It was a quiet day at Starbucks. A few sets of people were talking softly in their little niches… moms, a local realtor, some high school girls. A couple of lone workers typed, as I did, on my computer. So it was difficult to miss the random snoring sound that emanated from the guy sitting on a chair in the conversation area.
Every now and then his head would bob down onto his chest…he would sit like that for a moment until a snore would rouse him enough to lift his head again. It was the most perfect example of a power nap I have ever seen.
There are certain female things you learn as a girl… the whole period thing of course; but also the benefit of visiting the ladies room together (one of the few places we can share secrets) or the importance of a gently lit changing room for trying on bathing suits. Added to this should be the skill of napping.
I perfected napping in college, the first time I had the freedom to design my own schedule. 2:00 p.m. came around and my body needed a hour to rejuvenate, especially if I planned to study or play later. Working, sadly takes that freedom away again; perhaps it is one of the reasons I like managing my own schedule again as a mom and writer.
Probably the most important napping I, or any woman, does is during those early days of motherhood. Some of my friends found it impossible to ‘sleep when the baby sleeps’. For me, though, it was like my daughter finally gave me the excuse I needed to snuggle down for some quiet time on my own. Even when she grew older and gave up her nap, and then quiet times, I continued to preserve that space and routine for myself.
Still, not many would find a Starbucks conducive for napping; and perhaps it wasn’t intentional on his part. There have been those times in my own life when I couldn’t stay awake, no matter how hard I tried. Two in particular I need to apologize for…. The small college seminar of only 8 students where the professor had to ask me to leave… and the large company presentation in grad school where the presenter kept glaring at me and later wouldn’t give me the time of day at our meet and greet.
But for the most part I keep my public napping to isolated times and places. Airplanes are a favorite spot… And while I find it impossible to fall asleep in the sun, my character, Jessica doesn’t seem to have a problem with is when she is on the beach in Tahoe.
I suppose it is all goes back to that word, freedom. There are places I feel free and relaxed, and others that are too full of stimuli. That’s probably why you will never find me napping at Starbucks. How can I nap when there are so many interesting things to see and to overheard?