This weekend is the start of Daylight Savings Time, or DST. It’s that time of year when we have to take the bad (in this case losing a precious hour of sleep) along with the good (gaining another hour of daylight). Some people don’t adjust well to this event. I am married to one of those people.
The Spouse is a good natured guy for the most part. When it comes to sleep, however, he is definitely not what you would call a morning person. During the week my idea of a late night is staying up until 10 p.m., mainly because his radio alarm clock begins wailing at 4:50 a.m. and, thanks to his hand slap on the snooze button, will remind him nine minutes later that it’s shower time. Even though those alarm make it feel like we’re waking up in the middle of the night, somehow my mate manages to stay awake each evening until at least 11, which I cannot fathom. I need a minimum of seven hours sleep in order to not be dangerous around sharp objects. Still, even on my groggiest days I am much more awake than he is in the morning.
On weekends Spouse will often make up for his Monday through Friday resistance to rest. So while I am normally up by 6:30 or 7 a.m. on Saturdays, he will snooze until 9 or 10. When Sunday rolls around he gets to hide under the covers until 8 or so when I jostle him to start getting ready for church. That’s when it’s going to hit him that he’s lost an hour of sleep this weekend. His body and his alarm clock, which he'll probably neglect to change the night before, will say that it’s only 7 a.m. and his wife will be pummeling him with a pillow to get his butt in the shower.
You can pretty much rely on at least one or two folks to come straying in about three quarters of the way through the church service because they didn’t get the “spring ahead” memo. If you don’t watch television, listen to the radio, surf the internet, read a newspaper, or leave your house, I can see how it would very easy to miss the announcement. How bizarre it must be, to believe you’re arriving at your destination on time or even early, only to discover you’re actually almost an hour late. I'm sure I've done this at least once in my lifetime, but I've managed to block it out of my memory so I can happily ride the river of denial.
I came across a bit of history regarding DST, which was first used in Europe, and has had its ups and downs (or aheads and backs) in the United States since its implementation in the early 1900s. From 1945 to 1966 states and localities were free to choose when and if they would observe DST, which sent bus and train schedules, along with the broadcasting industry, into a tremendous tizzy. If we were around back then, I imagine Spouse would have demanded that we move to a place where they NEVER made him lose an hour of sleep again.
As for that good natured guy I have lived with for the last 30 years, losing an hour’s sleep is possibly one of the top three things he dislikes most about March, the others being mud season in Maine and his birthday, which hasn’t been as much fun since I made him stop giving me his Home Depot wish list. However, he is a huge fan of longer days, so I guess it balances out once he gets over the initial shock...
and slips a nap in Sunday afternoon.