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The Subversion of Napping

For two years Miss Behaved appeared in a local paper – I know, a real paper.  Now I want to periodically share some of her here in my blog.

Spoiler Alert:  You will learn nothing.

It doesn’t take many kitchen conversations to realize that there is something afoot. Miss Behaved people are pleased to note that the sexual revolution is not over and there are still angles and wrinkles and, how shall we say it?  Areas of need, that remain unaddressed, unacknowledged and unfulfilled. This is a relief because there is nothing worse than thinking you came to the party late and have no choice but to wander around through life in a kind of post-modern despair because all the good revolutions have been taken.

A few whispered examples of this new, curious trend include the story of the woman who admitted she did it with her dogs.

In addition, she can only do it when her husband is away because he has always hated the dogs sleeping on the communal bed. One afternoon, she was almost caught.    She heard him pull up and tried to shoo the dogs away, but unfortunately, her husband heard the noise through the open window and bellowed. “Don’t think I don’t know what you’re doing in there!”

She adverted tragedy by antagonizing the pug, making him dash into the living room and pee on the Biedermeier chair, effectively distracting her husband to the point that he forgot all about what he heard in the bedroom because it was his turn to clean up after the dog.

Another woman, upon hearing the dog story, reluctantly confessed she liked to do it with all her cats – sprawled on the red and black couch. The couch is soft and plush as are the cats, and there is nothing better on a winter morning than the group orgy that occurs between ten and eleven when the kids are safely in school and her traveling partner is safely out of the town.  The downside is she has to meticulously vacuum the couch after every tete-a-tete, but it’s a small price to pay.

A third rebel reported that she consulted books.  Her only chance to read is when the whole blasted family is gone. Otherwise, she risks any one of the precious children marching into the living room to announce that their mother reads crap.    Instead of piling the family pets around her, she brings in five or so books she wishes to review.  She never manages to read these new books because she invariably reaches for the tried and true book that will deliver, without undue effort, the sought after results.

According to Miss Behaved sampling theories, these stories represent an under-the-covers moment that at the very least involves about thirteen hundred thousand women across the country (and a few men who have amended the activity by putting “power” before it).

We say all over the country because even though Americans are quite adept at inventing addictive technological innovations and distracting ourselves with political machinations, we have not discovered how to fit in a nap into an afternoon.  In the US, there is no precedent for rest during the day (high tech sleep pods aside); there is no example in our Puritan history that allows for a break in the afternoon.  We encourage small children to nap so they can function better in the later part of the day, but we do not encourage CEO’s to do the same.

But there is dissent.  Miss Behaved woman report they have taken to snatching opportunities in likely and unlikely locations. Exhausted mothers are indulging while waiting in the van for the children to finish up soccer.  Bank managers park out in the middle of the office parking lot and spend a brief fifteen minutes soothed and caressed by the winter sun streaming through the windshield.  Mothers at home are catching an opportunity to rest their eyes while the toddlers are engrossed in forbidden videos.  Seniors pretend that they don’t answer the phone between 11:00 and 11:30 because they’re watching their “stories” when actually they are doing something far more subversive and unacceptable.

Just as the advanced nations on the continent have managed to incorporate their mistresses and wives into a tidy life, and just as we continued to be shocked by the practice, so too have advanced countries figured out  that an hour off in the middle of the day to luxuriate in sleep will not cause the earth to stop turning on its axis. This very thought is an affront to American sensibilities.  American women, in particular, have been conditioned to believe that if we do stop, or set any one of a dozen air born balls, the earth will indeed stop turning.  At least according to family members and advertising executives.

Your question, as you sneak into the back bedroom to dive under the special quit kept there for just such an assignation, is, if you are found out, will this habit, this un-American activity, make it necessary to leave the county?  Is it possible to create a Miss Behaved revolution right here on Puritan soil? Enough Miss Behaved women think we can.  As long as the rest of you are quiet so we can get our rest.


Catharine Bramkamp is a successful writing coach and author. She has published over 300 newspaper and magazine articles in publications like Modern Maturity (AARP), SF Chronicle and Santa Rosa Magazine. She was a contributor to two Chicken Soup Books and has published anthologies of her work, non-fiction works and novels. Her work has also appeared in a number of poetry and fiction anthologies. She has experimented with the self-publishing world since 2001. She has published and self-published seven books through companies like Author House, author assist companies like 3L Publishing and through traditional publishers like Write Life. Her poetry collection, Ammonia Sunrise, will be released in August 2011 by Finishing Line Press and her mystery novel, In Good Faith will be released by Write Life in 2011. Catharine holds a BA in English from UCSB and a MA in English from Sonoma State University. She is a 25 year member of California Writer’s Club. She is an adjunct professor for the University of Phoenix. She works with authors of both fiction and non-fiction to make their dream of producing a book come true. For more information on that, visit her at Catharine has lived in Sonoma County for 25 years and considers wine a food group. She is married to an adorable and very patient man who complains he’s never featured in any of her books. Her grown children who are featured in a few of her books have fled the county.

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