So do you have those family members that always tell you something you don’t want to hear? Yeah, well, my sister had the audacity to inform me that we are in fact 6 months from Christmas as of this weekend, so I’m looking outside and thinking “Hell no!” 80 degrees, sunny, a light summer wind, and I’m not working – can’t we just freeze time right here, right now? These are the days I’d like to do just that. And it starts to make you think about how time does, in fact, fly.
Do you remember being a kid and hearing the adults blather on about how they couldn’t remember exactly when something happened or they’d discuss what year somebody died and they’d say “well, it happened the year so-and-so was born but I can’t exactly remember when that was? And do you remember being annoyed with their conversations? And do you remember thinking “How can you not freaking remember what happened last Tuesday?” Yeah, I had a lot of those catty ass remarks in my younger years. Unfortunately, now we’re old and now we get it. People always tote that old cliché about time flies when you’re having fun or life happens while you were doing other things. Maybe I’m starting to get to the point where I understand the need to just throw a cliché at it and call it good because maybe I don’t really want to waste my time or efforts on thinking of something that more appropriately covers it.
With every passing year, I become more and more fascinated with how time has gotten away from me. Next fall, I will be starting my 15th year at my job. How the hell did that happen? Just yesterday, I was cruising past Casey’s, stopping at the Dairy Queen for a lemon-lime slushy whip, and asking my parents’ permission to drive across the state to hang out with my friends in Muscatine. But apparently there is some kind of disconnect, because my driver’s license says I’m way older than that. I am freaking going to reunions of friendships that have been going on longer than I’ve been alive! I swear it! And here’s a scary fact for you: the teenagers I work with weren’t born yet when Princess Diana was killed in that car accident, and they are too young to remember 9/11. Dear God, how is that possible?
But then I got to thinking about time and how it flies or stops depending on your situation. For instance, remember the last time you got stopped by a cop? Tell me you weren’t thinking it took the man FOR-EVER to decide he was ticketing you. Or what about the last time you sat at the hospital with somebody who wasn’t doing so well. Did it feel like you were there an entire day when it was more like 45 minutes? And were you so emotionally drained you pondered a caffeinated pop or a nap? Yeah. Time can seem to go slow sometimes. We just forget about those moments. What about when you are in labor for 36 effing hours? Bet those don’t go fast! How do you feel when your car stalls in the middle of nowhere and you’re waiting for a tow truck? Seems like you sat there for days, didn’t it? Or how about the last time you sat on the phone hoping you were the 57th caller to win Elton John/Billy Joel tickets? A lifetime, right? And don’t even get me started about being on hold with the local cable company!
But I always thought time went slower when I was a kid. I remember thinking summer lasted at least a year. Don’t get me wrong – I was always happy about it. It just seemed longer. And I remember thinking that time would never pass till I could turn 16 and finally drive myself places. And did you have to wait till your brother or sister finally got out of bed on Christmas day before you could see what Santa brought? Yeah, talk about a clock stuck on 6:43am. But now as adults, we are always looking forward to weekends and vacations and even though we have to look forward to those to keep us going, it never fails that we are flipping the page on the calendar again before we even looked at last month.
So maybe that damn cliché is right because I swear that time moves faster than a NASCAR-winning DuPont-Quaker State-Coca-Cola-Viagra Chevy in the summer when I’m on vacation. And I bet you couldn’t believe what time it was when you looked at your watch when they said “last call” at that bachelor party you went to. Or what about when your best friend came to visit for the weekend? The weekend was over before you knew it, huh? And that concert you went to last weekend – over before you had time to round up the 7th beer from the concession stand line! Or what about in the old days when you were making out with the cute co-ed? It was 2 in the morning before you even noticed you hadn’t eaten lunch! Of course, there are non-fun times when time still flies, like when you are having company and you’re frantically trying to throw all your crap in the closets. And doesn’t it suck when you have to give a speech and you’re still trying to memorize it when the emcee says you’re up?
Yeah, when you think about it, time is relative. It’s not really an airplane or an alarm clock with wings, but does it really matter how we label it? It won’t be long till we’re old, blue-haired, and sitting in our rocking chair with a koozie of Mike’s Hard Lemonade not knowing which damn day it is anyway. So today, we’re 6 months from dressing in parkas to go to church and check under the tree to see if Santa thought we were good this year. Then again, we’re one day away from tomorrow and Annie always said you should love tomorrow. And since tomorrow is the weekend, partly sunny, and 75, I think I’ll go with Annie on this one.