Living in the zone(s)

I live in central standard time (CST).

This means that anytime a show is advertised on TV I usually have to subtract an hour from EST to determine what time I can watch the show.

But that is nothing compared with the time zones I negotiate when moving from room to room in my home.

Yes my home.

My husband sets clocks ahead.

He sets his watch 7 minutes ahead and keeps it on military time. Not a big deal since he alone wears his watch.

What has been a bit contentious is the clock in the bedroom. The clock by the bed that wakes us up in the morning. The clock that is currently 32 minutes ahead. Interestingly, that clock has inched up in aheadness approximately 1 minute per year of our marriage.

The clock in the shower is 17 minutes ahead.

The clock in the kitchen is 6 minutes ahead.

The clock in the car is 11 minutes ahead.

Oh, aren’t you taking notes? Because if you come visit you might want to know the time.

After years I have learned to look at a clock based on its location and do the math in my head.

Oh! I am in the bedroom and it is 10:43? Nope! It’s 10:11!

Oh! I am taking a shower and have only 5 minutes? Nope! I have 22!

Oh! I am running 15 minutes driving to an appointment? Nope! No need to call ahead, I will only be 3 or 4 minutes late.

So, the obvious question is WHY?

And believe me, I have asked the obvious question on many occasions. Some more heated then others.

Why do I have to live under these extreme math conditions?

My husband replies that it makes him feel better about getting up early in the morning. Like it isn’t actually 5:30 because the clock says it is 6:02. I don’t buy this argument…

Because he is one of the smartest people I know. So you can’t tell me that he isn’t doing the math in his head the INSTANT that he looks at the clock.

So the question of WHY remains.

I guess that I should be grateful that he hasn’t determined an international date line runs through the dining room…


  1. Purple Teacup says:

    I don’t think people here know that time zones exist. Going out past 9 is sac religious. And don’t even think about going out for dinner any later than 6:30.
    Missing y’all especially with school starting!

  2. Vicki @ says:

    Oh, you could so mess with his head. I’d be playing April Fool’s jokes 365 days a year!

  3. It makes me dizzy just to read about it.

  4. funny — we do the same in the car & bedroom…

  5. Incorrect clocks drive me insane. I’m not sure I could survive under these conditions. You are a brave woman.

  6. Kirby3131 says:

    That would make me insane. I have clocks in the house that are just props, without batteries, so they stay the same time, but all the others are as exact as I can get them.

    The question I have though — A clock in the shower?

  7. I would need much more than coffee to manage this madness of time. Are you sure you aren’t in an Alice through the Looking Glass scene? Maybe you should sneak around and change the clocks to inspire madness in him?

  8. jill jill bo bill says:

    I am with Kirby- the shower?!

    Okay when and where is our rendezvous? And please give me real time!!!!!

  9. Seriously, the same thing happens here. And we have 3 clocks in the kitchen. And I do the math immediately and know exactly what the time is.

    I am too scared to change them to the right time now, lest I do the math and be late!

  10. Jenn @ Juggling Life says:

    The reason I do it is that doing the math wakes me up. I only set the bedroom clock ahead, and I change the time it is set frequently. I really hate waking up!

  11. Extreme Math Conditions. gigglegiggle. I might borrow that one someday.

    I used to make some random friend come set my clocks ahead, but not tell my by how much. Because yeah, I can do that math in a split second, before my eyes are open, with a hangover, no prob.

    Extreme math conditions. *snicker* That was good, dude.

  12. Texan Mama@WhoPutMeInCharge says:

    Maybe he just really likes math. Us math people are wierd that way. My husband is always asking me, Okay which clock has the REAL time??

  13. the planet of janet says:

    your husband and i might be related. just a little, maybe.

    i keep my watch a little fast. and the clock in my car.

    but that’s all. really. i swear.

  14. hip chick says:

    I must admit that during the school year I set the kitchen clock about 5 to 10 minutes fast so the kiddies won’t miss the bus. And, the clock in my car in always 10 minutes fast.

  15. It All Started With a Kiss says:

    My husband doesn’t use clocks. He just continuously asks me what time it is. Or uses his iphone. That’s his alarm, too. It goes buzzing across the bedside table and crashes onto the floor, all while playing some rap song I have never heard before.

