Down East 2013 ©
Have you been watching the Winter Olympics? Charlie and me have. Un-real! I find those athlete’s dedication and determination downright inspiring. I love it all: seeing someone do their best, or maybe fall, get up and keep going, the tear-jerky human interest stories, the medal ceremony. I root for the USA, of course, but also for Canada. After all, my grandparents could have just as easily stayed there as moved to Maine.
I have to have a box of Klennex at the ready because, let me tell you, it can get pretty emotional. Charlie says that if crying were a sport, I’d clinch the gold medal. Even at my age. (He’s exagerating, of course.)
Oh, I think I’d be a contender, but where I really excell is napping. What with my job down to the A&P, I can only practice on weekends, but oh, Mister Man, if napping were an Olympic sport, I’d be captain of the team. Well, I've been in serious training most of my adult life. Which is weird, because I was one of those kids who hated napping. I was so afraid to miss something, I'd fall asleep standing up. Now, I guess I'm making up for lost time.
See, I’m a morning person. I wake up perky as all get out, just bursting with energy. The afternoon, however, is a different story, especially between 3:00 and 4:00, which is the toilet of the day as far as I’m concerned. Sometimes I yawn so hard, swear to God, it feels like I’m going to turn myself inside out. I get that falling off a cliff feeling, like my soul is leaving my body. But by napping, I get two mornings in the day!
Both Charlie and me are nappers, but we have different styles. Charlie’s a sprinter: reclining in his BarkaLounger when he gets home from work, usually just five or ten minutes before supper; "Putting his feet up," as he says. On the weekend, he’ll nap in bed. His preferred napping technique is the fully clothed, flat on your back luge position with variations: feet crossed or uncrossed. This is usually accompanied by the controversial pillow wrapped around the head which he claims drowns out any background noise, or the alleged snoring of his wife ( which I happen to dispute).
I consider myself more of a long distance napper. I prefer a freestyle napping technique consisting of the tuck position, right or left side, or the half tuck on stomach (again, right or left), with or without a pillow. (The judges may quibble, but I insist on using the pillow to support my upper tucked leg.) For maximum effect, I occasionally employ the horizontal pike position, but I’m a curler at heart.
As with any sporting activity, you get a better performance by wearing the proper gear. I prefer the "dress in what you wear to bed" napping attire.
Both head wrapping and pillow hugging are frowned upon in the couple napping events, of course, and style points are deducted from the overall score. Immediate disqualification is issued for any of the following violations of the Good Napping Code of Ethics: snorting, drooling, snoring so loud you wake yourself up, waking up and not knowing what day it is or what planet you're on.
Like with any extreme sport, there is the danger of injury. Last Saturday, I woke up from my nap, stretched and pulled something in my neck. When I told Charlie about it, he goes, “Let me get this straight. You had a napping accident?”
“Nothing like one of your charlie horses, Mister. That kind of screaming is enough to wake the dead!”
But I didn’t let my injury slow me down. No way! I got back into our bed on Sunday and sacked out for an hour and a half. Yup, to excel at napping takes commitment. You may decide to specialize in one area of napping, or to be more of a generalist. The field is wide open. Charlie and me are currently considering a try at the tag team napping relay. Kind of ambitious, I know, but you only live once.
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flip side!
(Listen to the podcast of Ida's column here. )