I’ve had the same Emerson alarm clock for probably almost a decade. It’s great. It has giant numbers on it so I can read it without my glasses on, it automatically sets itself after being disconnected from power, it knows the date and daylight savings time. But my wife thinks it’s ugly.

Personally, I don’t care what an alarm clock looks like, I just want it to function how I like. And my alarm clock might be kinda ugly looking, but dammit, it functions great!

Aside from all the other features I mentioned before, it also has dual alarms so I can have my main weekday alarm time, and if I need to wake up at some other random time some day, I can set that time on the second alarm without having to redo my primary alarm. Nice.

My wife however, has been complaining for several months now about how my alarm clock doesn’t blend in with her vision for the decor in our bedroom. I tried back in April to find a suitable replacement, but somehow couldn’t find any Emerson alarm clocks. Don’t ask me why. So I kept my totally fine Emerson alarm clock, and all was right with the world.

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My wife let it go, but within the past few weeks, she’s been changing up the sheets and curtains and crap for fall, and once again has been complaining about my supposedly ugly alarm clock. She escalated the alarm clock antagonism by asking me to try other alarm clocks we have lying around the house that she is more willing to tolerate the styling of. Those other clocks suck! One of them has dim-ass green numbers that I couldn’t read without my glasses. The other has bold red numbers that I can read, but not as well as my beloved Emerson. Neither of them have any of the spiffy features from my Emerson.

So tonight, I tried again to find a replacement, and discovered, hey, here’s Emerson with a whole line of new alarm clocks. Given that there are literally thousands of reviews of these things on Amazon, I’m pretty sure they also existed back in April, and I’m kicking myself for how I didn’t manage to find them back then.

The Emerson clock that I landed on comes in both cyan and purplish blue colors. It’s got all the same goodies as my current clock, plus adds a night light with three brightness levels, a USB port for charging gadgets, and friggin bluetooth. I wouldn’t call its styling overly elegant, but I guess it’s more sleek and modern than my current clock, and my wife thinks it looks decent enough.

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Why the hell couldn’t I find this thing before?

I liked the cyan one, but my wife liked the purplish one because she has grays and lavenders among the colors in our bedroom. I wasn’t thrilled at the prospect of a purple alarm clock, and the controls are probably more fiddly than the super simple easy on/off levers for each of the two alarms on my current Emerson clock, but I’d be willing to compromise if this was the way for me to get my desired alarm clock features and not be hounded about how ugly the damn clock is.

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Then I discovered that this same clock is also sold with white lighting as an iTOMA brand, whatever the fuck that is. I showed this version to my wife and she liked it the best. I figured it’s not purple so that works for me. And now I have an iTOMA rebranded modern-ish looking late-2010s take on an Emerson SmartSet alarm clock on its way to my house. There’s even this handy youtube video overview of the features, and another one for how to set the thing.

Thanks, internet. I don’t know what the fuck I was doing back in April. I’m disappointed in myself.

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(And no, I’m not using my damn phone as an alarm clock. I’m goddamn blind. My glasses prescription is -7. I need a real alarm clock with gigantic-ass numbers so I can see it without my glasses when I roll over in the middle of the night.)

UPDATE: I returned this clock. The white numbers were much harder for me to read without my glasses compared to the red numbers on my old Emerson. Even though it has an auto-dimmer feature when you turn out the lights in the room, my wife thought it was too bright at night. The procedures to set the alarm and other things were overly fiddly button-pressing sequences. The alarm setting in particular was irritating because you have to press a button, set the alarm time, press another button to set the volume, etc. but it timed out back to just showing the time too quickly. So to set all the alarm parameters took several tries. The radio reception was awful (although the radio on my old Emerson clock doesn’t exactly work either) and even when waking up to just the buzzer and not the radio the sound was still static-y. I’m back to my old Emerson clock and maybe I’ll try again at some point.