down with morning people

by nadine von cohen

You know who’s the worst? Morning people. Morning people are the worst. They think they’re the best, but they’re the worst. I’m sorry if you yourself are a morning person, but you’re the worst. You may be perfectly delightful and knit sweaters for cold penguins, but you’re still the worst.  

I’m a night person. I think clearer at night, I write better at night and I get more shit done at night. I also prefer to exercise at night, but tell that to a morning person and he, she or they will time-shame you for at least 10 minutes. (Because, remember, they’re the worst.)

morning person body

Why are morning people the pits, you ask? Great question! It’s mostly because of their smugness. Oh, the smugness. You know what I’m talking about – you’ve either witnessed or been guilty of it. Everyone has. Turn your mind to that chirpy arsehole in the office who greets you daily with, “OMG, the sunrise was SO BEAUTIFUL today,” or, “Boot camp was SO HARD this morning,” and can’t wait to fill you in on the stupid-early time they got to work “just to get on top of things”. That’s the smugness.

Where does the smugness come from? Well, it comes from society. Fucking society. Society deifies morning people and their inclination to get shit done while it’s still dark outside, thus fostering and promoting self-righteousness. Yup, the same society that rewards thinness and shiny hair over compassion and intelligence also dictates that people who rise with the sun are just generally better than those who kick into gear once it’s fully up or as it’s going down.

What if I get as much done every day as morning people, but just later? Doesn’t matter. As far as they’re concerned, you’re scum and you’ll always be scum. You could write a novel, run a marathon and meal prep through to 2020 in a day, but if you start after 9am, society says you’re a lazy c*nt.

Are you a lazy c*nt, Nadine? Hell no, I’m extremely fucking productive. I meet deadlines, submit master’s assignments on time, exercise daily and co-run a charity. I do the same amount of work in 24 hours as your average person; I just tend to start after midday and continue after dinner. To be honest, I’d prefer this wasn’t the case, but for some reason I’m more efficient between 9pm and 5am than I am between 9am and 5pm.

Wait, you want to be a morning person? Yes! I want to be the worst! Mostly for the smugness, but I also want to live like common people. And I’ve tried, I really have. I’ve gone to bed early, awoken at ridic-o’clock, done a yoga class and sat down to work by 8am. I’ve done it several times, and it just isn’t for me. Every time, I was tired, cranky and unable to form cogent sentences.

Why are you like this? Who knows? Maybe I’m just wired this way; maybe it’s a psychological thing; maybe I’m part owl. What I do know is that many of my fellow writers are also night people, as are many artists, musicians and other creative types. Maybe moon worship is in our blood, along with poor time management and an allergy to making money.

In fact, many celebrated folks are or were night people. Think Bob Dylan, Fran Lebowitz, J.R.R. Tolkien, Barack Obama, Gustave Flaubert, Winston Churchill and Prince. Sure, Fidel Castro and Joseph Stalin apparently also thrived between dusk and dawn, but I choose not to let a few murderous apples spoil the whole bunch. Instead, I choose to make like Sheryl Sandberg, lean into my body clock, and stick it to the smugness.

You’re writing this at midnight, aren’t you? Actually, it’s 1.15am.

This grumpy rant comes from the pages of frankie issue 87, on sale now. Nab a copy here, or subscribe from $10.50.

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