Monday, August 30, 2010

Curmudgeon Rant

by Jo Robertson

Normally, I’m a happy, cheerful person. I rarely wake up grumpy (unless I’m sick) and I’m generally given to optimistic greetings and lots of pleasant chatter.

Sadly, I live with two men who stumble from bed with a hangover kind of cloud hovering around their heads.

Grumpy, grumpy, grumpy. And neither one drinks!

I’ve learned not to speak to them until it’s nearly noon. Neither drinks coffee so I don’t even have that luxury to magically transform them into something approaching normal.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m a half-empty sort of gal. A realist, a skeptic, a cynic, a doubter of the highest order. But grumpy? No way, no how.

What about you? Cheery or grumpy in the mornings? Do you face each day with a little skip of joy or do such persons, quite frankly, make you sick to your stomach?

Do you need your pickmeup whatever before you're fit to talk to anyone? Or do you leap out of bed ready to meet the world?


Jane said...


Jane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jane said...

Hi Jo,
I am definitely grumpy in the morning. I feel better after my shower and cup of tea or coffee. There are some days where I wake up in an okay mood and I'm actually quite optimistic that it's going to be a good day.

jo robertson said...

Yay, Jane, congrats on capturing the rooster. Hmmm, wonder if the dude's cheerful or grumpy. He's so randy, it's hard to tell LOL.

jo robertson said...

You might be in the majority, Jane. Most people I know wake up a tad on the groggy at best, downright meanie-grumps at worst. I suspect it's a brain thing, don't you?

Donna MacMeans said...

Okay - I admit I'm NOT a morning person. But that relates more to brain functioning than grumpiness. Even if awakened early, I try to be pleasant (no aspirations to be cheerful...pleasant is fine first thing). I do need a cold Diet Coke or Diet Dr. Pepper as a precursor to breakfast to chase the cobwebs from my brain. Overly cheerful people before 9 AM get on my nerves...fortunately none live in my house.

flchen1 said...

Oh my... SO not a morning person! Left to my own devices, I'm sure I'd happily sleep in until noon. Alas, the kids really suck the air way out of that dream balloon ;) Occasionally DH gets them going and lets me sleep in--that's a treat! I'm not necessarily grumpy, but let's just say that I don't leap out of bed energized and ready to face the world! Enjoy the GR, Jane!

Helen said...

Well done Jane have fun with him

I wake up fine in the mornings although I do like some time to myself before everyone starts chatting to me LOL. When the kids were young I used to set my alarm for at least an hour before they normally got up so as I could have a cup of coffee without them asking where their shoes etc were and I still like to get up to a house to myself but never grumpy in the mornings and hubby isn't grumpy either, all I need is some quiet time and then I am ready to face most things

Have Fun

MsHellion said...

Definite grump. And it might be grumpy all day if you play your cards right and tick me off. My student worker was trained pretty early in the game--fast learner she was--not to talk to me before 9 am. And it would be best to listen for the crack of the Mountain Dew can and wait 30 minutes--then it would be semi-safe to wish me good morning and I would offer something more than a glower.

Do not care for chatter so early in the morning. From 10 am on, it's okay, but not the first couple hours. I will put on the TODAY show first thing and they're perky and chatty, but they're on TV so it's not like I have to interact or agree with their "Good morning!"

I don't exactly wake up and think, "This is going to be a bad day." I usually either have to have something go wrong in the shower...or I oversleep...or most likely, the traffic on the way to work is a nightmare--that makes me think it's going to be a bad day. *LOL*

MsHellion said...

Incidentally it's 1 am here...and I haven't been to bed yet but I have to be at work at 8 am...tomorrow might be a bad day. :)

PinkPeony said...

Hi Jo!
I'm not a morning person. Must have very strong coffee first thing and check my emails and read a couple papers on-line before I can do anything. On the weekends, Mr. Perky (husband), who's already had the car washed, oil changed and made a trip to Home Depot, goes through his restaurant rundown for the weekend. I can't think about lunch or dinner until I see the bottom of the coffee cup.Congrats on the GR, Jane.

Christine Wells said...

Hi Jo! Good question--I tend not to be ferociously grumpy but I'm not at my best in the morning when I have a 3yo chattering the pants off me. I need to at least have a good strong cup of coffee before I can cope with that! However, I do get up very early in the morning to write and I don't feel especially grumpy then... as long as everyone leaves me alone to write:) Hmm, maybe I am a bit of a cranky pants in the morning!

Congrats on the rooster, Jane!

Daz said...

Congrats on the rooster Jane. Have fun with him today.

