Spring Forward: Playing With Time
Well. here it is again. The weekend of the time change.
Just last year I learned that calling daylight saving time, “Daylight Savings Time”, with an S, is horribly stupid and incorrect. They say it makes me look like an idiot to everyone who knows better; it’s correctly called daylight saving time. So for decades, I’ve been considered stupid for calling it daylight savings time. Who cares? Obviously,I do, since I wrote this.
Now, this year, once again I’ve been educated by those who know. Yes indeed. I just learned that it’s not Daylight Saving Time, it’s daylight saving time – no uppercase letters. At least that’s what the Associated Press stylebook says.
Who in the heck ever consults the Associated Press stylebook? You wouldn’t really do that, would you? It costs over $20 just to get the online edition. Now I’m sure many of you reading this would be glad to send me a free online subscription to the AP stylebook thinking it would improve my writing, but you know better.
Look here: “Daylight Savings Time is a misspelling, but more common than the correct term. Setting our clocks 1 hour forward in the spring is often referred to as “Daylight Savings Time” even though “Daylight Saving Time” is the correct spelling…” [From https://www.timeanddate.com/time/dst/daylight-savings-time.html ]
But you see, you really can’t believe anyone about anything anymore, because that article is wrong. And how do I know this? Well, because the aforementioned AP stylebook says it’s correctly spelled “daylight saving time”. And if you’re puffed-up enough to think you set the style for all writers, then I guess you better be right.
But me? I’m not puffed up – at least not with knowledge. But I am tired of being corrected, I tells ya. So, not wanting to look like an idiot or a fool any more than I usually do, I’ve called this piece “Spring Forward: Playing With Time” – the uppercase being correct because… I said so.
It’s my stylebook that counts here!
And if you’re thinking I’m going to remind you to set your clocks ahead an hour, I’m not. Every newspaper, every newscast – left-wing, right-wing, far left, far right – will for once come together and agree on one thing: You need to be reminded to set your clocks ahead one hour before you go to bed or slither off in the dark of the night. It’s funny that the far left, the far right, the center, the left and the right all agree on one thing – they all need to remind you one million times to set your clocks ahead one hour on Saturday night before you go to bed.
As for me, I once rued the day when we set the clocks ahead an hour. I used to be one who loved to skulk around furtively in the dark; to me daylight saving time was anathema. I used to enjoy taking walks in the dead and dreary dark of night, and peering through windows and seeing everyone snug in their homes. It was comforting in a way.
I once traipsed through nearby neighborhoods in brand-spankin’-new Cat’s Pause® walking shoes. OK, so they’re expensive and hard to find – but everyone deserves to splurge a little… even if you’re broke. I don’t receive any commission, discounts, or tokens from the Cats Pause® company for mentioning their magnificent walking shoes in this timely essay.
But I so urge you to splurge before your dirge.Buy some Cats Pause® walking shoes live a little.
And I do belive in spluging before you go off dirging. I know that sounds morose, morbid and melancholy, but it’s true.Time is not a metaphor But what better reminder of our fragility than banal hourglass metaphor; each one of us has an hourglass with our name on it – and the sand is running out. Don’t let that worry you – not many of us know how much sand we have left.
So don’t be angry with me – it’s a fact of life. When that last grain of sand slides down the tube, it’s lights out and you’ll never get another chance to splurge on this earth. So, I think. Anyway there’s no time like the present to — splurge before your dirge.
I digress. Daylight saving time was once a sad time for me – no more long nights of darkness; no more nightly walks slinking through murky, dark silent streets alone with my thoughts, eyeballs watching flicker of life from windows of homes filled with people who had no idea i was skulkin down the sidewalks of their neighborhood. Those Cats Pause® walking shoes are made for silent skulking.
But I was younger, so much younger than today – I don’t need all that darkness anymore – anyway. Back when I used to enjoy those stealthy walks through the cloaking black veil of night, I used to be able to stay awake past 10:00 PM. Back in the day, I had time to enjoy good books and good movies before turning in for the night. So, I used to love the dark and gloom and the shadows and all the twitching things borne on the black wings of night.
But not so much anymore.
