Archive for November, 2009

The Bachelorette Bash

Monday, November 30th, 2009
Melissa Stagnaro

I’d wager that on Thanksgiving Eve, many people’s thoughts were running a-fowl. But while Tom Turkey probably featured prominently on most minds, mine was focused on, well, hens. You see, last Wednesday night was my friend Kerri’s Bachelorette Party – which, in case you are wondering about that poultry reference, is sometimes called a “hen night” in other parts of the world.

Now, when I hear bachelorette party, I think of a bride-to-be’s last hoorah – complete with phallic themed party favors, raucous laughter, indecent party games and copious amounts of booze. Oh, and male dancers. You wouldn’t want to forget the male dancers.

Kerri’s party wasn’t any of those things. And I couldn’t have been more relieved. But that stereotypical bachelorette bash is a pretty apt description of the first such event I ever attended.

I was just out of college and Danielle, a friend of my friend Liz, was getting married. In honor of the impending nuptials, her bridal party had organized a trip to a traveling male revues – one of those Chippendales wannabe-type shows, at some Holiday Inn out on Long Island.

Even though I didn’t know Danielle that well, I was invited to tag along to fill out the group. I was more than happy to oblige – after all, who was I to pass up a chance to see a whole troupe of scantily clad, gyrating male dancers!

It was August 31, 1997 – a date I remember, not because of the show itself, but because it also happened to be the night Princess Diana died. In fact, we learned of her death at the party. From the bartender, no less, on one of many visits to the banquet room’s port-a-bar to get more dollar bills.

Before you get all judgmental (or let your mind go too far into the gutter), let me explain that the frequency of our trips to get change was absolutely not in an effort to encourage the performers, but rather to discourage them. You see, this particular group of male dancers seemed to think that we were there for their pleasure rather than the other way around. Throwing money at them was a kind of self defense.

There was a definite “ick” factor.

Those overly oiled studmuffin wannabes would come waving his leopard print banana hammock in my direction, and I’d do the only thing I could. Which was to frantically stuff dollar bills in his g-string. In the hopes that he would leave us alone, of course.

Rather than titillating, the whole thing was a bit traumatic. But not wanting to disappoint Danielle, we played along. All of which was well documented in photos, unfortunately.

While I tried to destroy all evidence of my participation in the event, others flaunted it. Liz, for example, sent out Christmas cards that year featured one of the photos from that night.

Despite the evidence that she’d secretly enjoyed the experience, when Liz got married a couple of years ago she made all of us in her bridal party pinkie swear that we wouldn’t attempt to recreate that evening in her honor.

We were all a bit disappointed, although none so much as Danielle, who had probably been waiting for a decade to return the favor.

But no, Liz had to be a spoil sport. So instead of a raucous night out, we had a perfectly respectable dinner at a great restaurant. What a let down. I mean, she wouldn’t even wear anything proclaiming her bride-to-be status. And there wasn’t so much as a phallus-inspired straw in sight.
No offense, it was a little boring.

Kerri’s Bachelorette Party, on the other hand, was the perfect mix. A dozen or so of us hopped on a mini-bus and headed to Turning Stone Resort Casino for a comedy show. There was lots of female bonding, plenty of free-flowing champagne and lots of laughs. And Kerri even wore the requisite ‘Bride-to-Be’ sash.

Thankfully, there were no male dancers.

Follow me on Twitter … @evesunmelissa.

The blackness of Friday

Friday, November 27th, 2009
Tyler Murphy

The screeching sound that tears dreams to shreds pulsed in nerve-racking and relentless tones. My hand blindly slams at the nearby table without any effort of coordination- I only want the noise to stop. I turn my head toward the now silenced clock. I squint in rancid disgust at the glowing 4:00 before my eyes and slide my face deep into my pillow to curse. It’s a perfect start to a black Friday.

