A Lifetime of Confusion Over Time Change

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George and Kathy are celebrating their 35th Anniversary in November. Like most couples, they’ve had their ups and downs. But through it all, their love for each other has persevered through events some take for granted.

“I’m dreading the second-worst day of my life,” George recently posted on his Facebook page, “The end of Daylight Savings Time….”

Whereas people sometimes dread certain family-oriented holidays because they remind them of relatives lost, not George. Others worry about the Jewish holidays in September due to traffic or the Christmas holidays because of the crowds. Nope. George has a special place in his nightmare closet for the end of Daylight Savings Time. And it’s not even the worst day of his life.

“That would be the start of Daylight Savings Time,” he said.

Why would the simple act of springing ahead or falling back an hour cause him such consternation?

“Because my wife never knows what time it is,” he said.

“It’s true,” admitted Kathy. “I guess I drive him crazy.”

“I know she drives me crazy,” George confirmed.

Not that she’s alone in this confusion, mind you. Every time we have a clock change, millions of people are affected. Statistics don’t lie. Newsday reported that in the last five years on Long Island, more than 6,500 people were injured in traffic accidents in the days following the time change. To make things worse, more than 300 people have died.

Need more proof? In New York City, during the 5 p.m. hour after the end of Daylight Savings Time, there is a 10 percent increase in traffic accidents and a 100 percent increase in accidents involving pedestrians. These statistics are based on the first four weeks AFTER the time change compared to the four weeks BEFORE the time change.

Robert Sinclair Jr., a spokesman for AAA Northeast, feels the sudden onset of darkness during rush hour, caused by the time change, makes it harder to see. “Everyone needs to be extra alert after the time change,” he said, “especially drivers.”

But what about those of us who are no longer commuting to and from work? Why do we have to suffer this unnecessary time change? Granted, I am savvy enough to change the time on my microwave and stove, but who is going to climb up the step ladder and change the clocks in the kitchen and my office?

“I find myself starting to cook at 4 p.m. sometimes,” Kathy said. “At this moment, it’s 10:15, but it’s really 11:15. And tomorrow morning, when I get up, it’s 9 a.m., when it’s really 10 a.m. I never know what time it really is. I’m calculating the time for at least a full week.”

And you thought those high school math classes were a waste of time.

Although they have been together for 35 years, I asked George if Kathy was like this while dating. “I really don’t know,” he admitted. “It wasn’t until we were married that I found out how confusing it was for her on a day-to-day basis. It’s been a nightmare ever since.”

Two New York State senators, Joseph Griffo (a Republican from Utica) and Angelo Santabarbara (a Democrat from Rotterdam) want Daylight Savings Time to be year-round. The proposal to eliminate changing the clocks twice a year is music to most people’s ears. They are calling it a movement to “Lock the Clock.”

My wife is unusually sluggish after the time change and just wants to go to sleep earlier. But not Kathy.

“She still sleeps just fine no matter what time it is,” said George.

Although the clock in her car remains an hour off for the next six months, Kathy will get the hang of things soon enough. She always does. And while celebrating their anniversary this week, time will most likely be at a standstill. Love always trumps time.

“She’s a rare bird,” George said. “I’m used to it by now.”

He better be…

2 thoughts on “A Lifetime of Confusion Over Time Change

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