Wednesday, November 20, 2013

No, Sorry, I Don't Have The Time. Or A Watch. And I Can't Look At Clocks, Either. I Have Reasons, I Swear, by Allison

So I got busted today at the gym.

This is why I do not wear a watch and should never look at clocks.
I know better.

It will get me in trouble somehow - it always does.

Today, in class, my cool friend and sadistic gym instructor -  who is both delightful and shows no mercy ever -  somehow,
amidst all of us doing a bunch of jumping around because she is making us -
she notices me looking over my shoulder at the clock.

I turn back around, she lets me know in one second she saw me looking at the clock,
and now I must suffer.
Horrible lunges.

I know better.

I have a collection - a random, nonsensical, absurd collection, but still -
of reasons why I cannot wear a watch or look at clocks.

It is like looking at Medusa, or saying Rumpelstiltskin three times.
Bad stuff will happen.

Why I Cannot Wear A Watch And Should Never Check What Time It Is Ever, An Edict, by Allison

1. Growing up, it wasn't until I was let loose with a driver's license to get my own self to school that I realized I was not inherently gifted in time/space continuum comprehension skills.

Before then, I was the beneficiary of people taking me places and stuff when I was supposed to be at whatever place.

I had no idea this was so very vexing and complicated.

Retroactively, thanks to everyone who had to deal with me. It is HARD.

When I did get my driver's license,
and was tasked with the basic requirement of: Get To School,
it all started to fall apart.

My nail polish wasn't dry.
(I used to change up my nail polish to match my outfit, like daily.
I plead temporary insanity, or that I was a teenaged girl, or is that redundant?)
Where were my books?
Ooh, I like this song!

But still, I could kind of pull Getting To School off,
except -
my Get To School side job was picking up my friend T.
T is absurdly awesome and one of my favorite people.
But when I would come barging up her driveway on the way to school,
she'd step out of the door, holding up a finger,
"One second!"

Total lie.

She would be in a kimono, with hot rollers in her hair,
holding an iron as she ironed her outfit (Thinking back, we were very high maintenance high school girls with all this upkeep at 7am) -

It was not one second.
Or a time frame best counted in seconds.

Truly, even then, I had a "I like her more than I care about time" philosophical ennui that is clearly skewed logic,
and apples and oranges or whatever,
but that is what I would think in my head while she got ready every day.

It wasn't even that stressful to wait,
except the stupid morning radio DJs would screech the time and weather every two minutes nonstop.
THAT was stressful.

Plus most of the songs were terrible.

I think those stupid morning radio Q 94 overly cheerful DJs may have ruined me for life.
Given me an intolerance for time or weather information,
as well as haughty rejection of subpar music, as determined by me,
while I sat there waiting for my friend T.

2. But I did have a watch back then.

It was very cool - it had a leather wristband that wrapped around my wrist like five times, and two  clock faces, one with a sun and one with a moon.

And upon reflection,
I never had a clue why there were two clock faces,
and why they should be different,
or what I was supposed to do with them at all.

It was an accessory, really.
Ornamental, not helpful in a time-providing way.
I was fine with that.

3. And when I was in college, I went watchless for two reasons.

First, I did not need a watch.

Because there was a guy who wore a cape and a stopwatch around his neck,
who would follow me from class to class,
and tell me how long it took me to get from place to place, such as
"It took Allison 10.57 minutes to walk from Morton to Wren Building."

He would then go along with his day.

And now this is where you are thinking,
Allison is a delusional, total liar who cannot even tell believable lies.
But I am totally not making this up.

I am not that imaginative.
I don't think I could conjure up a cape-wearing, stopwatch-bedecked,  unsolicited personal timekeeper - because who would ever think of such a thing?

Unless you HAD an unsolicited
(But appreciated! Both the time information, and the story, although unless witnessed, nobody believes me about this)
cape-wearing, stopwatch-bedecked timekeeper following you to class throughout college.

Then, it seems totally plausible.
And as proof I proffer this:
I would otherwise have NO clue how long it took to walk from Morton to Wren Building.

Because I didn't wear a watch!

Did you notice I got back to my topic just now?
I do remember what I was talking about, way up there.
Not only did I not need a watch for basic daily life in college, I had a second reason not to wear a watch.

I was forbidden from wearing a watch!

Because of sorority rush.

It was a rule, like written down.
I was very happy to have official permission not to wear a watch,
and an excuse to give for having no clue what time it was ever.

The reason we were forbidden from wearing watches during sorority rush was this:

If you have a watch on during the rush events where you meet a bunch of new people,
and get stuck in a tedious conversation,
you might be inclined to look at your watch to see how much longer you are stuck,
and that would be very rude and make someone feel bad.
And that was Not How We Represent Ourselves.

So no watches.

