Monday, April 14, 2008

My Town Monday: The Little City that Never Sleeps

It's 1:41AM. What are you doing?

You could be shopping for groceries or new shoes or lawn furniture. You could be eating out at one of several fast food joints or even a sit down restaurant. You mail a package or even go to the gym. At least you could in the Brighton/Howell area.

We pretty much run 24/7 around here. I'm so used to it, that I don't even consider that the rest of the world... doesn't. I realized this most sharply after a little weekend trip to Shipshewana, Indian for the Regional Pokemon Trading Card Game Tournament.

What do you mean places CLOSE on Sundays? Not in my area. Most places are open. There are few things you can't do on Sunday. Or at 2 in the morning.

I do my grocery shopping at 10pm at night, though I must admit that 5am is better since by then the shelves are stocked. I have my pick of stores, too-- 2 Meijer Stores, 2 VG's, 2 Kroger's and 2 Wal-Marts (if you count the new one out in Fowlerville.) Plust the assortment of drugstores, but I don't go to them. For those who aren't familiar with Meijer, they have the distinction of being the first 24 super-center, long before Wal-Mart did either. So, as long as I've lived in this county, one could go to Meijer at all hours for a can of paint, a pair of windsheild wiper blades, a gallon of milk and a bunch of bananas... at 3am.

I've mailed packages in the middle of the night using the automated postal machine. Of course, with the proliferation of ATM's, I can do my banking in the middle of the night. Then I can go get something to eat.

I'm going to list the ones off the top of my head. I haven't been on the midnight shift in a while, so I might be off. But for one's dining choices, we have Little Chef (local sit-down restaurant), 2 McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's and Taco Bell. The last two I think are open until 1 or 2am. We had a 24 hour Subway for awhile, but I don't know if they ever got anyone for the midnight shift. There are probably other places, and much of the town is open until 10 or 11 anyway.

I've never gone to the 24 hour gym. Yeah. I get enough exercise pushing my luck. And doesn't typing burn calories...
It's dreadfully jarring when I go into these strange lands where things aren't open 24/7. Where restaurants are closed on Sunday. Where people sleep at night instead of shop or eat (or work.) I spent some 5 years working midnights in retail and I still love the middle of the night. One of the best parts is that the world is quiet-- but I can still do most everything I need to. Even if I rarely go out at 2 am for a little shopping or dining, it's always nice to know that I could. I am, after all, very used to and rather comfortable with this always on city.
I always figured that if little cities like Brighton and Howell ran 24/7, then surely most of the world did.

Does your town stay open 24/7? If not, how on earth do you stand it?


Lana Gramlich said...

I much prefer that things shut down now & again, particularly as I worked midnights for 14 years straight. Did you know that those low-paid night shift workers are shortening their lives to serve you? Working nights is a probable cancer cause & is also linked to hear disease, among other things (like drug/alcohol abuse, weight gain, etc.) Had I known this, I would never have done it.
I don't mean for this comment to sound harsh, although I'm sure it does. I just try to educate people about the unmentioned perils involved for graveyard shift workers. Working nights is hell for far too many reasons.

Lana Gramlich said...

Drat...that's HEART disease, not hear disease...

Clair Dickson said...

I worked the midnight shift for 6 years and loved it.

Not to be dismissive, but it seems that most things folks do raises their risk of disease, disorder, shortened life expectency, etc.

I think it's less the midnight shift than it is the other choices. Though, I do know many, many people who use working midnights as an excuse for their behavior. But, that's my never humble opinion.

Travis Erwin said...

Except for Wal mart and IHOP most places in my town roll up their sidewalks at 9PM

WordVixen said...

I'm so a night person. I hate traffic and... well, people in general, so nights are my preferred time to do everything. In fact, even when I had to wake up at quarter to 5 (that's AM) to get to work, I still couldn't fall asleep before midnight!

Unfortunately, our town only has Wal-Mart, Wal-Greens, CVS (like Wal-Greens), and Giant (a grocery chain) as 24 hour. Plus a handful of convenience stores. Just Saturday night hubby and I ran around at midnight trying to find ink for his printer, and that handful of stores didn't carry the kind his printer needs.

How do I stand it? Because I have to. Until hubby agrees to move out of this forsaken place.

debra said...

I was in Shipshewana at the flea market a couple of years ago---but not at midnight. The shops in our Village close most evenings, except for us when we have a lot of things to make, or when it's a beautiful evening and people are out enjoying the sweetness of it all.

Josephine Damian said...

I get enough exercise pushing my luck.

Good one. That's my new motto.

I read an essay in college called "Night as Frontier" - reminds me a lot of your My Town post.

My (current) Town - I think only the WalMart is open 24/7 - while I'm a total night owl (and no doubt gave the health issues associated with that) I made a point of not going out really late (esoecially to get gas, use the ATM) - and our WalMart parking lot is full of purse snatchers after midnight - reason alone to stay home and screw up my circadian rhythm.