I'm not a morning person, that said, I'm much less grumpy now than I was 10 years ago. Maybe age is mellowing me out? These days, the boy can talk to me in the morning and I will do more than just grunt or growl at him. Lucky him. :-)

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Sorry, I am a grump. I don't do perky, my coffee cup says so. Even after I have my one cup of coffee in the mornings I am mostly silent until around noon. I am not going to take your head off or anything, but I am not inclined to chattiness either.

barb said...

Good one Jane ... enjoy your day with GR

HI Jo I think I am cheerful especially these days as I am retired and can get up when I like not like 5.00am when I worked .... I like nothing better than having my breakfast, a cuppa and a good book LOL

Gannon Carr said...

I'm grumpy if I haven't gotten enough sleep, and the rest of the family wants to talk and ask me a dozen annoying questions. Most of the time, though, I'm just slow to get going in the morning. Gotta have my coffee to jump start the old engine! *g*

gamistress66 said...

I'm not much of a morning person -- hate having to crawl out from a nice cozy comfy bed. If the sun's not up -- don't expect me to get up (you will not want me to be up). Other than too early, I'm in between, some mornings better some worse, but in general I say I'm slightly anti-social till I fully wake up.

Kennan said...

i'm happiest at night. kids are asleep. quiet outside. i can talk to my husband or ride my bike or read. no chores to do. endless possibilities! but morning is hit or miss with me.

i will say my mom VERY cheerful (when she's not sick :)

Christie Kelley said...

I'm not terribly grumpy in the morning. But I do need my coffee before I do anything (including talking to people). My oldest is like me. He can get out of bed pretty quick but likes to have something to eat before he's really awake. My husband and youngest are the grumpy boys of the morning in my house. They are not morning people at all!

Joan said...

I'm sorry...I'd respond to this blog in more depth but it's too early, dammit!!!

Um, guess you can see I am NOT a morning person.

I just need time. I tell everyone at work "Don't talk to me until 10 am" (which presents its own problems as I arrive at work at 6:30 am)

And what do they do? Go out of their WAY to talk to me......


A Diet Coke helps, but still...people....mark it down. 10 am

Nancy said...

Jane, congrats on bagging the rooster. Don't let him give you any nonsense.

Jo, I'm not a morning person but neither am I grumpy--as long as no one expects a high level of interaction from me before about 10 am. Give me coffee, maybe some cereal, and the NYT crossword puzzle,and when I finish those things, I'm good to go.

The schedule at RWA national and chapter conferences is always put together by morning people. Everything always starts so freaking EARLY. If you're not down by 8:30 or so, sometimes 8:00, you miss breakfast. Seminars roll out immediately thereafter, about the time I think about surfacing.

Not being a morning person, I tend to stay up with my fellow creatures of the night until the wee hours. This means 8:30 isn't on the agenda. Sometimes 9:30 isn't either.

One of my best evenings in Orlando saw me on Peter Pan at 9:15 pm or so, Dumbo at 9:30 (wondering why all those little tiny kids in other elephants were still up), and Buzz Lightyear (I scored 180,000 points but I prefer the laser guns in California because they actually come out of the blinkin' sockets and are easier to aim) at 9:45 or so. Or maybe those were all in the 10 pm hour--I forget, but it was late. Then I watched the fireworks, went back to the hotel, and sat up with friends until after one.

So going to RWA always sets off my inner curmudgeon because the schedule is so not for me personally.

DragonCon, where things get rolling around 11 am, suits me much better. The hotel bar rocks until it shuts down, and then people hang in the lobby. At 9:30, most of the con is still asleep. And the writer track goes until 11:00 and is always hopping.

Nancy said...

Yay! Look at all these not-morning people!

We need t-shirts. :-)

Joan said...


We can talk to each other now cause it is 11 am where I live.

So, I need to um ask..."if something goes wrong in the shower?"

Um, maybe I don't

TALK to you later :-0

Nancy said...

PinkPeony, my husband gets up early and goes out to do stuff, too. He rolls out, revs up, and starts his day.

I just so do not understand this.

Pissenlit said...

Oddly enough, whether I'm a morning person or not depends on whether I get woken up by an alarm clock in a darkened room with covered windows or by the sun shining in through uncovered windows. I much prefer the latter and wake up easier and in a much better mood even if I'm waking up at sunrise.

I don't need a pickmeup before I'm fit to talk to anyone but I don't guarantee that I'll think straight before my cup of tea. :)

jo robertson said...

Hi, ya'll, sorry for my late appearance. Dr. Big decided this would be a good day to pass a kidney stone, so I shoved him out of the car and made my way back to the Lair which is way more fun than the ER!

Just kidding of course, but my presence on the blog today may be spotty.

