Spot the Creepy

My husband gently rouses me from sleep – although at 3:30 in the morning, no rousing is gentle.  At this hour,  even the birds look at you like you’re nuts for being awake.  Our bedroom is still black as pitch, and there isn’t a sound to be heard, aside from my own early morning expletives and complaints of inhumane wake-up calls.  My husband, probably anticipating my foul mood, has a mug of hot tea at the ready.  Smart guy…. I knew there was a reason I married him.

I have always been a night owl.  I sleepwalk through most mornings, functioning just enough to get my kids ready for school, and not crash my car into a tree getting them there.  Many morning people have tried to convert me, all with no success.  Here’s how the conversation usually goes between me and a typical early bird:

Annoying morning person:  I love early morning!  The entire neighborhood is still asleep and the only sound you hear is the birds singing.  It’s so peaceful!  *Sigh*

Me:  You know another time of day when the neighborhood is peaceful?  Eleven o’clock at night.  And what’s so great about birds?  All they do is crap on my car and repeat the same two notes over, and over again.  You call that singing?  If Beyonce did that, she’d be out of a job.

Annoying morning person:  But what about sunrises?   Sunrises are SOOOO beautiful!!

Me:  Yeah, I know.  I see them all the time in the cheesy chick flicks I watch at night.  *Exaggerated sigh*

Annoying morning person:  (With growing agitation) You don’t know what you’re missing out on.

Me: Well I know what I’m not missing out on – three extra hours of sleep.

That’s usually where the conversation ends.

But on this particular morning, I’ve got to set aside my natural night owl tendencies and rise with the damn birds.  We are on our way down to South Carolina to visit my in-laws – a twelve hour drive we try to make twice a year.

I chug my mug of tea in the hopes that the surge of caffeine will prevent me from crawling back underneath the covers.  But the caffeine barely makes a dent in my feeling of exhaustion, and the heated liquid is having an unexpected soporific effect on me, like I just drank warm milk.  My husband’s urging to get my butt in gear is ultimately what gets me moving – he wants to get on the road before rush hour traffic has the chance to clog up our only means of escape off Long Island.

I go into the bathroom and attempt to put in my contacts, but my eyes practically recoil to the back of my skull.  So, I decide to put it off until we are ready to leave the house (apparently my eyes need even more time to wake up than the rest of me).  Instead, I get dressed and pack the few remaining items that didn’t make it into the car the night before.

Around four o’clock, I wake up both my kids with kisses and apologies, and I promise them that they only need to stay awake long enough to go to the bathroom and crawl into the car.  Within an hour or so, we are all packed into the car, in various stages of alertness.  My seven-year old son, Aidan, the only natural morning person in the family, doesn’t seem to be too effected by the loss of sleep.  He is peering out the car windows, observing the world around him that is still cloaked in darkness.

We stop off at 7-11 for my second cup of tea.  Despite the fact that this will make me have to stop for a pee break much sooner than my husband would like, I don’t see how it can be helped because without more tea, I’ll be comatose before we reach New Jersey.  As I fill up the biggest paper cup I can get my hands on, I notice that I’m surrounded by a bunch of burly guys –  blue collar men that have more callouses on their hands than fingers.  I suddenly feel pathetically girlie making tea alongside these guys as they fill their thermoses with coffee.

Our second stop is a gas station so we can fill the tank before beginning our 750 mile trek down south.  I’m surprised to see the gas station buzzing with customers – I had no idea so many people were conscious at this ungodly hour of the morning.  Again I notice the abundance of scruffy, blue collar workers that surround us, all clad in their stained sweatshirts, jeans, and construction boots.  Most of the guys look as though a shower and shave isn’t a part of their morning routine.

As my husband pumps the gas, Aidan blurts out, “Mommy, why does everyone look so CREEPY?”

A surprised laugh escapes my mouth, and I realize he’s been people watching too.  I look over at the guy pumping gas next to us, the one  I’m guessing prompted Aidan’s non-politically correct question – he looks like Santa Claus’s much less jolly alter ego.  I start to pay closer attention to all the other patrons, and I suddenly I feel like I’ve slipped into the pages of a Stephen King novel.  Aidan’s right – these guys are creepy.

Most of them looked like this guy.... only creepier.

Part of me felt bad for poking fun at hard-working guys who have to rise with the sun, and bust their ass all day to earn a living.  But the other part of me, (the part that could never run for political office), finds it funny when someone has the guts to say out loud what everyone else is thinking.  And when you catch me off guard the way Aidan did, I can do little to mask my amusement.

I already told you I barely function before noon – did you really expect me to be a good parent at five o’clock in the morning??  But don’t worry, I made a mental note to give the ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ speech later on… once we stopped laughing.

By the time my husband, Kevin, got back in the car, my daughter (Meghan), Aidan, and I were still giggling.  Just so Kevin didn’t think we had slipped into some sort of exhaustion-fueled delirium, we filled him in on the details of Aidan’s new game –  officially named spot the creepy.

As we got back on the road, Aidan continued pointing out the window at the creepy looking drivers around us and exclaiming, “There’s another one!  Mommy, look at THAT guy!”, which was often met by another round of giggles from everyone in the car.

But along with the sunrise (which I have to say, was entirely overrated) came an infusion of clean-shaven guys in neck ties and smartly dressed women with up-dos, making the population appear decidedly less creepy.  It seemed our game was at an end…. at least until our return trip back home.

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22 thoughts on “Spot the Creepy

  1. Loved it. I am a veteran early morning road-tripper-with-kids, as well. Getting out of that bed can be brutal. Great writing, I was right there with you.

    • Thanks so much!

