Time to Get a Watch


watch2I think that everyone has gotten that old crack.

Innocently, you ask someone wearing a watch, “What time is it?” “Time to get a watch,” they shoot back, smirking at their own cleverness instead of wasting three seconds to glance at their wrist and report the time.

Well, I have one thing to say to you, wise-crackers: it’s not that easy.

For weeks, almost months, I have been searching for a new watch. Armed with my wallet, I hunted in every store in this town repeatedly, both in person and online. I scoured Etsy. I browsed Pinterest. I’m fairly certain that less effort went into constructing Big Ben.

There are several complicating factors to selecting a wristwatch. My requirements: it must be polished and stylish, but casual enough for everyday wear; it needs to be durable and high-quality, but not too expensive; any metal must be silver to match my jewelry; the color of the band can’t clash with my clothes; I have a very small wrist, so the face can’t be too big. My pursuit of the perfect watch made the search for the Holy Grail look like a Disney vacation.

In my unending quest, I eventually stumbled upon a display of Hello Kitty watches. Immediately, memories of a shy, tow-headed six-year-old darted through my mind.

First grade represented a major change for me. I was leaving the friends I had been going to school with for as long as I could remember.

Me at my kindergarten graduation, posing with my diploma.
Me at my kindergarten graduation, posing with my diploma.

School would no longer be half-days. I stopped signing my papers “Cat” (my favorite animal, which is what all of my friends called me) and I started wearing a uniform.

My individuality faded into khaki almost-knee-length shorts. My personality was stifled by collared shirts. My only form of self-expression was my backpack – a pink and purple monstrosity with Hello Kitty’s serene face on it. That backpack was my sole link to the little “Ali Cat” I was in kindergarten. As I prepare for another transition in my life – college – buying a Hello Kitty timepiece seemed appropriate in a sappy, metaphorical way.

It seems like the closer I get to leaving, the more I want to retreat back into the little blonde who did an arabesque at her kindergarten graduation, who wanted to be a scientist so she could make magic potions, who dressed up as a cat every year for Halloween, and who – perhaps craziest of all – enjoyed math.

That little ballerina wants to dance one more time. She wants to pile all of her stuffed animals – all cats – on her dorm room bed and hide underneath their soft warmth. That girl is still a part of me. She is worth remembering. She is definitely worth wearing a Hello Kitty watch for. (Although, in retrospect, the Hello Kitty shirt, stuffed animal, hair accessories, and pajamas might have been a bit over the top.)

My first day of first grade! (I'm wearing the Hello Kitty backpack.)
My first day of first grade! (I’m wearing the Hello Kitty backpack.)

But I’m not that little girl anymore. Not completely. Maybe that’s another quality of a “floating shift”: learning to float along, cope with, and overcome the constant shifts and changes in life. I’ve grown. More than that, I’ve matured. I hope that I’ve become someone who is kind and respectful toward others. A hard-worker. A good friend.

I promise that I am the kind of person who will give you a straight answer if you need to know what time it is.

What time is it? Time to put your e-mail in the “Follow Blog via E-mail” box on the side of the screen! Yes, that joke was painful for me, too. I’ll watch it. Okay, just enter your e-mail, pretty please :]