Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Time and Ish

I think I’m part of a breed of human that’s bound to go extinct within the next 50 years. I’m punctual. Now I’m not rigid or anal or insane about keeping time but I’m on time. You want me some place at 4:00pm, I will be there at 4:00pm, not 4:15pm, not 4:30pm, not 3:45pm, not 5:00pm.

If I’m running late, you will know about it, through a phone call. At most I will be 10 minutes late without any warning to an event that has a start time with the words “around” or “ish” in it:
Hi People!
Come celebrate my 26th birthday with a potluck at my place!
I was thinking around 7ish? Cool? Hope to see you there!

Why? Because the host doesn’t care when his or her party will start and quite frankly, neither do I. I’m asked to show up, not show up on time.

My reasons for running late also stem from the fact that I’m a rare type of human being. I’m late due to outside influences I cannot control. Such influences include:

Traffic – an accident can happen whenever resulting in traffic that can become a COMPLETE CRAWL FOR LIFE. The second I hit this kind of traffic, I am on the phone to the party I am suppose to meet, informing of the snafu I’ve found myself in and will try and get to the destination as quickly as possible. What boggles my mind is that calling someone to inform them I will be late and I have no idea how late I’ll be but just keeping them up-to-date has deemed me “anal”. I like to think it would deem me “thoughtful”. But tomato, to-mah -to. (Tomato is the correct pronunciation everyoneJ)
This also includes any car-related problems, accidents, fender benders, and dead batteries.

Prior engagement – it happens, you offshoot how much time/fun you’re going to have at a prior engagement and want to stay longer or have to stay longer. Sometimes the engagement just runs longer than you or your host anticipated and you’re literally stuck. Sometimes a phone call cannot be placed (it may be rude to get up and go make a phone call during the prior engagement) but the second it’s over, a quick phone call explaining the circumstances is usually what I’ve been known to do. Typically the prior engagement holds more weight than the latter engagement and most people are reasonable in understanding what’s going on, it’s usually the family-party followed by the meeting up with friends-party.

Other people – when people cannot make up their minds about the plans for the evening but seem to want to hold control of the plans being made for that evening, this causes a backlog, a traffic jam if you will, to all other parties included and will cause them to be late:

What do you want to do tonight?
I dunno, we were thinking Buddies or a movie or maybe rock climbing or free interpretive dance lessons, I’ll get back to you.
Well I’m not really feeling clubbing and I’m sure *insert a few names* aren’t feeling it much either, why not *insert movie name that everyone can enjoy* I think it’s playing at 9:30 (note, I KNOW it’s playing at 9:30, because I’ve looked up movie times prior to calling other people) .
Um, I dunno, we’ll see, I’ll call you in a bit

Ahh, “a bit” the most safest, wonderfulest, awesomest two words in the English language for people to use. It’s so generic, so un-defined, so relative, you can never be wrong when you utter these two words. A bit to me is, at most, 5 minutes, you’re not calling your other friends to discuss the fragile state of Uganda, or how Phelps seems to be a two-face; ugly in one photo, not-so-ugly in another – you’re calling (or should be) to say “Darek and *insert a few names* aren’t really feeling Buddies, what about *insert movie*?” THAT is the only conversation you should be having because I am waiting, at home, doing nothing, for your call. I know I am sounding like the world revolves around me but believe me THIS is what I do when we reach a traffic jam in ideas on what to do for the evening. I don’t want my friends waiting around, when they could be getting ready and organizing rides (if need be) – it’s just, well, rude.

I guess that’s where it stems from. I find people that are chronically late having one or both of the following going on in their head:

1. Crazy egos, and I mean bigger than mine. The world can, well, wait for them.
2. Fear of rejection – maybe they are not arriving on time because they’re scared their friends will not be there and they will have to wait. When you’re late, you’re in control so to speak, you know real events won’t happen without you and you don’t run the risk of showing up somewhere alone (even if only a few minutes).

I have to admit anytime I have dear friends running late the first thought ALWAYS in my head is “they forgot me”. It’s never once happened, lord help the first person that does forget me, but I have to admit when I’m sitting in the living room because I’ve surfed all the websites I do while waiting for someone to come pick me up and have now gone to watching TV in the living room looking for something I can’t get too invested in, that thought of my friends, picking up everyone but me, is the only thing going through my head, until my phone vibrates with the “we’re outside” phone call of 2 seconds. Thank Jeebus for by-the-second billing.

1 comment:

Big "D" said...

If you own the DVD (VHS if your are still from the dark ages) it starts playing when you hit play.

;- )