The Stolen Hour

I wake up on this bright Sunday morning. I am mildly hungover, the cat has made a bed of my throat. I look at my alarm clock: 8 a.m. Not bad. It’s Sunday, after all. I remember that I set my alarm for 9 a.m. I’ll doze back off under my feline afghan.

When my tablet alarm goes off two milliseconds later, the cat sleeping on my throat is sent into a frenzy of claws and teeth. I turn off the alarm, the tablet clock reads 9 a.m. I realize with dawning horror what’s going on.

There is nothing quite so miserable as getting an hour of your Sunday torn away from you like a beloved limb. And learning that what you thought was 8 o’clock is actually 9 o’clock is an unpleasantness up there with getting garroted awake by a cat.

There has been a lot of debate regarding daylight savings time. Some think it’s an absolute joke, unnecessary, and that people who don’t share these opinions are, in parlance of the Facebook Scholars, “sheep.” Most of the rest of us just grumble when it happens and remind everyone in sight to remember to do something to their clocks.

I could care less. Well, normally I could care less.

The only time I care a lot is on the Sunday that my hour is stolen from me. And that is today, so I am bitterly watching the hours of the day storm past me. Daylight savings would never be done on, say, a Monday morning, when we’d love an hour to be shanghaied from our schedule. I would like nothing more than to start a 90 minute class at 1 p.m. and end it 30 minutes later at 2:30 p.m. But we put our dreams away.

Not only are they taking a perfectly good hour from us, but the fact that they take that hour on a Sunday is insult to injury. Anyone who works a quasi-normal Monday through Friday week knows that nothing moves faster than a Sunday afternoon. And then the Daylight Savings People come and steal one of those precious hours. Pricks.

One might argue that this is a means to an end. Yes, an hour of our Sunday is pulled away cruelly, but it leads to the paradise that is bright spring mornings and long summer days. Seems a reasonable enough trade off. I suppose we’ll just get it back in October, an extra hour I don’t even enjoy. This is because it is followed up by the dark and depressing months. So it’s sort of like giving a guy who’s terrified of flying an extra hour before a flight to dwell on his fear. Technically it’s more time, but it’s not much enjoyed.

This Sunday residents of Britain have an hour less to squeeze in a Happy Mother’s Day to their nation’s mothers and grandmothers. Their day of appreciation is one hour shorter, and if I were prone to activism, I might go somewhere with a sign and point this out. But I don’t have that kind of time, especially today.

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