Nina In New York: Spring Forward Into Madness
A lighthearted look at news, events, culture and everyday life in New York. The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.
By Nina Pajak
It’s mud! I mean, it’s spring! The birds are singing, the buds are budding, the kids are engaging in outdoor horseplay, and the massively intimidating expanse of icy tundra at one end of my street is finally melting into a massively intimidating puddle. I eagerly await the day we can see the road beneath and actually, you know, walk on it. Oh yes, and it’s light again! Thanks, Daylight Saving Time.
I’m trying so hard to adopt a better attitude regarding the “spring forward.” Because I hate it very much and always have, but it’s all part of a new thing I’m doing where I’m looking on the bright side of things. It’s been about fifteen minutes, and so far so good. And we’re done.
I’ve never understood how governing bodies could decide to mess with the laws of time. I mean, how can you just redefine the hours of the day by simply moving the hand on your clock? When I set my clock ahead by ten minutes to ensure I’m not late for things, it’s not like I actually moved ten minutes into the future. Or did I? If I got everyone to go along with me, then by the logic of DST we would have successfully done just that. Except that Arizona would probably still be all “we don’t participate in your time-bending games,” and it would pretty much be the only time in history I’ve ever agreed with anything Arizona has ever done.
Anyway, despite the fact that I’ve never understood DST and consider it to be an invasion in my life, I never knew just how detestable and terrifying it really was until I had a child. Now, I’m not just a little bit groggy from gaining or losing an hour. I’m not just slightly miffed by the disruption in my week. No, no. With a baby, moving the clock results in full-scale system meltdown. It is a moment to be feared, and there is no solution other than soldiering through.
For those who are childless, I will explain: imagine that you don’t know how to sleep. I know, this sounds ridiculous. But imagine that you are simultaneously the most tired human in the world and you fight sleep at every opportunity and need an excessive amount of outside help just to get you to close your eyes and submit to your own exhaustion. If you fall short of your sleep requirements, you transform into a demon hellspawn whose sole purpose in life is to make your caretakers weep as they attempt to appease your illogical rage with everything from an entire block of cheese to 47 consecutive readings of a book which is, ironically, about going to bed. So, clearly, it’s important to everyone in your life that you get the sleep you need. In order to get the proper number of hours, you must be coaxed into something resembling a sleep schedule. This process takes many, many months. It is a delicate dance, indeed. And any ripple in the pond, any pea under the proverbial mattress, any slight deviation from this schedule can turn the whole thing into a bubbling pile of doo doo. Now, imagine that twice a year, for no discernible reason at all, time becomes relative and there are either too many or too few hours in the day. THIS DOES NOT GO WELL FOR YOU.
Naturally, this means it does not go well for your caretakers, either.
We may have saved some daylight, but it’s costing some of us our sanity.
Nina Pajak is a writer living with her husband, daughter and dog in Queens. Connect with Nina on Twitter!