Health · Home and Family · Marriage · sacrifice

The Ten O’clock Rule

It’s 10.36 on a Saturday night

And I’m in bed.

I’m in bed with a reputation that is starting to precede me.

Dinner-party done, table tidied, guests gone.

It’s only 10.36 pm and already I’m tucked up, amid crisp white layers of laundry-fresh bedded bliss.


Delicious it may sound, from time to time, either alone or with a significant [or not so significant] other. But don’t be fooled, this is no luxury. The Ten O’Clock Rule is a self-inflicted, self-regulated body-clock bootcamp. One that, might I add, is far from being relegated to school-nights only. No. The Ten O’Clock Rule has long since daily ruled this roost.

And it’s beginning to rule my life.

Apparently it’s normal, rather more acceptable, for one’s guests to politely check watches and synchronise baby-sitting excuses to make a timely get-away. But when, at five to ten, my bedtime is their exit clause, what can I say? We’re well and truly past the point of no return. [Either that, or my food seriously sucks] There’s no time for after-dinner mints or a Bailey’s on the rocks. It’s five  to ten and Goodness knows what’s going to happen to this girl. Will she melt? Perhaps she’ll collapse. Maybe she’ll turn into a pumpkin. Who cares! Her eyes have glazed over and she’s starting to slur. It’s time to get the hell out of here.

And with that they’re gone.

I only have myself to blame. Friends old and new know to spot the warning signs within seconds of the first yielded yawn. It’s a given that dining out after dusk must start early enough, to finish early enough, to allow more than enough time to hurry home to bed. And on a rare occasion of delusional madness, usually once a year after a tipple [or two or three], when I find myself caught up in a moment [or two or three] past Ten, then one can safely say it’s been a spectacular night with spectacular company. Forget the tomorrow. You can feel honoured.

Nicknamed Cinders by my very own Prince Charming, it’s my other half who I feel sorry for. A wife whose spell is broken at the stroke of Ten every evening [Cinders had a good two hours on me] and thenceforth whose movements can only be described as limited, restricted and irritatingly predictable, is not so normal. And definitely not hot. In the countdown to the big bad T, he can pinpoint my positioning in the house with accuracy [which always works out conveniently well for him during football season.] And in the moments after? Well, he’ll be lucky to find me rocking out in bed on a good night. But on a normal night, he’ll do better talking to the pillow. It’s sad. But true.

So don’t call me after Ten. I’ll call you.



Does my scale of normality mean anything to you?

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