This is one of those experiences that convinces me people are generally insane. Standing before the bathroom mirror as my eyes bring into focus the crazed 4 a.m. visage of myself I wonder how many other people are doing the same thing I’m doing at that moment- questioning their mental health.

Wal-Mart’s sales begin at 5 a.m. and the allure of a flat screen TV marked down a couple of hundred dollars proved irresistible.

“Think of the money,” I tell my fatigue body as I fight the unnatural waking urge to vomit. Two hundred dollars takes me about three days or 24 hours of labor to accumulate but I can save that amount by enduring the next few harsh hours. So be it.

I had decided to get to the store an hour early because I knew they’d be a lot of people doing the same, after all I didn’t want to get up at 5 a.m. and have nothing to show for it. Better to commit the extra hour and assure my objective. I’m lucky I did.

I pulled into a surprising long line of cars all heading in the same direction at about 4:10 a.m. As we went down Route 12 I could see nearly every single one of the 15 cars ahead of me put on their blinkers as we approached the intersection to Wal-Mart’s parking lot. I arrived late to the party and parked in the third to last spot farthest from the store’s entrance. As I walk inside countless headlights continued to swing off the roadway and into the parking lot.

Pedestrian gates had been set up in and outside of the store, the kind you tend to see at a rock concert. Another music concert aspect was the black shirted sercurity/safety personal posted at strategic sales points throughout the store and every entrance. Maybe you remember hearing of the Wal-Mart employee killed in last year’s capitalist hysteria. I’d assume the placement of these new security officials was related to last year’s incident.

Basically instead of having a line outside people line up behind the items they wish to purchase. Pallets containing the most coveted items, usually electronics, are on display, wrapped in black plastic and under guard by a handful of employees.

To get these hot items you must visit the Ticket Master (what I call them any way). They give you a ticket for the item and then you go and stand in line for it. No ticket, no item.

So I joined the latter part of the line waiting to collect their 32 inch LCD televisions. A total of 64 were available. There were maybe a dozen tickets left at 4:15 a.m. The first person in line told me they had been waiting there since 11 p.m., that’s 6 hours before the sale begins.

So I stood there in line with the 50 other lucky maniacs who had received tickets. As we waited you could tell people were tired and a little hysterical… not in the panicking sense but in the “I’m laughing at everything, what did I just say,” kind of way.

Two Wal-Mart employees near us exhibited these symptoms to a high degree, having wandering conversations with sleep deprived patrons covering topics from the stimulus package to Hanna Montana. I asked them how long they had been working. They said they started at 11 p.m. last night and wouldn’t finish their shift until noon today. Trapped in a Wal-Mart on black Friday for 11 hours straight. I began see how the job might become life threatening. After being there for an hour I was ready to kill or be killed.

At 5 a.m. the black plastic wrap came off and a half dozen Wal-Mart employees stood guard fending off line crowders (I hate you people) and those lacking tickets as the rest of us filed by in an orderly fashion to collect our prize.

Now came the escape. There should be a limit on how many carts are allowed inside a store at any one time but obviously there isn’t.

Physically speaking you could not move through the store on your own accord. It was like a slow moving river after an ice break and you were just one piece of the shattered surface drifting along. The carts flowed together in currents of general direction moving only as fast as the slowest person ahead, occasionally bouncing off one another. At times you stood completely idle for minutes… and I wasn’t even in a line for anything I just wanted to get out.

Eventually the time came to check out and as I left the store at 5:26 a.m. people continued to pour in. As I pulled from my distant parking space, the one third from farthest space in the lot, two different cars slapped on their turning blinkers and waited for me to pull out. I don’t know who ended up getting it but there were a lot of showdowns that day, a lot of winners and many more losers. It’s a dog eat dog shopping world.

As I left the parking lot a number of people had double parked in the lanes and at every turn two cars traveling in opposite directions competed to move through a space only big enough for one. Less than half an hour after it started one car was already missing a side mirror and had discolored paint streaked across it. At 5:38 I turned onto the road and headed home.

