Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Last week, I made the mistake of ranting about bad punctuation to a group of fellow writers. I was, rightly, reminded that e-mails are often written hastily and not proofread, so I should have allowed for that. I later realized that I was probably cranky because I was facing another surgery due to skin cancer on my face. I apologized, and my friends kindly accepted it.

However, some friends commented that ranting has its good points, so--in the interest of getting a few things off my chest, as it were--I decided to rant a little more today.

Daylight Savings Time (DST)

This week we changed from Daylight Savings back to Standard Time, and I think I’m not the only person who hates that. It apparently seemed like a good idea when it was proposed in 1895, but scientists now tell us it’s not good for our health to mess with bodily rhythms and interfere with our sleep. We’re not the only country which does this. Some countries have never used DST, and some have tried it and stopped. Even here in the U.S., not every state changes the time twice a year. I believe Arizona and Hawaii don’t, plus one county in Indiana.

Once, traveling in Europe, I ran into a two-hour change, which was really mind-boggling. As I boarded a tour bus in the early-morning darkness, the man in front of me commented, “I didn’t know I was going to see so many sunrises.” (True story, but I put that in my inspirational romance, ROMAN HOLIDAY.)

That aside, who likes having to adjust our wristwatches and every clock in the house? To say nothing of our computers, TV sets and recording devices. Some years ago manufacturers of VCRs added a built-in automatic switch, but then the government changed the effective dates, producing an even worse foul-up. If Congress were really smart, they’d fix things that bug us, instead of starting wars.

Delivery Room Visitors

Dear Abby’s column--in which a mother-in-law complained about not being wanted in the delivery room at her grandchild’s birth--inspired this rant.

I admit I’m old, but when did the practice of inviting people to watch a woman give birth begin? I bore three children, and only the doctor and nurse got to see me sweating and straining and half-naked. That is not a look I want to be remembered for. Why can’t the relatives wait a few minutes, let the poor mother have some privacy and “ooh and aah” when Mom has her hair combed and the baby is cleaned up and cuddly?

Enough for today. Maybe I should take a cold shower. But feel free to comment, even disagree with me. I don’t have a monopoly on ranting.

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