  16. That is so, so funny. It takes my husband about a month to change the clock by his bed after daylight savings time ends, and by that time I am completely insane. I don’t know how you do it, but I’m pretty sure that you deserve a medal. Or a clock tower.

  17. Beth (A Mom's Life) says:

    This would drive me insane. I like all my clocks to be accurate and if possible all showing the exact same times…especially the clocks I can see at the same time (oven,microwave,coffee maker).

    I don’t know how you can stand this. Seriously. This might be the one thing my husband and I fought over. (And we never fight.)

  18. Mrs Lemon says:

    I do this! Only it’s just my alarm clock (which I don’t use anymore because I have a baby who wakes me up at the crack of dawn) and it has to be 15 minutes fast. I did this because my exhusband was notorious for running late, and now I can’t get out of the habit, and my dreamy husband is notorious for running early. So now it comes back to bite me in the rear, but I can’t change it. 🙂

  19. Manic Mommy says:

    My mom is a huge fan of this practice so when I moved out, I too did it for a while until I realized it was pretty…silly.

    Then again, I also have four clocks in my kitchen (stove, micro, coffee maker, iPod Dock) and I struggle to get them to match up.

  20. SuburbanCorrespondent says:

    Wow – it drives me crazy if our clocks are just a few minutes off from one another. And our van clock, which used to be 4 minutes behind the kitchen clock, was sheer torture for me. (And the day my husband fixed the van clock without telling me? Not. A. Good. Day.)

  21. You described my house to a “T” except it’s me who sets the clocks ahead. I totally get why he does it.

  22. EatPlayLove says:

    Ahh! I so feel your hubby. When I needed an alarm clock *now I have two with legs* I always had it set ahead 20 minutes. For me, my half asleep brain would be scared I was running late and get a move on. Then I would see the kitchen clock and feel better.

    My car is ahead too, but I keep trying to figure out how far ahead. I think I must change it a.s.a.p., it’s so silly. I couldn’t tell you why.

    Oh and try living in MTN time zone when they program at total willy nilly times even though a commercial may say EST, it never jives, EVER! Drives me bonkers.

  23. Really? Wow. That would drive me insane. I go to a LOT of effort to make sure that our clocks are set to the exact same minute. In fact, it is a disease because when I’m resetting, say both the microwave and oven clock, I will wait until the first one rolls around one minute to hit “ok” on the second so they are almost precise. At least I have hubby’s support in this!

  24. Angie's Spot says:

    Your hubby is not alone in this insanity. It must be a guy thing. It got so bad in my house, that hubby & I now have separate alarm clocks. He doesn't touch mine and I vow not to throw his out the window until our 15th wedding annivesary. Which we're fast approaching.

  25. That would never fly in our house. Just last night, C made sure both clocks visible from this living room were exactly the same. Oh. And he sets his watch by the atomic clock in Boulder, CO.

  26. This is funny.

    Our bedroom/bathroom clocks are ahead by 6-12 minutes. They used to all be 6 minutes, but Prince Charming’s clock keeps moving ahead. I think it’s because he’s not careful when setting the alarm. HE thinks it’s right and all the other clocks are slow. WHATever! The reason for the 6 minutes somehow started with our “Rabbit! Rabbit!” war. If you wake up right at midnight, you can’t “Rabbit! Rabbit!” your spouse because it’s really not midnight. With a foggy, sleep brain, that means I always win. (I’m a lighter sleeper.)

    My car clock is currently 21 minutes fast. It is that way because it likes to be that way. This is like a freak thing. When we bought the car, the time was right. It quickly moved ahead 15 mintues. (In the course of about a month.) Then in another month it slowly moved to 20 mintues ahead. In the course of six months it might get to 21 minutes ahead. If I reset it, the same thing happens. If I reset it for 15 minutes ahead, it will slowly move to 20 minutes ahead and then more slowly to 21 minutes. It just is happy there. I am so used to it that I don’t think I could handle having the right time in my car. It terribly freaks out visitors, however. And THAT is why I thought your post was so funny, because I NEED this information in case I visit. You should probably put that information in the Nirvana Travel Brochure that goes in the guest room so guests are well-informed and don’t make ugly complaints to the hotel staff.