The worst part… I forget to pick up a piece of equipment apparently vital to hooking up my new TV to the rest of my electronics. So once more unto to the breach dear friends….

Edward vs Jacob

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009
Melissa Stagnaro

Look at the headlines and you’ll see lawmakers debating health care, terror trials and the war in Afghanistan. The rest of the population, however, seems far more enthralled with a much more heated debate. This other conflict has the American people completely divided, in a split more fractious than all but the most visceral of political and religious conflicts.

The cause of this division? The debate over who should win the heart of the Twilight series’ Bella Swan. Those rooting for Bella’s cold as ice vampire love have sworn their fealty to Team Edward, while fans of the more hot-blooded weres wave their banners for Team Jacob.

And when I say fans, I am of course referring to droves of shrieking, fawning, fainting teenage girls. Although plenty of others have joined in as well.

Not yours truly, however. While I’ve read the first three books in the four-part series, I’m not enough of a fan to want to see either the first movie, Twilight, or the much anticipated sequel, New Moon, which has broken all kinds of box office records since it opened last week.

That’s not to say that I haven’t chosen sides. No, I’m firmly planted in the Team Jacob camp. A decision which, thankfully, was confirmed by a quiz just this morning. I would have lost all respect for myself if the results had said otherwise.

It’s not really that I’m a “werewolf kind of girl,” as the quiz surmised. Excessive body hair can be a bit of a turn-off, I’m afraid. Although I can thoroughly appreciate his physical prowess and stamina. Yowza.

No, the real reason I support Team Jacob is that I’m not a fan of his blood-sucking rival, Edward Cullen. Or more precisely, I dislike who Bella becomes when he’s around.

I can see why she fell for him. I think most women are drawn to the mysterious, brooding type. Particularly if their skin glows like diamonds in direct sunlight. It’s probably hormonal.

But she’s just so blah. I like my central female characters to be strong, and she is anything but. Especially when Edward’s around. Good lord, the girl can’t make a decent decision to save her life.

Heck, she seems hell bent on endangering her life, especially in the series’ second installment. I just can’t support that kind of self destructive behavior. Lets hope all these teenage girls who are such fans of these books and movies don’t look at her as a role model.

This is why I stopped reading the books, by the way. It was too much like watching a train wreck. In fact, I think there should be a third faction in this debate. We could call it “Team Lets Send Bella To Counseling,” or perhaps “Team Don’t Be a Sap.”
Follow me on Twitter … @evesunmelissa

The Potty List

Monday, November 16th, 2009
Melissa Stagnaro

I’m starting to worry about the health of those I consider some of my closest friends. They seem to all be coming down with the same malady of late. No, it’s not H1N1, or any other type of flu for that matter.

I call it the inability-to-return-a-phone-call-itis. Though similar in some respects to the more common phone-tag-arrhea and failure-to-reply-to-email-osis, this strain is far more insidious.

The symptoms are easy to spot: a seeming paralysis of the digits normally used for dialing, temporary nerve deafness which prevents one from hearing the precise frequency at which a phone rings and a general befuddlement which causes address books or cell phones to be misplaced and numbers forgotten.

As far as I know there is no inoculation or vaccine which can protect you from it, but if identified early and treated promptly those who contract it are not likely to suffer any long term affects.

If, however, it is not treated with a healthy dose of catching up in a timely manner, the sufferer may experience temporary placement on the Potty List.

If symptoms are allowed persist, it can lead to permanent demotion of friend status.

Sometimes, in the most extreme cases, the sufferer doesn’t even realize the true extent of their illness. They may try to substitute a simple text message in lieu of undergoing full treatment, but while this may temporarily relieve the symptoms, the underlying condition will persist.

Intervention has not proven successful in these cases, largely because the very nature of the disease makes them difficult to organize. No, in these instances the only recourse is to completely starve the poor person of further attention until they come to their senses, as painful as that may be to their (soon to be) former friends and loved ones.

