Daylight Savings Time is for the birds.
Image from here.
In Arizona (a state that does not subscribe to Daylight Savings Time), where I lived for 21 glorious years, the concept of Daylight Savings Time was sort of like the Tooth Fairy—I knew that the idea of it existed, but I couldn’t imagine anybody dumb enough to actually believe in it.
“Set the clocks back and forward twice a year? But…why? That doesn’t even make sense. I mean, how can we all just decide that all of a sudden it’s not the time that it actually is? Just because the whole country says it’s 10:00, that doesn’t change the fact that it actually IS ONLY 9:00.”
It threw my poor desert-rat mind into all kinds of terrible confusion. Finally, I had to force myself to put it out of my head completely, and thank the heavens that I was from a sane state and would never have to deal with the real complexities of such a horrible institution…
Now, of course, I live in Alberta, a province that does subscribe to such lunacies, and every time Daylight Savings Time rolls around, my inner desert rebel comes out to fight.
Saturday night was the spring forward switch, which meant that when I went to bed at 11:00 p.m. it was actually midnight, and when I woke up bright and early at 6:00 a.m. it was already 7:00 and I was late for church. Dadgummit.
Daylight Savings Time screws with my mind. It hurls me so deep into the throngs of confusion that I can’t tell up from down, black from white, real from fake, or yes from no. My house becomes my own personal Shutter Island, and let me tell ya, Leonardo DiCaprio was going through hell.
Here’s how it went down for me yesterday morning:
Beep, beep, beep. Poor Kyle’s alarm tears me from my troubled sleep. I’ve had a restless night, waking up four or five times over the evening for fear of missing the time switch and sleeping through church (which might not be a big deal if I wasn’t the organist for my congregation every Sunday at 9:00 a.m., but I am and it is, so let’s not waste time on hypotheticals).
Me: Babe. Babe! What time is it?
Me: Kyle. Kyle! Wake up. Your alarm’s going off. What time is it?
PK: Guuuuuuuuuumbf. Six o’clock.
Me: Six o’clock real time or six o’clock fake time?
PK (clearly too unconscious to be dealing with such philosophical conundrums, and who can blame him): Leave me alone.
Me: I can’t leave you alone, I need to know if I can sleep another hour or if I have to get up and get ready. (By this time I was really starting to feel stressed, because if it was actually six o’clock, I could sleep for another hour, but if it was really seven o’clock, I needed to be in the shower.)
PK: Our phones switched in the night. It’s six o’clock.
Me: I know they’re supposed to switch, but are you sure they switched? How do you know?
PK: Leave me alone.
Me (unable to let it rest for fear of being an hour late to church): I’m gonna go check the other clocks in the house.
PK: I don’t care what you do, woman, so long as you stop this insufferable noise you’re making.
Me: It’s called talking.
PK: Yeah, and I can’t stand to hear it.
I stumbled wearily around the house, checking our digital atomic clocks first: they both read six o’clock, which meant I still had another hour to sleep. Sweet. As I trudged past the kitchen on my way back to bed, though, the oven clock caught my eye: 6:00.
Wait, what? That one’s not supposed to switch on its own.
I redoubled my house search, only to find that all the old-fashioned wall clocks with hour and minute hands read 6:00, too, or various stages of 6:00—they’re all wrong on a good day. (I have battery problems.)
So, wait. If all the digital clocks were supposed to switch, and they all match each other, but they also all match the analog clocks, then that means that NO clocks switched. Unless someone came into our house in the middle of the night and switched them for us, which, living in Mayberry, I wouldn’t put it past our neighbor, Aunt Bea, to pull such a generous Time Fairy stunt like that. I should call her and ask if she did. But if it’s really six o’clock, then it would be five o’clock in her head, and that’s a bit too early to be calling the neighbors. But if it’s really seven o’clock, then I really need to know. I hate Daylight Savings Time Days; this whole idea is lame, and now I’m going to be late for church, and I’m really tired, and Poor Kyle is just lounging his life away in bed without a care in the world, and DAMMIT, WHAT THE HELL TIME IS IT?!
I know it’s not nice to cuss, but I’m just relating to you my exact thoughts from yesterday morning, verbatim. I really was that stressed.
Finally I got smart and checked my trusty laptop, the only piece of technology I can depend upon in this pathetic house, and sure enough, it was actually 7:00 (well, by this time it was 7:15), which—you guessed it—meant that not only did I not get my extra hour of sleep, but also, I was gonna have to rush my shower.
In the end I was not late to church, but it was no thanks to my iPhone™, which betrayed my trust in every sense of the words, both betrayed and trust. Tell, me, Apple™, how is it that I can own the best phone money can buy (or at least the awesomest), a phone that can calculate my BMI, teach me French, and direct me within one metre to the nearest toilet, yet it cannot handle the simple yet absolutely necessary task of switching to Daylight Savings Time (which I have specifically set it to do)—a task which every p.o.s. phone I’ve owned in years past has handled with all the grace and dignity that free (with contract) T-mobile™ phones can muster? Tell me, please.
Why can’t expensive technology just perform the basic functions it promises? I could see if it miscalculated my calorie intake vs. calories burned, because, you know, that’s a hard job even for a human…but struggling to TELL THE TIME? Any garbage phone can do that.
To say I was disappointed would not even come close.
(p.s. Something really is screwy with my phone now, because even though the time on the phone is correct, the time in the text messaging function is TWO HOURS AHEAD of the real time. Even if it hadn’t switched to DST, it would be ONE HOUR BEHIND the real time…not TWO HOURS AHEAD. What in the…? Why am I using so many capital letters? Why is my life so hard? These are questions that haunt me.)