Blue pen

I am not a morning person. Never have been. I don’t aim to be one, either. But, in order to navigate my way to consciousness, I have a series of morning rituals that help me approach each new day in a positive way. There is a sequence to my morning, a rhythm if you will, that should not be interrupted by anyone or anything.

I cannot wake up without an alarm, so I begin each morning by slapping the snooze button into submission. It’s deeply satisfying to hit an inanimate object. Yet my tiny bladder ensures I do not delay the inevitable. I hobble to the bathroom in a disoriented state that can only be described as the walking-dead in a pink, fluffy bathrobe. Hot.

I cannot abide by fluorescent light, so I wander about the house and open the blinds to welcome in the daylight. Staggering to the kitchen, I put a few scoops of coffee in the coffee-maker and flip on the switch. Then I line up the pet dishes and make sure all my creatures are fed. I mumble affectionate words to them, but they’re not convinced.

When the coffee is ready, I pour that black magic into my special Kelly-only mug. I’m almost but not quite cheerful at this point. And then, I do the one last task that completes my rituals before I head to the shower: I strike out yesterday.

Posted on the refrigerator is a large monthly calendar spanning the height and width of the freezer door. Every morning I reach to the side of the refrigerator to the magnetic box that holds the calendar pens. They are all the same ink colour and brand (it matters). I select one and draw a thin blue diagonal line through the previous day’s square to strike it out. Done.

I cannot explain how gratifying this is to me. I realize technically it means another day is gone in the grand scheme of life, but I choose to look it as a victory. I survived that day. One step closer to the weekend. That’s my mentality.

On Sunday, the Carpenter disrupted my morning mojo. He turned off the alarm; I slept in. He drank all the coffee; didn’t make a fresh pot. It was his turn to wash the dishes; my special Kelly coffee mug was dirty. He didn’t feed the pets; they were vocal in their discontent. There was no sun peeking through the blinds. Pretty sure that was his fault, too.

Determined not to snap, I turned to face the calendar, reached out for the blue pen to scratch off Saturday, and the pen holder was empty. What? No pens? Unbearable. This means war.

“Where do all the pens in this house go?” I bellowed, wounded, shaking my fists.

Unbeknownst to me, my caffeinated, morning-loving spouse was watching from the next room. He was enjoying the sequence of my frustration (he is cruel like that).  

Startling me with his voice, he replied, “The pen fairy must have taken them all.”

Maybe it was the look I shot him, but without another word, the Carpenter scampered away and quickly returned with a handful of blue pens. Pen fairy, indeed.

And so, I scratched off Saturday. Order was restored with one diagonal line and a second pot of coffee.

WriteOut of Her Mind