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What time is it?

For those of you answering that it is time for Love Letters from a Duke to be released, you are wrong. That happens tomorrow. No, it was time for me to get an alarm clock.

Mine had an unfortunate accident early in the summer. For those of you who thought it might have lost its life in an early morning completely accidental shove off the nightstand, you would be wrong. It died of ants. Yes, you read that correctly. Ants. We came home from vacation and ants had taken up residence in my alarm clock. Our neighborhood is like ant central, and generally they stay out of our house because I have this nice man come monthly and maintain a strong line of defense around our exterior to keep them OUT, but the little fellows found a crack in our defenses while we were on vacation, and they moved in and made themselves home. In my alarm clock.

So out the door went the ants and the now gross alarm clock, that my DIY husband claimed could be cleaned and saved, (which probably many of you are thinking he’s right.) Let me state this clearly: No, he isn’t. And no it couldn’t. Not after I emptied a can of Raid inside it. I really don’t like ants.

But I digress, for the real point of all this was to tell you about how difficult it is to buy an alarm clock. A simple, straightforward alarm clock. One that nudges you awake when you need to be, and goes away without having to really open your eyes by pressing some huge button. There isn’t such a thing. Not any more. I went to Target and couldn’t even find the alarm clock section. It took two clerks to help me find the tiny shelf that makes up alarm clocks. Apparently I am not the only one who has a less than enthusiastic ardor for these little boxes. Now I had two requirements:

1) It be simple to operate.

2) It be very simple to operate at 6:00 in the morning.

Well after looking at several monstrosities, I found this one tucked to the side. Okay, it’s a Timex, so it will keep on ticking even when its owner attacks it. Now I was a little skeptical about the “Dual Alarm” feature. I mean one alarm is bad enough, but two? Shudder. But what appealed to me was the idea of waking to “Nature Sounds.” Hey, I’m a nature loving gal. (Despite my aversion to ants and a penchant for using enough napalm around my house to deter a Godzilla sized ant.) So into the cart went the Timex and I brought it home.

Now remember, my first requirement was simple to operate. And this is what I pull out of the box first:

Yes, you are seeing this correctly. An entire sheet of paper dedicated to telling me that when I give up and can’t figure out my new Timex alarm clock, they have a 1-800 number that offers technical assistance. Technical assistance?! For an alarm clock?! In hindsight, I should have carefully closed the box and returned it. But give me credit–I am the one in the house who wires up the DVD/TV/Etc, and the one who programs remotes, I figured I could do this. At least so I thought. Until I pulled the rest of it out of the box and discovered it has more buttons on it than the Space Shuttle. So apparently the 1-800 Mission Control is necessary.

So here is my inner dialogue at this point:

“Return it.”

“But I can wake and sleep to the radio and nature sounds.”

“Open the window. You can listen to the raccoons climbing the fence and your hard of hearing neighbor’s television.”

Sometimes the inner dialogue isn’t helpful. And by now, with the DH is chiding me for buying something so complicated (if he only knew!) so I had to redeem myself by figuring the darn thing out. The real motivation behind all this angst is that I have a book coming out this week. Revisions on the next book on my desk. And 100 pages of the one after that completed. I’m on RomanceNovel.tv this week (at least I think I am.) Promised to blog . . . everywhere. So I need to get up and get this work done before the small helpers arise. And in another week, the kids start school. Someone responsible has to get them up, make them breakfast and send them on their way. God bless them, they are stuck with me to hold up these duties. I must have an alarm clock.

So I persevered and figured out how to set the radio alarm, and the nature sounds. On different days of the week. And went to bed Friday night smiling smugly at the husband. “See,” I said. “Come Monday morning, I’ll be up and going by 6 am.” He snorted and laughed and went to sleep. But he wasn’t laughing on Saturday morning when the radio came blaring to life at 6:04, and it took me 12 minutes to find my glasses, turn on the light and turn the darn thing off. Not Snooze. Off. I endured another few minutes of teasing and then started to drift back to sleep when the ocean roared to life, sending us both sitting bolt upright thinking we are about to be part of Seattle’s first tsunami. Remember that Dual Alarm thing? Those Nature Sounds? Yeah. It works. Out comes the book, and I nearly reached for the phone, but it is on his side of the bed, and I knew there would be a lifetime of teasing (at least as long as he lives) if I called a 1-800 number to figure out my *&%$@ alarm clock.

So with some more studying of the diagrams and instructions, I figured out how to unset the alarms, reset the ocean for something a little more soothing and set my alarm for this morning. And it went off as planned. Soothing and calm. Ah, ocean waves. Seagulls in the distance. So soothing in fact, that I drifted right back to sleep.

5 comments to “What time is it?”

  1. Keira Soleore
    August 27th, 2007 at 10:38 am · Link

    I bought two alarm clocks when the wee one was born. One requirement, simple four-button operation to set and one-button snooze. The second and more important requirement was that I should be able to read it at all times of the day or night without having to squint at it, turn on the light, etc. So I found a digital one with a cord instead of a battery-operated one. Yeah at Target with a selection of three or four styles.

  2. Haven Rich
    August 27th, 2007 at 2:49 pm · Link

    Oh my goodness! Elizabeth that post should have come with a huge warning: Do NOT drink while reading this post!!! URGENT!!

    Haha, that was too funny…maybe not for you, at that point of time, but for us–funny.

    I’ve actually had something like this happen…only it was shortly after I got married and found out my husband could sleep through the world coming to an end. Yup…we could have an entire marching band in our room playing their loudest and he’d be snoring.

    So we have an alarm clock that wakes ME up and thus I shove, smack at and kick him awake…aka wake him up with my love!

  3. Elizabeth
    August 27th, 2007 at 7:23 pm · Link

    Keira, I was loving not having a clock by the bed. Just seemed to sleep better not knowing what time it was. But I’m with you completely on the big numbers. My eyesight is terrible!

    Haven, glad you found all this amusing. I swear sometimes I think my life is a never ending comedy. And I hear you, sister, on the snoring. My DH could sleep through anything. Last year when we had that horrific windstorm and there were 70 mph winds all night long, he just slept through the whole thing. I was ready to head to the basement with the kids and leave him up there to wait for the roof to peel off. He would have slept right through it.

  4. Haven Rich
    August 27th, 2007 at 10:07 pm · Link

    Yup, that’s my husband. He claims his excuse is that while in the Navy he had to sleep under the catapult on the aircraft carrier. They launch jets 24 during certain times for training and “other” stuff. So he says he had to learn how to sleep heavy.

    I’m thinking if I had been there, I’d be a zombie because I wouldn’t have gotten sleep.

  5. Christina Arbini
    August 28th, 2007 at 8:03 am · Link

    Oh, the dreaded alarm clock conundrum. But, ants?? OMG! Blech! I have one alarm clock six inches from my head, and it’s supposedly touted as extra loud. Funny, how I can press snooze exactly four times and not remember any of it. Which, is why I have to have a back-up alarm clock in my master bathroom that blares music exactly 10 minutes after the first clock goes off (I’m in the habit of allowing myself that 10 minutes of memory sucking snooze pushing). So, I’m physically forced to get out of bed and go turn off my radio alarm when it goes off. Since I can’t stand not knowing what the time is if I wake up in the middle of the night, I have to have one of my clocks within reach, plus, I’m so blind without my glasses that I need that up close and personal experience. Now, if I could just HEAR the dang thing in my Delta wave state. 😉


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