Pushing buttons in the dark

I hate my watch. I just bought it, and I hate it. I knew I’d hate it when I bought it because it’s the same watch that I had for the last three years and I hated it the whole time; but I lost the first one coming out of the shower recently, so I bought another one exactly like it at my first retail opportunity (several days later, after I toweled off, of course). It’s a cheap watch, and I bought it both because it’s cheap, and because it’s predictable, and by that I mean predictable in the sort of way that you might come to hate if you were me and had a bad history with said watch, which I suspect you are not and have not, otherwise none of this would make any sense. It barely does to me.

The gist is that the buttons on this watch are dumb. Poorly organized, non-intuitive, really small, kind of spastic, and with short attention spans: and yes, I realize the similarity with kittens is irresistible, but that’s not really relevant right now, so I’m going to move on.

The worst button of them all is the one that turns on the little LED light so I can see what time it is in the wee hours of the night when my dear wife gives me the pointy elbow because she heard a noise and says, “I think there’s a wolverine in the silverware drawer, again.” The problem is that the light doesn’t stay on long enough after I’ve given the little button a quick jab. Just about the time I’ve reshaped my eyeballs enough to focus, the fuzzy green glow goes out. And then I have to fish around for the button again, in the pitchy dark now, because, of course, the light just went off on my watch. And so on, ad infinitum.

There are two instances (besides wolverine infestations) when this light-button-short-duration-thing is particularly annoying. The first is when it’s dark and I’m trying to set my alarm to some new time, say 4:30 a.m., which is a ridiculous hour under any circumstances, but is even more so because I have to go through about 17 light’s-on-nope-it’s-off-again gyrations in order to get all 137 button-pushing sequences done just to wake myself up fully two hours before it’s reasonable for any grown person to wake up, which often leads my wife to say something helpful, like, “Well, at least you don’t live in Des Moines, where 4:30 is 3:30.”

And the other instance is actually at 4:30 a.m., and I’m up now because the alarm on my new watch just went off, but I was too dim the evening before to set fresh socks out on the banister so I’m standing in the dark because I don’t want to disturb my sleeping wife and I’m feeling around in our communal unmentionables drawer for SmartWool®. I keep pushing the dumb light button on the new watch that I hate, but the light doesn’t stay on long enough for me to see anything and I end up wearing chartreuse panty hose to work (which itches, fiercely).

Anyway, I was sitting having coffee with my friend the other day, whence she remarked, “Hey, you found your old watch!” which sent me into this whole diatribe about no, it’s a new watch, and yes, I hated the old one, but yes, I bought the same one again because at least I understand it, but gosh the light just doesn’t stay on long enough for me to find my underwear, and see, I’ll show you (imagine me holding the watch in front of someone’s face and angrily pushing the button)…pause…now isn’t that dumb (I say), and then my friend says, “Why don’t you just hold the button down? The light will stay on as long as you want.” One sentence and a perfectly bad day was spoiled.

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