Tens of millions of Americans are stayed home today or dragged ass late into the office in the wake of the Game of Thrones finale. That’s according to a Harris poll from the Workforce Institute at Kronos that suggested 10 million American workers wouldn’t make it in today and that an additional 2.9 Million would roll in late. That’s also according to a ton of anecdotal evidence, which suggests that many younger workers are treating lack of caffeine like a human rights violation. As a parent of two young children, let me say this to all those battle-weary TV watchers whining about being under-rested: Fuck all the way off. You don’t know tired and emotionally drained until you’ve tried to put two sleep-reluctant children to bed at the end of the school year. I see your weariness and I raise you.
And guess what? I’m at work on time on Monday morning.
Oh, sure, I get it. The Thrones finale came on late and had an 80 minute run time. And then you had to stay up for another hour and tweet about how disappointed you were. And let’s not forget how emotional you were when Drogon was all sad about his Mom getting killed. Yeah, boo-fucking-hoo.
After story time last night, my kids decided they were going to engage in a battle every bit as ugly as The Mountain fighting Oberyn in Kings Landing. The 6-year-old staged a forceful occupation of the 8-year-old’s bed, so the 8-year-old had to come into my bedroom weeping because his little brother kicked him in the back. That meant that I had to go in and scold the younger boy, which made him yell back at me and slam doors. It only got worse from there. Sadly, none of it was CGI.
At 9 pm, the older child started complaining of stomach trouble and had to use the bathroom, but demanded the door remain open making the whole house smell like poop. Because he’s scared of being in the bedroom without his older brother at night, the younger boy had to sit in the hall and sing about farts. This went on for 30 minutes.
Around 10 pm, I thought I had them settled and I was going to try and watch a little TV, but within the first minutes of me trying to catch up on Game of Thrones (I’m behind, again, I have kids), my kids were inexplicably out of their bed again, standing in my room and gasping at the bloodshed and horror on the television. I hustle them back to their rooms to dream of violent death. There were tears. There was shouting. The kids cried too.
At around 11 pm, there was finally silence. I’d given up on watching TV. Instead, I lay in the dark feeling guilty about what a bad parent I was for my continuing inability to get my children to sleep. I tossed and turned, fitfully until 2 am when both children climbed into my bed to sleep until morning. I had little feet in my back until my wife’s alarm sounded at 5:30 am.
But you know what? I got up. I had a cup of coffee and I went to work. Because that’s what adult human beings do.
Thing is, my story is in no way unique. Millions upon millions of parents come into work smiling every day despite the fact that their children torture them every night and render them sleepless. So, if I see you in the coffee shop today as I’m trying to get another caffeine fix to stay productive, I better not hear you whine about how tired you are after last night’s Thrones finale.
As a wild red-head from beyond the wall once said: You know nothing.