Many people blame old Ben for coming up with the idea of Daylight Saving Time, in an essay he wrote in 1784 called “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light.”
Some people think he meant it as satire and never expected anybody to actually do it, just like Jonathan Swift never intended for anybody to eat children.
It is to Franklin’s credit that America didn’t take the idea seriously until 1918, when it instituted “War Time” in order to save electricity during World War I.
Daylight Saving Time has been messing with us ever since.
I have enough trouble living so close to the border between the Central and Eastern time zones. I once surprised my family with tickets to a show in Chattanooga, Tenn. We were an hour into the drive before my husband figured out that I had neglected to account for the time difference, and we were on track to arrive an hour after the show started.
I have a friend who put sticky notes on all her clocks last week to remind her of the time change, because she was worried she would be late for church.
Raise your hand if you can change the clock in your car without digging out the owner’s manual.
My kids can never remember which direction time has suddenly shifted. “It’s spring forward, fall back,” I tell them. “But that makes no sense!” they argue back. “I can spring backward … and I fall forward all the time … watch! [ CLUNK ].”
The time change is particularly hard on the children in the evenings. They complain that they are hungry and want dinner, and I tell them to stop being ridiculous, it’s only 4:30 and not anywhere close to dinnertime … oh wait … it’s not 4:30 anymore, is it?
I have been coping with the loss of an hour of sleep each night by ingesting massive amounts of caffeine in the afternoons. It’s not helping.
I don’t like waking up in the mornings in the dark and the cold. I don’t want an extra hour of light at the end of the day. I’ve turned into my parents; I will happily go to bed at 5 p.m.
In closing, and because I am too sleepy to come up with any more words of my own, I shall quote from the obituary for Harry Stamps, who died last week in Mississippi.
In a tribute that took the Internet by storm, Harry’s daughter wrote: “He particularly hated Daylight Saving Time, which he referred to as the Devil’s Time. It is not lost on his family that he died the very day that he would have had to spring his clock forward. This can only be viewed as his final protest. … The family asks that in honor of Harry you write your Congressman and ask for the repeal of Daylight Saving Time. Harry wanted everyone to get back on the Lord’s Time.”
Contact Lisa Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org.