Daylight Saving Time always makes me want to go into hibernation.
It’s not that more daylight isn’t welcome or that I’m sad to see winter melt away. I’ll admit, every February 2nd, I’m the first person who’d like to send that infernal groundhog in Pennsylvania – the one that ALWAYS sees its little rodent-shaped shadow no matter what - to its maker.
No, by the time DST rolls around I am ready for warmer weather and a few more hours of light after the workday ends.
What I miss is that one single solitary hour of sleep.
I’m a creature of habit, until Eastern Standard Time rears its ugly head again and I get that hour back, I know I’m just going to be a growling, sleep-deprived monster that would just as soon go back to bed than revel in the budding flowers.
My husband, though, until recently, hadn’t quite figured out how to circumvent this beast, and often plunders right into its lair.
In our house, DST is usually heralded by a protracted disagreement between him and me over whether we lose an hour or we gain an hour in the Spring-Ahead scenario.
Each year he charges right into the argument that because the clocks go FORWARD we must GAIN time. To him going forward means to progress, and all progress must translate to gains or some other form of profit.
And each year I retaliate by calling him names like “Troglodyte” and “Doltish Buffoon,” whilst showing him how the clock actually works.
By the time he begrudgingly agrees that, "yes ... it does appear that when a person goes to sleep at midnight and the clock mysteriously jumps ahead an hour at 2 a.m., that hour seems to disappear from the sleep cycle," we’ve already missed more than an hour of shut-eye.
It matters not that we have the fight every year, nor does it seem to register that he ALWAYS concedes that I was, in fact, correct. The argument is still more a harbinger of spring than the first robin.
This year, though, we never spoke about the time. We didn’t bother setting the clocks back before we went to bed.
In the morning as we were waking up at our usual 7:30 he quietly reset each clock to read 8:30.
I got out of bed and changed the baby’s diaper without making any comment. I brushed the big kid’s hair with my fingers and pestered her to wear clothes that actually fit. When I made my way out to the kitchen I took the coffee he offered.
I puzzled a while over the quiet. Where was the rant to come? Perhaps he had finally understood that his instinct for this particular argument – as I understand my instinct for spelling the word CALENDAR – is always just plain wrong. ... I’ve learned over time it’s best just to go with one’s second choice, too.
But then I thought maybe it’s something else. Maybe it’s a result of the recent economy. Maybe the fact that so much presumed progress has really translated to regression ... or recession ... or depression.
We have yet to see.
In the meantime, I get the kids ready to walk to the playground. It's been months since we've seen the swings.
After all, it’s not going to cost us anything but maybe an afternoon nap.