Our theme for the month of October is “the elements.”

I’ve been married for two months, so I know pretty much everything there is to know about my husband.

Everything except for, you know, what he’s like in the morning.

Here’s the thing: I hate mornings. Every member of my immediate family will tell you this, ad nauseam. Seriously. If you will tell them how delightful you find me (oh how sweet of you!), they will simply reply with, “Have you seen her in the morning?!” as if my preference for some peace and quiet is an inexcusable offense. Want me to be pleasant before eight in the morning? Here’s a hint: Don’t talk to me. If you must speak, don’t look to me to respond to what you said, and for the love, do not ask me a single question. This will be your downfall, every time. And mine too, because you’ll judge me by my angry grunts and rude stray syllables for years to come.

But take heart! None of you have to live with me. I’ve got a permanent roomie and he thinks I’m all that and a bag of chips, yes, even in the morning. Shocking, I know. Our secret to success centers mainly on the fact that when he gets up, I stay in bed. When he takes a shower, I stay in bed. When he gets ready for work, makes our lunches, and gets out the cereal for breakfast, I stay in bed.

At least, I assume these are things he does in the morning, because by the time I finally heave myself out bed and into work clothes, grunting without ceasing, all of these things are already done.

But on his birthday, the day after our two month anniversary, I decided this morning routine should look a bit different. In fact, I had a brilliant beyond brilliant idea: twenty-four years of life + twenty-four hours in a day = one whole day of celebration—starting with breakfast in bed.

Early that morning, I snuck out of bed to get his breakfast ready, and somehow managed in walk into our room just as his alarm was going off.

“HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!” I shouted, throwing the lights on. And boy, was he ever surprised! Not only was his alarm beeping, and the lights were on, and there was a plate of breakfast in front of him, but there I was, fully awake, and seemingly happy, all before 7 a.m. Yes, the element of surprise was on my side.

“What is this?” he said, still shocked, looking down at his plate of tossed salad and scrambled eggs.

Now, you might not serve your spouse tossed salad and scrambled eggs as a birthday breakfast, but you also probably do not watch as much Frasier as we do. (For those of you who are unfamiliar with the aforementioned television show AND did not click on the links above (you know who you are, and so do I), “Tossed Salad and Scrambled Eggs” is the theme song of NBC’s classic sitcom Frasier. And luckily for you, all ELEVEN seasons are available on Netflix. Now go culture yourselves!)

So when he asked what it was, I knew he could figure it out on his own. But it took a while.

“You…you made me tossed salad and scrambled eggs?” he said. Groggily.

“YES!” I exclaimed. Loudly.

He proceeded to push the food around his plate, nibbling a bit.

“Were you surprised? Did you even know I wasn’t in bed anymore? Could you hear me in the kitchen?” I asked, breaking my own cardinal rule of mornings THREE TIMES OVER.

He mumbled muted responses, still eating slowly. while I continued gabbing away, as if mornings weren’t the bane of my existence.

But when he looked right at me, brow furrowed, I stopped. “Can…can I take a shower?” he asked.

“But what about your breakfast?”

“It’s great, I just…I can’t eat it right now. Can I eat it after my shower?”

What is with this guy and showers? I thought to myself. Other thoughts included THIS IS NOT HOW BREAKFAST IN BED WORKS and, thankfully, It’s his dang birthday, you should probably let him do what he wants.

So he showered. When he emerged, he was much more like the husband I was accustomed to: cheery, with functioning motor skills and the ability to form complete sentences on the first try. Up to this point, I’ve never really spent time with him before his shower. Turns out, he’s as dysfunctional as me in the morning without it! Well, not quite. But enough that breakfast in bed is pretty much out of the question in our family.

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