I fear I’m turning into a P.M. kindergarten person. I suspect I’ve posited this before, but years ago I decided there were two types of people: kids who went to A.M. kindergarten and those who did the second shift (you can also divide the American world by bottle fed vs. breast fed. I’m very much the high-strung no-bodily-contact baby). I have absolutely no idea if kindergartens still operate this way or if they even call them that anymore. In NYC I hear about pre-K, which I thought was just preschool, so whatever.
When I was of that age in suburban Portland, there weren’t public schools below first grade so preschools and kindergartens were church-affiliated (though I don’t think they were private or parents paid anything—I’ll have to ask my mom about that). I attended Trinity Lutheran, headed by this super tan senior with silvery cropped-hair, Mrs. Cook, who had an insane ‘70s woody, solar house on a hill with a swimming pool in her living room. I wouldn’t be surprised if the bedroom had mirrored ceilings and a waterbed. (I had one as late as 1990, believe it or not, and there was nothing sexy about it. The more I think about it, the more peculiar and white trash that seems–what can I say?)
Kindergarten only lasted a few hours really (it seemed to stretch for eons—I had problems staying silent during naps and would subsequently lose snack privileges on a regular basis) but it was strange when our moms (no, it was never dads) would pick us up and a second crew of kids would start filing in the room. These were weird kids whose parents who couldn’t get their act together by 8am or whenever.
To put it in a Myers-Briggs framework (an old fascination which has started interesting me again) it’s the J(udger)'s vs. the P(erceiver)'s of the world. My whole family is/was extreme J’s but now 99% of my friends are P’s and it’s troubling. J’s are about planning, schedules, organization, quick decisions, rigidity where P’s are open-ended, messy, weigh options, spontaneous and frequently tardy. Neither type is supposed to better than the other but clearly some traits will serve you better professionally or personally.
I make grocery lists while someone in my household just buys whatever they feel like, I open mail the second I walk in the door and sort the bills from the junk while the mail not addressed to me literally piles up knee-high downstairs on the floor, and despite having a vastly superior income, the P in the house gets shut-off notices from ConEd where late fees don’t exist in my vocabulary.
But somewhere in the 2000s I started using a snooze alarm (and on the days like today when I don’t have to be at work until 4:30pm, I use no alarm at all). Early, at my current job means 10am, which initially seemed insanely luxurious since I’ve been accustomed to a strict 9am start time (meanwhile my parents are/were nuts who willingly go to work at like 7am. I guess that’s why they eat dinner at 5pm rather than 10pm) and over the past three months I’ve started showing up between 11 and 11:30am because I can’t get it together any sooner. I originally had fantasies of how I could cram exercise in before work but all I can manage is getting dressed and drinking a cup of coffee. How did I get so lazy? Should I even care?
But if there’s any fear that I’m sinking into P-ness and P.M. kindergarten territory, this very minute I’m planning where I want to eat after work on Sat. (I have a weekend shift), what to cook for dinner Sunday, how to use a giant bag of apples James’s mother gave him (I’m not crazy about red apples), what I should bring for lunches next week, and how maybe, just maybe I could cram in an out-of-town trip the weekend after next (flights are pretty cheap pre-Christmas and I feel like I’m owed a treat since I won’t be doing anything for the holidays or getting any paid time off. ). I’m researching restaurants in Las Vegas to be safe. If only I could apply my fervency and thoroughness to areas of my life that actually mattered. Maybe if I set my alarm for 7am and I actually abided the beeping, miracles would happen.
*I think this is a blog devoted to am/pm (which I naively thought was a NW-only chain) but it's Japanese so who's to say?