Its odd that the simplest ways of measuring time seem to replace the most advanced for me. And, as often as not, the simplest ways of marking time are much more abstract, much less quantified, than the more advanced. As such, I suppose, they make a great deal more sense to me.
As regular readers know, Karen and are I expecting our daughter in September. Once you find you’re expecting, guess what? There’s an app for that. We use an iPhone app to track the stages of the baby’s development, and it keeps a countdown of how many weeks and days until “D-Day.” Honestly, those numbers never really mean anything to me. Recognizing that I’m, how shall I say, mathematically challenged, I instead mark our progress by Karen’s belly. That’s where I go to talk to my little girl now, anyway.
There are other ways that I’m realizing we’re close, though. The amount of stuff accumulating for the baby is one way to tell. Last night, though, I realized it in an odd way.
Every household, every marriage, has a division of labor. That is, different people take care of different household chores. In our household, I do the laundry. On most Sunday evenings, I’m able to re-live the adventures of the week by going back through the outfits we’ve worn that week (go ahead, laugh). The fact that we were moving into this new season of life was driven home to me first by taking care of the maternity clothes that showed up in the laundry. Those, after all, were some of our first “baby purchases.” So, I recognize that we’re right in the middle of the process by the fact that I’m laundering almost exclusively maternity clothes for Karen. I really realized this, though, when I asked Karen Sunday night how much longer we have until those begin fading out of the laundry ritual, replaced by what she normally wears…that funky, unique style that I fell in love with years ago.
It seems odd, at first blush, to measure time by what sort of laundry you’re doing. Many artists have pondered this sort of thing, though…Bon Jovi sang that “sometimes you tell the day by the bottle you drink.” For those of us who aren’t given to hard data and quantitatively measurable fields, I suppose this sort of thing makes sense. And, although I’m not certain offhand what sort of poetic devices one might employ about laundry (“sometimes you tell the week by the shirt that you press” just doesn’t have a ring to it), I’m confident that it lends itself to much deeper expression than just saying “six weeks.”
In the meantime, I don’t know what time it is (because I don’t wear a watch), but I know the sun is falling in a way that tells me its evening. Much more beautiful than reducing that to “four o’clock,” or some other numerical value. I recognize that those sorts of measurements have their place, and that a civilized society would have difficulty functioning without them. I just find myself instinctively circumventing them whenever possible.
I’m such a rebel, I guess.
How do you tell time?