I am one of those people who hate being late. I have always been like this as far back as I can remember. Going hand in hand with this, I am not enamored with those who are late. I had a college professor once who was nice enough to get involved in a study group with some of us and her comment about others being late was so perfect that it has stuck with me. Her M.O. was to show up at least ten minutes early. Everywhere. Therefore if you show up on time, in her mind you are already ten minutes late and God help those who are truly late. At first it made me laugh but then I completely saw myself in this comment and was secretly glad to discover that there were others out there who felt so strongly about this topic.
Being late makes me physically ill. I actually get stomach aches and sweaty palms if I even think I may be late, no mater what the occasion. I turn into this clock watching, hand wringing, cranky neurotic biotch who obsesses over each and every passing second. It is especially bad if I have no control over when I will arrive at my destination. I try to give myself an extra fifteen minutes to allow for scenarios that cause lateness. These may include but are not limited to: a dog randomly vomiting on the carpet, a potty training “issue”, a melt down by one child or the other for not being allowed to wear their snowboots on a hot summer day, or realizing that while I got everyone else ready I am still in my slippers and have not brushed my teeth.
Of course the obsession with not being late can sometimes backfire into being very early. There are times when we are standing in the entryway all ready to leave and I look at the clock and realize that if we leave right then we will arrive twenty minutes early, to the bus stop, in the pouring rain. In such a situation we invoke the “holding pattern”. This involves reading a couple of books on the couch all bundled up in jackets while I keep a hawk-eye on the clock. Yet another reason I am glad my boys love books!
I realize that this issue with lateness is my curse and as such I try not to hold it against “those who are late.” I have a couple good friends who fall into this category. My husband falls into this category. Don’t even get me started on this. I could tell you about the very first time I met his mother and he was late picking me up. I would tell you this story but as it is we have somewhere to be at 9:30 this morning and the boys are still in pajamas and there is breakfast to eat, and… Well you get the idea.