Something curious is happening to me. I hope it’s not anything to be too concerned about. I’m not napping as much as I used to. For most of my life, if I was on the couch watching a TV show, I’d nod off within five minutes. But a couple of weeks back, I made it through the entire Super Bowl wide awake. Not even Peyton Manning can say that.
This past month I did not take a single nap. Even the dog wondered what happened to our siesta. He kept following me around the house as if to say, “Hey, I’m 80 in dog years. It’s almost 2 p.m. Let’s stretch out and do this.”
Napping has never been a problem. When I was a high school teacher, I actually fell asleep in class while proctoring a statewide exam. The kids were very polite. “I hope we didn’t disturb you yesterday, Mr. Wolfsie,” said one of my students. “We tried to cheat as quietly as we could.”
Up until recently, I could take a quick snooze while having dinner with friends, at red lights, while waiting for my wife to put on makeup, as the dog was relieving himself, at fast food drive-up windows, in check-out lines. Anywhere.
As a result of grabbing the occasional 40 winks, I have missed a few events that in retrospect I probably should have stayed awake for. Here are the top three:
1. My sixty-fifth birthday party (I wish they had screamed “Surprise!” louder)
3. The end of my interview with Governor Evan Bayh
Mary Ellen has never quite understood the value of a nap. Personally, I think women are afraid they’re going to miss something. Like a sale, or a beautiful sunset, or the plot of a movie. Men don’t care about stuff like this. On the rare occasion that Mary Ellen has fallen asleep during the day, she would awaken with an apology and an explanation for her behavior. “I don’t know what happened. I must be coming down with something!” I always had a different attitude when awakening from a short slumber: “Man, that was great. I’m getting better and better at this all the time.”