Texas weather is temperamental at best. The onset of Daylight Saving Time (yes, Saving, not Savings) only highlights these differences and brings them to the fore of our minds — reminding us that the seasons, they are a-changin’.
But I cry out for consistency, while the world around me begs for change.
So … to all of my friends and family: I forgive you. For you know not what you do.
I have heard your plaintive cries to the universe begging for release from winter’s chill grip. But I forgive you.
I have seen you weep silent tears of joy when the universe has sent a taste of that fair weather with which to warm your faces, prompting your pleas for the early onset of summer’s sweet embrace. But I forgive you.
You dream of the day you can retire your pants and boots and can finally don your shorts and flip-flops. But I forgive you.
After all, with January’s average high temperature only 60 degrees, and February’s average high only 64 degrees, it’s obviously not time to put away the parkas just yet.
If you think you might be sensing a little bit of snark at this point, you’re right, you are, at least with that last bit.
Sad to say, I’ve seen people out and about with their parkas on in 50-degree weather, and it makes me wonder what they consider truly cold.
I think people have selective memories when it comes to Texas summers. Do you all forget what summer temperatures are like in Texas? 120 degrees in the shade is no joke (and for those of you who are new to the area, this is not — quite — an exaggeration).
It is the time when we will all begin to melt like the Wicked Witch of the West once a bucket of water has been thrown on her. Yet everyone, save myself and a few other select, savvy people, is looking forward to it.
And to make it all worse, this past weekend marked yet another installment of Daylight Saving Time — a time that many look forward to, not only for what they perceive as an extra hour of daylight (a fallacy), but also as a way to gauge how close summer, with her ever-rising temperatures, is to coming.
Now hear my cry: Daylight Saving Time is a thief! It gives NOT an hour of light, it robs us of a solid hour of much-needed sleep!
The truth of Daylight Saving Time is that it was begun during World War I, in 1918, as a way to conserve electricity in wartime, and really only continues to exist because of the Uniform Time Act of 1966.
Even then, it only standardized Daylight Saving Time from the last Sunday in April until the last Sunday in October, and the last time I checked, this past Sunday was NOT the last Sunday in April.
As a matter of fact, Daylight Saving Time ended on Nov. 4 last year, the first Sunday in November; it would seem that Daylight Saving Time gets longer and longer each year, and really saves us nothing. Indeed, if its whole purpose
is to conserve energy, it’s failing miserably, especially with what it costs to air-condition in Texas heat. And it costs me more than just my electricity; it’s costing me an hour of beauty rest.
You all do have the right of it in that Daylight Saving Time does mark summer closing in, though. She isn’t even stealthy about it. She’s butting in wherever she can, trying to make herself felt whenever she can.
I’ve had to put my air conditioning on more than once, only to breathe a sigh of relief when temperatures dropped to something approaching more seasonal a couple of days later.
But summer isn’t through. Oh, no, not by a long shot. It’s only a matter of time before she shoots her laser beams of heat into our atmosphere (yeah, wrong word, I’m a columnist, not a weathergirl), and we can begin to sweat off all our winter weight just by sitting on our sofas while we passively watch the Weather Channel.
Daylight Saving Time marks the beginning of the end — of sleep, of lower electricity and gas bills, of cooler temperatures. It’s the end of normal.
And then, round about August ... I will hear your plaintive cries to the universe begging for release from summer’s scorching, fiery grasp. And I shall forgive you. For at that point we shall all be in complete agreement.
Stephanie Ratts GRISSOM is a Herald correspondent.