A conversation my husband and I just had:
HIM: What time did we decide to make the new bedtime for the kids now that we changed the clocks?
ME: I think we made it a about thirty minutes later.
HIM: Later by old time or new time?
ME: New time. Wait, no, old time. Wait, both. We decided to move bedtime from eight thirty to nine o’clock.
HIM: Nine o’clock old time or new time?
HIM: I think we should make it nine o’clock new time.
ME: Sounds good. Then that means that they’re really going to bed later or earlier than they used to, on the old time clock?
HIM: Let’s see, they used to go to bed at eight thirty…
ME: Eight thirty on old time or new time?
HIM: Old time.
ME: Oh, right. So…if they’re going to bed at nine o’clock new time, then, since we set the clocks an hour back, by old time they’ll be going to bed at eight.
HIM: No, that’s wrong, they’d be going to bed at ten by old time.
ME: [Head explodes, abruptly ending conversation]
We have begun the semi-annual Month of Chaos, in which my life is sent into an out-of-control, flailing tailspin by the insanity that is Daylight Savings Time.
They say that this bizarre ritual was the brainchild of Benjamin Franklin. Well, that’s what we get for letting smart people run the country. To a mind like Franklin’s, it probably seemed like a perfectly simple, straightforward idea. Just adjust your clocks to make them display one hour later — what could possibly be easier? Unfortunately, there simpletons out there like me who this change leaves shaking and drooling in a corner somewhere, clutching a bottle of Valium, twitching and muttering about “old time” and “new time”.
I don’t generally think of myself as an idiot. There might even be occasions that I think I’m kind of clever. But around this time each year God sends me Daylight Savings Time as a smackdown in humility to remind me that I’m really not that smart. Then he does it again in April.
They say that people can have different types of intelligence; that someone who, say, has a low IQ might have a very high EQ, or emotional intelligence quotient. Is there a DSTQ, Daylight Savings Time intelligence quotient? Because if there is I’ve got to be about a 20 on that scale, maybe lower. I think if I went in for an MRI the doctors would remark in wonder, “Look! There is an empty void where the Daylight Savings Time Comprehending Area of Mrs. F’s cerebellum is supposed to be!”
So, if my posts are less frequent this week, it’s because I’m using 110% of my brain power to figure out what time it is.
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