the smell of my desperation has become a stench

That no college roommate plotted my slow and painful death is a total mystery

While looking for things to feature in a Black Friday/Cyber Monday round up of deals I stumbled across this t-shirt and immediately thought, if I ever get a tattoo it’s going to be this in giant block letters across my forehead so that no one ever has any doubt as to where I stand on this issue.

Waking up is the absolute worst part of any day regardless of whatever horrible thing has happened that day. Once someone drew up an official court document to try to convince a judge that my depression made me an unfit mother (True story! I’ve mentioned this before! It never gets old!) and still. STILL. I was like, yeah, that sucked, but remember when I had to open my eyes this morning? If I can survive that bullshit, I’m going to be walking the earth alone with the cockroaches after the apocalypse.

The only way that I have managed to make getting out of bed in the morning even remotely bearable is criminal overuse of the snooze button. And I do not care who knows or how harshly you are judging me for it because, guess what? I am awake to write these words. Wanna know how? THE SNOOZE BUTTON. Wanna know how much snooze button? Once I did it for four hours straight and didn’t once get remotely annoyed. Because every time the alarm would go off I’d realize, “NINE MORE MINUTES MOTHERFUCKERS.” And that feeling was the exact same feeling I had whenever I’d walk into the cafeteria in high school during lunch and realize, holy shit! They made Rice Krispie treats today? GUESS WHOSE GOT CASH BURNING A HOLE IN HER POCKETS MOTHERFUCKERS.

I don’t do four hours of snooze-button-pushing very often, but every morning I set my alarm for 6AM and hit that delightful option five times. Yep! One, two, three, four, FIVE! 45 minutes of snooze-button hitting. And I love it. As much as I hate waking up, I adore the snooze button in equal proportion. The first time it goes off I am almost overcome to the point of orgasm with this thought: “I have 45 more minutes to lie in this bed and do nothing.” For those of you who would use that 45 minutes to be productive human beings, I salute you. You are a total badass. Except, I’m getting 45 more minutes of sleep. Which means by a wide scientific margin I am far more enjoyable to hang out with.

Recently someone suggested that I try a wake-up light (specifically this Philips Wake-up Light) to ease the pain of the actual waking up part that occurs at the end of the snooze-button-hitting. And I was reluctant because I figured that nothing in this world can take way the pain of having to abandon my warm bed for the onslaught of human existence.

You could walk into my bedroom at 6:36AM, lean down and gently whisper in my ear that Radiohead had assembled in my living room with an orchestra and a special appearance by Björk to play the soundtrack to my morning routine with my kids, and I’d mumble angrily through gritted teeth, “Tell them I need nine more minutes.”

But what the hell? Why not? Having a light turn on by itself very slowly next to my head in the morning wouldn’t be creepy at all! Why not cover the clock’s face with a transparent clown mask and have its giant red nose blow up like a balloon with each buzz of the alarm? Better yet, just have a gaggle of rattlesnakes crawl out of the alarm into my bed and let me choose between a pretty quick and horrific death, or, you know, a very tempting few more minutes of slumber.

HINT: Slumber wins that one.

But what the fuck do you know! Here come the exclamation points! Because I am now waking up before the alarm goes off! Like, wide the fuck awake! This has to be witchcraft or voodoo or my mother specifically wrote “Please let this wake-up light work on my daughter so that she doesn’t litter the internet with more needless profanity, Heavenly Father” on a prayer list in the temple. What the hell is going on?

Now, don’t think I’ve gone batshit bonkers and given up the snooze button. I still use one to make sure that I don’t fall back asleep. But the stinging pain of waking up has been slowly slipping away over the last few weeks that I’ve been using this thing, and I am so horrified that I am just the tiniest bit closer to becoming a tolerable adult. BARF.

And just like that I have accidentally written a yelp review of a goddamn alarm clock: 4 stars! Would recommend it to the horrible person who sleeps next to you and tortures you with her sociopathic obsession with the snooze button. Much more legal and humane that smothering her slowly with her own pillow.

