The Game Changer That Wasn't
March 02, 2016
Late last week, in a fit of wine-induced TREAT YO SELF, I bought myself a light-up alarm clock. Specifically, this Phillips Wake-Up Clock mentioned in this Gizmodo post, which sings its life-changing praises.
I have wanted one every since I read that post, but could never bring myself to spend $70 on a damn alarm clock. That's what phones are for. Or husbands. Or cats. Or any one of the three alarm clocks down the hall in my kids' rooms that they all regularly sleep through.
But then I would go back and re-read that post, getting an almost inappropriate amount of pleasure from dreaming about the life-changing power of the light-up alarm.
I am terrible in the mornings. Because mornings are terrible. Especially now, in the winter, when it's grey and cold outside and my bed is a deliciously warm cocoon. And it's so much nicer to burrow back under the covers and sleep jusssssst a little bit longer than to get up and confront the fact that I am a puffy-faced grease monster in the mornings, and stuck in a default mode of VERY VERY BAD MOOD for at least an hour after I wake up.
A light-up alarm, I decided, was a worthy investment. I read comments and testimonials and reviews from my fellow night owls and morning haters that praised it to the high heavens. Just imagine! I might be able to just...wake up! And get out of bed like a normal person! Opening my eyes might cease to be physically painful and maybe -- OH JUST MAYBE -- I'll make through a weekday morning without being kind of a dick to anyone.
I'd actually added the clock to my Amazon wishlist pre-Christmas, like hint hint hint Jason Jason Jason. He did not bite, because he is TOTALLY a morning person who does not understand the struggle. If I would just...get out of bed? Like on time? Why don't I try that?
He also pointed out that I usually pull a second pillow over my head at some point in the early morning, usually as soon as any light starts peeking through the curtains. How would I even see the promised "simulated sunrise" and I was just like, I DON'T KNOW, IT'S SCIENCE, STOP KILLING MY DREAMS.
My clock arrived on Friday and I don't think I've ever been so flipping excited about anything in my life. I rushed to our room and swooped my arm across the nightstand, knocking all the clutter off to make room for my life-changing magic science clock. I had a hair appointment early on Saturday morning so this was PERFECT! I usually sleep in a little bit on Saturdays but not this time! I was gonna get up and get ready and get places on time, maybe even early!
On Saturday morning I overslept by 37 minutes because I'd set the alarm incorrectly and it never went off.
Okay, fine. We'll try a do-over on Sunday, even though I didn't technically have anywhere to BE, but again, was just really ready for the first day of the rest of my life as a reformed morning rage monster.
On Sunday morning, I woke up 45 minutes before the alarm went off because Ike came in, poked me in the face and asked me "where that new clock came from."
On Monday morning, I finally woke up when the alarm actually went off. I sat up, looked at the clock and was consumed by the crushing disappoint of nothingness. The clock was illuminated but rather than feel bathed in the perfect light of mid-afternoon, I was just staring at a damn clock with some light bulbs inside. Also it was beeping and shut up shut up shut up with your stupid beeping!
Okay, I thought. Maybe time to look at the instructions again. I determined I needed to up the intensity level, since our master bedroom is kind of big and cavernous.
Yesterday morning, however, I realized in all my excited obsessive researching, I'd missed one key limitation of the light-up alarms. I wake up too late, and my room is already too well lit for the clock to have any real effect. We have black-out curtains but by 7:30/8 a.m. there is already light peeking through, and if the door to the bathroom is open, there are windows and a skylight letting in a ton of natural grey-gloomy winter light that the clock simply can't compete with.
Jason, on the other hand, gets up at 5 a.m. When it is still completely dark.
(I usually wake up as well when his [non-science-magic phone] alarm goes off, but HELL TO THE NOOOOO I am not getting up at 5 a.m. to work out like some kind of crazy person. So I pull another pillow over my head and go back to sleep. Then I wake up the second time an hour or two later, ready to start my morning in full-on Miserable Cranky Grump mode.)
And so, I have offered custody of my fancy expensive life-changing light-up alarm clock to Jason. I suppose there's a chance I'll wake up tomorrow morning at 5 a.m. transformed and invigorated by the glow coming from his nightstand, but I admit I've lost my faith in the magic science of it all. I mean, me getting out of bed at 5 a.m.? Come on now.
If anyone needs me, I'll be in bed, hiding under the pillows.