the summer before i began junior high, i went out with my mom to buy my first alarm clock. it seemed so exciting that i would need an alarm clock from this point forward. it made me feel very adult, having a "busy" schedule and being responsible for getting myself to the bus.
after some searching, we found the perfect alarm clock. a little red digital by conair with a snooze button on the top. this snooze button would become as familiar to me as my own hand over the years...
we brought it home and i put two Little Mermaid stickers on it and plugged it in. i loved
it. it served me faithfullly throughout junior high and then did not break down as most alarm clocks do. so i kept using it through high school; it still performed well and showed no signs of breaking down.
when i left for college, the little red alarm clock was with me. the Little Mermaid stickers were fading a little but still firmly stuck in place. the alarm clock saw me through four different apartments in college and faithfully made the trip back home with me every summer. it never failed.
i tend to set the alarm for an hour before i need to be up, and then i press the snooze button five times before surrendering sleep. i have dropped the alarm clock on the floor on more than one occasion; senior year i actually duct-taped the alarm clock to the foot of my bed, since i didn't have a nightstand! when we moved out of that apartment i ripped the clock off the bed and ripped the duct-tape off the clock, and still the Little Mermaid stickers held on firmly.
i moved off to egypt, moved back, set the alarm clock to wake me for graduate school, for this job or that job. the morning of my wedding, it was this red alarm clock that woke me and helped me begin that amazing day. we moved home from thailand and this alarm clock helped me usher in my first morning in our new apartment.
every morning, every single morning, for the last seventeen years
, the alarm clock has faithfully beeped and snoozed and beeped and snoozed. this morning, suddenly, the 17-year-run was over. it didn't go off, and when i looked at it, it was dark. i was able to bring it back to life for a second but it elapsed back into darkness within a few seconds.
this little red alarm clock; i have taken it for granted for 17 years, and now it won't be at my side every night and every morning. it's a strange thought.