Onset of dreaded habits begins earlier than expected

While many of my friends are looking anxiously and excitedly toward graduation and crossing that symbolic threshold of adulthood, I’ve been stressing out about signs that I am aging in other less glamorous ways.

I haven’t found any gray hairs, and besides an old sports injury, my joints are spry as ever. What I’m talking about is worse.

I have completely lost my ability to watch an entire full-length film without falling asleep.

The same debilitating condition I always used to mock my mom for is apparently genetic. I can’t count the number of times my dad and I would nudge each other, holding back waves of laughter, as we watched her slumber through countless movie nights. And the position was always the same – mouth slightly ajar, head gently tilted to the side, reading glasses pushed back in her chestnut hair, sleeping dog curled up at her feet on the ottoman.

The best was when we would stare at her until she somehow felt our eyes on her and would shoot up, startling the dog out of his stupor, too, or when she would delicately come back to consciousness on her own, and pretend like she had been paying attention the whole time, even though my dad and I knew better.

I would always smile and shake my head, thinking that her random fits of borderline narcolepsy came with the territory of being 40-something.

Clearly narcolepsy has the capability of being early-onset, because I can’t remember the last time I’ve been able to stay awake for the duration of a movie.

I’ll choose a movie I’ve really been wanting to see, and yet I still find myself powerless to combat against the strong affinity my top and bottom eyelids clearly have for one another.

It doesn’t have to be particularly late for this to happen, and I don’t even have to be lying down.

My most recent episode didn’t even involve one unbroken nap. I would doze off, be woken up by a swift rap on the head from my boyfriend, only to repeat these two steps about 10 times in the waning five minutes of the movie. It was actually so cyclical that he was able to time when I would fall asleep again by counting how many times I blinked.

It’s clearly gotten serious to the point where I’ve resorted to extreme measures to try and watch a film from beginning to end.

These include, but are not limited to: drinking a large cup of caffeinated tea before starting a movie, sitting in the most upright and rigid position possible, physically holding my eyes open, biting down on the inside of my cheek so that it hurts just enough, starting the movie before 7 p.m., inserting a constant flow of popcorn into my mouth, etc.

Unfortunately, my slumbery ways have thwarted all of my best efforts, and I’m running out of new things to try. I need to come up with some quick solutions before I even think about going to see a movie in public.

I don’t feel like spending $10 to go take a nap in a chair that doesn’t even have its own arm rests.

 

CHRISTINE PEFFER

[email protected]knights.gannon.edu