Because it is the friends and loved ones who suffer most through all of this, what with their pointless waiting by the phone for those stricken with this horrible wasting disease to recover from their malady and actually return a phone call now and then.

In fact, medical experts now say that those exposed to people with inability-to-return-a-phone-call-itis for long periods of time are prone to bouts of irritability and crankiness. And that can be a sign of early on-set I’m-Crossing-You-Off-My-Christmas-List-ism.

And trust me, no one wants that. Especially this time of year.

Follow me on Twitter … @evesunmelissa

A day of veterans

Friday, November 13th, 2009
Tyler Murphy

Jeff was busy playing with the Evening Sun’s new camera, recording the Veteran’s Day ceremony held in West Park in Norwich this Wednesday.

While he tinkered with the device at the front of the loosely gathered crowd I began to wander my way through looking for a familiar face. Instead one found me.

An older man wearing a worn navy brimmed hat extended his hand to me and introduced himself as someone I had briefly met on a previous occasion. He knew my father from the Oxford Veteran’s Home and joked on a recent column I had written poking fun at the real life horror fashion shows that appear in local court.

His wife apparently worked for a court system and she had also thrilled him with her own tales of pink flip flops and the stained stretch pants that appeared far too often before the judge’s bench.

I made an effort not to forget the man’s name and have decide against listing it here. It was a causal conversation we had and I appreciated his courtesy enough to extend the same. He was a retired 20 year veteran of the Navy.

We talked about the veteran’s home, his time in the military and the court before being interrupted in mid sentence by the VFW’s call to begin ceremonies. The man looked at me and nodded, neither of us wanted to continue with our conversation during the opening prayer and the singing of our national anthem. We understood this with out explanation. (Unlike some others in the crowd.)

Following the anthem the VFW’s presenter began talking about the challenge’s facing veterans and the local reductions in the services available to them. My acquaintance leaned near me and began explaining his own challenges in navigating the lack of resources in the system. An elderly woman, apparently familiar with the gentleman near us also added a few comments of her own contempt on the subject.

A few seconds later the gentlemen removed a pair of small metal plates from his pocket, at first I thought they were military dogtags but they seemed different. They were but I was right, they were just older dogtags from World War II.

He held the tags out to me and I inspected them closely. Cast into the metal on the front was the year 1942, a name, a religious preference and on the back imprinted into the metal was a thumb print. At first I thought how’d they do that? Then I thought morbidly of why.

In this moment while holding an artifact worn by solider in a time of high stakes world conflict I recalled a similar sensation from the day before. I had been on the phone with a father who had lost his son in Iraq, interviewing him for a Veterans Day tribute in the paper.

The gentleman went on to tell me he served in the Navy during the Vietnam War and that he had made two requests to serve in the country during that time, once to be assigned to a ship and another to a Navy office in Saigon. He was denied both times. He recalled being denied the office position and said he was grateful it worked out that way. A few months after having his request denied the office was bombed by a Viet Cong insurgent, killing a number of the personal working there.

Having the general ability to relate to those I often speak with I found myself at an unusual loss on how to comprehend the past week’s experiences. I still ponder the last few days in my mind and feel I haven’t quite grasped their true meaning yet.

I’m a long enthusiasts of history, politics and news but to stare at the topics of a remote world so personally before me created a connection to them I rarely feel. To read over the events in Afghanistan or Iraq I can’t help by consider that gentleman, his father’s dogtags or another father who spoke so proudly of his dead son.

If the shoe fits

Friday, November 13th, 2009
Melissa Stagnaro

One look is probably all you’d need to determine that I’m hardly a fashionista. My closet could easily be one of the befores featured on any one of TLC’s makeover shows.

But sometimes, looks can be deceiving. Sure my daily footwear choices usually are more about function but fashion, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate a pair of truly fabulous shoes as much as the next girl.