So tell me, is passing a kidney stone worse than having a baby?

MsHellion said...

So, I need to um ask..."if something goes wrong in the shower?"

Actually that wasn't from experience, though I have put my conditioner in my hair before I've washed it...but otherwise, I've not had a shower problem. Not even when I've been horsing around it and probably deserved it.

jo robertson said...

LOL, Donna. I like that early morning Pepsi before I start my breakfast too. I'm sure it's unhealthy, but it is what it is.

jo robertson said...

Hi, Flchen1! I remember being that way in college -- ah, the beauty of those days. Of course, I was burning the other end pretty hot!

Nancy said...

MsHellion wrote: I have put my conditioner in my hair before I've washed it

I've been known to wet my hair but forget the actual shampoo part.

jo robertson said...

Helen said, " When the kids were young I used to set my alarm for at least an hour before they normally got up so as I could have a cup of coffee without them"

What a smart idea! I love to have my alone time too. Nothing worse than someone asking you all sorts of questions where you actually have to think when you haven't had any ME time yet.

Nancy said...

Pissenlit, I much prefer natural awakening, too. There's just something so . . . harsh about the alarm!

jo robertson said...

ROTFLOL, Ms Hellion! It's imperative to have a well-trained assistant/co-worker/whatever to know your stages of "reading to greet the world."

Ouch on the 1 a.m. I was up late too but only b/c my husband conspired to pass this kidney stone -- I'm sure it's a conspiracy!

Nancy said...

Jo wrote: So tell me, is passing a kidney stone worse than having a baby?

I've passed a kidney stone and had a baby, luckily not at the same time, so I feel qualified to address this issue.

No, having a kidney stone was nowhere near as bad as having a baby.

Of course, there are kidney stones and kidney boulders. Can't speak to the latter.

I hope the problem resolves quickly.

Anna Sugden said...

I had to LOL about this, Jo, as lovely hubby and I had this very discussion this morning. He is an up and at 'em kinda guy. As soon as his eyes are open, he's off and active and chirpy and full of life.

Me ... not so much. I'm not grumpy, so much as slow. I need time to wake up properly and get my brain working. A nice hot cup of tea works wonders, then a few chapters of my latest read.

I need lots of sleep, though, so grumpiness tends to creep in when I've been short-changed on sleep.

OTOH - I'm much more chipper at the other end of the day *g*. When lovely hubby is getting tired and grumpy - I'm the chirpy one!

Anna Sugden said...

Poor Dr Big - not a comfortable way to spend the day!

jo robertson said...

Pink, I think you slow-to-wake-up people are sooooo funny. Sounds like you've got Mr. Perky trained, however.

Christine, writers with young children definitely have to be up either early in the morning or late at night. It's not like the kids give you time out. "Go to your room, mom!" I used to pray to hear those words!

jo robertson said...

Daz, I do think there's something to that getting older thing that changes the pattern. You know how you see all those really old people (not us, of course!) dozing off at the drop of a hat?

You're certainly in the majority so far, Dianna. Makes me want to burst into song, "Where have all the perkies gone, long time passing?"

jo robertson said...

Yay, one for the early riser, Barb. I think retirement makes a big difference, don't you. If you lose a bit of sleep, you can make it up in the afternoon.

Hi, Gannon. I think more and more of us, cheerful or otherwise, need those jumpstarts in the morning. Hmmm, wonder if the pioneers felt the same way?

jo robertson said...

Gamistress, having the sun actually shine in the window makes a difference. Although I do hate it blasting through at 6:00 when I'm still trying to sleep in the summer!

Hi, K-K!! Otherwise known as Kennan. I know you love the nighttime, always did. We use to roll our eyes b/c you'd start getting dressed up about 10:30 at night!

jo robertson said...

Christie and Joanie, at opposite ends of the spectrum!

I can't believe you have a 6:30 a.m. shift when you're not a morning person, Joan. Yikes!

I do believe that it has a lot to do with a person's brain wave patterns or whatever. I know that if I stay up past 10:30 or 11:00 I may as well forget sleeping altogether. My adrenaline kicks in and I'm good for the night. Not so good when I crash the next day, however.

jo robertson said...

OMG, Nancy, I knew you were smart. If I looked at the NYT crossword puzzle in the morning, I'd definitely turn grumpy!

Have you been watching that new show on A&E called RUBICON? It starts off with a crossword puzzle connection/anomaly. It's interesting.

jo robertson said...

Oh, yeah, MsHellion, I want to know what goes wrong in the shower too!

That's interesting, Pissenlit. Maybe you're one of those people who really needs lots and lots of sunlight. My daughter's like that. I swear she has a million windows in her house, always full out open, to let the sunshine in.

