MOVarazzi

Friday, March 30, 2012

726. The Gods of Early

When I was a flight attendant, I was on a first name basis with Gods of Early.  There was Soon, In Advance, Prematurely, Ahead of Schedule, and Prompt.  A United Airlines crew scheduler would call me with the next day’s assignment (5 AM stand-by in Burbank, a one hour drive away), and I would immediately start laying out special offerings to the Gods of Early, such as multiple alarm clocks, pagers, timers, and cell phones.  I needed serious help from the Gods of Early:  if I overslept, I’d get fired.   

There was a flight attendant candidate (Becky) in my initial training class who liked to hang with a bad crowd:  the Gods of Late, and their groupies, the Minions of Irresponsibility.  Becky liked to sleep in, rush around, and generally cause problems for everyone.  It came as no surprise when she was conspicuously absent on graduation day (“Becky has decided to pursue other opportunities,” was the official wording our trainer used to explain her empty chair). 
When I was six months pregnant with my first son, I stopped flying.  I told the Gods of Early I wouldn’t be needing them anymore, and to please go harass some deserving new-hire flight attendants at the training center in Chicago instead.  The Gods of Early smiles and winked at each other, then told me they’d be back to check on me in 2 months, 3 weeks, 2 days, and 13 hours (what’s with the hyper-precision, Gods of Early?).
As predicted, they returned right on schedule (truth be told, a little ahead of time).  Fairy tales depict storks bringing babies to their new families—in reality, it’s the Gods of Early.  They dropped off Tall, healthy and strong, and then said they’d like to maybe stick around for a few weeks.  Or months.  Or years. 

I hate the Gods of Early.  It’s like living with your mother-in-law all the time.  I was under the impression that when I stopped working, I would no longer have to, well, work.  Ha!  I wake up earlier, work harder, and get paid less (that would be zero) then I ever did before.  The Gods of Early made sure I was up to feed the baby, get the toddler off to preschool, and basically walk around in a sleep-deprived haze at all times. 
When Tall was almost five years old and Short was two, I had an ugly confrontation with the Gods of Early.  “It’s time for you to leave,” I began tentatively, glancing at them, and then the snow outside the window, “you’ve outworn your welcome.” 

They did not take the news well.  “We’ll stay as long as we damn well please,” said Soon, the God with slicked back hair.  “Yeah,” added In Advance, as he smoothed his seasonally-inappropriate seersucker suit, “you still need us.”  Prompt looked up from ironing his swim trunks.  “Who do you think you are?” he challenged. 
I began to break down.  “I just … I just …” I stammered, “I really want my life back.  Where is it written that mothers must wake up at 4 AM every day?”

“On page 319 of the contract,” confirmed Ahead of Schedule while he casually flipped through tomorrow’s newspaper.  “Don’t you remember signing it?” 
“I never signed anything with you people,” I rallied, my voice rising.  “I don’t need you anymore.  I don’t care what your so-called contract says.”     

They shrugged, got up, and left.  This was easier than I thought it was going to be. 
I looked at the clock:  10:15.  I had a dentist appointment at 10.  I was late. 

MOV
**This is an essay I posted a long time ago, and I am reprinting it today because I feel like it never got the initial recognition it deserved.  Hope you like it!

19 comments:

  1. Dammit, I knew I should have read those things I signed at the hospital a little more carefully... although, I think it was Running Late and Sleep Deprived who attended both of my daughter's births.

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  2. So last night my man friend tells me he will be so glad when the girls go off to college because then I can sleep later and stay up later with him, who worships the Gods of Late. However after twenty plus years of worshipping the Gods of Early I seriously doubt that I will ever change my ways. I didn't sign a contract either, but those bastards show up every freaking morning at 5 AM (sometimes earlier) and drag me violently out of bed, putting weapons of destruction to my head and screaming dance monkey!

    www.sweetydarlin.blogspot.com

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  3. Can these gods be placated with things like chocolate, wine, well-written verse?

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    1. no. I've tried all that. They prefer coffee, the Los Angles Times, and maybe a bagel.

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  4. I used to worship the gods of late and early and had no schedule what-so-ever because of how crazy my study/work schedule had to be in college. Now it's difficult to strike a contract with anyone and I'm constantly early or late - never on time unless I intentionally don't give a specific time.

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    1. I ran into a friend at the movies the other day. SHE SAT RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME at a crowded theater, and she took her seat within 2 minutes of me getting mine. When I saw it was her, we joked that we could not have planned it any better to meet up if we had intended to!

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  5. I didn't wake my son up this morning, but I heard his ride banging at the door. Fortunately that woke him up. I went back to sleep after the banging stopped. He must have made good time, because when I woke up at noon, he was gone.

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    1. oh, noon. I am envious. The Gods of Early gave you the day off.

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  6. The Gods of early are STILL at my house. I do get paid for it, though.

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  7. My husband worships the Gods of Early, I hang with the Gods of Late. In a Rush and Almost There are my patron saints.

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    1. Almost There = Patron Saint. LOVE THIS!

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  8. I worshipped the Gods of Late, but it was for work! I worked late! However, G does not care. When I got her out of bed this morning she said; I cried for you and you didn't come! Way to break my heart kid.

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    1. oh, those babes. They do know *exactly* what to say to break us.

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