In the fall and winter, when we are on Standard Time (I don’t have a AP style book, is that uppercase?), I can hardly stay awake past 9:00 o’clock. In the winter it gets dark around here between 4:45 and 5:30 PM. That means by the time the clock strikes nine, the night has shrouded the world in its sad, melancholy darkness for a four full hours by then.
If I start to read a book- no matter how exciting or good, inevitably it plummets from my hand to the floor, waking me and startling me with its ominous crash. I can manage only 2 or 3 pages each evening before sleep grabs my aging eyes and closes them. At my winter reading rate it takes me 4 months to read a 350-page novel. So a book I start in November, I don’t finish until March. But by then, I can’t remember what it’s about.
And movies? Let me tell you about movies. No matter how good the movie, I end up falling asleep before it’s even half over. I fall asleep in my old-man’s recliner with my neck crooked at an amusingly odd angle — according to those who’ve witnessed it — my mouth gaping – and the TV remote clutched in my hand. I don’t sleep very long before I wake up with a start and a sore neck, and fingers so stiff I have to pry them off the remote.
So, yes, I look forward to Daylight Saving Time here in in the years prior to my coming – but hopefully not impending – dirge.
And don’t give me the hooey about losing an hour’s sleep. I lose more than an hour’s sleep every night getting up and going to the bathroom. I lose way more than an hour’s sleep rolling around on the bed trying to find a position where my aging carcass feels comfortable enough to go to sleep. So, don’t you ever tell me you don’t like daylight saving time because robs you of one hour’s worth of sleep!
And don’t you find those who remind you that you’re going to make up the hour of sleep you lose here in spring when we switch back to standard time in November rather dull? What are they smoking? Here in my neck of the woods, it’s nearly eight months between the beginning of daylight saving time and the ending of daylight saving time. That’s about 225 days. Now, do you really think that 225 nights from now, you’re going to put on your PJs, crawl into bed, yawn, and say to yourself — or anyone nearby — “Gosh, I’m so glad I’m going to get back that hour of sleep that daylight saving time stole from me last March. It’s been a long time coming.”
I honestly don’t think so, and neither do you. Yet you’re going hear people moaning and complaining about losing an hour of sleep when daylight saving time begins until your poor ears fall off. You’re going to hear why they think daylight saving time is terrible. You’re going to hear people tell you that you are going to have that stolen hour eat away at you until you can get it back next autumn. Seriously?
I like daylight savings time because I can stay up past 9:00 PM – heck I can go out an mow the grass at 9:00 PM if I want to. I can sit outside and drink beer and read a book. During daylight saving time, I can read a 350-page novel in three or four nights. I can stay awake until 11:00 PM or so, just like the younger folks do. That means I can mow the lawn, read a book, drink a beer and watch a movie — all in the same evening! So, what’s not to like about Daylight Saving Time?
OK so I have to walk in the light. Big deal! My new Cat’s Pause® walking shoes are bright red – and I don’t mind stylin’ around in the daylight wearing them. They’re pretty cool! People stop me and say, “Man, I love your shoes!” “They’re Cats Pause® I say – you don’t get shoes like these at Target!”
Also, though it be light during my walks in summer, no one younger than 50 notices me anyway – I’m invisible to anyone younger. And that’s a good thing, because I don’t have to comb what’s left of my hair or even wipe the spaghetti sause off my moush. And, if it’s windy I just wear a hat, no matter how hot it is. The few long tufts of hair I have all fit nicely under the tight-fitting knit stocking hat. I have one to match my Cats Pause® shoes.
And remember, it’s daylight saving time, no uppercase letters and no “s” in saving. Daylight saving time starts on Sunday. But don’t wait until Sunday to set your clocks ahead. Do it before you go to bed on Saturday or before you twist off into the dark cold night.
Someday, people won’t have a clue what we mean when we say “set” your clocks ahead one hour – or set them back an hour. Clocks you have to “set” will be as outdated as the rotary dial telephone or the record player – or the channel-changer.
Anyway, if you live in the USA – but not those of you who live in Hawaii or Arizona (Note to Arizona ad Hawaii residents: Are your states planning on seceding? Hawaii we barely knew ye!) set your clocks ahead one hour on Saturday night before you go to bed or skulk off to your favorite watering hole.
And don’t let me hear you say “daylight savings time”. And definitely don’t let me hear a peep from you about losing an hour of sleep.