  • Alicia

    2017/11/29 at 9:38 am

    I’ve been using a Phillips wake up light (older model) for about 4 years and it was the best decision. It’s so hard to wake up in a dark room. Having a nice light slowly brighten up your room and then the sounds of birds chirping to wake you up instead of a nuclear blast sound…amazing! I highly recommend these lights.

  • Heather Armstrong

    2017/11/29 at 9:54 am

    Again, I was suer doubtful but now I am a convert. Totally agree.

  • Diane Hicks

    2017/11/29 at 11:54 am

    And ditto. I am/was a chronic snoozer buttoner…no longer! I’m Australian, and had to have mine shipped, conversion rates, extra power adapter blah blah blah, but it actually works. It’s especially effective through winter when it’s almost criminal to be getting out of bed in what seems like the dead of night…

  • bluesurly

    2017/11/29 at 12:20 pm

    I too am a snooze button lover – may have to try this light….

  • trish

    2017/11/29 at 1:32 pm

    I’m intrigued, but not sold. Because I’m hella annoyed when sunlight streams through my window and wakes me up. And I feel like this alarm clock would be more of that. Is it more of that?

    Side note: most of the yelling I do at my kids involves me and sleep.

  • Heather Armstrong

    2017/11/29 at 4:21 pm

    It is not like that at all. It very slowly lights up a gentle yellow light and is not intrusive like a beam of sunshine. I really planned to hate the thing and even plotted how I was going to destroy it… but then I didn’t hate it. I’m trying to figure out how to fit it into my carryon for when I travel, I can’t imagine going back.

  • randomthoughts

    2017/11/29 at 7:16 pm

    Yup… have it, love it. In the cold Canadian winters when I have to wake up in pitch black it keeps me sane.

    I also use the sunset simulation to go to sleep at night since not only do i have trouble waking up but getting to sleep as well.

  • Connie Petruzziello

    2017/11/29 at 9:19 pm

    This post spoke to me. I bought it. I’m excited for a life changing transformation.

  • RW

    2017/11/30 at 7:16 am

    I’ve always been terrible at mornings and I got one of these a few years ago because my GF has the typical French obsession with blinds and can’t sleep unless they are completely shut. Whereas if you leave me in a room with the blinds pulled shut and no light on I would just sleep for days on end. It worked really well and I got to enjoy that “I still have time in bed” feeling for a few minutes before the alarm went off. Definitely second your recommendation.

    I can’t use it in our current apartment for lack of space (I’m looking for a smaller, wireless alternative). But I’ve found that an even better but less marketable alternative is Guilt About Your Senior Dog Who Needs to Pee and Take His Meds. If the pitter patter of his “Gotta go” dance doesn’t wake me before the alarm, then my second thought immediately after the alarm sounds (the first being “FUUUUUCK not yet”) is “My poor sweet boy is waiting on me and holding it is miserable and what if he only has days to live and I am making him spend his final hours trying not to piss his bed?”.

    Because he only ever pees on his bed. Because he is perfect and doesn’t want to bother his humans with a mess on the floor we might walk on. (We have never, ever yelled at him for an accident, he was already 10 when we got him so when he did start having a few dribbles we knew it was because he couldn’t help it. But who knows how past guardians reacted?)

    As miserable as I usually am in the morning, walks make him SO happy and I am just so glad he is still here and having good moments that I end up feeling fine when I sit down to breakfast before the sun is up. When we do eventually lose him, I’m probably going to need to install floodlights over the bed if I ever hope to get out of it again.

  • Sarah Tate Dunlap

    2017/11/30 at 10:06 am

    They have an app version so you might not even have to fit yours in your suitcase!

  • Marissa

    2017/12/01 at 7:26 am

    I also LOVE the snooze, for the same reasons. The joy of waking up and knowing that I can sleep for nine more minutes is unparalleled — waking up at 3:00 am and realizing I can sleep more is one of my favorite small pleasures.

    I am also tickled to see that I have two of the same books currently on my night stand: “We Are Never Meeting in Real Life” and “Yes Please.”

    Do you think the wake up light will help get a 17 yr old man/boy out of bed without the daily fight?

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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