Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Why I'm proud to sleep around

Yesterday, I updated my résumé.

(Sorry if I ruined your fantasy of authors becoming magically wealthy upon inking a book deal – alas, ‘tis not the case, but that’s an entirely different blog topic. Go here for an interesting article by Sabrina Jeffries on the subject).

But instead of talking about money, I’m talking about skills I take pride in, yet never put on my résumé. Sleeping around is one of them.

I can fall asleep anytime, anywhere, in a matter of seconds. I don’t need darkness or silence. I don’t need a bed. I don’t even need to be reclined.

Pythagoras has long envied me in this, as he struggles with regular bouts of insomnia. He once had a narcoleptic girlfriend (a medical condition that causes people to fall asleep at random, and a word I always confuse with necrophilia, which is an erotic attraction to corpses – not quite the same thing).

I don’t suffer from narcolepsy or necrophilia, but I am capable of falling asleep in some of the most challenging situations. When I was younger, friends liked to drag me to parties. I’m not a very social person, so I was usually tired and bored within an hour. Since my friends were just getting warmed up at this point, my best solution was to find a nice place to curl up and sleep until they came to retrieve me.

They once found me fast asleep in front of a speaker blasting heavy metal music. Another time I conked out sitting upright on a sofa in the middle of a conversation with eight other people.

(Surprisingly, alcohol played no factor here – I rarely drank in my 20s).

There are a few drawbacks to my skill at sleeping around. I have a habit of nodding off in meetings, and often resort to removing an earring and stabbing the back of my hand repeatedly to stay awake. If you’re ever in a meeting with me, you can judge how dull I find it by how many holes are in my hands when it’s over.

Even so, I’m proud of the fact that I never have to count sheep or drink warm milk or stand on my head and yodel in hopes of putting myself in a more relaxed state.

Do you have any unique talents that don’t get included on your résumé but still make you swell with pride? Do share, I’m always looking to expand my skill-set.

Sometimes, a girl's gotta do more than sleep around.

24 comments :

Candyland said...

Uh I envy your sleeping skills. I have the worst time falling asleep.

Bookewyrme said...

Well, I can lick the tip of my elbow. It's one of those things that is supposed to be physically impossible, so it makes a great party-trick. Especially since demonstrating always inspires everyone else to try (and inevitably fail) too.

~Lia

mumfusa said...

i sleep around as well. and i was just in a meeting where i had to pinch myself to stay awake. that's the downside of being so loose with my Zzzzzzz's.

Danica Avet said...

Damn, my talent isn't as impressive as yours, Tawna! But, the only thing I can lay claim to is my ability to match band names with songs from the 60's to the 90's. I'm kind of iffy on modern music, especially pop, but everything else, I'm usually right on.

My boss and his sidekick think it's cool when we go on road trips, but really...classic rock stations play Boston hourly.

P.S. I got my writer snack box in yesterday. Woot-woo!

Delia said...

Nope, can't do it. Can't sleep at will -- I wish. Though, I did fall asleep at a Grateful Dead concert once. There is no greater sedative than Terrapin Station being played for 45 minutes when you're the only person in the joint who's not stoned.

I don't know if it counts, but I'm a storage unit for useless info, song lyrics, and movie quotes. If I've heard it more than once, it sticks. Can't help it.

So, while I can sing you more than one song by Corey Hart, and I can recite the entire screenplay of Real Genius, and I can tell you what that little plastic thingy at the end of your shoelace is called, I cannot fall asleep properly. It's not really a good trick, Google does the same thing. But, oh! just remembered, I can wiggle my nostrils like a bunny. Does that count?

Linda G. said...

I used to be able to tie a knot in a cherry stem using only my teeth and tongue, but I haven't tried it lately. Hmmm. Might be a good excuse to have Manhattans tonight.

Morgan Ives said...

I have no talents.

But...I have a great narcolepsy story! I knew a guy once who married a really vapid girl. Every time she opened her mouth, she said something really stupid. Our friend loved her and didn't want to hurt her feelings, but he was really smart and struggled with her air-headed observations. He actually developed narcolepsy as a mental defense against her talking: whenever she said anything, he fell asleep.

Dinner parties with them were awesome.

Elizabeth Ryann said...

Umm...it's hard coming up with a random talent of my own. Maybe the fact that I probably should've been born a fairy tale princess? I enjoy a good nap, I have long blonde hair, a birthmark in my eye, and animals and small children love me. Inevitably, at any party, all the little kids and animals (well, the mobile ones, like dogs and cats and birds) end up with me. And little kids out in the wild often come running up to tell me stuff. I've learned all kinds of interesting things because of this.

As far as narcolepsy goes, one of our kittens was narcoleptic as a baby. It was incredibly disconcerting. She'd be running across the room, or prancing down the stairs, or protesting having her claws trimmed, and then mid-activity she would just pass out. Watching her collapse into sleep mid-step was incredibly nerve-wracking (like watching her fall down the rest of the stairs, for instance), so I'm pretty grateful she grew out of it.

Patrick Alan said...

I don't need skills. I have a dimple.

KD Easley said...

Elizabeth,
When I read (like watching her fall down the rest of the stairs, for instance) I laughed out loud. I know it's not really funny. Poor little kitten, and I love cats, but that tickled me.

I'm not sure what that says about me actually.

BJ said...

I have a photographic memory -- especially with text. I can remember things I've read quite easily. It sometimes disconcerts people when I can discuss their tweets or e-mails three months after they were written...

However, when it comes to meetings and appointments, my memory fails. Missed a weekly meeting this morning because Outlook forgot to remind me. Went for coffee instead, and the folks in the meeting saw me. ooooops.

Margaret said...

