Banking on Time

4:13“Hi. I’d like to make a deposit to my Daylight Savings Account. No wait.  A withdrawal. No, that can’t be right.  Spring ahead, fall… back?  Spring forward, fall down… Oh, damn!  Can I just please have an hour of what everyone else is having!”

As all of you, who have ever arranged to meet me at a specific time and have watched me rush in apologising, know, time isn’t a real thing to me. Or more specifically, it isn’t linear.  

Oh sure, it passes for me just like for everyone else but sometimes it takes hours for the clock to tick away 60 minutes, and other times I look up from work and it’s 3 o’clock already. Oh crap, aren’t I supposed to be somewhere at 3:15?  I’m usually an hour early or 15 minutes late for everything.

For me, time is a nebulous thing and “telling time” is an arbitrary labeling system designed to make it possible for us to discuss this nebulous thing and how late I am.   It’s useful, but not really intuitive.

Which makes this whole “Spring ahead, fall back” aphorism completely useless to me. I never know which way to adjust the clock.

“Spring ahead”, so I’m “ahead of time” which means I’m early. Phew, I’m not late. I have extra time. So that means to “spring ahead” should give me more time, so I get another hour… oh crap what does “get another hour” mean?

Okay, let’s try again.

“Fall back”. Back is behind.  If I’m behind, I’m late.  That means the clock lied to me and is reading later than it is, so… “fall back” means set my clock to… oh dear.

Perhaps a different tack.

“Fall back”, so I lose something, sometime like time. So I have less time, so I change the clock to show I have fewer hour left in the day? No?

I give up.

After some consultation with my mom who is an high-school art teach and therefore used to dealing with confusing, illogical and whack-job concepts, we have come up with something a little more numerically-based to keep things simple:

Spring ADD,

Fall SUBTRACT. 

Just remember, keep your Ss apart when you are banking with Daylight Savings.  Thanks for your business and have a nice, albeit shorter, day.

 

One thought on “Banking on Time

  • March 11, 2007 at 5:24 pm
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    I’m with you: I can never figure out whether I spring ahead, or the clock springs ahead. Is it the hands on the clock that spring? Or do I adjust the “dial” of the clock?
    The best explanation I’ve ever heard, the one I use, is what my Dad always used to say: I’m tired all summer. As in, I lose an hour’s sleep in the spring, and get it back in the fall. As in, I’ve gotta run around all summer ’cause I’m gonna be an hour late if I don’t.
    In any case, it’s somehow comforting to note that The Weather Network has adjusted the time of day, but has not yet adjusted the “sunrise” and “sunset” times. I think they’re trying to figure it out, too.

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