Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Broken Routine

My mornings are ruled by routine. The alarm clock goes off at 6:00. I am allowed (by my own decree) to hit the snooze button up to three times, depending upon whether or not I need to wash my hair, an operation that can add 10-15 minutes to the shower time plus the time it takes to blow it dry and style it. In the summer, I tend to save time by tying it in a knot while it’s wet, and leaving it that way until lunchtime or later, at which time it comes loose in a bunch of wavy curls, still smelling fresh with shampoo, and usually still damp.

Once I un-ass the bed, I stumble down the hall and into the kitchen to make a pot of coffee, pass through the living room to turn on my computer, hit the shower, then settle in for a few minutes of quality time with a cup of coffee and the computer, checking email, Facebook, the news and sometimes writing. During these activities, I am usually mentally running through the things in the closet, so that at 7:15(ish), when I finally head to the bedroom to dress, I know what I am wearing for the day. The routine serves me well. I get done what needs to be done with minimal brain activity, I have a little time to myself, and by the second cup of coffee, I am able to wake up (kind of). I need this time (with coffee) to become a semi-civilized human. Trust me, this nugget of self-knowledge benefits everyone.

One of my favorite things about Boyfriend is his spontaneous nature. He has his routines, but he is quick to mix things up. Tuesday night, around 10:00, when I was ready to wrap up my day, slap a bow on it and call it done, He asked what it would take for me to be able to get up early and go to IHOP for breakfast Wednesday morning. He had the day off from school for Veteran’s Day, already a nice break in the routine for him, and the idea of him wanting to get up early on a day when he could sleep in was a novel one to me – he’s sometimes worse than me with hitting the snooze alarm and has gone as much as an hour delaying (which stinks because his clock starts going off at 5:00 – so guess who is the one awake?). Wednesday was just another normal workday for me, so the idea of shaking things up with a visit to IHOP sounded great to me. It was supposed to be “shampoo the hair day,” so I would either have to get up really early or do it before I went to bed. I was in the shower in record time, and in another routine-buster, went to bed with wet hair (and got up some seven hours later with still-damp hair).

It’s funny that I can have such a hard time getting up on a normal day, but knowing we were going out for breakfast in the middle of the week made it a special day and I bolted out of bed, dressed and was ready in about 30 minutes flat. We went to IHOP, and I managed to be at work at the unheard of time of 7:40. Heck, I’m usually just putting makeup on at that time and hurrying so I can arrive at work some time closer to 8:00 than 8:30. Oddly, others had broken their routines, too – four people were already there – and we were standing around with surprised looks asking each other, “Why are you here so early?” It was weird. And a great start to the day. I don’t, however, expect it to become the new routine.

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