Sunday, October 30, 2005

Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? ...

As I do, twice every year, I forgot to change my clocks before I went to bed last night, and so when mom called this morning at 8:20 a.m., I asked her, "Why aren't you at church?" and she said, "Because it's 7:20."


So I set about changing the clocks in my house. And you know what I realized?

I have too many clocks.

What is this obsession I have with knowing what time it is? I don't wear a watch. I stopped because I was constantly checking it. (Though checking one's watch is a handy thing to do when you want to avoid someone on the street.) My computer and cell phone automatically account for the time change, so they're not included in my tally, but when I change my car's clock today, I will have changed 12 clocks.

I have a clock hanging next to my computer, which has a clock display on the screen. I have a clock in my dining area, from which I can see the stove and microwave, which both have clocks on them, as well as one of the clocks in my living room. There's another living-room clock on a side table. VCR and wall clocks in the TV room. One clock each in the bathroom, guest room, and my room. Eleven clocks to change in the house, and one in my car. Twelve. And if you include my computer and phone, that's 14 places I can turn to for the time.


But then, this whole time-change thing has never made sense to me. I understand why we do it, from an energy-saving perspective, but I read a story yesterday about people in Maine who hate when we revert back to Standard time, because it gets dark at 3:42 in the afternoon on the shortest day of the year. Why don't we just pick a time, and set our clocks, and leave them alone

I used to do the television listings for the Tribune and I always meant to take notice of how we treated the late-night listings on the days we changed the clocks. Because in the real world, it's 2 a.m., and then suddenly, it's 1 a.m. How do you schedule programming around that? How do you list it?

Anyone have a TV book lying around who can look it up and tell me?

[Forgot about the clock in my basement, the basement I rarely spend any time in, so I have 13 clocks to change.]

[Two days later, continuing on a theme: When I got home from walking a little while ago, I played a message waiting for me and the time stamp is off by an hour. One more clock I have to change.]


Anonymous Ethan said...

Living in a house
in the Black Forest
Without any clocks, she's begun
to listen to the walls
Her neighbors have clocks
Not one, but twenty clocks apiece...

(Vanessa Daou chanelling Erica Jong)

12:12 PM  

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