I Don’t Get Up Early. I Get Up Yesterday.
by Marianne Curan
Today is officially the 8th day of my Christmas “staycation” and I’m just now beginning to see my way to the other side of exhaustion. That’s what happens when you get up at 3 a.m. every day to do a morning radio show.
I know I’m “cry-if-you-poke-me” tired when I’ve been in bed for 10 hours each of those 8 days and I still wake up too fried to scramble an egg. So instead of the back breaking work of whisking eggs into a frying pan, I’ve been eating leftover stuffing out of a Tupperware container. It’s much less tasking and, thankfully, I make damned good stuffing.
Growing up it was a very rare occasion when my Mom, Saint Marge, would let on that she was so exhausted she’d groan, “I feel like I dug ditches all day.” Well, if you spend 27 years raising four humans you’re bound to be pretty wiped. (Oh, I say 27 because that’s how old I was when I finally moved out.)
I cannot imagine how Saint Marge didn’t feel that exhausted every day after herding around four wetting, whining wee ones. I can’t believe she never actually dug a ditch and threw herself in it. That’s why Mom was a goddamned SAINT.
Look, I’m lucky I don’t dig ditches for a living. So why does hosting a radio show feel similar? I don’t literally use a jackhammer to pry open the earth but there are days when I’m so blotto tired I feel like someone’s used a jackhammer to pry open my head.
I know my job isn’t rocket science or hard labor. And this deep exhaustion would make more sense if I was hosting an issue related talk show. You know the ones where bloviating hosts spend hours spewing about news and politics and then argue at full throat-ripping volume with incensed listeners who scream back even though they all actually agree on the same shit. Now that would be exhausting.
My show is a few hours of shoot-the-shit-chat and laughing with our listeners followed by a couple of hours figuring out what shoot-the-shit-chat we’re gonna talk about the next day—and the next day. That’s the gig and when the red light’s on and we’re live it’s a blast.
Unlike issue shows there is no screaming or arguing. (TO CLARIFY: that would be no screaming or arguing on air. There is occasional screaming and arguing off air because a) we’ve all been up since 3 am and b) my co-host is my husband.)
Another thing that sets us apart from issue shows is there’s usually nothing intellectually challenging. For instance, we recently talked about why I hate toaster ovens. “I have a toaster and I have an oven. Why do I need a toaster-oven?” You’d be shocked how many callers chimed in on that earth shattering conversation.
My show is the radio equivalent of Marshmallow Fluff…just a giant ooey, gooey jar of nutrition-free confection much like “Live with Kelly and Michael”— ooops, I mean “Live with Kelly and “The Celeb Suck-Up O’ the Day.” (Doesn’t Anderson Cooper have all the jobs he needs?) For the love of God, ABC, pick someone and move on.
However, there is a big difference between that fluffy TV show and my fluffy radio show. According to “Good Housekeeping”—and they would know— Kelly Ripa gets up at 6 am, not 3. People love asking me, “How early do you get up?” My answer, “Well, I used to think I was a morning person. But now, I don’t get up early. I get up yesterday."
This is how early 3 am is. Three a.m. is so early it can’t even be called the “ass crack of dawn.” I don’t know what time is the official ass crack of dawn. I just know that at 3 am it is pitch black outside so there is no “dawn” and if there were an ass crack of something you wouldn’t see it anyway.
On the flip side of career fate Ms. Ripa rolls out of her designer sheets at 6 am, then leisurely sips a cup of herbal tea and peels herself a grape (although she might have someone who peels it for her). She is then whisked to the TV studio for hair, makeup and wardrobe. She prances onto the stage at 9 for an hour of Marshmallow Fluff and is back in a limo on her way to a Pilates class by 10:01.
Am I jealous of Kelly Ripa? Of course I am. She works one hour a day (or 44 actual minutes if you subtract the commercials.) She’s a size “minus”— not a minus two, or even a zero, she’s just a minus. She’s too small to have a number. She makes about $20 million dollars a year, lives in a $27 million townhouse in Manhattan and has a getaway home in the Hamptons.
Oh, and most importantly, she’s RESTED. Hell yes, I am jealous of that.
As I finish up this little rant I realize I have one more day off before setting my alarm for work.—okay, not for work, not for digging ditches…for my show.
So I’m gonna go get some laundry done, take the dogs for a walk and count my blessings.
Oh, and I better go grocery shopping. I’m almost out of stuffing.