The Legend of the Night Mask

Anyone that has had the rare privilege to share room and board with me during the last two years is well aware of the fact that I sleep with a night mask. Recently I was told that “night masks were for old ladies,” (Thanks  Darryl…) and even though I am unfamiliar with this stereotype, I felt that the legend that is Melissa’s Night Mask was worth diving into.

Wearing a night mask became an ultimate necessity after I became a vampire.

Also known as: the year I lived in the windowless room.

I’ll never forget the day that I opened the door to my brand spankin’ new apartment in Grand Central. The building was still under construction when my brave and naïve roommates and I signed the lease. But the pictures were nice. And they gave me a free t-shirt for signing, which was absolutely the selling point for me. We figured taking the risk of signing a lease to a new place we had never seen was totally worth it. The place would be brand new, and it wouldn’t be a dorm. Which was all we really cared about.

There are a lot of questions you ask when signing a lease for a place – new or not. What are the dimensions of the rooms? Is it furnished? Is there a microwave? Is there an elevator? Do I have to pay for laundry? Can I throw under-age drinking parties without getting caught?

I never thought it was necessary to ask: Do the rooms have windows?

You can imagine my surprise when I opened the door to my new room (the one I had agreed to take before we all moved in, since that was the fair way) only to be shocked that my room did not have windows. I was going to be living in a cave for the next 12 months.

First thoughts: IS THIS SAFE AND IS THIS LEGAL? Not having a window in two of the four bedrooms????? Isn’t that some kind of a fire hazard??? Violation of a health code??? WHAT KIND OF JANKY PROPERTY COMPANY BUILDS AN APARTMENT THAT DOENST HAVE WINDOWS IN THE BEDROOMS????? Oh right, Madison Property Management does. (See Archive for posts relating to my disgust with MPM).

I immediately purchased mirrors and lamps, in an attempt to brighten up the room and to avoid a deep spiraling depression from loss of my much needed Vit D. The adjustment period was abruptly shortened when I realized windowless rooms meant one thing: KILLER NAP TIMES.

Oh lordy, did I love naps that year. 2 PM. Sun blazing. Melissa: dead asleep and loving it. I have always been an unusually early riser, suffering from insomnia ever since 6 AM high school swim practice days. My insomnia was cured in that room, sleeping for impressive lengths of time (meaning past 8 AM). I always left that room feeling rejuvenated. And I also started needing to wear sunglasses at night cuz even the moon was too bright for me and it was ironic.

The following year I remained in Grand Central. But decided it was time to reconnect with nature, chirping birds, and the lovely sound of recycling trucks at 7 AM. So I insisted upon a room with windows. It was apparent immediately that the light from my window was going to be a problem. I bought black curtains, like I was going through a goth pre-teen phase. I tried to sleep with pillows over my face, only to wake up in a suffocating panic. If that is what sleep apnea  feels like, then it really sucks big time.

After many failed attempts at developing a normal sleep pattern, I resorted to: the night mask. It had come in a Christmas gift about two years prior, as part of a Burt’s Bees Spa Basket that my Dad had probably gotten on Steep and Cheap for $6. The mask REAKED of sage and lilac, and even two years after opening, it still cleared out my nostrils. But I kind of liked it.

And just like that: MELISSA WAS SLEEPING AGAIN! Taking those 2 PM naps, sleeping til 10 AM like a champ.

The other added bonus of the night mask? It doubles as a headband in the morning. In fact, I am wearing it as head band as I type this. 

After 8 hours (or 11) of rolling around on my pillow, my bangs have a habit of going all caddy-wampus (what is the officially spelling of this word anyway????) and with a simple push of my night mask, I can easily enjoy all sorts of morning activities hair-in-face and hassle free. It is no odd sight to see me doing internets surfing or whipping up a breakfast burrito while using my night mask as a head hand.

Despite the ridicule and flack I have received from those over the years (cough cough Janelle cough cough), I am quite happy with my relationship with my night mask. And I imagine that we will continue to enjoy one another’s company for many, many years, since I am incapable of sleeping without it now. I take it on vacations, plane rides, car rides – any place it may be convenient to catch some shut eye. And ya know what? It works, and I like it.  And if anyone wants to tell me otherwise, well…they can go live in a windowless room for a year and see what weird living habits they develop. Nice social experiment MPM…nice…


About Melissa Faulkner

1. If I blog, someone will eventually discover me. 2. If someone eventually discovers me, I will become rich and famous. 3. If I blog, I will become rich and famous. Follow me for shorter, daily doses! @melisslyss
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