I know, I know, you’d never know it by looking at the plain Jane numbers that I wear to work most days, the back of my closet tells a different story.
I’m no Carrie Bradshaw, with a closet full of Jimmy Choos and Manolo Blahniks. But, God, I’d love to be.

I’m usually able to resist my urge to splurge in the shoe department (by necessity – my shoe budget for the year wouldn’t stretch to cover one Ferragamo, let alone a pair.) But I have been known to give into my baser impulses on special occasions.

Because who needs scrap books to memorialize momentous events in your life, when you’ve got the shoes to remember them by. Like the strappy gold platform shoes I wore to my college graduation, the little kitten-healed mules I trekked through Paris in, the sexy beaded Carlos Santana sandals I wore to my cousin Elizabeth’s wedding, or the black stilettos that complimented my Sarah Palin Halloween costume so well last year. Ooh, and don’t forget my cute little winter boots with the fur trim. Cold weather has never been so much fun.

In some cases, the shoes may be gone, but the memories remain. Oh, how I miss the black, knee high go-go boots that carried me out on many a night during my DC years. They coordinated with everything from the cute little black dress I commandeered from my roommate Melissa to the pleather hot pants I nicked from our other roommie, Bridget.

Now that I think about it, I miss having their closets to pilfer through almost as much as I miss the boots.

I’ve been feeling a bit blah lately, which I’d chalked up to the days getting shorter. In retrospect, that lackluster aura had just as much to do with the shoes I’ve been wearing – which are just as bleak as a typical Upstate New York weather forecast.

Never fear, though, because on a shopping excursion with my mother last weekend, I discovered the fix: a pair of faux-leopard flats, with black patent trim.

The result? Instant rejuvenation.

Add in some slightly blonder highlights, a new lip gloss and a flashy new Miche handbag, and I’m starting to feel like the real me again.

Aahhh. It feels good to be back.

Here, kitty kitty…

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009
Melissa Stagnaro

Although my father tries hard to hide it, he’s a bit of a softy when it comes to animals. Oh, he talks and walks a good tough-guy game, but those who know him can see right through his charade.

A case in point is the veritable herd of feral cats he feeds on a daily basis.

[Please note: This is not, and I repeat, NOT an open invitation for you to deposit any unwanted cats on our doorstep.]

It’s an embarrassing little habit of his, but for the most part we indulge him when it comes to his following of felines. We try not to roll our eyes when he constructs a new “kitty condo;” make every effort to keep a straight face when he specifies the exact quantity of food which should be put out in his absence; and barely bat an eye when he is followed around the yard by the current contingent of untamed critters, all with their tails pointed straight up in the air.

Seriously, he’s like the pied piper.

I thought he was alone in his preoccupation, until I made a new acquaintance recently. What Jane Goodall was to chimpanzees, this woman is to feral felines. I immediately vowed that I could never introduce her to my father. I’m afraid she’d give him ideas. You see, the five-star accommodations she provides for the strays lucky enough to know her make my father’s ministrations look like the services of a marginal homeless shelter.

You’d never know it by looking at her, either. She’s a young professional who hardly fits the profile of someone who collects stray cats and caters to their every whim. That’s right, she’s not anything like my dad. Nor is she a doddering old woman. I was, in the words of Maggie Dorsey, flabbergasted to discover her dirty kitty-litter secret in the course of an otherwise unsurprising conversation.

I can’t remember what little tidbit she or one of her coworkers, who were also present, let slip first. I think it started when she made a comment in passing about the upcoming winter and her concerns about the health and welfare of an outdoor cat.

At the time, I didn’t realize she was talking about one of many. I was clued into this, however, when one of the coworkers in question asked her to specify which cat. Was it such-and-such, the person asked. No, that one was currently staying in one of the guest rooms so it could receive aromatherapy treatments, Cat Lady replied.

Obviously the names have been changed to protect the marginally, although entirely well-meaning, obsessed.

