I have somehow become a sleep-eater. I find myself eating in my sleep, or eating as I’m drifting off to sleep, or even waking up with telltale signs that I ate during my sleep. The last three days have been especially alarming.
I usually go to bed and read for an hour or so, or until I feel my eyes closing. But the last few weeks I have noticed that as I’m reading, I will suddenly think,
“You should get a few Hershey Kisses out of the freezer to snack on while you read.”
And so I do.
I have been trying to make better food choices lately so other than my candy drawer (Yes, I have a drawer dedicated to candy. Stop judging me. You have your porn, I have my candy. We’ve all got issues) I have not been keeping junk food around the house. But when my parents come in town, they stop along the way to get snacks for the trip. It’s only an hour and a half drive (if you drive at the rate my dad does which is exactly four miles over the speed limit) but by the amount of snacks they stockpile, you would think that they were going to be in the car for seventeen hours straight with absolutely no stops. The last time they came, they brought two family size bags of Bugles (one they had been snacking on and with Yadi’s help, polished off before they went home) a bag of Burger King-inspired onion rings and 2 two liters of soda. They also brought a few of those Hormel ComplEATe meals, which is like saying to a single person, “We realize you’re alone and probably going to be alone for a long time so you might as well eat pretend home-cooked meals”.
So about three nights ago, right when I was drifting off, I heard this tiny voice saying,
“You know, there’s a bag of Bugles in there…Wouldn’t these kisses be so much sweeter with something crunchy and salty?”
Then another inner voice said,
“And also, you can do that I’ll-get-you-my-pretty-thing by putting them on your fingertips.”
Salty, crunchy AND entertaining? I’M IN! So I got my Bugles, headed back to bed and pretended to be immersed in the book as I crunched each little salty witch finger off my hand.
The next morning I vaguely remembered eating the Bugles but wasn’t quite sure how much I had eaten until I looked in the trash and saw an empty FAMILY SIZE bag of Bugles nestled in among the Banquet pot pie boxes(another staple of the perpetually single person). I ATE THE ENTIRE BAG IN ONE SITTING. OR, ACTUALLY, IN ONE SLEEPING.
The next night, same thing…except the voice this time said,
“You know what would taste sooooo delicious with those twenty-five Hershey kisses you’re shoveling in? A few Burger King-inspired onion rings. They’re in the pantry. You want me to help you get them?”
So again, in a sleepy stupor, I stumbled to the pantry, got the onion rings and crawled back in bed. I ate the whole bag (It was one of those Big Grab size bags so I didn’t feel too guilty. Plus, I could play a little ring toss game with them on my fingers. When you live alone, you find ways to amuse yourself. Like figuring out your problems by pretending that you’re being interviewed on TV. Try it. It will change the way you think.) I crashed back to the kitchen, careening into walls like an eight year old in an out-of-control bumper car because I was mid-sleep and quite possibly suffering from food-induced hypnotization from the combination of chocolate, fake onion and ring toss. Once I made it to the kitchen, I headed straight to the candy drawer and got my FAMILY SIZE bag of Skittles. I took them back to my room and pretended to read while I squished them flat between my fingers and popped them into my mouth, only stopping long enough to see what color each Skittle was so that I could prepare my tongue..
Last night, I changed up my routine a little. I wrote first and then grabbed the book I had recently started reading.. I had finished my second Jen Lancaster book (Check her out, she’s awesome!) and picked up a book called After the Wall by Jana Hensel. I started to read and of course, there was that little devil on my shoulder saying,
“Jenn…guess what time it is? It’s Hershey Kiss time!”
And I didn’t resist the urge. With the Hershey Kisses I never resist because I can usually just eat a few (if you count twenty-five to be a few.) I went to the freezer, got five Hershey kisses (because things taste better in fives) and went back to read. I got to my page-turning-without-actually-reading stage and turned off the light.
2:30 AM. I woke up lying there eerily resembling the red plastic monkeys from the Barrel of Monkeys game: I was on my stomach with my right hand reaching towards the headboard, my left arm curled by my side and my feet sticking straight off the corner of the bed. My glasses were resting on the bed below my left arm. Up by my right hand: two empty Hershey Kisses wrappers and one lone Hershey Kiss untouched,
I immediately felt like that person who goes out and somehow wakes up the next morning in bed with a stranger and thinks, “What just happened here?” Except that the stranger was a single Hershey Kiss hanging out with two empty foil wrappers and a few of those tissue paper banners they shove in each kiss that serves no purpose other than helping you open up the chocolate when you’re fast asleep.
What I deduct from this crime scene is that I got up for more chocolate, and it was too much trouble to get in bed so I just fell from where I was standing and started eating. But apparently I couldn’t even stay up to finish eating three kisses.
I have, over the course of about three weeks, gone from a bedtime reader to that old guy who falls asleep in church, on the toilet and while he’s still eating his morning Cheerios. He could be your grandpa…or he could be your nine-month old son. It may be too soon to tell. But I think that may be the path I’m headed down.