Monday 05 Dec 2016

Watching Time
Jennifer Flaten

I am slightly obsessed with knowing what time it is, to that end, I have a clock in every room and I wear a watch night and day. Not the same watch, of course, different watches. That’s right; I have a watch that I specifically wear at night.


I have a watch that I specifically wear at night.

I might have refrained from telling you that lest you think I am a tad eccentric, but let’s face it you already think I am on the far side of eccentric.

Now that we’ve established my eccentricity, I can tell you why I wear a watch at night. Sadly, the reason isn’t crazy or, at least, it doesn‘t seem crazy to me, but am I really the best judge?

I wear a watch simply because I need to it to tell the time, even in the middle of the night. I am a light sleeper. When the cat sneezing wakes me up I want to know the time. 

I don’t know about you but I feel a certain smugness when I wake up at 2 am and realize I can, in fact, go back to sleep. I am less cheerful when I wake up and realize the alarm is going to ring any second.

Sure most people use an alarm clock for that, but since I can’t see worth a damn without my glasses, the only way that would work for me is if the numerals were ten feet tall.

I did see a clock that projected the time onto the ceiling in enormous font, but thought might keep me awake at night. The night watch has a nice mellow blue light that only illuminates when you push the button.


My night watch has an alarm.

In addition to telling time, the watch has an alarm. Yes, I have heard of alarm clocks. Let me explain: an alarm clock strapped to my wrist was a necessity with newborn twins. 

During their babyhood, I had no idea where I would ultimately end up sleeping. I have a long list of places I did end up sleeping including, in the rocking chair in the living room, but sadly, I rarely slept in my bed.

I needed an alarm clock that came with me wherever I roamed in the course of the night.

Despite my kids no longer needing night feedings I still find myself strapping on my watch. During school days, it ensures I never sleep through the alarm, no matter how late I stayed up reading and during the summer it makes me pleased to know I can shut the alarm off and sleep for another hour.

My original night watch finally went to the great time keeping place in the sky. I didn’t want to retire it, but the strap broke.

Like any normal person I tried to find a replacement strap, yeah that is impossible. The kids running the watch kiosks in the mall couldn’t fathom replacing a band; why not just buy a brand new $100 watch.


Most people, today, check time on a phone.

The kids working the jewelry department in the big box store didn’t even know you could wear a watch on your wrist, they thought everyone used their phone to check the time.

Since the Holy Grail is easier to find than a replacement watchband I just gave up and bought a cheap digital watch. About a month after I bought it the band that holds the strap down broke. Now the strap flops around a pokes me in the middle of the night-craftsmanship gotta love it.

Meanwhile, I couldn’t bear to part with my old watch. It is slumbering in my drawer, every day it beeps at 7 am, sort of a fail-safe alarm.

During the day I try to class it up a little and switch from the rubberized digital watch to my animatronic watch, it has dancing frogs on the face.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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