hosting without a watch

My watch has been playing up for a while. First, it needed a new battery, so I went to a watch shop. The guy who changed the battery seemed to have something against the watch – he had, in the past, worked for the company that made the watch, and had not enjoyed his time there. He went to great lengths to describe the failings of the watch – perhaps more candour than should be expressed in the relationship between a shop worker and a potential customer, but I digress.

He seemed to take his frustration with his former job out on my watch: it’s never been quite the same since, though after a few days rest in a desk drawer, it seemed to have righted itself, and was back to telling the time.

I don’t really need a watch, I guess: my phone can tell me the time. The trouble? If there’s a subtle (or quick) way to check the screen of a mobile phone, I haven’t yet found it.

On Easter Saturday, I had the job of MC at a friend’s church reception, and then at the restaurant reception. Perhaps you’ve been to a wedding before where you knew only a handful of the guests? I’ve been in this situation a number of times, but in this instance, as MC, I also had to boss around the bride and groom’s family, their bridal party, and the happy couple themselves, to keep everyone to time.

Easy enough, yes? After ironing my MC-ing shirt (the one I was wearing last time I was doing this job) I put on my watch, but didn’t look at it until sitting down at the church, while waiting for the bride to arrive.

Odd. It seems later than 10:20. Long pause. Ah, my watch thinks it’s 10:20 last night. Great. No; this is okay; there’s a clock in the church hall (where the first reception was held).

A quick drive through the rain to the second reception venue: disaster. There are no clocks to be seen anywhere. No problem, I’ll just add all the events of the reception to the calendar on my phone, and it can buzz me when it’s time to do things.

I try and relax, and trust the calendar, but I can’t. I end up checking my phone, pacing nervously… when the speeches (six of them!) are on, I keep looking at my phone, hoping that everything will fit in the allotted time. Somehow it does. Even the farewell circle, by the magic of wedding receptions, is over in time. The couple even have a few minutes to spare before their car arrives.

Perhaps I didn’t need the watch after all, but I don’t recommend undertaking a job like MC-ing without one.

Would the wedding reception gone as smoothly if I hadn’t been obsessed with checking the time? I don’t know. I like to think that I made a positive difference, but I guess there’s no way of knowing.

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