  27. Marcy - The Glamorous Life! says:

    This would actually drive me insane.
    I don’t like math. And to be forced to do math every friggin time I want to know the time….well that would piss me off.

    Tell him to knock it off. Stop playing mind games with himself ok?

  28. spinning in our own direction says:

    I agree I would so go move the clocks ahead like an hour on one of the weeks he has off that would drive him crazy.. Its only fair..

  29. Burgh Baby says:

    I totally do that. My reason? Because when I am running truly behind and rushing around, I forget to do the math. So I end up thinking I am even later than I really am. It comes in handy as a motivational tool. Or something.

  30. T with Honey says:

    I do something similar but not as extreme. All the clocks upstairs are set between 4 to 6 minutes ahead of the actual time. It varies on each clock and I don’t keep track of exactly how far ahead I set it. This is so I can’t do the math to figure out the real time.

    Why do I do this?

    Because it is while we are getting dressed that we always fall behind and start to run late. I’ll come out of the bathroom or from helping Princess get dressed and notice that time has magically disappeared and we’re gonna be late.

    So we run from getting dressed upstairs, grab food for in the car and pull out of the driveway to discover that we are perfectly on time.

    Just don’t let Honey know. If he catches on it will stop working.

  31. InTheFastLane says:

    I am not as bad as your husband, but I do this, but in reverse, so that I will get places on time. And really, even though I know the clock is exactly 7 minutes early, it still works. To bad about the cell phone clock that is always on the correct time, to make me late.

    An even bigger question is: how in the world is Texas and my corner of Indiana in the same time zone? Not even close.

  32. Extreme math conditions is so my husband too. He’s an engineer, enough said.

    I go by computer clock time.

  33. that is sooo funny. b/c i always put the clock in the car ahead by 5-10 mins so that i’m always on time to things. i’m always running late and that helps keep me grounded. lol and most times i try to forget that i did it… or do it a few mins here and a few mins there so i have no idea what time it really is… this drives my husband NUTS so then he fixes it of course… until the next time i happen to be stitting in the truck with a spare few mins to mess around with he clock. lol

    sorry. i can’t help it. but i couldn’t do it w/ any other clock and I couldn’t do all of them at different times… that would make me batty!!

    xoxoxo good luck!!

  34. We to suffer from this problem. My husband has our alarm clock set 15 minutes fast. Why must they make us do math so early in the morning! I wake up with a headache from all the math.

  35. I live in one of only two 1/2 hour time zones on the plant. We are 1/2 hour ahead of Atlantic time, so when they announce a TV show is at say, 8:00 EST, I have to add 1 1/2 hours.

    And it’s a pain trying to do any phone business with the rest of the country, too.

    I have asked the ‘why’ question many, many times. I know the science behind the 1/2 hour time difference, but in practical terms, can’t we just round down to AST?

    But having the clocks on anything other than the ‘real’ time? That’s HEINOUS. If it were me, I’d mess with his head and keep changing those clocks when he wasn’t looking.

    Divorced? Me? Why, yes I am. Why do you ask?

  36. Please to add a ‘e’ to the ‘plant’ in the comment above. I actually live on a ‘planet’ not a ‘plant.’

    Thanking you.

  37. Anglophile Football Fanatic says:

    Puppy is forever doing that, too. I wonder why that is?? See you Sunday.

  38. On a limb with Claudia says:

    Ahahaha… This is a great reflection for me as I do this in our house. I know the kitchen is 5 minutes fast – car? 7 minutes. Our clock radio was 16 minutes fast until D started screaming about it – now it’s only 5 minutes fast.

    I will ponder my time negligent ways Miss Holly. As always, you’ve changed my life

  39. Elaine A. says:

    I really don’t know why people do this either. I freaked out while in the car with my SIL one day on our way somewhere b/c I thought it was later than it was and we were late somewhere. She was like “Ah, no worries, it’f 15 minutes ahead so I can get places on time…) Whatever. ; )

  40. My wife is like that, I hate when I get into her car and think I am running fifteen minutes late, when I am actually seven minutes early!

    My only quirk with time is that I refuse to set an alram to something like 5:15 or 5:30, no it has to be 5:17 or 5:22 – I don’t know why, but I HAVE tried to rectify this situation to no avail.

