I have an emerging alarm clock crisis. This is not an issue, I find, that most people deal with these days. Kids use their mobile phones as alarm clocks, as well as wristwatches, and have just about made those timepieces obsolete. Watches only survive as fashion items and status symbols among the young crowd. The bedside clock has become a charging stand for your iPhone or iPod.
However, some of us still like to have an alarm clock on the nightstand. My problem is that I want an analog, silent, not-illuminated alarm clock with hands that glow faintly in the dark–in short, I still want the G.E. electric alarm clock I have had since I was in high school decades ago.
My parents gave me that clock so I could be responsible for getting myself up and on the school bus at the crack of dawn. They were up, too, but the idea was that I needed to learn to do it myself, because they would not be there to get me up when I went away to college. I was never a heavy sleeper, so one buzzing alarm was enough. I carried the clock with me to college and after, and never saw the need to replace it. Clock radios? I didn’t want to hear music at that hour, much less talk. Battery operated? Only if I had to travel. I never thought about the little clock at all. I realized this is the last remaining appliance my parents gave me. Pretty amazing when you think about it.
I love this clock and it has served me well, but the alarm seems to be wearing out. It just hums now instead of giving a full-out buzz. Frankly, at its age, I can understand, and most days a hum is enough. But what if I really need it to wake me? So I started on a search for another clock this weekend.
I know you’re thinking, why not just get a digital clock and shut up about it? The answer, my friends, is the amount of light those blasted LEDs put out. When I sleep in a hotel room, I cover the standard bedside LED clock-radio with pillows to block the light. I need it dark to sleep! Okay, so why not get a clock that you have to push a button to illuminate? Well, unfortunately, I wake up a lot in the night, and I think that Indiglo is disruptive. And I’d have to reach over the cat to hit it, most of the time, which would certainly wake me up all the way. How much simpler it was when I slept like a log through almost anything!
I bought two different clocks this weekend and returned them both. One had all the attributes I wanted, except it was battery-operated and ticked so loudly it could wake the dead. The other was silent, but had a light-sensitive face that immediately illuminated in the dark and couldn’t be turned off. So I searched Amazon and finally googled every attribute I wanted. The Seiko is in the mail, and we’ll see if it performs. If not, I may have to enter the age of iPod/iPhone as alarm clock, but I will be unhappy!