Monday, November 07, 2005

Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?

Does anybody really care?

I ask this question after a revelation I had today on the university campus on which I work. For some unkown reason -- possibly I was worried in the back of my mind that my old-fashioned wristwatch was so old-fashioned as to be dorkily laughable, I don't know -- I used my walk across campus to look at students' arms to learn what types of wristwatches they are wearing nowadays.

What I found is, put simply, that they don't wear wristwatches.

Of course, I exaggerate a bit. But I saw a lot of students, and did a lot of mental noting, and I'd say only about a third of the guys wore wristwatches, while maybe (maybe) only five percent of the women wore them.

I know that if you did a watch survey of my post-college colleagues in the building where I work, you'd find every single one of us timebound serfs was wearing a watch. So I want to know -- what causes the discrepancy between our two groups?

Is this an age thing? A cultural difference? A difference in life philosophies? Can college students not scarf up $14.95 for a Timex at Wal-Mart? Please tell me, dear readers, what you think the answer might be. I appeal to Humor Girl and any other college students reading this -- what's the deal?

I have a few possibilities that might or might not be the answer at this university:

1. College students, being the free spirits they are, don't need to be tied down by materialistic, capitalistic tools of slavery like clocks and watches. Besides, TIVO will record Lost and The OC when it's supposed to.

2. Since all college students are melded to electronic devices such as cell phones and laptops at all times, and since most of these gadgets tell time as well, there's no need for superfluous wristwatches.

3. Since the clock on the administration building here chimes out the quarter hours, and can be heard across much of campus, wristwatches aren't needed, at least by students who haven't attended an excessive number of rock concerts.

4. By not wearing a watch, students can always have a foolproof excuse for being late to classes and other pesky obligations.

5. Maybe wearing a watch is secret code for "I have extensive comic book and Star Wars figurine collections and live at home with my parents. Wanna go out sometime?"

So -- tell me your ideas. I want to figure this one out.


Nettie said...

I wear a watch cause I can't stand to be late for stuff. And we aren't allowed to carry our cell phones at work so how else am I gonna know whn I can leave?

nightfly said...

I wear a watch, but it's mostly for the calendar - I never remember what day it is.

Humor Girl said...

lol...let me see here..

The watch is not too old fashioned. In fact, it's timeless. (No pun intended..:) As for your reasons, I agree that most all of them could be legit. However, my reason for not wearing a watch is as follows:

I don't have enough time in the morning to remember. (Also could be another pun...I think) I have 3 great watches...but wear them only on occasion. And yes, my cellphone, laptop, and PDA all have the time.

The only disagreement I have is that they're not fashionable. THEY ARE! :)

Laura said...

I vote for number two.

I love watches, especially pocket watches, but if I had a watch it would indubitably suffer the fate of my wristwatch, which is to be peered at occasionally without my brain registering the time, and mostly adorn my person. I watch the clock like a hawk and forget I'm wearing it.

Drew said...

The band on my watch fell off, so I just quit wearing it. I use my phone now, and it has become the only reason I use it since no one ever calls me anymore.

Zoomdaddy said...

for me, I got a cell phone that has the time, what do I want with a watch (and I'm not a student, either)

Muley said...

I came up with one more possibility.

Maybe "Do you have the time?" is the modern equivalent among college students that "Do you come here often?" or "Haven't I seen you somewhere before?" were to earlier generations. In other words, a pickup line.

I can imagine the following scenario:

HIM: Do you have the time?
HER: No, I don't wear a wristwatch.
HIM: Neither do I, but I have a big wall clock in my apartment.
HER: Really?
HIM: Yeah, it's a Seth Thomas pendulum clock that chimes on the quarter hour, plays 12 different songs on the hour and even displays the phases of the moon.
HER: Oh, sweet!
HIM: Would you like to see it?
HER: Sure! Let's go!