Sunday, March 08, 2009

Daylight Savings Time

     I don't know if you have noticed it yet or not, but over the course of the night, while the rest of you slackers were sleeping, dreaming about ponies or monsters or Kate Hudson or whomever, there was a small but dedicated portion of the workforce that was changing every clock in the known Western world and depriving you of an hour of sleep.  Quit complaining, it's Sunday, you are sleeping in anyway.  So anyway, at 2 am we sprang forward into Daylight Savings Time, or back into Standard Time, I am not sure which.  And neither are you.  Nor is the guy sitting at the next table over.  Nor are all the people in Congress, who saw it fit to mess with the date we celebrate the time change this year.  Nor are all the people in Indiana and Arizona and South Australia who don't participate.  Because Daylight Savings Time is the single most confusing event in the history of man.
     Yeah, it's true.  Daylight Savings Time is mysterious and a bit out of whack.  It is so shrouded in mystery and question that Oliver Stone is making a super boring, six-hundred-hour-long movie about it.  "The hands on the clock have to move back and to the left.  Back, and to the left.  Back.  And to the left..."  The first strange thing is that nobody can seem to agree on Daylight Savings Time.  Not everybody does it, and of those who do nobody seems to do it at the same time unless they are all living in the same house.  So I guess that makes Daylight Savings Time a little like getting a period.  Not everyone does it and those that do all do it at a different time unless they are living in the same house.  Also, it makes everyone pissy and on edge.  Daylight Savings Time manages to do this because they always switch things on a weekend in the middle of the night, meaning that there is no good plan whatsoever for dealing with it.  You can set the clock before you go to bed, but then it's like you are going to bed late all of the sudden.  You can wake up in the middle of the night at 2 am just to set the clocks to 3 am and then go back to bed.  But you would be a fool.  Or you could do what I usually do, which is forget entirely and then when I wake up on Sunday morning and my cell phone, which switches automatically, and my alarm clock, which only switches when I am trying to turn it off and accidentally set it forward a minute, do not match and I am very confused.  That's how I handle it.  And it works pretty well because by the time we have to switch it back I maybe have all my clocks changed.  Maybe.
     The other reason why it pisses people off if because it messes with one's body clock.  See, each of us has a sort of internal clock that tells the different glands and organs in our body when to secrete different chemicals to make us run.  It tells us when we should be sleeping.  It tells us when we should be awake.  It tells us when we should be eating, shitting, making our bed, whatever.  And that internal clock runs on things like the sun and moon, both of which get completely messed up two times each year when suddenly the sun is rising later and the moon is setting in the dusk and who knows what the hell is going on?  See, that is how your body clock feels at the start or end of Daylight Savings Time.  It is as confused and tormented as that sentence was.  Because if one day you wake up at 7 am and the sun is out, and then then next day you wake up at 7 am and it's dark, that's not right.  And your body clock knows it.  So it gets your insides all out of whack and you are bitchy and irritable.  Such is life with Daylight Savings Time.
     Here is the thing that confuses me about Daylight Savings Time: it is in effect in the summer, which is when we have a shit ton of sun anyway.  Excuse me?  So we are going to take the time when we already have like 13 hours of daylight and make the afternoons last longer?  I mean, I am all for me having more time to run around outside in the light, but come on.  Can't we save in the winter when light is at a premium?  Because I have suffered through more than my fair share of bleak, dark, winter days and quite frankly I would like it if the daylight was around more then.  In the summer it's already here so let's settle down.  Does this makes sense?  Is anyone else as confused about this as I am?  And where does that hour in the spring go to?  And from what part of our anatomy do we pull that hour out of in the fall?  Even the time guys with the atomic clock in Greenwich can't answer these questions.
     Listen, Daylight Savings Time is a good idea.  It gives us more daylight in the afternoon in the summer for all of our outdoor activities.  It saves us some electricity because it aligns the light hours of the day to when most of us are awake anyhow, so we are not sleeping during the sunshiny hours.  It makes sense.  But it really does mess with our bodies and our heads.  Because no one understands it.  And there is always one clock that we don't realize that we forgot to change (although the process really does remind one just how many time pieces we have surrounding us).  And I can never remember how to change the clock in my car.  I probably won't be complaining so much then it's light until 10 pm this summer though, you think?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is good to read that you are still alive after the potato cleanup incident - - - - -