Monday, August 28, 2006

Masked Mom's Media Monday: My New Alarm Clock

In 1988, 18 long and arduous years ago, I bought an alarm clock at J.J. Newberry's. I think it was $7 or $8. This clock and I had a love-hate relationship, but at the bottom of that was a true understanding of one another. For several years now, some of the buttons haven't been connected quite right and in order to set or change the time, I had to resort to odd contortions: turning the clock upside-down and twisting my hands around at odd angles to get enough leverage to make the buttons connect enough to actually work in any way. So, its death this week was neither sudden nor unexpected.

I could have--should have, probably--replaced it years ago, but as I've mentioned, I'm extremely resistant to change--even if that change is what most people would call "progress" or, at the very least, an improvement over the sad, old status quo. But instead I waited and put it off and did contortions. Friday night, even the contortions no longer worked--not even after twenty pathetic minutes of whining, twisting, and turning--and I knew it was time.

We've had an extra alarm clock sitting in a corner in our room this whole time--one that Hubby bought during a time when he was away from home a lot. It's fancy. It has two alarms instead of only one, it has a forward and a reverse for setting the time (shoot, it even has a fast forward for those impatient sorts), the display can be adjusted for brightness (or, as is much more likely around here, dimness). In short, it is altogether a much better clock than my poor, old J.J. Newberry special.

I hate it.

For one thing, the snooze alarm goes off every 7 minutes instead of every 9. Now, maybe I've been out of the loop (I have, after all, had the same alarm clock since 1988, but I did have a few different clocks in my teen years and I've occasionally stayed in hotels or at someone's house who had alarm clocks radically different than mine), but I've never even heard of a 7-minute snooze. It's just insanely wrong and forces me to recalculate my entire morning. Thanks to this alarm I've had to learn an entirely new set of mathematical formulas. Needless to say, I've got limited resources, especially anytime before, say, noon and I can really think of more important things to use them for--like being sure I have the right amount of clothing on before I wander out the door, just for example.

The shortened snooze is only the beginning--the noise this clock makes is not merely annoying (after all, any alarm clock that's doing its job pretty much has to be annoying), it is shockingly, horrifyingly, frighteningly, torturously cruel. It makes this little warning click about a half-second before the alarm goes off, but even though I know it's coming, I am still startled every, single time. So startled that I actually jump in the way that you jump at a particularly surprising scene in a scary movie. It goes: "Wah! Wah! [pause] Wah! Wah! [pause]..." and, first, I look as though I've been electrocuted and then I flail toward the damn snooze button, which I can't yet find on the first try so "Wah! Wah!" I have to listen to the clock for another round. Then, seven incredibly short minutes later, it happens all over again.

Masked Mom's One-Word Review: Pleh.*

*I don't remember how "pleh" came into my vocabulary--I think it was over a late night game of cards or something involving Hubby, Youngest Sister and I--but it's an incredibly useful (non) word.


  1. Youngest Sister8/29/06, 4:12 PM

    I hate alarm clocks. And a seven minute snooze is just inhumane. I was definitely there for the "pleh" thing and it did involve some serious lack of sleep and one too many word games (as if there is such a thing).

  2. Word games! Of course it was word games! Peat. Moss.

  3. funny thing, i never hear the alarm go off when my husband gets up (the butt crack of dawn), but it's annoying as hell when it's MY turn to get up!

    hmph. (another one of those official words)

  4. I think we have the same damn clock, 7 min snooze and that "click" wah-wah wah-wah. I am so right there with you, all the freaking bells and whistles this sucker has, think they could get one that would alert you when the back up battery is dead so you don't find out when the power is out, that oh the battery is dead too!!