No, on this occasion, she was concerned about Tiger-Kitty. Apparently this intrepid feline had only barely struggled through last winter, despite the fact that our cat-loving friend provided heating pads and heated water dishes for its convenience. Located, not out in the bitter cold, but in a detached two car garage she reserves for this purpose. Because apparently the separate dog house, also heated for their comfort, wasn’t enough.

Approximately 11 neighborhood strays call her little corner of Norwich home, she told me. A number which had been higher, she explained, before she discontinued canned-food Sundays. Where as a treat, she fed them canned cat food instead of their typical dry kibble.

The details of why exactly she stopped this practice are a little sketchy. There are rumors that her sister may have staged an intervention.

There seems to be nothing that this kind-hearted woman won’t do for the feral felines in her environs. On one occasion she reportedly climbed a tree to offer solace (and first aid) to one of the kitties after it had a fight with one of its kin.

And then, there was the time she gave mouth to mouth while performing kitty-CPR. Unfortunately, the kitten who’s live she saved in this Corky Romano-esque rescue attempt later perished in a tragic caulk accident.

It’s best not to ask, her coworker told me, as the incident is still a little too painful for her to talk about.

After that tragedy, our cat lover tried to draw the line. And when she returned from out of town last winter to find that another kitten had found its way into her garage (the one she actually parks her car in) while she was away, she attempted to bring him to the local animal shelter. They have a policy about taking animals with pre-existing medical conditions, however, and turned the small cat away. Why, you ask? Because it had what they called “frozen testicles.”

Yes, that’s right. The poor little guy’s balls had frozen.

But don’t worry. She got him the medical attention he needed at her regular vet. (Where she is no doubt a VIP.) They fixed him up, and adopted him themselves. I believe they even named him in her honor. When they add a new wing, that will probably be in her honor, too.

By the time my new friends were through sharing all these cat tales, my belly ached from laughing, tears were streaming down my cheeks and I was searching for a pen and a scrap of paper to jot it all down. Because I don’t know about you, but with all the doom and gloom in our world right now, my spirit welcomed the reminder that there are still plenty of big-hearted people out there, making their mark on the world in all kinds of interesting ways.

Believe me when I tell you, my cat-loving friend, I’m laughing with you, not at you, when I share this story.

Field hockey finds Moore

Thursday, November 5th, 2009
Patrick Newell

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a portion of Patrick Newell’s column for the Friday, Nov. 6 edition:

I received a sports release via e-mail from Keystone College earlier this week. Before reading it, I scanned for the bolded-out names seeking out any local athletes. Often times, colleges who have my e-mail address on their master list will send me sports information updates, regardless if that press release includes a former Chenango County athlete.
In this Keystone e-mail, I noticed the name, Melinda Moore, a 2007 Norwich High School graduate. Before reading the entire article, I noticed statistics attributed to Moore in which she was credited with shutouts, total saves, and goals-against average. My first conclusion, “oh, she’s a soccer goalie.”
The only rub here was that goals-against is not a statistic typically used for soccer goalies.
Then I read the entire article.
Six Keystone College players received Colonial States Athletic Conference (CSAC) all-conference honors in field hockey.
Field hockey?
Anyone who follows Norwich sports knows that it doesn’t have a field hockey team. In fact, Norwich dropped its field hockey program around 1986 in favor of girls’ soccer.
During her high school years at Norwich, Moore was a distinguished athlete competing in varsity basketball in the winter and track and field in the spring. In the latter sport, she became a school record-breaker in the shot put her senior year.
I am not certain if Moore ever played soccer, but I know Moore did not play varsity soccer her senior season, the fall of 2006 under then-Norwich head coach, Scottie Decker.
Moore displayed an interest in Keystone’s field hockey team last spring, said Keystone head coach, Kacy Manning.
“She practiced a few times in the spring last school year and played in one short game, but this year was her first competitive season,” Manning said.

The insanity of a social self

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009
Tyler Murphy

There is a facade that we all must admit we have.

