Being the naturally rebellious type, I had no desire to “spring forward” today. Why should I? I thought. Simply because they are telling me to? And who are “they,” anyway? I got myself so worked up over the matter that I seriously debated boycotting it. Set my clocks forward an hour? You can’t make me! I envisioned this grand plan in which I would keep all my clocks set at Pacific Standard Time, year-round. I would become the Arizona of the Pacific Northwest. The Grand Canyon State doesn’t observe Daylight Savings Time and their civilization has yet to collapse. Phoenix may endure blisteringly hot summers and cloyingly stringent immigration laws (ooh – four-word political rant!), but I envy their independent spirit.
This could work for me, too. I would simply have to adjust my way of thinking. If Survivor comes on at 8:00, well, I’ll just know that means 7:00. Likewise, if I have a job interview or a dinner engagement or a pedicure appointment (what?!), I’ll just remember that it’s an hour earlier for me. I may not be a math whiz, but subtracting one is something I can handle easily enough. I was really warming up to the idea, too. Gone would be the obscenely late summer sunsets, where the sky is still light at bedtime. Restaurants would be less crowded since I’d be eating “later” than most people. This might actually work! I told myself last night, and it had nothing to do with the wine I was consuming.
Only, it won’t work, because I have custody of the kids every other week. Synchronizing our schedules would be a real chore. By the time I rolled out of bed in the morning, they’d already be late for school unless I set my alarm an hour earlier – which, of course, defeats the whole purpose. Rats…foiled again. If I were childless and self-employed, though? My noon would so be your 1 PM, suckas.
Not quite ready to surrender just yet, I quickly formulated a Plan B. Instead of setting my clocks forward, I would turn them back, thereby gaining an hour instead of losing one. Yes! This was perfect! I’d take advantage the evening before, ending up with a longer Saturday night and an extra hour of sleep, and then I would simply move the clocks ahead two hours during some unobtrusive part of today. I might turn 3:00 PM into 5:00 PM in one fell swoop, but who cares by then? The best part of Sunday is already history. Plus, I’m suddenly that much closer to watching The Amazing Race. Win-win, right? I thought this was a particularly inspiring plan, and it contained but a single drawback.
I didn’t think of it until today.
After I’d capitulated and obeyed Congress and gotten with the program and set my clocks ahead. I entertained one final anarchic thought, shortly after 1 PM; I would reset my clocks back two hours to give myself another hour of morning (my favorite time of day), and then set them ahead again by three hours after a couple of hours had passed, but the logistics involved in this were too great and I was starting to get a headache, so I took a Tylenol and gave up the idea. There’s always next year.
It’s all Benjamin Franklin’s fault. OK, he had a few good ideas in his time – the whole “discovery of electricity” thing was pretty newsworthy, and we’ll give him kudos for bifocals – but he also suggested taxing candles and shutters and firing cannons at sunrise to force people out of bed earlier. He may not have invented daylight savings time, but he planted the seed. Boo on you, Ben! I’ll never look at the $100 bill the same way again!
Not that I ever actually get to see many hundred-dollar bills…
The concept just doesn’t make much sense to me, and is full of contradictions. We’re supposed to save on energy costs by using less electricity (fewer lights) in the evening – but isn’t our energy use just shifted to the morning hours instead? And with more evening sunlight, aren’t we running our air conditioners for longer periods of time, thereby using more energy? If I were a politician, here’s what I would propose: next year, we set our clocks forward 1/2 hour – and leave them that way! No more tinkering around with the concept of time. This way we’re reaching a compromise: we still get some extra daylight, but not too much to inconvenience anybody, and we never have to fuss with our clocks again. Critics might argue that this would throw off time zones worldwide, but there are some countries that already choose half-hour increments for their local times, and they are shining examples of prosperity and democracy. Places like Iran and Afghanistan and Burma.
Err. Well. I can see I’ve got my work cut out for me…
- Not All Americans Enjoy the Switch to Daylight Saving Time (dailyfinance.com)