June 18, 2010


Dear Morning People,

Good Day. I, the undersigned, a Non-Morning Person, am writing to you on behalf of all Non-Morning People (NMP’s) across the globe--whatever time zone they suffer in--to tell you: We’re not gonna take it any more!!!

You Morning People are living in the past, in some idyllic bygone era where people rose and set with the sun. Well, if I may borrow an expression of yours: Wake up and smell the coffee! Why do people who live in concrete metropolises follow an agrarian timetable? Huh? Ever hear of the Industrial Revolution? How about the Computer Age? Why do you think we have electricity and lightbulbs? So we can create our own sunlight--when we want it and for however long we want it. Don’t think we have been fooled by your callous compromise, your patronizing piffle, your crumb of concession: Daylight Savings Time. Daylight Savings Time is a poor excuse for fulfilling your God-given mandate to “subdue the earth.” We know who you want to subdue. As a matter of fact, you make us actually lose a whole hour of sleep each year. Who knows, you guys are probably responsible for global warming, crop circles and breast cancer too. (Never trust anyone who gets up before the solar system.)

You see, I believe there are more of us than there are of you. I propose a worldwide census be taken of the number of MP’s versus NMP’s. It is time for the silent majority to stand up and be counted! “I am sleeping, hear me snore, in numbers too big to ignore!” will be our anthem. The plan is simple. The census could be taken by the underdogs, the NMP’s, at 6AM every morning. (The sacrifice will be well worth it, pavement pounders!) All we need to do is see who’s up. I mean really up. I mean working-in-the-garden-power-walking-up. (Bedraggled flannel at the end of a leash doesn’t qualify.) Ah, that would be some reckoning. When you find out how few you really are, MP’s, you will tremble and come crawling to us begging for mercy, begging us not to put you in neighborhood compounds where the streetlights never go out and alarmclocks beep incessantly and all they ever serve is breakfast and everything is just sunny, sunny, sunny.

To add insult to injury, you--the morning oligarchy--not only impose your dictatorial horariums on us, but you even mock us as we attempt to comply with them. Don’t tell me you have never tittered, nay, guffawed at some poor, bleary, mole-like NMP stumbling through his/her morning routine, babbling incoherently. Don’t tell me you haven’t asked them Important Questions or started Deep Intellectual Conversations with them at ungodly hours--i.e., 9AM--just to enjoy their stupor. We NMP’s never get to retaliate because just when our enzymes, endorphins and eyelids start kicking in--about 10:30PM--you MP’s yawn and slink away to your lairs where I am sure you clandestinely bumble--much like we do in the AM--only you’re out of sight behind locked doors and in nightlight-lit bathrooms. You don’t have to face 1,000-watt bulbs, breakfast tables, halogen lamps, traffic jams, UV rays and business meetings when you’re not at your friskiest. Oh no, fuzzy wuzzy slippers and the cushy wushy privacy of bedrooms for weary and beleaguered MP’s, and we feel sorry for you because you’re “exhausted.” Well, how do you think we feel at 10:30AM? We’re roadkill too! Ah, but he who laughs last laughs best! What if we installed hidden infrared, nightvision cameras in your homes and then ran “America’s Funniest Morning People at Night” on national TV? Don’t dare us.

The difference between you and us is that when your heads are pounding and the room is spinning like you have vertigo, when momentary amnesia and Alzheimer’s strike, when you feel like someone with a hangover who just got hit by a Mac truck, you get to go to bed. We have to face the world. And to mollify your woes, you have Nyquil and Sealy Posturepedic. For us, nothing works, not coffee, not cold water, not even the cheerful, hearty banter of MP’s. Our natural state is sleep, and we are only awake with great effort. (Caffeine and gastrointestinal discomfort can help too.) Actually, we are beginning to wonder if MP’s shouldn’t be the subject of an investigation by the FBI or CIA. Rumors circulate that you are all really aliens that don’t need sleep and are just faking it. You plan to take over the planet by extreme sleep deprivation of its inhabitants. Maybe our rights can be protected by a SPCNMP (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Non-Morning People).

Look, we take the view that humans are nocturnal, at least our segment of the population. And what’s so terrible about that?

Some Famous Night People:
the Shadow
her pumpkin
the Great Pumpkin
Mr. Hyde
the Sandman

Some Famous Night Animals:

You Morning People think there’s something noble, holy and virtuous about actually getting out of bed before high noon, as is evidenced by your smarmy little maxims: “Early to bed, early to rise....” and “The early bird gets the worm.” Well, you know what? Sunrises are overrated. And you know what else? We’re the ones who actually greet the morning, not you. I’ll bet most of you have never seen a shooting star, a lunar eclipse, the aurora borealis, the Halebop Comet, or the U.S.S.Enterprise shimmering in the night sky. Well, neither have we, but what are your chances even? We may be too catatonic to watch your informative morning news shows, but you’re all a bunch of stiffs when we’re watching our informative late night talk shows. I’ll bet you’ve never seen colorbars on so many channels at one time, or a flock of sheep herded into a live studio audience and then out onto the streets of New York City and into a cab!

