TODAY’S COMPLAINT: SNORING OLD LADIES
Yeah, I know, in the grand scheme of things, it’s a trivial matter. But really, is the local bookstore an appropriate place to take a nap?
I was ensconced in an armchair with a pile of books, frantically skimming, because I have an article due on Monday and it involves books I’d never seen before today. The library turns out to be useless for last-minute research, because the books I want always turn out to live at some OTHER branch of the county library system. But that’s neither here nor there.
What is here is that I was working hard during my three-hour window of kids-in-camp, and I needed to concentrate. A woman of about 70 sat down in the chair next to mine. She seemed to be waiting for somebody, and that’s fine. I have no objection to old ladies waiting. She closed her eyes, and that’s ok too. Old ladies need to rest.
But then she started to snore. Not a delicate, papery, old lady snore, but great big wheezes followed by violent snorks. Oy.
It took me years to train my husband to stop snoring like that. He’s now so well conditioned that I need only sigh with annoyance and he immediately turns over to the non-snoring side, without even waking up.
How did I teach him this trick? Aversive stimuli, of course. Just eight years or so of nocturnal violence, and now I sleep through the night.
So when the old lady started snoring next to me, I sighed my best annoyed sigh. But she did not respond as my well-trained husband does. She just kept on snoring. Since I did not feel I was at liberty to apply the Taser to her shoulder, she continued to honk and wheeze.
I would like to tell you I came up with a brilliant plan to solve this problem, but I didn’t. I had books, notebooks, and pens all over my lap and chair, and moving seemed like too much trouble. I did not want to appear to be callous or deranged by waking up an elderly woman who clearly needed a nap. Sometimes you just have to suck it up.