an average FIVE TO SEVEN PERCENT GRADE?? So it would be PERFECT for ...


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.

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