You would hate to watch television with me. I have the annoying habit of pausing a show (thank goodness for Tivo), grabbing my iPad and looking up some interesting tidbit (like an actor’s bio, the definition of a word, the history of something). To live with me is to live in a constantly interrupted parenthetical world (yes, it really is).
I was watching some show the other day and someone said something about time zones. Time is a stupid concept. It just doesn’t make sense. To prove that it doesn’t make sense, I offer time zones as evidence.
I am plagued by time zones. My day job has me working with people in various parts of the US and India. That means I am constantly doing time math in my head to know what time it is there, and even what day it is. It makes for confusing conversations. (Is that in my time, or yours?)
I thought I’d be smart and set my iPad up to display all the time zones so I wouldn’t have to constantly do time math. That turned out to be really spiffy, except for the fact that I can’t tell analog time. There is something in my head that can’t make sense of those silly hands and where they are in space. Don’t even get me started on clockwise and counterclockwise.
So then I wasted hours of my life figuring out how to change it to digital, but I never could find the answer. It’s easy on the iPhone, and I found instructions for changing it on the iPad, but they don’t seem to work on the mini iPad. At least they’re digital on the map portion, albeit pretty tiny.
But what is it with time zones? India is a half hour off from the rest of us because they didn’t want two time zones, so they split the difference and everyone lives in the same time. We could do that in the US, but with our four time zones we’d constantly be living on the quarter hour. (For an enlightening history of time zones, see timeanddate.com.)
Then there is the sheer delight of Daylight Savings Time, where for one day of the year we get to sleep in an hour and another three days of the year we get to walk around as sleep deprived grouches.
Then there is our ever changing perception of time. Youngsters don’t understand it, as any parent on Christmas Eve can attest to. Teenagers’ concept of time is immediate and tunnel-visioned. They forget their youth and can’t imagine a future. Time slows down in the dentist chair but speeds up during moments of bliss. Then there comes A Certain Time In Life when you can start to see the end of your time and discover to your amazement and horror that time is speeding up, speeding up, speeding up, slipping away.
Father Time… about time… behind the times… time and tide wait for no man… out of time… time will tell… the time of one’s life.
Like I said, it’s a silly concept.