Me, I'm a mole. I like to burrow in the dark.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...


It warms the cockles of Aunty's grumpy lil heart to see how many Lair regulars are "NOT morning people!"

EVERYONE knows Aunty is a night owl who does not function before 10 am. Yes, Joanie, I am in favor of posting a LARGE SIGN. ;-) And maybe next to it, a picture of Ermingarde with a caption: Heads bitten off here. LOL!


jo robertson said...

MsHellion said, "I've not had a shower problem. Not even when I've been horsing around it and probably deserved it."

Ha! Anyone horsing around in the shower deserves kudoes in my book!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Jane! You nabbed him! Hahah! Needless to say the GR IS a morning "person"


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Forgot to say CONGRATS on the GR, Jane! He hasn't been in the Big Apple in awhile, has he? I'm sure he'll be struttin down 5th Ave. in no time. :-P


Joan said...

I can't believe you have a 6:30 a.m. shift when you're not a morning person, Joan. Yikes!

It was the lesser of two evils Jo as I am NOT a night owl either. I'm really more of a "mid afternoon person" 12 noon to 3p

I've had neither baby or stone but I do know the first time I had to use that pain scale was on a kidney stone patient who was WRITHING on the bed. "Pain 0-10"?

If looks could have killed....

jo robertson said...

LOL, Anna S., at least one of you is cheerful at some time so you've got the whole 24 hours covered!

Hey, AC! I knew exactly how you'd weigh in. For those who don't know, NO ONE calls AC before 10:00 a.m. and NO ONE calls me after 9:00 pm. Since we're critique partners, it's kind of weird!

jo robertson said...

Hey all, I'm off to check up on Dr. Big in the emergency room.

At times like these I wish he were a REAL doctor, you know, the kind that actually does somebody good?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Jo, do give our condolences to Dr. Big, but let's just say here that YOU need the condolences for dealing with him at this point. Those things HURT, I hear, and while not like labor, acc. to dear Nancy, there's no cherubic child to look forward to at the end. Just relief from the gawd-awful pain.

Which I'm sure is relief enough! Haha!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Aww, Jo, Dr. Big does a lot of good. Just not right now... Grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

hey, I STILL forgot to answer the question. :>

I'm NOT a morning person, and yes, Nancy we should have T-Shirts. Or for me, some days, a sign as AC suggested, with the bit about heads bitten off. Grins. Ketchup optional.

Like several others have mentioned, I'm not mean with it, I'm just uncommunicative. Unintelligible too. Snork.

Its as if my body is awake for the reasons it has to be - getting kids to school, meetings, etc. - but the brain just does NOT kick into gear until 9:30 or 10 am.

And like you, Jo, heaven forbid I get that second wind at night, around 10 pm. Then, all bets are off as to how late I'll be up. Something for which I often pay the piper when it comes to getting the kids up!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Ugh on the perky spouses.

I have one of those too. He is most decidedly a Morning Person. And yes, I mean with capital letters.

Fortunately, it's a great working deal for us, because he can have his "man-time" in the morning before I arise, and I can have my ME time after he's snoring. Grins.

It works for us.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Forgot to say too, that I had a roomie in college who was SUCH a morning person I nearly killed her.

I was much grumpier in the morning whilst still in school. Probably because I didn't yet drink coffee. Hahaha!

She would get up, and since there was no one else up to talk to (me) she would talk to herself.
"Wow, what a beautiful day!" (grrr, it's raining, perfect to stay in BED!)
"I think I'll make eggs. Toast would be good too. Oh, I feel so GOOD this morning!"
(Not for long chickie-poo as I'm going to suffocate you WITH an egg...)
Not hearing my thoughts she would continue in this vein, never quite grasping how close to death she skirted every single day.


Nancy said...

Jo and Jeanne, I also get a second wind around 10 pm, and then I'm good until about two. The dh, who rolled out, revved, and went, however, crashes about nine. He half watches, half sleeps through the geeky shows we both love that never seem to come on until midnight--wormholes, origins of man, ancient civilizations, all that stuff.

Why are those never on until so late?

Jo, I have not seen Rubicon. I've been intrigued by the descriptions, but I've never seen the beginning and so tend to feel at sea when I tune in. I'll have to make a point of checking out that show.

I got into crosswords when I was in bed for a month after back surgery, and the habit has stuck with me. One Christmas, the dh and his sister-in-law gave me the exact same crossword puzzle book! The good thing is, if you wait a while, you forget how you worked the puzzle before.

Beth said...

