Why must you lock me in the basement each night?
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Fewer things in the world cause me more resentment than the fact that I have to get ready for bed EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.
Like, every night. It’s the same thing every night: pajamas, flossing, brushing, face washing and moisturizing, finding the cats and locking them in the basement (we have to, otherwise they like to come in at 5 AM and poke at my face with their pokey little paws). I hate all of it, especially in winter, with the cold air on my bare skin as I change from my thousand layers of daytime clothing to pajamas. Perhaps it would help if I remembered to put my pajamas on the radiator, but then that would be just one more thing to do. I hate it when my clothes lie in a big heap on my dresser, but I also hate putting them away each night, hate having to decide whether something is clean enough to be worn again or whether it merits being thrown into the laundry. I hate hangers and navigating the creaky doors of my wardrobe. I hate the fact of the cold water in the pipes and that each day I waste countless litres waiting for the hot water to arrive so I can wash my face. And even with warm water, I hate actually getting my face wet, the inevitable drips down my neck to my collarbone.
I hate all these STEPS to the routine when all I want to do is be safely and cozily ensconced under a duvet, my phone on airplane mode, kids’ lunches tidily made for the morning. I hate the time it takes , how it never takes the 10 minutes it should, tasks always bleeding out into other tasks so that, inevitably, 45 minutes after I begin the hellish process I’m still not asleep or at the very least binge-watching Breaking Bad in bed.
It’s amazing to me that I resent so one of the most basic tasks of daily life. The energy alone I spend seething about a few minutes before bedtime probably pushes me over the edge of my own fatigue. And yet, there I am, gritting my teeth, doing very little to make the best of a bad situation except just getting through it every night. I don’t think there’s anything I can cut out: I’m too superstitious to give up daily flossing, and if I don’t wash my face I feel like bugs are crawling on it. Sometimes I try to trick myself into a better bedtime by dealing with my teeth immediately after dinner — one less step in the whole production and with the added bonus that I’m less likely to mindlessly graze through the kitchen before bed. Sometimes, I change into pajamas when the kids change into pajamas, and that makes it slightly better, too. Even so, though, there’s still the stupid face washing and the stupid cats. Stupid. Pipes.
The hatred isn’t rational. I get that. It’s not rational to be put so out of joint, to get so absolutely irked, by the mere task of cleaning one’s own face. Daily. The resentment wells up from some deep, guttural pit in my insides, one that is ruled by my inner toddler. I worked hard all day. Inevitably, I’ve met a whole bunch of other people’s needs not to mention my own, and I’m just done. And yet, that’s not good enough — not until it’s all done. So I do it.
But I hate it. Hate it all. Until I sleep.