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Recently on Askreddit, one of the topics was “What are the Stories You Will Never Tell Your Kids About.” One of the Redditors, clearly a How I Met Your Mother fan, said, “Nothing that happened after 2am,” like Ted’s “Nothing good ever happens after 2am.”

I replied, “I have two appropriate, albeit embarrassing, stories that happened after 2am that I would totally tell my kids.” And a few people asked for the story. I must deliver or I let down Reddit (not ALL of Reddit, just those two people).

I think I actually have three, but I said two. Then I couldn’t think of the second one. To be fair, the second one might actually have been the one I thought of in the first place. Did I mention I’m the story that Memento was based on?*

I had gone to a birthday party and ended up staying later than planned. I think it was about 2am, although it may have been a little earlier or later. Definitely not earlier than 1am.

It was spring or summer, and I had spent the last few nights staying up late even for me. My best friend at the time and I liked to stay up and watch movies and television, especially since neither of us had normal jobs/classes where we had to get up early. We watched a lot of Arrested Development. I actually watch a lot of tv/movies with everyone. This is probably why my mom stopped doing TV-Free Week one week out of the year at our house. I probably cried or something.

I was on the way home, debating whether or not I should head over there, when I stopped at the drive-thru to get some food. The last time I’d gone there, I’d forgotten to get my water. So I ordered, pulled up to the next window, and drove away.

As I drove off, I reached over to get my burger. I’d already gulped down the water, psyched that I remembered to order any at all. But my hand won’t find the bag. Finally, in a fit of desperation, I pulled over to the side of the road, and went through my whole car, which didn’t take long.

Then it dawned on me. I never GOT the meal. I was so tired and excited over the stupid drink that I never bothered to get the meal.

I pulled up to the drive-thru again.

“How can I help you?”

“You have my food,” I said, leaning out the window to yell it to make sure they heard. Also, I had no air conditioning, so it was cooler that way.

“Uh, what?”

“My food. I was JUST there. I left without it?”

There was a pause, and I was afraid. Had they given it to me? Did they not believe me? Then a giggle, as the guy said, “Please pull forward.” It was him and one other guy in there, and they were doubled over laughing  They handed me my hamburger, and I drove off.

The other incident happened after I’d gotten about 3 hours of sleep tops. The night prior, I had been at a party on a boat house, where everyone was 20, so none of us were drinking. I was crunched up in a chair. I ended up trying to sleep on the floor, but I couldn’t. It’s not easy for me to sleep anywhere, even in my own bed, so the floor was awful. I ended up having a buttload of caffeine, because I was in college. So I never went back to sleep.

That night, I went over to the house of someone I had just started seeing. We were kissing on the couch for the first time, and it ran a little long. After awhile of just kissing, I asked what time it was. He said it was about 4 in the morning (I hadn’t gone over there until after dinner). I felt weird staying over, even on the couch. Furthermore, I was really looking forward to going to sleep. Something that wouldn’t happen unless I was in my own bed, because my body is just picky like that.

“It’s like 4am,” he said. “You really shouldn’t drive home.”

“I’m fine,” I argued. “It’s not like I’m drunk.”

“No, but you’re tired which is still bad. I’ll bring you some blankets.”

“I’ll be fine,” I reiterated. I was now all huffy. I still get mad when I want to leave and people make me stay. Or when I want to go to sleep and people keep me up.

“Okay,” he said, “I’ll walk you out.”

Then he pointed out that there was a car parked dangerously close to mine and a big, black iron mailbox on the other side of my car. Then he went back inside. Awesome.

For someone who took her sweet time just hanging out and watching tv, or not watching it, I really wanted to leave. Especially after that exchange about how I shouldn’t drive at night.

Don’t hit the car, don’t hit the car, don’t hit the car, I thought to myself, backing up.

Naturally, I hit the mailbox instead. The big, stupid, iron mailbox that busted my tail light, and fell onto the big stupid front lawn. I threw the car into park, and ran up to the house. Before I could knock, he opened the door.

“You hit the mailbox, didn’t you?”

“Yes,” I whined, meekly.

He sighed and stared out at it. “I knew that was going to happen.” At least he didn’t say, “I thought you’d hit the car.” It was hard to be mad, when I did what he thought I would do. It was harder to be mad when I watched him try to stand it upright and almost fall down.

So I ended up sleeping on the couch, but I made my ex sleep on the other couch, because I didn’t want to be alone in the front room with the shadows. Because apparently, I’m still five.

There you have it. You can tell your kids stories that happen after 2am, or I can tell these, and they both involve not getting enough sleep. I will be the Aesop’s Real Life parent. Or just the dad from Arrested Development.

*Yeah, I’m not the person Memento is based on.

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