Saving Daylight

dstTwo things I dread every year are automobile inspections and changing the clocks.  Both are very stressful times for me.  And since my family owns two cars, both happen twice a year.

As car inspection month approaches, my stomach tightens, my head aches, and my eye twitches.  That could be the MS, but I’m pretty sure it’s just stress.  I hate the prospect of failing at anything.  I took the 1986 Red Sox and 2007 Patriots personally, so you can imagine how invested I am in my cars’ potential failures.

Daylight savings is my other bane.  No matter how long I’ve been around, twice a year it throw me for a loop.  It’s not just how the artificial jet lag wreaks havoc on my metabolism. Quite simply, I don’t get it.  I don’t know why we do it in the first place.  Many people have tried to explain its origins to me, but they don’t make sense.  Why do we pretend it’s an hour later than it is for half the year and the rest we pretend it’s an hour earlier.  The fact that every explanation I’ve heard is different doesn’t help matters.

I’m grateful for the cute mnemonic “spring forward, fall back” or else I’d never know which way to make the change.  It even took a while for that to sink in.  I’m pretty hopeless with those mind games.  (Was it “Spring forward except after ‘c’ then lefty loosey,” or “Red sky in the morning, feed a fever, except for girls who wear glasses.”)

Even if I remember which day to make the change (which changes every year) and I remember which change to make, there’s the actual act of changing the clocks.  Many problems there.

First, every clock has a different mechanism. There are dials to twist, buttons to push repeatedly, other buttons to hold down, but not too long or you go right past the time and have to go ’round the horn again.  You could wear out your patience and your fingerprints if you had enough clocks.

For some clocks, like the one in my TV, I have to go to a special menu.  Because I have to traverse six or seven levels, I feel like I’m dealing with one of those automated phone systems.  (“Press 1 to move your clock forward, press 2 to move your clock backward, press 3 if you haven’t the slightest idea which way to move it.  Para ver este menú en Español, presione 9.“)

I still don’t know how to change the clock in my car. I hope it doesn’t have to be right to pass inspection.

Then, some devices change automatically.  I know they’re trying to do me a favor, but (once more) I forget which do it by themselves and which need a little nudge.

And I always forget about one or two clocks, since every device in my house has a clock built into it, including, I think, my toothbrush.

The end result of all this madness is that for the first few weeks into every time change, I have clocks set to about six different times around the house.  My house isn’t big enough to require multiple time zones.  It feels as if we’re one of those newsrooms that has clocks from different areas of the world all over the wall.  (You never know when you might need to know what time it is in the Maldives.)

As if all that weren’t confusing enough, not everyone joins the DST party.  Arizona, for example, skips it altogether… except inside the Navajo reservation… which stretches across multiple states.  Oh yeah, and Hawaii.  And some of Indiana.  Except when it’s pronounced like “A” as in neighbor and weigh.

The real problem with doing all this stuff is that I only have to perform it every six months which is way too long to retain it but not nearly often enough to burn it permanently into my brain.  At Malcom Gladwell’s 10,000 hours, I should have it down in another 5,000 years or so… not counting leap years and Daylight Savings time.  Blame it on the MS again.

Oh, well.  All things considered, I guess it isn’t a big deal.  Nothing to lose sleep over.

Except that hour you just lost.


About rickconti

It's not about me, remember?
This entry was posted in General, MS and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Saving Daylight

  1. Bruce Stacy says:

    For years I’ve been saying can’t we just change the clocks one-half hour and be done with this nonsense!!

  2. yvonnedes123 says:

    Hi Rick I really, really love this one! I had written something similar last fall but I think you do it better relating the confusion that comes from this asinine procedure. Could especially relate to this one and wish I could figure out how/why I can’t post comments directly on your blog. Anyway, loved it!


    MS Madness!A “Giggle More, Cry Less”Story of Multiple

    • rickconti says:

      Your comment is on there now, Yvonne, and I’m glad to have it!

      Here’s an idea: Strike down DST because it violates the ADA. For brain damaged folks like us, it’s a bigger challenge than a spiral staircase! 🙂

      PS: Sorry I haven’t pointed to your blog in one of my posts yet. I’ll get to it soon. In the meantime, here it is for all to see:

  3. Nikki CB says:

    Great post! Hilarious.

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