Watching the clock
I admit it: I’m a compulsive clock-watcher.
As a freelance writer working from home, I don’t watch the clock in the sense that I eye the hour hand as it makes its egregiously slow move from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. so I can exit my cubicle and enter my real world. No, though I’ve served my time in such positions, my current compulsive clock watching is of a less regular — albeit still compulsive — sort.
A sort that sometimes makes me believe I just might be a little off balance.
Or maybe not. Perhaps other perfectly balanced folks watch the clock in the very same ways.
For instance, when I hear odd noises outside my home, something unusually loud or menacing in my neighborhood, my first instinct is to look at the clock. I confirm the time on the clock just in case I end up being interrogated by some in-your-face detective — or in-your-face reporter — questioning the exact moment I heard the shake, rattle and hum that preceded the irrefutable proof by explosion that my next-door neighbor was playing Walter White.
Ya never know. It’s best to be prepared.
Similarly, when I hear menacing sounds inside my home, the shake, rattle and hum sounds from my — as one friend calls it — Stephen King boiler, I quickly glance at the clock so I know the precise time I knew the house was gonna blow. Yes, I do realize it would be too late if that truly was the case, but again, ya never know and it’s best to be prepared.
I also watch the clock when I awake in the middle of the night. Especially if I’ve awakened because I need to make a quick potty run. If I glance at the digital clock on the dresser and the time is between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. — the “witching hour,” per too many scary movies and my youngest daughter — that potty run is ran especially fast and usually ends with me pouncing back into bed as quick as can be so anything that might reside under my bed won’t grab me and pull me down there with it or lick my tootsies like in the spooky stories shared by my slumber party gal pals decades ago.
Sometimes the nighttime clock watching occurs when I awake with a funky feeling and am absolutely positive one of my daughters — or grandsons or siblings or parents — is hurt or sick or being visited by a bogeyman of some scary sort. I quickly note the time so I can later say, “I just knew something was up.” (Only rarely has such a feeling prompted me to actually call the one I was feeling funky about thankfully.)
The compulsive clock watching also occurs when one or more of my daughters visits. More accurately, when one of my daughters leaves after having visited. See, I request a text when they’ve made it home — especially because the two who visit regularly are young women living on their own more than an hour from my house and I need to ensure they made it there safely. And soundly. And without any accidents or carjackings or spooks or sexual predators hiding inside once they’d opened their front door. Ya truly never know. So I watch the clock and anxiously await their text or call.
And, of course, I’m a compulsive clock-watcher when I’m with my grandsons. Not the entire time; just the last 48 hours or so before our time together ends. It’s then that I start tallying our remaining hours relative to the remaining activities, games, fun I packed into my Grandma Bag or planned in my head. More important is the tallying of how many hours I have left to add to my collection of hundreds of photos from our visit as well as how many hours I have left to hug and adore and absorb my dear Mac and Bubby in person.
Upon considering this last example, it’s when I watch the clock in dread of my limited time left with my grandsons that seems to be the only reasonable compulsive clock watching I do.
(But then again, the clock watching I do so I know to run like mad when visiting the restroom during the witching hour seems pretty darn reasonable to me, too.)
— Lisa Carpenter
Lisa Carpenter publishes the Grandma’s Briefs website, where she shares bits on life’s second act and strives to smash the outdated “grandma” stereotype. Her “The grandma in a box” post was named the 2013 BlogHer Voices of the Year People’s Choice selection in the humor category. Lisa also is a freelance writer, with credits including Grandparents.com, Boomeon, The Huffington Post and more. Connect with Lisa on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ as well as on Grandma’s Briefs.