Monday, September 26, 2005

Weird Watches?

I should go to an old-timey jeweler to get the truth about this story. I think I should already know the answer to my question. But I don't. So I think maybe it's a family trick my dead relatives are playing on me.

A month and some ago I had the fortune of meeting my best friend in Tulsa, OK after a nine-year separation from her. She knew I was preparing to interview for jobs, and noted the ugly (but I love it!) Timex sport watch I got for $7.99 at Target about the minute I came back to the States from the UK.

Whatta bah-gin!, I thought when I saw the watch at Target. That was way back in the other millenium, in 1997.

Dearest Friend had already advised me to get my hair cut and colored. I readily acquiesced to that and was excited at the prospect; alas, local traditional scheduling problems did not allow hair transformation to transpire. But when DF asked, on top of the hair, "Do you perhaps own a grown-up watch that you can wear to your interviews?" I was shocked. I'm so oblivious to my appearance that the watch subject never even occurred to me.

God! Do I actually have to pay attention to my watch??!! That blissfully cheap watch has been part of me--despite some summer sweat allergic reactions--throughout the entire lifetime of one of my children. Victoriously long lived for a cheap cheap cheap watch. You mean I have to give up my thumb-my-nose-to-everybody how cheap it is and still works watch?

Soon as I returned home from Tulsa, I went on a watch watch. Now before I say what I'm going to say, you must understand that I had a lot of only-child or old-old lady relatives who left non-valuable things to me. Much of the stuff is awful (actually, offal); the best composes a group of watches. I kept only the ones that meant most and seemed the most promising for repair.

Miss only-one-watch thought she might have rediscovered a goldmine. Kinda like a pile of mice to a cat.

I scoured the interesting remainders, thinking perhaps something would be there that could easily be fixed and put to use for upcoming interviews. Suitable candidates included two watches from two different grandmothers, one formal, one casual. Neither of them was in functional order.

Holding both of them in one hand, I noticed that both of them had stopped at the same time: 12:15. Intrigue. I hadn't touched them since I got them. Why would they both have stopped at 12:15? Was I just imagining things? Or was I just stressed, about the job interviews, and other impending family disasters?

Then I looked at three other non-running watches, originally my own. One I'd taken to England with me in 1996, a serious cheapie. The others were Wal-Mart watches. Yeah, more cheapies. (Aww, leave me alone.) They, too, all read 12:15! And another thing that really bothered me about these was that I had just taken two of them in to have the batteries replaced, yet they had already stopped!

And I have the watch-shop receipt from August, telling me that they owe me a replacement for any watch battery that fails within one year. A one year guarantee, I'm tellin' ya. However, the batteries only lasted one month. And after battery replacement--after I saw the guy test the watches in front of me and I saw them work and even used each of them for a few days in case--the battery ones stopped at the same time as the ancient mechanical ones that had been stored for years, and which for the last three years had been kept in the same drawer: 12:15.

So this freaked me out and I immediately searched the web for information about the time a clock stops. I know perfectly well that there's a tradition of stopping a clock, such as a grandfather clock, at the time a family member dies. (It's part of the famous children's syncopated song, "My Grandfather's Clock.") So I get that. But the different people from whom those watches came did not all die at 12:15.

Is there something well-known and traditional about 12:15? Do all of you out there know about this, while I am I a hopeless cultural idiot who, despite the fact that her great-grandfather was a jeweler and watchmaker, has never heard of a specific consistent watch burnout time?

C'mon, people, is 12:15 the time clocks, whether mechanical or quartz, are ALWAYS set to stop? Or is there something Twilight-Zony about my aura or personal magnetic field?

Doo-dee-doo-doo (Twilight Zone music) . . .


At 10/10/2005 8:58 AM, Blogger Tuesday said...

Wow this really, really is odd isn't it, as well as against the odds. I wonder if it is something 12:15 about you?
Like when were you born and all that?


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