• Thursday, July 25, 2024
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I have no idea why I don’t wear watches… But it’s all good


I am a very time conscious person so it’s the most unlikely thing that after my initial watch wearing years as a teenager I simply stopped wearing watches when I turned thirty nearly twenty seven years ago. I had in fact stopped earlier but was often gifted with such beautiful watches that I could not say no. I wore them all, beautiful bangle watches that looked like comely bracelets, leather strapped watches by various designers and gold plated and gold watches. Before long, the watches began to end up in drawers and as my kids grew older; my watches began to appear on their wrists.

In spite of the fact that I took an interest in horology, how watches are made how the second hand moves, how 24 hours is captured on the clock, I still was not drawn to watches. Just a strapped inconvenience to my wrist.

Some of the watches are diamond encrusted. Some are so expensive it makes no sense. I thought it was just to tell the time right? Not really anymore. It is now a status symbol. Only the big boys and girls possess the biggest designer watches. We collect them like Imelda Marcus collects shoes. The bigger the collection, the more important you are. Me? I really don’t have any watch anymore. Family members have concluded giving me a watch is a complete waste of time, no matter how expensive, I just don’t wear it. Now you know! So how do I tell the time? How do I know time especially since I insist on being time conscious? I try not to arrive late at anything because it diminishes one’s integrity.

I find it utterly disgraceful that we turn up late for events and describe it under the idiotic comment of “African Time”. What does that even mean? So anyway back to time. How do I know the time or keep it? First, I love clocks, interesting ones like the Grandfather’s clock or huge round wooden clocks I grew up with. I do not have to squint my eye to look at it. The clock’s digits or roman numerals are so huge you are not in doubt of the time. I also really love those clocks that chime at the top of the hour. Or the ones that go ding dong to delight you, tell you the time and remind you of your childhood. It also reminds you of the time to go to church when we used to have bells that aligns with the living room clock as you prepared to wear your finery to church.

But once I leave the house I do not have the privilege of the big oak colored clock in my living room or her twin brother in my bedroom resplendent in white, luminous at night. I can tell the time for miles off in my home. I keep the same quality of clocks in my offices. It is so much part of me that if you move the clock’s location, I am totally disoriented.

But out there on the street, out of my car, I do need the time and herein lies my lifelong interest on how people react to you when you ask them the time.

Long before mobile phones became famous and could tell us the time, I was the one who would ask you for time at the street corner.

It is from this activity that I have met some very interesting characters on the street, made lifelong friends in front of supermarkets and encountered talent beyond compare. It is also here that on some days when my day is not going well and I ask some persons for time, they have changed my mood and made me feel better. A smile, a willingness, and spreading joy. Just someone I asked for time. But there have also been moments when I have felt like punching some persons in the face, sour, angry Nigerians who although will cost them nothing to answer you, scoff at you and walk away in a huff. I have met them all… the good the bad and the ugly.

With the advent of phones I now can tell the time without asking on the street. The characters I have met in this time asking activity are worthy of a book. But I shall go out character hunting by going out to ask for the time even now. Yeah, just for the fun of it. But to close this incredible write up is my discovery all these years that most people wearing a watch do not do it for time. So here goes. Please what time is it? A puzzled look, a pause and then- oh sorry it’s not working. Well, at least I am not wearing one lol.