I have to say I share this particular skill. I have fallen asleep standing up at Penn Station and curled under my desk at work (during my lunch break of course).

My oddest skill is socializing feral cats. It takes time and patience, but I seem to have what they need.

ella144 said...

I share the sleep anytime, anywhere skill, as well. Meetings, training sessions, parties, cars (I can sleep on the commute to work. Don't worry, my husband drives. Usually.) Also, once asleep not much can wake me up until my body decides it's ready.

Another skill I'm particularly proud of is I can twist my tongue upside down and I can wiggle my ears. Not much use really, but it always makes my kids laugh.

writermomof5 said...

Oh I'm so jealous! I have insomniac tendencies and must drink copious amounts of coffee to compensate.

As far as talents... I can stretch a penny until it squeaks... does that count?

Claire Dawn said...

WHen I was in the military I used to fall asleep on parade. A couple of times I woke up when someone marched into my back! lol!

I can put an entire orange in my mouth. Not sure where that would be an asset outside the porn world. :(

I have an uncanny knack for remembering phone numbers and birthdays. A teacher called me 3 years after I graduated to get a phone number for another teacher!

Btw, I've got contests on at my blog all week. Stop by!

Elizabeth Ryann said...

KD Easley: oh, believe me, we laughed inappropriately too. The funniest was definitely trimming her claws though. She'd wriggle and be all, "No! No--Zzzzzzzzz." Once we diagnosed her and realized she wasn't hurt or in some sort of coma, it was hysterical.

Dawn said...

Officially jealous. I wish I could fall asleep anywhere, but it's usually my husband who is snoring just seconds after his head hits the pillow.

Kelly Breakey said...

I loved the comment, "I didn't drink alot in my 20's as if to say that all changed once you hit your 30's. When I first read narcoleptic I was thinking kleptomaniac...it was the "c" sound that threw me.

I too envy you this ability to sleep anywhere anytime. The worse for me is airplanes. I. Just. Can't. Do. It. I need a flat surface. Pillow, blankets, a fan whirling overhead. This is for the sound as much as the air.

Be proud of this ability to sleep around. Not too many can do it and get away with it.

Liz Czukas said...

My husband IS narcoleptic and he can fall asleep like you do. My favorite example was also in college. He was sitting on a stool, and leaned back until his head was just propped on the edge of the TV. He fell asleep with a cup of beer in his hand and never spilled a drop. We have a roomful of witness who would testify--not one drop.

My non-resume talent is memorizing song lyrics. Especially to TV theme songs. I've got 'em all. Mostly, it annoys people.

- Liz

Lynne Kelly Hoenig said...

I really, really, tried to master the art of sleeping with my eyes open because it would come in handy for boring meetings. Still working on it.

Tawna Fenske said...

Candyland, of all the traits I inherited from my mother, this is the one I'm most grateful for :)

Bookwyrme, OK you KNOW I totally had to try to lick my elbow after you said that. Couldn't do it, and I'm pretty flexible. Then I told Pythagoras in the shower this morning and he spent a good 5 minutes making the effort. We both bow to your talents.

mumfusa, I used to be terrible about falling asleep in class!

Danica, yaay! I'm glad you got the snack box. You'll have to report back and tell me what you think of the Sen Sens.

Delia, pretty sure you need to post a vlog somewhere with that nostril flare thing!

Linda G, I used to be able to do that, too! Haven't tried it for awhile either. I think you should definitely blog about this and post pics of your attempt!

Morgan, OMG, you totally have to write about that sometime!

Elizabeth, that is the weirdest kitten story I've ever heard. Did you get any video?

Patrick, one dimple or two? It doesn't count if there's only one.

KD Easley, we don't have to feel too bad for laughing at the kitten since she grew out of it :)

BJ, hmmm, how can you use your powers for evil? Counting cards in Vegas maybe?

Margaret, you'll have to share some of your feral cat tips. I've got one I trapped 12 years ago and she's still crazy. Spends 98% of her life hiding under a bed.

ella144, I'm the same way about sleeping like the dead. My husband could drive a bulldozer through the room and I still wouldn't wake up.

writermomof5, you and I have that in common! I used to tell people I'm cheap, but a former boss liked to call me "resourceful." Sounds better, I suppose.

Claire Dawn, thanks for the heads-up on the contests, I'll be sure to stop by!

Dawn, I know it drives my husband nuts that I sleep so easily. Sometimes I think he wants to smother me with a pillow for it.

Kelly, well, my wine snobbery in my 30s has been pretty well documented here (not to mention in my current manuscript!) :)

Liz, that's hysterical about your husband. How often does it happen?

Lynn Kelly, my brother used to sleep with his eyes open. Freaky!

Thanks for reading, guys!
Tawna

Cara Wallace said...

Lia, can you kiss your elbow? You could be part fairy:

http://www.amazon.com/No-Flying-House-Betty-Brock/dp/B000BLKZ0S/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1277920517&sr=1-3

I used to fall asleep at inappropriate moments -- during conversations, at lectures, etc. Doesn't happen anymore, though. I think it was tied to low blood pressure; mine was in the normal range, but at the very low end of normal.

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Margaret said...

Sorry, Tawna, I was on vacation.

The trick with ferals is obviously patience, but what most people don't know is that you have to push too. But it's difficult, because you have to judge it and give them space to adjust to the change.

With your cat, I'd suggest drawing her out slowly (a string is useful, but she may be too old now), but use a blanket and wrap her up in it to cuddle her for a really short time, like five minutes at first, and then release her. This is the most important part. You have to release her gently, not drop her and let her scatter. Oh, and talk to her the whole time. Purr if you can.

Good luck. Most of the ferals I've worked with have been kittens, but we did socialize one cat who was probably about seven at the time, though we don't know for sure.