Sunday, November 9, 2014

On My Mind: Zzzzzzz

In a couple of these "On My Mind" posts, I gave Mrs. Dell some flack over her movie watching habits. Now, I have to expose an ugly truth about myself. One thing I've been known to do at the drop of a hat is fall asleep watching a movie. I know, kind of off-putting for a guy who loves movies and actually writes reviews on the ones he watches. And since I also snore, it can be off-putting for the people in the room. Or theater. So yeah, those peaceful little z's in the title of this posts should probably be replaced by whatever sound a buzz saw makes. Or the sound of...

a car with a busted muffler...

or a lawnmower chewing up rocks...

or The Cookie Monster ravaging a truckload of Mrs. Fields'...

or Darth Vader gargling a sand and salt water cocktail...

or anything entirely too damn loud.

On those occasions when I just couldn't keep my eyes open even though we were in a crowded theater, the good wife gets rather pissed at me. How pissed? Let's just say date night doesn't end with us having to lock the bedroom door to keep the kids out. I can't blame her, she probably should be upset. I've wasted all the hard earned money we plunked down on an exorbitantly priced ticket. Worse than that, I've embarrassed her in public. Strangers have cast sideways looks at her under the light of a gigantic screen. The less polite have even stood up and moved away. Some have even sighed loudly and rolled their eyes as they did. At least that's what she tells me.

How would I know? I was asleep.

At home, it's become something of an in-joke. Whenever we watch movies as a family, I'm almost expected to fall asleep. The wife still gets a little upset, you know, wanting to be cuddled by the great Dell, and all. However, she more often than not lets it slide. Sometimes she's not upset at all, but not letting it slide because I'm putting on a great show. Well, it's a show for her and the children. In my eyes, I'm putting up a valiant fight. These are the times when I'm working really hard to stay awake. Dammit, I'm going to watch this movie come hell or high water.

I start off these sessions by winning for the first twenty or thirty minutes. Then, the eyelids start drooping. Pretty soon, the head nodding begins. It drops, I snatch it back up. It drops again, I snatch it back up, again. This might repeat about a thousand times over the next two hours. Of course, no two nods are exactly alike, hence the entertaining quality of my effort to maintain consciousness. Sometimes, my entire body starts tilting to one side or the other. At other times, I'll snort myself awake. Occasionally, my head will fool me and tilt backwards as my mouth opens. This is usually when I mix in a solid fifteen or twenty minute nap. I often awake to the sound of my own family laughing at me.

Those cruel bastards.

But wait, I have excuses!

First of all, the weight of the movie watching world rests heavily upon my shoulders.


Okay, I have more genuine excuses.

I actually have two things going on that work together. I guess that makes it one excuse, but whatever. Years ago, I was diagnosed with sleep apnea. Without getting technical about exactly what's taking place within me, just know that this is where the snoring comes from. The other factor is that I'm a night owl. So, other than family movie night, I don't sleep much. I've been known to go weeks at a time on four hours of sleep, or less.

You're probably wondering what I'm doing on all those long nights when midnight marks the first checkpoint of a long journey. I'm usually watching movies, of course. There's all those flicks that no one else in my house wants to see. That's not to mention all the movies I have to watch that I fell asleep on when the rest of the Dell clan filled the living room.

If you're wondering how this is possible, it's not really that complicated. Whenever I watch movies alone, I allow myself a lot more leeway in terms of my behavior. Therefore, I'm almost always doing something else at the same time. Maybe I have some paperwork to get in order. I might be putting together a post like this one for the blog. I've got a friend or two in different time zones I text back and forth with. You know there's that game I just downloaded on my phone. If all else fails, I might just watch standing up. I don't do any of these things when watching with others. I respect them too much. My focus is strictly on the movie at hand. Therefore, me falling asleep on movies when my family is trying to enjoy a flick together is to be expected.

I'm going into the war unarmed.

Other things that have been "On My Mind:"


  1. I like these posts. Nice style of writing.

  2. Haha! It's nice to see a confession like this after ratting out on your wife! You always crack me up Dell :)
    - Allie

  3. What's fair is fair. Glad you got a laugh out of it.

  4. Wow, a whole week and only four hours of sleep, no wonder you're dozing off during movies.
    Wandering through the Shelves

    1. It should read four hours per night. I'm not quite that crazy.