A date with the snooze button

I was late for work the other day.

I work at the local cafe in town, have I mentioned that?

Remember Flo from that old show “Mel’s Diner”?

She’s my inspiration, and not just because I’d like to tell a few people to “Kiss my grits.”

But that’s another story.

We open at 6 a.m., and I was the opening waitress scheduled at 5:30 a.m.

I flew in the back door shamefully late at 6:10.

The front door was still locked, the dining room still darkened and a small cluster of early bird customers were gathered outside checking their watches.

If you were to Google “Monday morning,” a picture of me would surely pop up.

No makeup, hair standing on end, crusty eye boogers, rumpled uniform and house shoes.

Yes. House shoes.

I’ll explain in a moment.

I quickly pushed the brew button on the coffee machine, flipped the light switches and open sign on and made my way to unlock the front door.

My house shoes swished with every step.

I pasted a sheepish “Good morning” smile on my face, slammed a cup of coffee that burned my throat, tried to make as little eye contact as possible and got to work.

Some days just don’t have the best beginnings, starting with the alarm clock.

Here’s the thing about alarms — you can’t take them seriously because snooze buttons make them negotiable.

Turns out, I like negotiating.

4:30 a.m. alarm

I immediately push snooze. I’m not even sure why I set it so early, no one needs a solid hour to get ready for work.

4:40 alarm

I am the most comfortable I have ever been. Ever.

The kid in my bed isn’t even kicking me in the spleen right now. He’s actually kind of snuggly and warm.

It would be a shame to waste it.

4:50 alarm

I don’t NEED to shower before work. I’m just going to be covered in sausage gravy and syrup in a few hours anyway.

5:00 alarm

If I don’t fix my hair, or even bother combing it and just wear these yoga pants I slept in, I can squeeze one more snooze out of this.

5:10 alarm

Wait, I was just having the best 10-minute dream. If I roll back over it might pick up where it left off, my life is boring and I really want to know what happens next — besides, I work only two blocks away.

Just five more minutes.

5:15 alarm

I swear I didn’t even hear that one.

Scouts honor.

5:25 alarm  

Kid in bed is elbowing  me in the face.

“Mom! Your alarm keeps going off!”


I don’t want to get up.

Why do I have to work anyway?

Oh yeah, kids with hungry mouths and outgrown shoes.

Landlord. Electricity. Water.

Usually, this is when I fly out of bed, make it to work and nobody is the wiser.

But this time, I didn’t.

I woke up at 5:55 in a panic.

I flung the covers off and ran half sleep-blind to the bathroom, cursed the woman in the mirror as I splashed some cold water on my face, threw my work shirt on, grabbed my purse and ... where are my shoes?

I always leave my shoes by the recliner.

Where are they?!

There is NO way a kid picked up my shoes. They don’t pick anything up unless they are forced or bribed or deliberately trying to drive me to the brink of insanity.

The clock was ticking and I spied my house shoes.


Well played, my children. Well played.

Stefanie Freeman is a Jefferson resident currently serving 18 to life as a mother of four.

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Address: 200 N. Wilson St.
Jefferson, IA 50129

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