Geri-Antics: The Ramblings of a Crazy Old Broad
I was never a child who begged her parents to turn on a nightlight before leaving the room after tucking me into bed.
That’s not to say the hall tree on which my father’s overcoat and Fedora hung didn’t morph into a dark stranger from time-to-time and threaten to murder me in my sleep.
Thankfully, those childhood fears vanished after I reached puberty. I now require total darkness to achieve a good night’s sleep.
Recently, when a new neighbor moved in behind me, I introduced myself across the fence. Sadly, as our lives are so busy, I must confess I haven’t seen her since that day.
I don’t know whether she lives alone, except for two large dogs, or if she has a fear of things that go bump in the night, but she’s taken to leaving her back porch light on all night, and therein lies the rub.
We both have bright LED outdoor lights. Even the city has replaced street lights with the new LED bulbs. They’re more efficient. The problem is, street lights remain on from dusk till dawn, and now my neighbor’s back porch light does as well. Between the two, my bedroom is as bright as a Macy’s holiday display. It’s like trying to sleep next door to Clark Griswold’s house on Christmas Eve.
After losing an entire night’s sleep the first night of this simulated daylight extravaganza, I sealed any gaps in my black, thermal drapes with velcro, closed the underlying room-darkening blinds, and inched a little closer to my goal of zero light.
Technology, however, continued to invade my blessed darkness, disturb my reverie and harsh my mellow.
In my tiny 8 x 10 foot bedroom, I have an internet modem with a panel of six blue lights, a TV and DVD player, both are backlit, a digital alarm clock and a computer that blinks while it awaits my return.
There’s also a security system with display lights, a digital cable box with a very bright blue “on” button and white time/channel display on the front.
I try not to think about the effect these electronic intruders might have on my physical well-being. I realize I might as well sleep in the microwave.
Still, my main concern remains the impact on my sleep.
I am resourceful. I got out my black electrical tape and covered what I could of the carnival of lights blinking throughout my haven of rest, but I realized some lights must remain exposed to allow me to change channels with the remote control. Still, I woke up several times a night, thinking it was morning, because of the light show.
Finally, one evening as sleep eluded me, I started watching a favorite movie on TV. It was then I noticed Cameron Diaz preparing for a transcontinental flight by donning a black sleep mask.
The very next day, I went thrift shopping at Dollar Tree. For the low, low price of just $1, I found a fashionable black satin sleep mask adorned with sequins that spell out “do not disturb.”
I now sleep like a baby.
As a bonus, should the Lone Ranger pay a visit in the middle of the night, I’ll be all set for a midnight ride with a hearty, “Hi-ho Silver!”
Anne Carmichael is a lifestyle columnist who contributes monthly to the Jessamine Journal.