My grandmother refused to go forward. She always figured she’d be back anyway.
Me: “Hey, Grandma, your clocks are all off by an hour. What’s wrong with them?”
Her: “Oh, I just don’t change them when Daylight Saving Time comes around. I only need to change my watch, and I’ll just have to do all of the work again when we lose an hour a few months later.”
I offered to change the clocks, and she refused. Every appeal to logic was thwarted by her “logic.” Why, she was USED to the clocks being off by that point, and I’d throw her off by correcting them now.
It was also unusual when I’d visit my aunt in Phoenix. The clocks were off, she said, because, “Oh, we don’t observe Daylight Saving Time here.” I’m not positive, but I think that makes Arizona the Jehovah’s Witness of the United States.
As I sat in my bedroom Sunday, changing clock after clock while waiting another hour for football games, I was beginning to see the logic of my grandmother and Arizona. I’m not built for time changes, given my oddly selective attention to detail:
n I want every watch to be synchronized to the correct time. I have a handheld atomic clock, and I have time.gov bookmarked on my web browser should I ever lose the clock.
n Every TV, every VCR, every DVD player get set to the proper time. I’d hate to miss the first few minutes of “The Daily Show,” or the final minutes of some great documentary that aired while I was out.
n My alarm clock is set for five minutes after the actual time, because that represents the time I’m going to get up … five minutes from now.
n My bathroom clock is set for eight minutes after, because I took more than five minutes.
n My microwave clock is set for the correct time, to bring me back to earth and let me know exactly how much time I have for breakfast.
n My car clock is five minutes fast, all so I can hurry to work.
Every six months, I recreate this pattern of self-deception, all for whatever reason DST exists.
I go with DST, because the rest of the country does, and I can’t just decide the city commission meeting or the football game I’m covering starts when I say it’s 7 p.m.
But the more the Internet has publicized individual opinions, the more DST resistance I see. My friend Sarah refused to change her clocks, and said she’ll observe Daylight Sarah Time instead.
Maybe Sarah’s right. Just like my grandmother, or Arizona, or the numerous countries that have decided it’s just not worth it. Their reasons are flimsy, but many arguments for DST are also based on “logic.” Maybe the clock-blockers are the silent majority.
You want to increase voter turnout for 2012, Republicans and Democrats? Put this on the ballot, and I’ll be sure to show up before polls close at 7. I’ll bring my atomic clock with me, just to be safe.