Think of yourself as a corporation rather than an individual. When controlling the public image, you summon the company’s politically correct and socially engaging representative for duty. It’s kind of like that – rare is the personality that simply pours forth unabated. More often we meet the tempered “representatives” of people. Especially in first impressions.

I amuse myself with the strange, yet common social interaction of two people meeting, guards up, representative out, so much effort and so little personal exchange extracted.

It’s not just so much wanting to be liked by my peers that drives my particular brand of self-censorship as it is my concern I’ll offend people with my over direct and sarcastic personality. I like a truthful joke at my or someone else’s expense. It took me a while to realize that’s a personal preference. Like all good performers say before going on stage, know your audience.

The social graces are a courtesy that are all too often manipulated into deception of a popular image hiding inner motivations. Politicians, lawyers and real life corporate public relations representatives (journalists? I hope not) come to mind. Walks of life I stroll with routinely.

That may seem like a negative connotation, but when you work in a world of presentation is everything and image can trump truth, you need to be aware of all things expressive.

When your livelihood depends on assuming a position you hardly ever get to pick or even agree with, you have to develop a front to absorb the blows and a character to strike back. But the best defense is one of avoidance, not endurance. And the best attacks are subtle, not aggressive.

Keeping a guard up increases the distance of inner thoughts and emotions from being displayed, which often leaves an individual feeling disconnected. Sociopathic tendencies are adopted by choice and motivated by a means of control aimed at greater professional success. It sounds so reasonably insane to me.

Some people take it one step further and project an image in their mind based on what they wish to portray or what reaction they wish to generate from others before proceeding to assume that identity on a case by case basis. They perpetrate multiple deceptions of self out of a desire to obtain or fear of judgment. I wonder if after playing so many parts if a person ever really knows who they really are or what they even really believe. So much effort spent on not being anything – again the social irony amuses me.

The more I think about people’s positions and their desired image, I start to realize there is more than one person to a life.

There is who we think we are, who others think we are and who we really are falling somewhere in between. How far apart those three things fall can says a lot about a person.

What do they say about you?

(Insert rambling thought disclaimer here)

Falling back

Monday, November 2nd, 2009
Melissa Stagnaro

If I asked you what your favorite day of the year is, your stock response might be a major holiday, particularly one involving presents under a tree, or perhaps your birthday. But if, like me, you’re of the chronically sleep deprived set, the end of Daylight Savings time might top your list instead.

For me, the day when clocks “fall back” an hour thus allowing me an extra 60 minutes of blissful repose under my duvet is most definitely my favorite. Yes, even more than Christmas.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got nothing against presents. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to recognize sleep as more precious than even the most beautifully wrapped gifts.

It wasn’t always that way, of course. In my rowdier youth, I made use of that extra hour, not for sleep, but for staying out an hour longer. Ahhh. Good times. Unfortunately, it all caught up with me at some point -probably around the time I hit 30.

Now, at the incredibly advanced age of 34, sleep is the hot commodity, rather than a riotous night out on the town. (Not that I don’t still enjoy a good night out on the town.)

But, anyway, back to the clocks falling back.

There is just something wonderful about adding an extra hour to the day, any day. Wouldn’t it be even more wonderful if it took place, not on a Sunday, but on a Monday?

Imagine how great it would be to start the week by getting to sleep in an extra hour. Ahhhh… The very idea makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. Or having an extra hour on deadline. Yep, I could definitely get behind that.

There is a drawback, though, to the clocks clicking back a notch. Sure, it was light this morning for my commute in to work (although that might have been more to do with the fact that I was 30 minutes or so behind schedule – which didn’t make me late per se, just not as early as I normally get in to start my day), but I know full well that it will be dark entirely too early tonight. And it will just get worse over the next seven or so weeks as we count down to December 21, the shortest day (in terms of daylight) of the year.

Ugh. How depressing.

Maybe I should re-evaluate my choice of favorite days. Maybe it should be December 22, when the scale finally starts to swing the other way.