I dislike early risers.

I call them “Go Getters” and “Hard Workers” and “Early Birds” and “Sad” and “Crazy.”

It doesn’t help that my definition of “early rising” is anything before 10am.  I realize that most of the world gets up before 10am; in fact a large portion of them get up before even the sun.

Here’s the issue I have with self-proclaimed “early risers”: I always seem to find out they’re an early riser right after they’ve learned I’m not.  It’s always the answer to my forlorn comments of, “I’m so tired” or “I have a hard time with mornings.”

“Oh, I don’t.” They say, “I’m a morning person, I set my alarm for 12:01am, because I get up with the morning.  I’m an early riser.”

It always comes off as a bit of a brag.  I wouldn’t be surprised if these people went to AA meetings and interrupted someone telling their story just to be clear about where they stand.

ALCOHOLIC: My name is Brian, and I’m an alcoholic—
EARLY RISER: [Standing up.] I’m not.  I’ve never been subjected to substance abuse.  I don’t even understand how anyone could be addicted to that stuff.  What’s that?  Sit down and shut up?  Hold on, I need to you about how I’m completely not addicted to alcohol.

They might not mean it this way, but it feels remarkably like they’re rubbing it in your face.  I realize they’re not trying to be rude, and perhaps they’re making conversation, I just wish they realized I didn’t care.  Let me wallow in my own personal purgatory for 3-4 hours as I wait for the four cups of coffee to kick in, please.  No amount of personal account of how great you are at waking up in the morning will rub off on me.  It isn’t a frame of mind.  It’s not something you can convince me that I am in fact an early riser.  The only thing that can help is a soft bed to sleep in or a healthy dose of strong sedative to put me to sleep for the following early rising morning.

If you’re reading this and thinking, “Well, why didn’t he just go to bed earlier?” you are the type of person I’m talking about.

I’m what you would call a “late riser,” the type of person that snoozes his alarm until he regrets it.  I’m the guy who goes down for a nap and wakes up the following morning.  My “naps” tend to last as long as a normal cycle of sleep and my normal sleep cycle lasts as long as a small coma.  I’m proud of this fact, though I probably shouldn’t be.  It’s certainly not seen as a Strength.  I can’t go to a job interview and answer questions with “Sometimes I’ll fall asleep in my chair” or “I’ll likely put sleep before my job” or “You put me in a comfortable position and keep me warm and I’ll show you the living definition of a sound sleeper.”

Sometimes when I tell people that I’m a late riser, they give me a stupid smile. The kind that says, “you poor, naïve soul.”  These people usually have kids.  “Just wait till you have a couple of kids running around,” they say, “You’ll rue the day you ever stayed up until 2am.”

They hold it over my head as if I’m living life wrong.  As if it’s best to go to bed early even if you don’t have kids, so you don’t look back on your previous life with woeful envy.   Here’s the deal: I don’t have kids.   I’m not going to punish myself now so I can somehow be OK with it later.  I might have to wear a diaper when I’m older, but it doesn’t mean I’m going to go buy a pack of Depends today, slap them on and piss myself for the next thirty-five years so I don’t have to look back on my youth and think, “Damn.  The younger me took his thin, cotton boxer briefs for granted.”

Now that I think on it, I dislike the term “Late riser” because it implies I’m lazy.  Which is absolutely true, but this is America, dammit; I’m allowed to take offense at whatever I want.  Especially the truth.

Instead I’d like to be called a wake-up-when-I’m-ready riser.

Yes, that’s good.  Oh boy, that’s a lot of thinking.  I’m pooped.  If you don’t mind, I’m going to just lay down and take a quick 12 hour nap.  Please don’t wake me: I have to wake up at 10am tomorrow and I need my sleep.