When I stopped drinking and stopped falling asleep by passing out, I thought I wouldn’t ever get a night’s rest. I didn’t have my sedative so how could I get to sleep? What I found was that freedom from chemicals and a relatively clear conscience were much better sleep aids than alcohol had ever been.
I like to fall asleep with a book. It generally falls on my face and I rarely go to sleep in total darkness. That makes it handy when I wake up, set the book aside, do the house check, and come back to bed. Then, I do a ‘rinse and repeat:’ starting to read where I left off, falling to sleep, and waking with the book on my face a few hours later.
You might call that nuts. I call it a normal night at Margaret’s house.
Years of waiting for Jack to come home or to call needing a ride kept me vigilant and able to wake relatively quickly. “Hey, Mom. You asleep?” (“Yes. What time is it?”) “I don’t know. Can you get me at Jesse’s house?” (“What time is it?”) “Would you believe me if I said midnight?” (Shriek. “It’s 3 in the morning!) “I knew you wouldn’t believe me.”
The first year after Jack died, I startled awake often as I dreamed the light tap on my shoulder and the soft “I’m home, Mom.” I did the reading cycle every 2 hours and usually woke more tired than when I’d gone to bed.
I never thought about watching television to ease myself into unconsciousness. I have one old television in my house and it’s in the living room. That’s what Bob uses to go to sleep. The TV runs all night in his bedroom.
If there’s a storm and the power or cable goes out, Bob knows the time. I know that because there are times when I’ve gotten up and turned off the television after making sure that Bob’s soundly sleeping. Within 10 minutes, I hear the TV back on.
It doesn’t really bother me most nights especially if there’s an old movie or sit-com on. I have that Fox News problem so Hannity or O’Reilly or one of those other RWCJA’s can penetrate my REM’s and send me in search of the channel changer.
The shows that drift into my subconscious and linger in my conscious when I wake up are those darn infomercials. I didn’t realize that they run all night long on some channels. It’s evil. Bob can fall asleep with Letterman on and I’ll wake to Wen Hair Care by Chaz Dean who is creepy enough looking for me to wonder why a woman would let him massage her scalp.
And infomercials are cross-cultural. I woke up to “Llame Ahora! Crema de Concha Nacar con aceite de tortuga.” For the mother of my grand-turtle, lock up Speedy if a Spanish speaking woman with a Botox face asks about him. Lots of programa pagado after midnight on Galavision.
According to tapebeat.com, $150 billion of products are sold through infomercials. That’s big business in any culture.
In the TV dinosaur age, television shows were created to market products. The Magic Clown, a children’s show, was created by Tico Bonomo to market Bonomo’s Turkish Taffy. The first infomercial was for Vitamax Blenders in 1950, but FCC regulations stopped the 30 minute infomercial by the early 60’s.
In the mid-80’s, the regulations were lifted and the infomercial came back with a vengeance. Today, besides hawking various products, infomercials are used to hawk religion and politics. BET has BET Inspiration, a block of religious infomercials carried daily.
Politicians regularly use the infomercial to promote their viewpoint. Lyndon LaRouche in the 80’s and Ross Perot in the 90’s used infomercials to present their political agendas. NRA infomercials offer their views on gun control and other issues and increase membership. Both Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama used infomercials in the 2008 presidential campaign.
I especially like the informercials that lead me to believe that I can have a perkier bum and bouncier boobs with no real effort on my part. “Carve abs in bed” strikes me as a possible solution to my ab flab. And I like Sensa’s “Sprinkle, Eat and Lose” weight approach to dieting. I can eat anything and lose weight?
I like those exercise DVD’s, too. I’ve watched lots of them while sitting on the couch eating dinner. They don’t work. Same thing with those exercise machines. I had a treadmill once and ended up hanging laundry on it.
Some of the kitchen appliances look pretty cool. I have Miracle knives which were given to me several years ago. They work as advertised, both as the kitchen tools for which they were designed and Ninja super-hero weapons which Jack adapted them to be.
My 4 year old grand-daughter was watching TV with me a few months ago and saw the infomercial for Your Baby Can Read. “We need to buy that for Travis.” (“He’s only 1, honey. He’s got plenty of time to read.”) “Nana. You don’t want him to be behind.”
Years of looking for the softer, easier way have taught me that it doesn’t exist whether it means losing weight or doing microdermabrasion at home. Still. The allure of Sensa sprinkled on a DQ Triple Chocaholic Blizzard and the thought that I might stop spooning its ice cream goodness into my mouth before the cup is empty is attractive. The reality is that the PS90X won’t help me if I won’t carve out 30 minutes a day to walk the dogs.
If only I could get thinner, younger looking, more fit, and smarter by intention. I’ve spent years wanting to be judged by my intentions. They are often much better than my actions!