Dear Prudence: My wife sets various clocks around the house to different times, some at the correct time, some five minutes ahead, some 10 minutes. For example, the clock in the bathroom is 10 minutes fast so she has "more time" when doing her hair and makeup.
I like knowing what time it is when I look at a clock. I don't want to have to remember to subtract five or 10 minutes depending on what room I'm in. The kicker is that she isn't tricking herself because she knows that the clocks are set fast. Usually, I'm ready to go and she still hasn't dressed. I don't want to just deal with it because these are my clocks, too.
Prudence says: Darling, if you have a gripe with something I'm doing, please don't write to Dear Prudence, just mention it to me over dinner. This letter is from my husband, right? Because I am exactly the woman you describe. And as with the woman you describe, none of it works. Because I know which clocks are five minutes fast and which are 10 minutes, I factor that in to my toilette and am always late anyway and loathe myself for it.
The real issue is here your wife's behavior, so don't make the mismatched clocks a ticking time bomb in your marriage. I understand your annoyance, and maybe you need to give her a nonnegotiable deadline: You'll leave without her if she's running more than 15 minutes late. Otherwise, forget trying to synchronize the timepieces and keep peace in your home by wearing a watch.
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