I'm not a morning person but I'm not grumpy, just quiet - which my family seems to enjoy *g*

My husband on the other hand, loves mornings. He's chipper and eager to get going while I like to sort of...ease...into the day :-) But I have to admit I was pretty darn happy this morning as it was the first day of school!!

catslady said...

I may not like to get out of bed but once my feet hit the floor I'm fine. I get half as much sleep as my husband and he's still grumpy and we both drink coffee lol.

PinkPeony said...

Hey, lots of non-morning people here! I'm trying to change my sleep schedule so I'll get up earlier and have a more productive day, but sleep doesn't come easy for me, and lately, I've been having nightmares about my characters arguing with me. (Is this normal?)I write best between eleven p.m. and three a.m.
Jo, I hope your husband gets well soon. I had a friend who was pregnant and had kidney stones. Ouch.

Suzanne Ferrell said...

LOL, Jo, I'm glad you live in Cali if you're that cheery-once-your-eyes-open kind of girl!

I am a grump. I can get up and function. But don't talk to me. Don't expect me to be interested in anything you have to say, not even if you're on fire. I need 15 minutes to an hour. AND God forbid I walk into work in the evening, having gotten up grumpy less than an hour before and some cheery people start pushing me to chit-chat at work. They meet STONEY SILENCE. Seriously. Now nine PM? I'm your woman. 2 hours after I get up in the morning? Yeah, I can be social. Fresh out of bed? Nope, not gonna happen.

And apparently this runs in families.

MY daughter AND her daughter wake up just as cranky! Poor SIL has finally learned to just leave them both alone. Now if he could talk to HIS FIL, my hubby.....hmmmm

Barbara Monajem said...

I'm cheerful in the mornings, even early. I don't need coffee or tea, but I sure like it. Toward the end of the day, though, I become grumpy and irritable and totally irrational. Grrrowwwwllll.

PJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PJ said...

The employees at the Operations Center of the bank where I used to work once gave me an award for "Most Perky in the Morning." Although accurate, I don't think they meant it to be a compliment! lol!

Louisa Cornell said...

Congrats, Jane ! See if he wakes up grumpy or nice and let us know.

I am SO not a morning person! The bad part of that? I have to be at work at 7 in the morning! People who work with me KNOW not to talk to me until I have had at least one caffeinated beverage, preferably two.

Too many years spent sleeping until 11 AM, doing brunch, doing rehearsals or sound checks, eating a light snack and then snoozing in the makeup chair before an 8 PM curtain makes Louisa NOT A MORNING PERSON !!

You all think I want to become a full-time writer because of the passion I have for the art of craft of it?

NO! I just want to finally get some SLEEP !! Writers can work in the middle of the night and spend all day in their jammies if they want to. When I roll over to the blare of a six AM alarm clock, trust me, the prospect of working in my PJ's has a definite appeal!

Gannon Carr said...

Yay! Look at all these not-morning people!

We need t-shirts. :-)

Great idea, Nancy!

jo robertson said...

Hi, Louisa, that's as good a reason as any to be a writer. I love the "staying in your jammies" part!

I'm surprised by how many people hate getting up early, but have early jobs! I guess there aren't that many options, huh?

I was thinking about our poor nurses and their 12-hour shifts this week while running to the ER!

jo robertson said...

PJ said, "The employees at the Operations Center of the bank where I used to work once gave me an award for "Most Perky in the Morning."

I'm LOL at this PJ. When did being perky become a liability?

jo robertson said...

Hi, Barbara! My teens were like that and I always thought they needed to eat. Low blood sugar or something. First thing I always asked when they got home from school was "Are you hungry?"

jo robertson said...

Suz said, "LOL, Jo, I'm glad you live in Cali if you're that cheery-once-your-eyes-open kind of girl!"

I think I'm ready to switch sides, Suz. Seems like all the fun folks are grumpy in the morning LOL.

Cassondra said...

Oh Dear God, Jo....

You're one of THOSE.

You're perky in the mornings.

It really is a them-us kind of thing.

I do not wish to speak or be spoken to until I've gone to the bathroom, stared into the mirror for a good long while, contemplating waking up, and then, over a few cups of coffee and some quiet (birds singing doesn't hurt, nor do the sounds of farm life around me--roosters are good)I will gradually, gently come to life. About 10 in the morning..or, more realistically, 11:30....I'll be ready for conversation.

Before then? Leave me alone. Everyone will be better off if you do.

Jane, congrats. And I'm so glad you're grumpy in the mornings. I don't feel quite so alone now. :0)

jo robertson said...

ROTFL, Cassondra. I'll be sure to keep out of your way next time we meet at National.

Although, I have to say that getting older does diminish the cheeriness in the morning. Something about body aches and pains LOL.