Friday, September 09, 2005

Gina's Atomic Clock

So I am nothing if not a punctual person. I absolutely loathe being late. To anything. I can probably count on my hand the number of times in the past ten years that I have arrived even five minutes late to something. Even with Mr. Personality in tow, I show up on time, or even early. It is just an aspect of my personality that will not go away, no matter how hard I try to be nonchalant about my arrival. I just have this inner clock that ticks very loudly in my head, pressuring me to just get there already.

I used to have a horrible time with other people. I didn't get my driver's license until I was 18, and so I had my friends pick me up and take me places. Even back in high school, I was anal about getting to class on time. During my senior year, Yvette was my ride since she lived only a block or so away. Yvette was a nice enough person, but she would roar up to my house in her new Mustang, already 10 minutes behind. I, on the other hand, had been ready 15 minutes ago, and would pace the living room, wishing that just this once, she would get her act together. So, she would peel out of the driveway and drive like a bat out of hell to get there. When we arrived at school, I was tardy and hyperventilating. Not a pretty picture.

My best friend in college was similar. Of course by then I drove, and it was me who would pull up the driveway, only to wait. And wait. After a long time, she would appear in the doorway, gesturing she was almost ready. More waiting. She would then trundle out the door, breakfast in hand. Concerts? Late. Parties? Late. Job? Late. She was even late to her own wedding reception. It started two hours after the scheduled time. We had quite a few arguments about her tendency to be late.

I feel that a person is being disrespectful when they are chronically late. Once in a while, not a big deal. Things happen, I am not clueless as to traffic and weird, inopportune things happening. But when it is eight or nine times out of ten, I start feeling that my time is considered worthless. If I make the effort to be ready on time, then what does it say about someone who makes me wait and wait for them? I'll tell you. That their time is more important than mine, and I must have nothing better to do than hang around, looking at the clock and wondering where they hell they are. I know there are a few theories about how chronic lateness is a disguised power play, and I think there might be some truth to those.

Trust me, I have actually tried to be late on occasion, for parties and such. I am usually a horrible failure at it. If you ever invite me to a party, just be sure to be dressed on time, because if it starts at 7, I'll be ringing your doorbell at 7. I'll forgive you if you don't have the appetizers out, though. Just because, my friends, I love you that much.


Suzanne said...

I am also anal about being on time. Unfortunately, my husband is not. He is one of those chronically late people, and it's a quite a source of conflict. I think it's a passive-aggressive way of controlling things since the late person in a couple always determines when that couple will leave the house. Unless the punctual half of the couple leaves without him!

Anvilcloud said...

Yup, we're punctual people too. And yes, I think the kind of people that you describe are (unconsciously) seeking to control ... or somthing like that.

Karla said...

I am totally a punctual person as well (early or on time).

The last time I "tried" to be late for something, I showed up for breakfast at a bed and breakfast at exactly 8:00am (serving time) and missed out on all the great conversation at the main dining table because all the seats were taken.

I feel the same way about people being late and disrespecting my time and me.

WordsRock said...

Keeping someone waiting is so disrespectful. Don't get me started on being left in a doctor's waiting room long after my scheduled appointment because s/he is "running late." Well gee thanks, doc, now I'm running late too!

Punctuality rocks.