You forget about the Holiday downsides: The way you always plan too much. The way your eyeballs start jiggling the minute you get to the mall and see those kiosks filled with jokey T-shirts and giant bunny slippers. You THINK you’ll be fine and finish all the holiday tasks. You’ll just get up a little earlier in the morning. You’ll just go to bed a little later at night. It’s all about efficiency, you tell yourself.
In the name of this efficiency I decided to brew my morning coffee one day last week right in the bathroom, to get that jolt of caffeine at the earliest possible moment.
I had my little pot all set up on the edge of the sink. It would brew while I took my bath. Brilliant! I thought.
I had tested the water temperature, dipped a toe in the tub and had just lowered myself into the hot suds when I realized I’d forgotten to press “Brew.”
No problem I thought.
I stood up looking like the Michelin Man in my coat of soap bubbles, stretched across the length of our wide old 1940s sink and then…lost my footing. My whole upper body crashed down onto that rock-hard porcelain, causing the coffee pot to SHOOT off the sink and land in the toilet – but not before creating geysers of coffee grounds, which plastered themselves on the walls, the floor and even the ceiling.
That should have acted as a sign for me if I had eyes to see it. It should have been just the lesson I needed.
But no, I had no such eyes. And no, I heeded no lessons – with the result that a worse occurrence followed three days later when I leaped suddenly from our bed to assist my sick ‘roommate.’
It must have been something he ate that day, or maybe it was just one of those pesky stomach viruses that settle in and shiver your timbers for 24 hours.
Anyway, this roommate-slash-spouse felt suddenly sick around midnight and, on waking to realize that this was so, I vaulted from the bed and ran to the bathroom just as he had done.
Thinking to show support, see.
Only once in there, I found myself bouncing against the shower door.
Are you all right? I called to him in a faint voice.
Then I careened in the other direction and bounced off the sink.
This bathroom is two rooms, really, the larger one with the shower and sink in it and the other, far smaller one, with just the ‘facilities.’
That’s the room he’d been, until he heard my voice.
“What’s going on out here?” he said, emerging.
“I’m not sure,” I said.
He walked toward me. “You seem to be falling down,” he said.
“I think I’m falling down,” I said, amazed, and I fainted and did fall, section by section, knees buckling, ankles turning to Silly Putty.
He grasped me under both arms as I dipped and swayed. “What do you want to do?” he said.
“Just let me lie on this nice bathmat a while. “I’m fine,” I said. “I love this bathmat,” I added.
I lay there for a good little spell while my roommate, feeling rather better for his ordeal, went back to bed.
And it was as I lay there that a double realization came to me:
One, too much haste around the holidays really is ill-advised.
And two, have a nice soak in the tub or start pumping in the caffeine, but never, ever, ever try doing both at once.