Sunday, March 8, 2009

Our last president’s legacy lives on

Wayfarer House woke up this morning at its usual Sunday pace. SiSi, ever the early riser, was first to poke her head out of the bedroom and see what was going on. I was already in the kitchen, coffee in hand, laptop whizzing happily away on some task. Mama comes out a little while later. Nieve, the resident slugabed, is next to surface, her hair looking like she should have dreads, and then Karla appears. Karla often gets up last in the house, but avoids the term slugabed fully because she still needs to sleep a lot to keep her energy up. We will, for the purposes of this story, ignore the presence of Wheeler, who came up last night to go to the movies with the guys, but who slept through everything I’m about to describe.

It is often the way of things that Sunday is called a Day of Domestica, and we plan over breakfast what needs to get done, when, and by whom. Today was particularly full. We had dishes and housecleaning from last night that didn’t get done, we have grocery shopping, we have laundry and, at shortly after 12 noon, we need to head upcountry for Katie’s birthday party. It’s 9:30 by the time the scones are baked and we have a plan: I will deal with the outside stuff (i.e. the two grocery stops) and Wifeness, Karla and the girls will do the inside stuff. OK. Ready? Break!

Fast forward to 11:30. The plan is progressing well. The shopping is done. The dishwasher and clotheswasher are loaded. The kids’ bedroom is clean. The living room and kitchen are clean. Eric is still sleeping (I said I was ignoring him, didn’t I), so we can’t run the vacuum, but that’s ok. There’ll be time tomorrow to do that before Kimmie arrives for dinner. Not bad, if we do say so ourselves.

Suzanne has gone downstairs to the basement to move the laundry along, and Karla and I are in the kitchen, chatting. Karla asks, apropos of something we were discussing, “When is Daylight Savings Time?”

Then all the bells and lights went off in my head.


She looked confused for a second, then realized what the problem was as I flipped the switch on the kitchen clock to move it forward an hour. CLICK. Now, instead of 11:30 (meaning we’re doing well), it’s 12:30 (and we’ve just made ourselves late and panicky).

Frick on a brick with a stick! We threw shoes on the children, pushed them out the door and squealed off, spraying road sand as we went.

We never used to forget DST. We had a perfectly functional system in place before it was changed. It was great. Life was easy.

See, we have a lot of timepieces in the house, and most of them are set to change to DST automatically. They were purchased back when the dates for DST were expected to be consistent, and no one ever considered that a president would go along and spuriously change them. We bought clocks that would change on their own so they would remind us to change the other clocks in the house and check the computers and thermostat timers and all the rest of the myriad things that need to be adjusted. Now, none of the automatic timepieces in the house change at the right time. They all have to be changed manually. Worse than that, they all have to be changed back again when their internal chips tell them it’s the right time for DST.

I’m willing to accept that we forgot to change the clocks before we went to bed, but I’m not taking 100% of the liability for having DST slip our minds.

That’s on you, George Bush II.

1 comment:

Mrs. Chili said...

This was a great story - I had no idea of the punchline until you meant for me to get it.

I frickin' HATE DST. I always have, and I suspect I always will. Getting up at the crack o' and having it be dark outside sucks hard. I wish we could just do away with the whole nonsense altogether.