    Maybe there should be a Timekeepers Anonymous for those of us with various timekeeping issues. What do you think?

  41. Oh, that is so funny. Derrick does the exact same thing and it drives me nuts! I just want to know what time it is! (really) The worst is when he drives my car and changes my clock. I just got a new car though, and when I learned that the clock automatically sets by satelite to the correct time (and zone!) and YOU CANNOT CHANGE it, I had myself a good laugh. HA.

  42. Lisa@verybusymomwith4 says:

    well…I have to admit I do the very same thing–bedroom 22 minutes fast, kitchen–11 minutes fast, car–16 minutes fast.
    My husband is always late and this gets him moving–sneaky sneaky 😉

  43. Manager Mom says:

    He wants to keep you in a contstant state of paranoia. That’s the only explanation I can think of!

  44. Manager Mom says:

    You can’t punish the kid for maximizing the principles of capitalism, right?:-)

  45. Two clocks in the kitchen. Neither are right, and they seem to run fast on their own after we set them.

    The Calm One insists on setting bedroom clock fast and then hitting the snooze several times. All I know is that I am awake a whole lot more than I need to be. And it ticks me off.

  46. Ok,that was beyond confusing! How do you function?

  47. Threeundertwo says:

    Whoa. I don’t think my brain could handle that. I get crazy when my husband gets to the clocks when there’s a time change. He only sets them to *approximately* the right time. I have to go fix all of them so they’re exact.

  48. Domestic Accident says:

    I am not smart enough to live in your house.

  49. I tried that for a while, in an attempt to stop being late all the time. It didn’t work. I always knew that I was tricking myself.
    I’m too smart for my own procrastinating good.
    I slapped myself in the face and took my anti-schizophrenia meds and was done with it.
    tee hee.

  50. ohhh…wow,..haha that would be soo confusing..but you will never be late for anything..I guess..hehe

  51. That’s so funny! All of our clocks are a few minutes off from each other, but that wasn’t intentional. It’s just a by product of laziness when setting our clocks.

  52. Muthering Heights says:

    That is so funny! I have a few issuers like that with my husband, but we don’t have THAT many different clocks!

  53. wow! i get frustrated with our clocks that aren’t set as close to the correct time as possible. and i hate when my husband sets the alarm for an hour before we have to get up. then he hits the snooze as many times as he can until he has to get up. i would rather sleep for real until i have to get up. i don’t need 17 warnings that my sleeptime is winding down.

  54. skinny fat chick says:

    I have a similar ridiculous system… alarm clock, VCR clock, microwave, and car clock are all different amounts ahead ranging from 3 minutes to 20 minutes. Mine is a trick to confuse myself so I am not late in the morning. The rest of the day I am awake enough to remember the system and figure out what time it is. Mornings are the only time I am late. God… I could write a whole post about my own OCD-ness on this.

  55. My hubby used to do this, too and it made me NUTS! My solution? I changed the clocks all to the right time and didn’t tell him. Sure, he was late everywhere he went for a week, but he learned up quick. ;o)

  56. Angie @ KEEP BELIEVING says:

    We have the same phenomenon in our house, only it is me. Gavin’s clock gets messed up due to his wandering fingers, so I have no idea how many minutes ahead he is. My watch is always a few minutes ahead (of my microwave clock which is only 2 minutes ahead which is 7 minutes behind my van clock which is 9 minutes ahead which is 11 minutes behind my bedroom clock which is 20 minutes ahead which is 25 minutes ahead of my husband who is always lagging by 5 minutes.

    I have always worked in accounting and finance, so my mind is constantly doing math even when there is no math to be found, so I make it up, it seems.

  57. You do realize you can reset the clocks, right? 😉 And I have the perfect XMAS gift for him: an atomic clock, set to the atomic clock in Boulder. You could even get him a wristwatch to match! LOL!

  58. OK wheres my cabbage I was depending on it for lunch. Happy your bowl if full but potatoes are not fruit. Just saying

  59. Judith Shakespeare says:

    So i take it you got some rain??? All great shots, honey! But the caption on that last one is perfection. 🙂

  60. Judith Shakespeare says:

    I posted on the wrong post somehow… I obviously need help. 🙂

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