Do You Really Want to be Like Arizona?


This is based on a post I did a couple of years ago about Daylight Saving Time. On the surface, I sound like I’m pro-DST but that’s not quite true. I’m against Arizona time. It is HORRIBLE for me and worse now that I no longer live in Phoenix.

One and a half. That is the number of summers of my life that I’ve been able to enjoy long nights.

point counterpoint

I grew up in Indiana in the literal dark ages. We went on “Illinois time” (Central time) in the summer, which meant we were deprived of long summer nights. In the winter, we were on Eastern time which meant our TV programs were an hour later so that we were lucky to be able to see an hour of prime time before we had to go to bed.Fortunately, Indiana came to its senses and went on Eastern Time. The only people griping are uptight soccer moms who put their kids to bed at 6:30 when it’s still midday. My response is loosen up and let them play. It didn’t kill our generation.

I spent not quite two years in a normal location (Ohio) before moving to Arizona with the most messed up time situation that is only worse when you live three hours east of Phoenix. For those of you who have seen that YouTube video about moving someplace magical to avoid DST, you are about to get a rude awakening to the the literal dark side of living in Arizona.

I am a night owl and have gone to bed as the sun has started peeking over the horizon–at 4:00 a.m.! I’m sorry but sunrise at 5:00 is insane unless you’re a construction worker or an old person. I mean really, who gets up at that hour? Well, I mentioned two populations. Construction workers only because of the ridiculous Arizona time zone.

This where I am okay with abolishing Daylight Saving Time with one requirement, Arizona would need to be on Mountain time. If we just shifted our time zones one zone east, we’d all be in good shape. On Mountain time, Arizonans would have a reasonably sane 6:00 sunrise and sunset at 9:30. That’s right, it’s DARK before 9:00 all summer long in Arizona. I live in the mountains, so we want light for the prime of our days.

But even in Phoenix and Tucson, it’s not like people are toiling at 9:00. Yes it’s hot but most people are either in their air conditioned homes or have access to swimming pools. I lived there for 11 years and never grew sick of the heat. This included doing labor intensive field work in July and August, so it’s not like my experience was a rarefied suburban existence.

For my husband and me it’s even worse. He does work on the Navajo Nation and in New Mexico, which means in the summer, he often has to leave super early to compensate for the time zone differential. Most of my clients and colleagues live east of me, which is why I’ve experienced multiple glimpses of 4 a.m. sun. I have to stay up late because getting up early isn’t an option when I’m 1-3 hours behind most of the country. For me to have something on a colleague’s desk first thing in the morning would require me to hit send as early as 5:00. My husband and I happily anticipate “Fall back day” and dread “Spring Forward” with equal passion. In conclusion, I agree with abolishing DST with one caveat, we join with the other Four Corners states (Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico) and shift one time zone east.


About Gretchen E K Engel

Chemical engineer by day, spec fiction writer by night

2 comments on “Do You Really Want to be Like Arizona?

  1. Yes! If you lok at the map, they’ve placed Arizona with New Mexico rather than California. Doesn’t make sense for Arizona to be on Pacific time.

  2. I’m loving your plan because it’s quite nice not having to mess with clocks. We’re way too far east to be on Pacific Time, especially where I live.

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