Are you an on-time person or a late one?
I am an early person. And, thankfully, I married one. We are the couple who drives around our friends’ neighborhood since it is way too early to show up for the dinner party.
I cannot imagine being late for something related to work. That gives me anxiety just thinking about it.
Even though I am always early for doctor/dentist appointments, they don’t seem to have the same philosophy. Still, I am always there ahead of time.
I remember in high school and college being afraid of over-sleeping and arriving late for an important class or test. I often woke up hours early and unable to fall back asleep.
I suppose I still feel that if there is something I have to get up early for, such as picking up somebody from the airport. Speaking of the airport, it is almost embarrassing how many hours early I arrive before a flight.
One of my best friends shares my chronic earliness and, in fact, may be worse than me. I don’t think I have met her for lunch when she wasn’t already there.
She used to joke and tell me if she is ever late, she is probably dead. Her husband, unfortunately, is a late person. This has been a bone of contention in their relationship for many years.
Once, when we were having them over for dinner, she arrived on time — alone. She said she had threatened to leave him there to drive himself if he wasn’t ready on time. And she did. He arrived 15 minutes or so later, a little surprised by the whole thing.
I read an online article a few weeks ago talking about different kinds of late people — those who blame traffic or other people and those who are chronically late but send text messages saying they’re almost there.
The author concluded that it doesn’t matter the reasons. Those who are habitually late are “rude and inconsiderate” people. There were other insults thrown in there about late people, most of which are too mean for me to repeat.
My thoughts are that none of us are perfect. Everybody is going to be late sometimes.
I was late to a recent meeting because I wrote down the wrong time. I was mortified and probably over-apologized.
That said, those who are always late for things should try to remedy it. Perhaps there is just have too much going on and some things need to be reprioritized.
For those with young children, planning ahead is essential. Pack the diaper bag the night before and make sure there is gas in the car.
Perhaps most importantly, if late, for goodness sake apologize and promise it won’t happen again. There is nothing worse than waiting for someone who, when she does arrive, acts as if nothing is wrong.
Now, please excuse me. I have to leave for an appointment that begins in two hours.
Adlen Robinson is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.