Saturday, November 16, 2013


Ever since I turned my clocks back, I’ve been having problems adjusting to the time change.

I know it’s only an hour, but for some reason, that hour seems to purposely be trying to make my life even more stressful than it already is.

The first day after the time change, for example, I woke up at 3:00 in the afternoon. It already was getting so dark out, I thought it was 3:00 in the morning, so I went back to sleep for another four hours. When I finally got up, I couldn’t figure out if I should be making breakfast or dinner. It wasn’t until I turned on the TV and saw evening programs that I realized I’d slept through the entire day.

And then there were the clocks I had to reset.  My friends in New York own over 20 clocks, so they don’t bother resetting them. They said that in a few months, all of their clocks will be back to the correct time again anyway, so why bother?

I hate to admit it, but I can understand their logic. I have only six clocks, and even those gave me a headache on the night of the time change. The first was the kitchen clock. I took it down from the wall, set it an hour back, then popped a new battery into it and hung it on the wall. Five minutes later, the hands still were on the same numbers. So I took down the clock again to check it out. As long as the clock was lying flat on the table, it worked fine. But the minute I hung it on the wall, it stopped dead. This went on for about 20 minutes – me, taking down the clock and then putting it back up again, and the clock, freezing at that exact time, as if it suddenly had developed a sheetrock phobia. I finally got so fed up, I dug out another clock from the back of my closet and hung up that one instead.

So now I have a really old, ugly clock on the kitchen wall (which is why it was hidden in the back of the closet in the first place), but at least it works.

Then I had to reset the clock in the bathroom. The clock has a small round face surrounded by a bathtub-shaped resin background. Every year, I dread taking down that clock because when I try to hang it again, I have to align these two little holes on the back corners of it with two nails on the wall. And every year, the nails either move or get loose when I take down the clock, so they no longer line up with the holes. 

This year, as usual, after I changed the battery and set the time on the bathroom clock, the battle began. I did everything but stand on my head and I still couldn’t line up those darned holes. And sliding the clock up and down the wall so many times during my failed attempts, caused scratches on the wall that made it look as if it had lost a battle with a really ticked-off cat.

Just as I was ready to wave the white flag, the clock came apart in two pieces in my hands. I groaned, certain that all of my jostling had broken it.

Upon closer inspection, however, I discovered (after owning the dumb clock for over three aggravating years and through six time changes), that the round part of the clock had popped out of its bathtub backing because it had been made that way for easier access.  The whole thing never had to be taken down from the wall after all.

Instead of being relieved that my hole-aligning days were over, I was so upset I’d scratched up my wall for nothing, I was ready to give the clock a Titanic-style “bon voyage” in Bear Brook.  And its buddy, the temperamental kitchen clock, was going to be its traveling companion.

I haven’t even attempted to switch my car’s clock yet. The last time I did, I accidentally messed up the radio and CD player so badly, when I turned on the radio, the bass came booming out with such force, I actually could see the windows vibrating. And the radio stations automatically kept changing every five seconds…until I realized, two days later, the “scan” button was stuck.

Wall clocks aren’t the only problem I’ve been dealing with since the time change. I’ve also had to deal with my dogs’ internal time clocks. Dogs can’t glance up at a clock and say, “Oh, it’s not 6:00 a.m. yet, so we’ll have to wait for our breakfast!” No, their internal clocks are now telling them at 5:00 a.m. that it’s time for breakfast. And the pups don’t care if I’m sleeping at the time. Two ham-sized rottweiler paws keep swatting at my head until I wake up.

My daily walk also has been affected. I usually like to walk just before supper, but now it’s pitch dark at that hour. I was out walking Raven the other night when a bright light suddenly appeared directly in front of us. I made the mistake of looking directly at it, and nearly burned out my corneas.

When the light got closer, I heard a voice say, “Sorry, I didn’t mean to blind you!”

It was one of my neighbors, walking her dog. She was wearing a headband with a light on the front of it – kind of like a coal miner’s light.

 “I just looked into the woods while wearing this,” she said, “and it reflected two big eyes staring back at me!”

I was ready to turn around and run straight back home when she added, “I’m pretty sure it was a deer,"

“Are you positive it wasn’t something worse…like Bigfoot or a werewolf?” I asked.

Her light was so bright, however, I was positive she’d clearly be able to see any creatures lurking in the woods – even if they were standing on the Canadian border.

I’ve come to the conclusion that trying to deal with any time-related devices has become so complicated, I’m just going to ignore them from now on and learn to use my instincts, the way my dogs use theirs, to tell me what time it is.

This, of course, means I might be eating dinner at 5:00 in the morning.

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