Firstly, it must be clear that every night at ten sharp when I retreat into the kitchen and have my high-fiber, low-sugar, high-soy-protein cereal, prunes, and crushed psyllium husks, which optimize the digestive process, my wife cannot talk to me. It’s not that I don’t crave my wife’s company. It’s just that during my bedtime feeding, I need to focus on my eating, the shimmering cereal nuggets staring at me like precious jewels, the soothing crunching sound of the cereal, the sacred drinking of the remaining milk from the bowl, which I hold to my lips like some ancient ceremonial vessel as I slurp its vestiges.
This is a private time for me, in which my cereal-eating is accompanied by peaceful introspection. I contemplate the day’s events. I mull over what I did that was beneficial to my life and gently critique that which was not. I consider those forces of my childhood that determine the adult character that has been foisted upon me and I consider those areas of my life that are still open to change. Of course, the scales weigh heavier for the former more than they do for the latter. Nevertheless, I make this distinction every night as I feel it is my moral duty to change those areas of my life that I am capable of changing and resigning myself to those areas that are set in stone, as it were.
Some will denigrate my nightly ritual as being infantile. Indeed, I have been eating cereal before bed ever since I was a small boy. Feed the infant and the infant will fall asleep. As I am a man prone to insomnia, people in general, and my wife specifically, should indulge my ritual, however childish it might be.