So, what are you going to do with the thirty extra hours of daylight we’ve just been given this year? In what may be the one sensible act for which the George W. Bush presidency will ultimately be remembered, the government pushed Daylight Savings Time to this past weekend, instead of around a month from now where it’s been all these years. From a philosophical standpoint, nature will literally be shedding light on our activities, putting them into sharper relief, a month before it usually does. Don’t, as the old song used to say, let the sun catch you crying. Or, to put it another way, don’t let the sun catch you working your stupid butt off when you could be using an extra hour of daylight to restore harmony in your relationship, marriage or family life.
Bursting with this wisdom and anxious to implement it, I tried my newfound enlightenment out on my wife. Here is a transcript of our conversation.
ME: Hey, honey, I’m finishing up work and it’s still light out. I thought maybe we could go to an outdoor café and watch the sunset.
HER: (HYSTERICAL LAUGHTER…the kind where you have to hold the phone away from your ear. And I couldn’t do that because I was using the damn Bluetooth.)
ME: What’s so funny?
HER: Who are you and what have you done with my husband?
ME: It’s really me. I was thinking we could have an early dinner together.
HER: Wait a minute. There’s three words I haven’t heard you say since the 70’s. “Dinner” “Early” and “Together.” Four words if you count “thinking.”
ME: Are you saying the idea of my suggesting something spontaneous and romantic is completely foreign to you?
HER: Let me put it this way: it’s right up there with the instruction manuals from Ikea.
ME: What can I do to reintroduce spontaneity and fun into our relationship?
HER: Well, as a first step you can go to Home Depot.
ME: What for?
HER: So you can buy a crowbar.
Well, let this be a lesson to us workaholics. You can’t just suddenly decide to put a band-aid on all your previously uncaring behavior and not expect to be questioned. You will, I hope, be glad to know that the conversation went on from there, and my wife did agree to meet for a very lovely evening, and we held hands as we watched the sun go down. Thankfully, I had a hand free to secretly reach into my pocket and put my cell phone on vibrate. Just knowing I’d have a few voicemails to check after dark gave the last moment of extra daylight a very special glow.
TOM STERN TOP THREE TAKEAWAYS
1.How you use an extra hour of daylight is up to. But if you spend it indoors watching Nightly Business Report, there are support groups for that kind of thing.
2.Of course, getting an extra hour of daylight means losing that hour of sleep over the weekend that takes you two weeks to catch up on. Hey, always room for a little gloom and doom!
3.Time is an illusion. Now, if you’ll excuse me I’m going to go eat rice and sleep on a straw mat until I get even more enlightening wisdom to share with you.