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Waste of Time

Capt’n Clean and I left the United States in 2017, and I’ve been living without knowing what time it is ever since. When you travel extensively, like we did, time is always a concern. But since we’ve slowed down our wanderlust, you’d think that time wouldn’t be such a big deal. But I can assure you that it is.

Capt’n Clean has installed a large clock on the second level of our home that is set to the correct time in Morelia, Mexico. But I’m clueless if I’m on level three or one, or if I’m not at home. Okay, maybe I’m simply lazy and don’t want to traipse up and down the stairs to see what time it is. Hey, I’m not completely dimwitted. Almost always, within two hours, I know what time it is. Old age and retirement have a lot to do with it, but I blame Daylight Savings Time the most. And, if you reside in an area where this ancient tradition is still practiced, you will have to do something about it this weekend, as in FALL BACK!

I had chicken pox when we learned to tell the time when I was in second grade, so I’ve never been very good at it to begin with. But Daylight Savings Time makes my ineptitude even worse, and it’s all Benjamin Franklin’s fault. I have a lot of respect for old Ben. He did a lot with kites, keys, and bifocals. He was also a witty punster and did much for the publishing business. But everyone who has ever attempted to tell a joke needs to be aware that there is a risk of being taken seriously. While working as the US ambassador to France, Franklin wrote a tongue-in-cheek letter to The Journal of Paris claiming that the sun was already well up at 6 a.m. He expounded on the money-saving virtues of manipulating time so that people could get up when the sun rises and go back to bed when it sets. But it was just a joke!

Unfortunately, this lighthearted jest became an idea and then a full-fledged enactment. Franklin was oozing with sarcasm as he went on to suggest rationing candles, taxing window shutters, and even firing cannons in the streets to wake people up in the morning. He suggested that armed police be in charge of enforcing the Daylight Savings Time laws. Ha-Ha! It’s so funny, I forgot to laugh. Thanks a lot, Ben. You’re probably the one who suggested that our panties be embroidered with the days of the week too.

Last month, when we were in Puerto Rico, I was especially confused. We conducted our day-to-day activities in Puerto Rico time. My family and friends in Texas were one hour behind us. Our friends at home in Mexico were two hours behind us. And my son, who lives in the state of Washington, was three hours behind. Good grief.

When it comes to telling time, I depend on five sources each and every day. My computer, my phone, my tablet, my Fitbit, and Capt’n Clean’s wall clock keep me somewhat present. When we were in Puerto Rico, there was an oven digital clock that took the place of our Mexico wall clock. It helped until, during a storm, the solar power grid reverted to regular power, resulting in that wonderful digital blink that we all hate to see.

None of my other devices, much like their owner, seem to know where they are. If I set them to auto-time, sometimes they get it right, but often not. So, I have to go in and manually reset the time, which means I have to first and foremost figure out what time it really is.

When we moved to Mexico, I thought our time issues would be solved because most of Mexico, including where we live, does not observe Daylight Savings Time. You’d think that my time stress would have been over. But NO. My computer thinks it still lives in the US. My phone is a Puerto Rico number, so it thinks it lives in the Caribbean. And my FitBit, bless its heart, has given up figuring out what time it is. It just counts steps.

So, this weekend, when much of the world does a little time traveling by “falling back,” I again will fall into a state of discombobulation. If you can relate, I’m so sorry. Time and misery love company. But if you think that Daylight Savings Time is the best thing since sliced bread and you welcome it, well, more power to you. You are a better time traveler than me. Leave your phone number, and I’ll call you some morning. If I wake you up because it’s 4 am, your time, it’s not my fault. The sun is shining where I am.

I rest my case.

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This work by Anel “Pookie” Ryan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

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