Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Tale of Two Clocks

Jeremy and I married with a joint dream of having a really awesome library.   We each had a selection of cool books that we brought to the marriage, and we sat together lining them up on a sleek new shelf bought with Target wedding gift cards.  My books next to his, we arranged the books on the shelf by category.  No longer were the books "mine" or "his" they were "ours," and together we dreamed of the future library the books would inhabit. 

Our clocks, on the other hand, have not provided us with such an easy integration.  Apparently alarm clocks are an extremely personal devise--which I never would have guessed, but experience has most undeniably taught me.   When we first were married I took a look at Jeremy's old alarm clock and thought, "That old relic is one "snooze" short of the junkyard." 

It was obviously some "family heirloom" that had been rotating bed-side tables for at least a few decades. 

Not only that, but it bore the brands of cheesy not-really-applicable-though-I-wouldn't-go-so-far-as-to-call-Jeremy-a-'poser high school counter-culture groups, via the "skateboarding is not a crime" sticker. 

. . . You tell 'em Jeremy. 

So, naturally, I wrapped the cord around Jeremy's alarm clock and packed it away in a cupboard, opting instead to utilize my own sleek, attractive model of an alarm clock that I had picked up four years earlier during my first semester on my own at college.

This worked fine for a while.  At least we could both agree that never under any circumstances should one use the buzzer feature of a bed-side alarm clock.  The radio, set to a low volume, was sufficient of a jolt to the senses to induce a morning rousing from slumber.  But I could tell that my clock bothered Jeremy, and every once in a while I could tell something had gone wrong --in the form of (his) user error-- as the set time and alarm times would be all jumbled up and not anywhere close in alignment to the GMT. 

So finally, out of love, I decided to set up Jeremy's alarm clock instead.  Jeremy had never slept and roused, with such little fuss.  I--on the other hand--did not have the same success with his clock.  How was I supposed to get the alarm set, and where in the world was the magic button that turned off the alarm so it didn't just keep "snooze"-ing every 10 minutes all morning long?  It wasn't really that big of a deal, since I didn't need an alarm very often--just once in a while for an early doctor's appointment or something. 

This year with Jeremy in school and me responsible for getting Owen to school on time--I needed a reliable alarm clock.  I didn't want to have to wake up with Jeremy and reset his alarm for later.  And it wasn't his responsibility to do it either.  So I pulled my clock out of a back cupboard and set it up on my nightstand. 

And there it now sits--staring across the bed at Jeremy's clock, the two of them glowing red in a perpetual digital duel.  Though Jeremy and I have tried over the years to develop a seamless joining of our dreams, and goals, and practices to allow our life to progress unhindered together --we found the one that was just too hard to accept. 

What ever they may say the keys are for a successful, happy marriage--joining book shelves or bank accounts--don't ask either of us to give up our own alarm clock. 

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