Time Is On My Side

Daylight Savings TimeThis Sunday is my favorite day of the year.

There’s something magical about the day we “fall back.” Think about it. How often do you wish you had an extra hour of sleep, or an extra hour to pour over the Sunday Times, do the crossword puzzle, or linger over brunch, or even an extra hour to think about what you would do with an extra hour if you had one?

I yearn for that extra hour when my @#$%&* alarm clock goes off every morning of every day. I’m not exactly a morning person, or even a mid-morning person, or really that much of a life-can-be-worth-living-without-caffeine person, so I think about what I’ll do with that extra post-daylight-savings-time hour every single morning during the 364 days of the year that we don’t “fall back.”

I have my hour all planned out: I would spend 37 extra minutes under the covers, 6 extra minutes under the shower head, and 17 extra minutes actually sitting down to eat breakfast, drink coffee and read the newspaper. Or there’s plan B, when I would spend 23 extra minutes under the covers, 7 extra minutes shaving my legs really well, 25 extra minutes finishing my novel, and 5 extra minutes translating my novel into Chinese, a language I would have mastered by listening to tapes during my 7 extra minutes in the shower. Then there’s plan C, where I wake up next to George Clooney and spend my extra hour calling, emailing, tweeting, texting, and sending telegrams to all of my friends dishing about what it was like to wake up next to George Clooney.

The reality is every time we “fall back” for daylight savings I sleep right through my extra hour and then some. Sweeeet.

Those 25-hour days rock. When I actually get that extra hour, once a year, it’s like my own personal floating holiday. I spend the whole rest of the year trying to recapture that wonderful feeling of waking up and finding that I have a 25-hour day ahead.

Sometimes I try to fool myself by setting my bedside clock ahead 15 minutes and knowing I have time to hit the snooze bar-twice-but it’s not really the same thing as having a 25-hour day.

Often, setting my alarm clock forward just reminds me of a childhood spent waiting for everyone else to arrive. Unlike most sane people, who long for their days to be longer, my mom did everything in her power to cut our days short. If school started at 8:15 a.m., she would insist we had to be there by 7:30 a.m. and tell us it was 7:20 a.m. and we “better hurry or we’d be late” when it was actually only 7 a.m. and we could have stayed in bed another *&$#@! * half an hour and still made it to school by the first bell.

I can’t tell you how many parties I’ve been to with my mom, where the hostess hadn’t even showered yet, or weddings we’ve gone to where the couple wasn’t even engaged. The woman is obsessed with being early. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if she’s already blocked off some seats at Stanford for my 12-year-old son’s graduation.

The consequence of those 40-some-odd years of premature arrivals thanks to my mom, is that my dad, my sister and I now wildly overcompensate by lagging and therefore making other people wait for us as often as possible.

Which is probably why I get so irritated when I have to hurry my son to get ready for school in the morning. His lagging skills are even more finely honed than my own. “I can’t go any faster mom. This is my pace,” he said, the other morning, when I tried to rush him out the door after patiently waiting through a full 13 minutes of brushing his teeth in super high def slow motion.

“Hurry up dude, my time is precious, and we only have 24 hours today,” I said. It may have been my caffeine deficiency, but I couldn’t help thinking that I could have spent that lovely 13 minutes tapping my snooze alarm instead of tapping my feet while I waited for him to stop lagging.

What would you do with an extra hour in your day? Tell Leslie@LeslieDinaberg.com. For more columns visit www.LeslieDinaberg.com.

Originally published in the Santa Barbara Daily Sound on November 4, 2011.