In Defense of Morning People, or, 7 Ways to Avoid Getting Stabbed with a Bagel Knife

Engaging in society-wide, public loathing of morning people has always been a fun pastime. Morning people, (as we all know) typify the very worst kind of vapid, gung-ho, obnoxious teacher-pleasing go-getter: they’re not just extroverts. They take their productive extroversion and rub it in your face like a steaming pile of unicorn dung just when you’re most vulnerable and introverted.

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Why are morning people so horrible? Is it because work traditionally starts at 9 AM, so they have an unfair societal advantage? Is it because they’re not in a bad mood when you are? Is it because all the morning-hater memes are funny and cynical, and the morning-loving memes look like this?

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Is it because, at the exact moment when you’re swimming upward into consciousness, grasping blindly for the coffee and just wanting a quiet transition into the day, they’re already presenting you with a to-do list, on which they’ve already crossed off five things and need your help doing the sixth thing, because, they can’t do the seventh thing until you help with the sixth thing and they’ve been waiting like 45 minutes for you to get up so you could do the sixth thing, and BTW the coffee’s probably cold because it was made three hours ago?

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Yes: I am a morning person.

I have never had anything to do with being a morning person, and I didn’t choose it. When I was 5, my grandmother remarked that I “wake up with the chickens,” and that’s never changed, not even in my teen years. I wouldn’t give it up–I like being a morning person, much like most night people I know wouldn’t change that about themselves–but I had nothing to do with it.

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Like with everything, the internet makes it easier to publicly hate morning people. I’ve frequently been told how fucking annoying morning people are. And that night people are proven to be smarter, and better at something or other. I’m a morning person, ergo, I am likely as intelligent and obnoxious as a squirrel, digging into a birdfeeder at dawn.

Greedy morning motherfucker.

Greedy morning motherfucker.

Night folks: the next time you want to stick your bagel knife in someone’s eye just because they ask you a question before 8 AM, please remember that they can’t help being a morning person, and if they’re not assholes, have likely spent a lifetime curbing their morning-people tendencies so as not to get stabbed with a bagel knife.

Being a Morning Person is Innate

Our bodies are set to sunrise, and all things being equal, our asses will wake up by 8 AM at the latest, regardless of bedtime (10 PM? 4 AM? No difference.) We’re not trying to annoy you any more than you’re trying to annoy us by wheedling, “It’s 9 PM, why are you going to bed now, seriously, are you 5?” (Or maybe you are trying to annoy us with that. That’s on you.) We’re not more productive than anyone else; we just wake up early and fast.

The  problem is, a good mood before 10 AM is an intentional act of aggression against a night person, just as playing loud music (or something really offensive like snoring) after 11 PM is equivalent to a gut-punch for morning people.

Being a Morning Person Doesn’t Mean You Have to Be An Asshole

We all have to live together, so we all need to work to make it a little easier for everyone. If you don’t believe that you need to occasionally think about someone else’s emotional and mental state, you’re an asshole. If you think that because you act a particular way, then everyone else also should act that way, you’re an asshole. If you think that you deserve a medal for having a sunrise or sunset clock, you’re an asshole.

Don’t be an asshole. If you’re a morning person, respect the night people.  Just like you can’t help springing out of bed at 6:30 AM on a Saturday, they can’t help feeling like they want to kill you because you chirped, “GOOD MORNING!” We can’t help our feelings. But we can control our actions. They can make an effort to not kill you (and do every day). And you can make an effort not to chirp at them.

So, morning people, in case you haven’t learned these lessons the hard way, after a visit to the ER for an emergency bagel-knifectomy, here are my top 7 methods for helping night people cope with our natural tendencies.

7 Ways Morning People Can Avoid Getting Stabbed With a Bagel Knife

  1. Don’t smile with teeth before 10 AM, unless someone smiles at you first. Our sister gorillas have long taught us that baring teeth is an act of aggression. Night people will take it as such.
    • Exceptions: If someone smiles at you, you may return it.
  2. If you feel compelled to say anything to anyone in the kitchen before 9 AM (or in the work kitchen before 10 AM), keep your voice low and steady, and say “‘Morning.” That’s all. Nothing more. A brief nod of acknowledgment is also acceptable.
    • Exceptions: Co-workers you really despise. Go Pinkie Pie on their asses.
  3. Don’t ask anyone any questions before 9 AM. 
    • Exceptions: “Where does this bus go?”
  4. Don’t list the things you got done before 9 AM. That’s obnoxious in any capacity, and especially if you’re doing it at 9:10 AM, and Night Person hasn’t had her caffeine.
    • Exceptions: Conversations about that, specifically; breakfast meetings. (I’m a morning person and I also fucking hate breakfast meetings.)
  5. Don’t talk to anyone before 7 AM. Seriously, just don’t. If circumstances demand it, see #1 and #2 for appropriate behavior. And even morning people have limits: I’ve had to tell a few airport drivers to STFU at 4 AM.
    • Exceptions: Other morning people; your children.
  6. Understand your spouse’s morning habits and behave accordingly. If you’re married to a night person (as I am), watch them closely in the morning so you understand their ready-for-communication signs. Is it the second cup of coffee? After they’ve showered? After they’ve put on lipstick? Once they’ve crossed that starting line, then (and only then!) can you begin demanding action.
    • Exceptions: If they kept you up late, knowing you will not be able to sleep until 11 AM, you have my blessing to go Full Metal Jacket on their asses. With a vuvuzuela.
  7. If you really, really want to be cheerful in the morning, find bus drivers, sanitation workers, and baristas; they’ve already been up for hours and probably appreciate a smile among the hundreds of fuck-this faces they see during every shift. Get out your chirpy “Good morning!” with them.

As morning people, we must be considerate of our fellow night people, both out of human consideration and simple survival. If they’re not complete assholes they’ll return the favor, respecting quiet hours and our inability to sleep for ten hours straight, regardless of the sun’s position in the sky. Bagel knives should be used only for slicing into delicious, toasted bagels.

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