Whether you believe it or not, we are perky conversationalists too. You just never hear us because by the time we have progressed from our morning zombie silence to our afternoon grizzly growls to our effervescent evening eloquence, you’re asleep and we have to keep our voices down.

In conclusion, I say to all you Non-Morning People: We have just begun to fight! Don’t shoot until you get the red out of your eyes! We live in the Morning People’s world, but we will live free or die! Resistance is not futile! Never surrender!

To all Morning People of Good Will I offer this Ultimatum: Back off us Non-Morning People or we will be forced to create our own time zone, perhaps in Greenland. And if you really get our dandruff up, you leave us no other alternative than to drop out of the workforce for six months of the year and hibernate--no, make that: “at the least provocation we will go into hibernation.”

Trucefully yours,

Sr. Helena Burns, FSP, NMP

“He who blesses his neighbor with a loud voice,
rising early in the morning,
will be counted as cursing.”
--Proverbs 27:14

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  1. My professional opinion is that there is something terribly wrong with MP's. Medical research has not yet determined whether this strange defect is genetic, infectious, or psychiatric in origin.
    I propose we start a "Walk for the Cure" to raise funds for additional research - but I'd appreciate if it could be a "Midnight Ramble" as opposed to those early Saturday morning walks MP's usually organize, thinking (correctly) we NMP's will never participate!
    Thank you for raising awareness, Sr. Helena!
    Jeff Mathews, MD, APC, NMP

  2. Boy you'd make a bad Discaled Carmalite Sister, I'm told they don't do anything by halves, they get up at ten past four in the morning :), still someone has to be praying whilst the FSP sisters are still snoozing :)


    Hopefully soon to be OCD Monk

  3. Jack--did you not read what Dr. Mathews said? Being an MP is a serious medical disorder! ha ha. That's great that you are on your way to monkdom! JP2G had a Carmelite spirituality. St. Philomena will help you.
    God bless,
    Sr. Helena <>< NMP

  4. Dear Sister

    Dr Mathew's conclusions might be the reason why OCD Nuns have such a short life expectency (one thinks of Bl. Elizibeth of the Trinity; 26 and St Theresa of the Child Jesus at 24), still one also thinks about the Cistercians who are also traditionally early risers, I know of a Cistercian Priest who is nearly 103 and still celebrating Mass twice a day, hearing confessions and carrying out lengthy corrospondence.

    Still yet the OCD may find me too much to handle and (to my sadness) pass me off to the Dominicans where I'm told the humour of Bishop Sheen is much more appreciated.

  5. This made me laugh, and I am an MP! I am sending to my husband, who is NMP.

  6. Nancy--I can't even begin to imagine how NMP/MP couples do it. And there are many! (Including my parents!) ha ha ha.

  7. Hi there fellas. nice site. I am having research right now to complete my dessertation.
    Thank you for the wonderful topic you got there.


  8. Interesting topic.=) It just give me a better understanding why im not a MP.(LOL)

  9. Anonymous5:13 PM

    A complete ban on daytime would help my self-esteem,encourage me to venture out(during daylight hours i wear a bag over my head much like The Elephant Man did) and apire to the virtues of my hero, Judas, who did wrong in perfected timing so that some other bloke beginning with J could save us somehow..

  10. Aileen7:17 AM

    Nancy - like you, my parents are MP/NMPs. My mom is the MP and my dad is the NMP. I am married to a man who is a MP, while I am an NMP.

    While my mom has no problem with my dad being an NMP, my husband thinks that there is something wrong with me, personally. In fact, we recently went back to Ohio for a family reunion for my father's side of the family; while there, several of my cousins (who are in their 50s & 60s+ - versus me, at 31 years old) pointed out to my husband that they have been NMPs their whole lives and it's not something that they can change.

    That said, my husband still mistakenly believes that the issue is with *me* and that being an NMP is something I can change. He, for some unknown reason, believes that it is a behavioral issue or lifestyle choice, versus the very real fact that being an NMP is something I've dealt with since childhood.

    Lucky for me, I chose a profession (police work) where shift work is available. Unfortunately, my present assignment has me working from 7am to 5pm, but I functioned best when working midnights (9pm to 7am) or swing watch (4pm to 2am). I dread the hours I work presently, but I have no choice in the hours I'm assigned to work right now. I have been dealing with the morning hours, but in all honesty, I am miserable.

    I absolutely agree with Sister Helena Burns in her assessment of the NMPs versus the MPs. Great essay, Sister Helena!

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  16. That's it. I nominate you for president.

    1. If nominated, I will not run. If elected, I will not serve. Unless I can create that time zone.... Yes! That will be my platform!