Friday, 20 September 2019 19:16

COLUMN: Ticking away the moments that make up a full day

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My wife says I am obsessed with time. Keep in mind, this is coming from someone who does not wear a wristwatch, but sets alarms on her phone for everything under the sun. 

I do, in fact, wear a wristwatch (I have “several”), and I am not 100 percent sure of how to set an alarm on my phone. My wife tells me I can have Siri do it, but every time I ask Siri something, she misunderstands and my directions to a town 100 miles away turn into a recipe for brisket sliders. I like brisket sliders a lot, but I like getting to the meeting I had set up a lot more. 

I don't like to be late for anything. I have a tendency to be really early for things, but that's why I keep a book in the car. A lot of you are thinking I can just goof off on my phone while passing the time, but I don't like to to that a lot. I keep an old paperback copy of a book I have read a dozen or so times in the car to pass the time when I am early for an appointment. 

I give myself extra time to get places. You never know what might happen on your trip from place to place. One morning, driving to work, I got delayed by my having to fill the car with gas at the slowest gas pump on planet Earth, and getting stuck behind; a school bus where it seemed like every passenger did not want to go to school that morning and had to be shoved onto the bus by a harried parent; not one, nor two, but six pieces of large farm equipment that never seemed to turn into any of the five farms I pass on my way to work; and a rather elderly man in a seafoam green 1956 Buick Roadmaster with a wonky exhaust. I am certain his accelerator maxed out at 35 miles per hour. I know for a fact a 1956 Buick Roadmaster can go faster than 35 miles per hour, but that's another story for another column. 

I have a lot of watches and clocks. They are all synchronized and when one gets out of whack, it throws the whole system off. I have world-time watches and clocks, for the event when I travel into another time zone. This was a moot point when we went to visit our daughter when she lived in the Central time zone.

I packed another watch in our luggage. My wife asked me why I didn't wear the fancy world-time watch I had and just press the button for Central time. I told her the one on my wrist was set for Eastern time and the one in the bag was set for Central time. She asked me again why I didn't wear the fancy world-time watch that changed time zones at the press of a button. I distracted her by telling her the clock in the car needed to be changed as it does not adjust automatically. Apparently, in our car, you cannot fix the clock when the car is in motion. My wife was very accommodating when she pulled onto the shoulder so I could adjust the clock. At this moment, you must think my wife is a very patient woman. She is, but she is rarely on time. 

I get to work very early. It was mentioned by my boss that I do not have to arrive so early, because what I need to do in the morning before starting my day takes about a half-hour. I like to be prepared and have a plan for the day, so that half-hour has become an hour and change. The boss has given up and has accepted that I just show up early.

I'm a creature of habit and divide my day into increments of time. I eat lunch at the same time every day. I get home at the same time every day. When I write the column, it's always on the same day at the same time. 

I assure you, I am not crazy. I just like to do things in an orderly fashion. I'm usually pretty good at deadlines, too. Writing this column each week ensures the newspaper that they will have space filled with content. Sometimes it's entertaining. Sometimes it's topical. You never know what you might get. I assure you, however, it will be on time. 


Joe Weaver, a native of Baltimore, is a husband, father, pawnbroker and gun collector. From his home in New Bern, he (usually) writes on the lighter side of family life.