There was some hand signal thing,
if you were really, really stuck, like -
I don't know, I was never stuck, I can obviously hold my own conversation with myself,
talking about whatever.
I had to make sure not to BE the tedious one, not letting the poor girl get a word in edgewise -

But if someone were to be very, very stuck, there was a hand signal you could use,
like once in your life,
and someone would come over and join your conversation and save you.

I did not learn the hand signal.
I can talk to a coat stand if I have to, I'm fine, no need for rescue.

I am a chatty "ooh, I have a story on that!" type,
but I am not an idiot.
I am not going to extricate myself from talking - to a person or coat stand  -
to throw myself on a conversational gridlock, crickets-chirping,
wish I knew what time it was scenario.

So no watch, and no hand signals! Awesome.

3. And in law school, I could totally not wear a watch,
or ever turn around to look at the clock during class.
Socrates and his Method of teaching does NOT approve of clear indications
you are not riveted to the lecture,
and Socrates -
(NOT the real one, I am not that olden.
Just olden enough to have been in law school pre-everybody has a laptop era.
I think we were the last class sans required laptops,
scribbling our exams in blue books like pioneers.)

basically wants you to NOT be looking at your watch,
or turning to look at how much longer class will last, trying to do math on the odds of your getting called on that day for a case.

Do NOT do that.
Don't risk it, ever.

(Helpful tip: If you are tempted to turn around and look at the clock,
do this instead:
Imagine a musical version of "The Paper Chase,"
cast it, and start writing songs in your head.
That is surprisingly entertaining,
and now that I think of it,
that is a great idea.
If someone makes a musical version of "The Paper Chase,"
I totally want credit,
and have some ideas on casting.)

It is a certainty that you will turn to look at the clock,
turn back around, and the professor is now staring at you.

Specifically you, you time-checking,
distracted, pitiful student.
And you are now ON, for the rest of class.

Don't look at the clock.

I am guessing with approved electronics with time and date information right in front of you,
the lure of the watch or the clock-checking is greatly reduced.


Although, am thinking the first cell phone ringing in class is the new bait for Socratic Fury.

I would have made out better on that as a trap,
because my phone is half of the time lost, or dead,
or both, or neither,
but my odds are way better with a cell phone staying stowed away than with the lure of the clock.

4. Once I was loose in the world as an alleged grown up, I still did not wear a watch.

I clearly was traumatized by years of Don't Look At The Time Or Else situations,
and also,
meetings with clients or colleagues are the NEW
 Don't Look At The Time Or Else situation.

It is still just as rude to look at your watch or turn to see what time it is.
And now you are offending people who are paying you.
That's dumb.

Don't do that, right?
No watch for me.

Plus at that point, it was a phobia of sorts.

5. And if you find yourself with the task of having babies and little kids to take care of,
 and tote around,
 and feed and water,
get this?

It does not matter what time it is.

It doesn't matter what day it is.

You don't need a watch, the baby will just teethe and drool on it.
And those babies and little kids?

They never go away.

It does not matter what time it is.

And time is parceled out in different terms like,
Oh God Why Are They Up time,
Nap, Both The Children and Me time,
Witching Hour,
Where is my backup??? time,
cocktail time,
Where Is My Blanket???? hunt time,
and They Are Asleep If You Wake Them Up You Are Dead time.

It is less painful if you are just kind of semi-aware of those pesky details,
 like what time it is, reminding you how long you have been awake and is it really only Tuesday? What did we even do last weekend?

Ignorance is bliss.

6. Blissful Ignorance is short-lived, though,
if one of those babies or little kids turns out to be a Rooster,
 Obsessed With What Time It Is,
 And What Is The Weather,
And Did You Lose Your Keys Again, MOM type.

I do not need a watch.

I have no working clocks in this house,
other than the horror of Matt and his alarm clock that goes off at 3:57 am,
and I am not getting into that right now,
because it is dark outside,
and I am guessing it is late,
but I am not looking at the time,
because I am now All Worked Up.

I am kept aware of the time by E the Fashion Debate Rooster,
 helpful kind friends who kind of herd me to the gym on time,
 and then the violin or dance or whatever,
I am always usually supposed to be somewhere,
I know that,
I will be less recalcitrant about it if there is not a blinking alarm or alert.
(Note: that is one reason my phone is always on mute.
The other is, my kids steal my phone, turn the sound off,
play games or design dog hairdos on it,
and then it remains mute or dies somewhere in the house,
and I have to get the creepy iPhone Stalker Big Brother Cloud People to find it.)

So, for the above reasons, excuses, and irrational but long-held beliefs,

I Cannot Wear A Watch,
And Should Not Look At Clocks,
It Does Not Work Out For Me.

And as the exclamation point on the end of that sentence, I am now being forced off of the computer so others may look at information on weather and start negotiating bedtime.

I am all set, really,
no need for any time information ever again.