Remember when you were a little kid and one (or more) of your grandparents would talk about never sleeping?
For me, it was my paternal grandmother, my Nonna.
“No, I never sleep. One or two hours a night is all I need,” she’d say.
Wait. What? What homosapien could survive on such scarce slumber? I remember becoming frightened that Nonna was perhaps, how you say, otherworldly?
In fact, I worried she might actually be a vampire. Once I even feverishly searched her attic for a human-sized bat perch --like a sturdy pipe or beam-- from which I feared she might be invertedly napping occasionally. AAAACK!
Okay, not really.
However, I did think that a person getting little to no sleep over the course of an evening was folklore; or exaggeration; or exaggerated folklore.
Then I turned 50. #NotJokingAnymore
On a really good night, I get about five full hours of sleep. Not in a row, mind you.
Nor is it that deep, heavy Rapid-Eye-Movement (REM) stage everybody’s always blathering on and on about being so vital to good physical and mental health … or whatever.
Pishaw. Now that I am old enough to know better, I realize Nonna was right all along: the average grown-up does not require all that much rest.
Sure, I’m tired all the time. Yes, I fall into a near coma at the end of the day the minute I stop moving 8,437 miles per hour. Fine, yeah, I might be a little immune-compromised from what I’d call a MINOR case of sleep deprivation.
Did you hear that? Ahem, oh, was I getting to a point? Right: there are many advantages to being wide-awake when normal, er, weak, pathetic humans are insisting on getting recommended sleep requirements. Wimps.
Bet they all drink eight glasses of regular water everyday, too, without having strained any coffee grounds and blistering hot water through it, either. Little eager-beaver, overachievers probably don’t do ANY caffeine…including and especially diet soda or as I like to call it, water. Hmpf.
Either way. Some of the advantages of being an insomniac are:
Getting a jump on that Christmas shopping. When you’re one of only a handful of people calling Cindy Crawford’s beauty or Marie Osmond’s exercise whatchamacallit line, it’s amazing the deals you get! Like paying a mere $400 for the latest Crow’s Feet fighter. Sure, your four-year-old great niece might not appreciate it NOW, but she will when she’s old and decrepit and snooze-challenged, I’ll tell ya that much!
Solving some of life’s greatest mysteries. Have you ever wondered what happens to the last firefly of summer? Where does it go---and when—and why? Or, maybe it’s the ocean that enthralls you. Pondering how all that salt got in there or what the tiniest creature is under the sea? Guess what has no closing time? The Internet, y’all! Search away.
Enriching your knowledge of national film. American Movie Classics (AMC) and Turner Classic Movies (TCM) are always hiding some cinematic gem like 1998’s “Cocktail” starring Tom Cruise as the world’s jerkiest bartender and boyfriend or Mariah Carey’s “Glitter” (which was only slightly better than her Times Square debacle a few years ago) or “Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan.” What, Jason can’t like nice things?
Okay fine, maybe I need to get a little more shut eye. Admit it, though, you’re still wondering about the lightning bug…
Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist offering a posthumous, long overdue apology to her Nonna. Check out her blog during your waking hours www.patriciakimerer.com