      Yeah, early morning road trips are brutal (borderline torturous for a night owl), but it’s unavoidable when you have 12 hours of open road to cover in one day. But thanks to my son’s game, the morning was a bit more palatable 🙂

    • Anon –

      6:15 – 6:30 seems to be the cut off point for playing ‘spot the creepy’ because once the sun comes up, the whole atmosphere changes. But I bet you could play the game again once the sun goes down! At least at that time, the ‘creepies’ are my kind of people – night owls 🙂

  2. Okay, I don’t know you and when I got the snippet of your post on my WordPress reader it showed a big picture of the creepy guy and the beginning lines to your post, “My husband gently rouses me from sleep – although at 3:30 in the morning,” and I thought, yeah. He IS a little creepy. LOL!

    • Patty – LOL, my husband is creepy, but not THAT creepy. Oddly enough, the guy in that picture is a famous writer (Alan Moore, I think his name is) – he writes comic books. I just thought the picture illustrated what we were seeing perfectly. I hope Mr. Moore doesn’t mind that he’s being used as the poster child for creepiness 🙂

    • Moe – I know, our 12 hour car trip would be enough to send you to the looney bin. Maybe it’s because we’ve been doing it for nearly 20 years, but long road trips don’t really bother me much.

      Fear not, our next LQ excursion will either be local, or somewhere we can get to by plane/boat. So get that travel agent mojo of yours working, and see what you can get going for us….

  3. I thought it was about time I left you a note to say that you have a true fan in Germany!! I have a blog at WordPress with poems (a very few ones in English but mostly in German); was sick as hell a few weeks ago and had a LOT of time on my hands … and my laptop in bed with me. So I stumbled on your blog when you were Freshly Pressed … and haven’t stopped laughing since. You have a marvellous sense of humour and your post have lifted many a gloomy mood! I have taken the liberty of linking your blog to mine, so that hopefully many stodgy Germans can have a look at what good humour can be like. We may be stodgy (some of uns, not all!) but more Germans know good English than one would expect. I was surprised at this when I tentatively posted a poem in English for the first time!
    Keep on with the good work, and thanks for making my day … yet again! Miriam

    • Miriam –

      I’ve been coming down from my “freshly pressed” high these past couple of weeks, and was a bit depressed to go back to life as usual in my blogosphere (meaning a WHOLE lot less comments and “likes” from other bloggers). But your comment sent me soaring high once again – you really made my day 🙂 I was grinning from ear to ear as I read it, and felt giddy just thinking about the fact that there was someone 4,000 miles away who was enjoying my blog.

      I’m so glad I could make you laugh while you were feeling sick. I hope you’re on the mend. Thanks for reading my blog and for sharing it on your website!! I hope there are a lot more germans over there that appreciate a girl with a sarcastic sense of humor 🙂

      Take care,
      Linda

      • Thanks for your great reply! I’m glad to have made your day! I find it generally extremely interesting that the WordPress-sites in English have such different subjects matters than those in German. There are much more blogs about life, humour, family life, individual experiences … in English. On the german sites, it’s all about 1. politics, 2. photography maybe and 3. politics. Maybe some satire, but that’s it. I wonder why! Maybe you Americans have been blogging far longer than we have and are just more comfortable with that medium. Who knows?? And for that: who cares?! As long as I can continue enjoying you guys…
        take care, too, Miriam

        • Miriam –

          I’m brand new to all of this blogging business, so I had no idea blogs pertaining to life/humor/family/etc. were more favored by Americans. I thought those topics would have been globally written about – very interesting to find out otherwise.

          One of the things I have really enjoyed about my blog is communicating with people (mostly women) from around the world. I have never traveled outside the US and Canada, and I love learning about other cultures. More times than not, I’m finding out that there are common threads that bind us all together – makes the globe seem a lot smaller than it did a few months ago 🙂

          As a side note, I visited your website, but given the fact that it’s written in German, I found that I was reduced to seeing it through the eyes of a child – I was unable to read anything, but I could look at the pretty pictures 🙂 I would love to read one of the poems that you have written in English (I couldn’t find one on your website). Can you send me a link?

  4. Great post! It had me laughing out loud! I can relate very well to the whole “not being a morning person”. I’m not really an afternoon or evening person either unless you spike my tea with vodka. I look forward to reading more from you.

  5. Hi Linda, thanks for your reply! I do suppose that the mentioned subjects are discussed globally. After all, the WordPress front page is just an excerpt from thousands of blogs – but still, it’s interesting. In the same way that I much prefer english/american literature to german, I just enjoy reading those blogs more than I do the german ones. By the way, I never thought I would enjoy someones blog as much (or more) than Alice Bradley’s, who writes “finslippy” – have you heard of her? Well, there you are- tying for first!! 🙂
    Thanks for having a look at my blog – if you go there again, look in the sidebar. Underneath the “recent articles” there are categories, and underneath those there are a lot of tags, in a kind of cloud. You can click on “poems” or “poetry”, and also on “songtexte” (in the categories, I THINK!). They’re not brilliant – but the songtexts have given me another interesting insight into the differences in languages: rhyme is much more fluent, and smoother, in english. Hence, I do NOT rhyme in my german poems! It always seems sort of … schoolgirlish. So I don’t do it.
    I only just started my blog in November last year, so I’m pretty new, too. But I’m really happy about how it’s working out. I’m in contact with quite a few other poets, and I love it when we comment on each others newest work. I’ve not “met” a single person yet who wasn’t nice and warm and encouraging.
    And I absolutely love being in contact with other cultures and countries. I’ve been lucky enough to travel a lot, and grew up in Australia and Israel, my father having worked with Lufthansa. I went to an American International School for 6 years, so I’ve felt comfortable with the american culture and way of life for a LONG time!
    And it’s great to get in touch with you! Good thing I was ill that time 🙂
    All the best, Miriam

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