Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?

If I were to pick five words to describe myself, one of them would be “decisive”.  Okay, maybe it wouldn’t be in the top five.  Top ten for certain.  You need a decision?  I’m your man.  Weigh the options, take your choice, move on.

Possibly outranking “decisive” is “opinionated”, a close cousin psychologically.  I’ve got opinions out the wazoo.  On anything.  I write a blog, after all.

And somewhere up there has to be “time-driven”, or a synonym for it I can’t think of right now.

So why do you suppose I can’t pick an alarm clock to buy?

I had my last alarm clock for over ten years.  My wife gave it to me – I remember that, and now it seems rather significant.  Significant in that apparently I couldn’t pick out an alarm clock ten years ago, either.  A few weeks ago I was going to bed and knocked the clock on to the floor, and that was the end of it.

Since then I’ve waffled between browsing alarm clocks on-line, not finding anything I like, or pretending that there’s no problem.  It’s amazing how little you can think about your alarm clock when it’s not making a noise at you.

So I’ve looked at hundreds of alarm clocks on-line.  Some of them seem too cheap.  Some get bad reviews.  Some lose time too quickly.  Some have features I don’t need: I don’t need a clock radio, for instance.  Some of them are just boring.  I’d like there to be some style to it.  Something distinctive.  Maybe something retro, maybe steampunk, or maybe something really futuristic.  The leading contender at this point is the Crazy Clucking Chicken Alarm Clock (really!) but somehow I think it only has to go off once before it’s going to be rendered into small plastic pieces parts by my wife.  Besides, it’s not a steampunk chicken.

The rational reader might be tempted to suggest that I simply buy the same alarm clock I used to have before.  Naturally, the exact model is no longer manufactured (this is the closest thing to it).  But here’s my real problem: while I am notorious for selecting a product and resolutely continuing to use it (or its successors) for decades, being adamantly against anything new, I’m not even sure I’d want to buy an exact replacement of my old clock.  I’m that frozen in analysis here.

Wait, it gets worse.

Lest you suspect that there’s some simple psychological issue here regarding having to wake up at a scheduled time every morning, I should point out that my watch is also well over ten years old.  And I keep looking for a replacement for it, and nothing is ever satisfactory.

It’s a fine watch.  It looks great.  It runs great.  Somehow, however, I’m unsettled by it, as if I feel compelled to replace it, but am unable to do so.  I’m frozen in place on my watch, also.

Perhaps the neurosis has spread to cover all timepieces.

In considering the alarm clock, it occurs to me that the simple solution is to ask my wife to buy me a new one.  She bought the last one, after all.

Then again, she also bought me my last watch.  Oh, not the one I’m wearing.  Another one.  That watch was taken away and we do not speak of it.

All I can figure from this is that – like many people – I have some compulsion to express my personality through material possessions.  I usually don’t have a problem with that.  After all, I’ve had four cars in the lifespan of my watch, and I felt every one of them adequately represented me to the world.  Somehow, though, time pieces simply defeat me.

I could probably do without a watch, but I need an alarm clock.  I’m not happy at all using my phone in that role.

Perhaps I need to see this as some sort of critical test of my personality.  I am facing a challenge here, and must rise to the occasion!  I will not be defeated by something as humble, trivial, and generally unimportant as an alarm clock.  I am bigger than this!  Bwahaha!

Then again, maybe I should just start with therapy.  That might be easier than picking out an alarm clock.


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