My Very First Spring Forward
Daylight Saving Time. It's back once again! I find myself needing to change many of the clocks in my house today, the clocks which are not connected to the Internet or synced to some faraway signal that update their times automatically. Also today, as happens every year when Daylight Saving Time requires us to "Spring Forward," I find myself recalling the very first time that I experienced DST. It was when I was about 10 years old. Before then, Daylight Saving Time wasn't a yearly happening as it is now -- at least where I lived -- and I had never heard of it, so that first time made a big impression on me.
I may not remember exactly what the year was when Daylight Saving Time began in my little world, but I distinctly remember the effect that it had on me. I remember a big deal being made of it in the local newspapers. I remember seeing a picture of a young woman who was poised by a huge clock, ready to turn forward the hands of the clock, being on the front page of one of the newspapers. I remember sitting on my front porch with my mom and my older sister, discussing the fact that our time had just been changed. What I remember the most, however, is how I reacted as soon as DST went into effect.... Looking back now, I can't help but think what a weird kid I was!
So, what was so strange about my reaction?
Well, any time anyone in my family mentioned what time it was -- 4:15 for instance -- I felt compelled to add, "but it's really only 3:15." Even if someone asked me what time it was, I would dutifully tell them the numbers that the clock displayed, but I would still always add as an aside, "but it's really only [whatever-the-time-would-have-been-had-we-not-switched-to-DST.]" I remember that I didn't make those comments around anyone other than my family, because somehow I knew it was weird that I did that. (My older sister laughing at me was probably a fairly good clue.) But even when I didn't SAY "but it's really only...." around anyone else, I still THOUGHT it to myself. I couldn't help saying/thinking it; the words/thoughts just came out. Every single time.
Why did I care so much about something that others didn't think about twice? I don't know exactly. But my 10-year-old self was definitely fascinated, maybe even obsessed, by the concept. How can people change the time like that? How can people just arbitrarily say that it's 10:00 when it's really 9:00? I mean, the time was the time, for goodness sake, and that couldn't be changed! Yet, it was happening. Time was being changed. It took me a while to get used to that.
Eventually, I stopped saying and even thinking "but it's really only...." every time that the time was mentioned. But I'll never forget the strangeness of my first experience with Daylight Saving Time.
No doubt about it.
I was such a weird child.
JudyK March 12, 2017
P.S. The apple, as they say, doesn't fall far from the tree. Here is a link to a post written a few years ago by my adult child David-Maggie, with his observations about Daylight Saving Time:
Don't Say Standard Time Unless You Mean It