Every Wednesday evening I set my alarm for 7:45 the next morning. This gives me 15 minutes to debate waking up and 40 minutes to get out the door. I enjoy my sleep time. I take it very seriously. So when I moved into my current apartment I was unhappy to discover that every Thursday morning at 7:30 a green Mitsubishi comes to pick up one of my neighbors to carpool. Why does this upset me and how do I know this event occurs? Mr. Mitsubishi BLARES his horn every morning. Not a gentle “beep, beep”, but one loud, long, aggressive “BEEEEEEEEEEP!!!!!” The first time it happened it ripped me from my bed. I shot up disoriented and anxious, torn from what HAD been a very pleasant dream. Looking out my window, I gave the driver the benefit of the doubt. Surely no one is that inconsiderate. They must have accidently leaned into the steering wheel. It happens.

I no longer feel this way. Every Thursday morning, without fail, Mr. Mitsubishi lays on the horn at 7:30 sharp, shaving my sweet slumber off by 15 entire minutes. I absolutely refuse to set my alarm that extra 15 minutes early to bypass the unpleasant wake-up call. Stubborn? Possibly. But my reasoning is that if I live in an apartment complex and if it’s waking me up, it’s waking everyone else up, too. What, should we all readjust our sleeping schedules so Mr. Inconsiderate can spare himself the effort of calling his friend on the phone, or…I don’t know… perhaps try to wait patiently for his buddy to come out on his own SINCE HE COMES AT THE SAME TIME EVERY WEEK? Of course, my theory of this impressively rude person being a public nuisance kind of crumbles when I very gently complain to my roommate. She, it has been discovered, can sleep through anything. And amazingly this includes the incredibly obnoxious horn blower. As I rant and mutter expletives on Thursday mornings she is ever so sympathetic but always irritatingly well rested. Good for you, roomie, good for you.

As the months wear on, I no longer jump out of bed in surprise but always wake up irritated. Angry, even. That was fifteen minutes–one quarter of an hour of warm, cozy oblivion–that you, unthoughtful one, have just ripped from me. I typically roll over, pull the covers over my head, and pretend to sleep for 15 minutes more. On especially bad mornings, though, I get out of bed and look out the window and contemplate going down to give Mr. Mitsubishi a piece of my mind. Unfortunately, confrontation kind of terrifies me. So instead I always just end up thinking hateful thoughts and stare at him really, really hard.

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