Friday, November 4, 2011

Late

Before I met my husband, I was an “early person”. Not only was I never late for anything, I was early most of the time. Sometimes to a fault. But honestly, I’d rather get to where I am going too early and have to go in search of a cup of tea or spend some time reading a book until it’s time to do whatever it is I am doing than keep anyone else waiting for even one minute.

I’m not sure why I’m like this. My family, while not “late people,” certainly aren’t early-to-a-fault people like me. And I know that my early-itis isn’t exactly normal. I try not to show up too early and inconvenience anyone. I don’t expect other people to be as early as me, and I try (TRY) to be patient when others are late (and believe me, it is NOT easy). But while waiting for other people who are running late can drive me crazy, actually being late makes me absolutely INSANE.

So who did I marry? I’ll tell you who I married: Latey McLatepants, that’s who. He comes by it naturally. His family is chronically late for everything. Their last name should seriously be LateForEveryGoddamnedThing. And before you think I am exaggerating, here are some examples: There is one niece who – despite being charged with bringing food – will show up hours after an event starts. So four hours after the party starts, we finally get to eat. An entire branch of the family was so late to Mr b’s 50th birthday party that half the people already left before they got there (with some food and the cake, of course). One of my sisters-in-law’s surprise birthday party was unsurprising for her because several relatives showed up late: Just as she herself was arriving. And my own personal favorite: one sister-in-law was my wedding florist. And she was late. Despite my having told her that she time to arrive was a full hour earlier than reality. So all my pre-ceremony photos are sans flowers.

Sigh.

And now I have two kids, who are also making me late because a) they take after their father, and b) because they are kids and kids are slow-moving pains in the ass. So needless to say, my life is a constant struggle to try to be on time. A failing, miserable, anxiety-riddled struggle. Here is an average “getting ready to go somewhere” experience:

2 hours before we need to leave: I am ready.

1 hour 50 minutes before we need to leave: Start telling the other people in this house that we have less than two hours.

1.5 hours before we need to leave: I start asking people politely to start getting ready.

1.25 hours before we need to leave: No one is moving. I remind them again, still mostly polite.

1 hour before we need to leave: I make the girl start getting dressed.

50 min before we need to leave: I try to make the boy start getting dressed.

45 min before we need to leave: The girl is dressed. I tell her to brush her near-dreadlocked hair.

40 min before we need to leave: I yell at boy to start getting ready. I notice the girl still has dreads. She can’t find her brush. I find the brush & tell her to brush her hair.

35 minutes before we need to leave: Boy still not dressed. Girl? Dreads.

30 minutes before we need to leave: I rip the plug out of the TV/Xbox/computer/whatever it is that the boy is doing. Girl? Dreads.

25 minutes before we need to leave: Boy is (mostly) dressed. Can’t find socks. Girl? Dreads.

20 minutes before we need to leave: Boy still can’t finds socks, despite my very specific instructions. Girl has brushed her hair, but only the front and sides. The back? Dreads.

15 minutes before we need to leave: I have retrieved socks for the boy. Girl is crying about me brushing her hair.

10 minutes before we need to leave: Girl is ready. Boy is sitting on bed holding socks, looking dazed. I notice Mr b isn’t dressed. I tell him to GET DRESSED DAMMIT! His reply? "I can’t just get dressed – I need to shower!" Me: WTF?

5 minutes before we need to leave: Mr b is checking email. I threaten him. Boy is now holding one sock. The other is missing. I notice the girl has no socks on. Repeat missing sock dance from above.

Time to leave: Mr b in shower. Boy has one sock on. Girl is ready.

5 minutes after we needed to leave: Mr b can’t find clothes. Boy has found second sock, but is holding it, looking blank. Girl is loading up 17 bags with all her “necessities.” I am dying a slow death.

10 minutes after we needed to leave: Mr b is dressed, but can’t find comb/socks/belt/whatever. Boy? 2nd sock is halfway on. Girl? 18 bags. Me? Dying!

15 minutes after we needed to leave: Mr b is ready. Boy? Still only halfway with the 2nd sock. Girl is ready.

20 minutes after we needed to leave: Heading out the door. Oh wait – Mr b needs to take the dog out. The rest of us stand there, me fuming.

25 minutes after we needed to leave: Mr b is ready. I am ready. Boy? Needs his headphones. Can’t find them. Girl wants to change her shoes.

30 minutes after we needed to leave: Boy losing his shit because someone must have taken his headphones. Girl losing her shit because she wants different shoes. Mr b getting pissy because the rest of us (!) aren’t ready.

35 minutes after we needed to leave: boy is ready and still pissed about headphones. Girl has now added another bag of crap to carry. Mr b now has to pee. Me? DEAD.

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8 comments:

Burgh Baby said...

I fully admit I am perpetually late, but the thing is, I'm late for the same reasons you are--because I am surrounded by jerks. Getting out of the door in the morning requires herding cats, deciding whether or not to "notice" that the dog has puked on the carpet, dragging a kid away from the mirror where she could spend ALL DAY staring at herself, and a multitude of other challenges. And when I *do* make it out the door on time? I will hit traffic, construction, a downed tree branch, a cow (no, really--I have been late for work because there was a cow in the middle of the road) or SOMETHING. Every. Damn. Time.

AmyLK said...

That SO sounds like my life pre-divorce. I hated being late. Even when I would tell him 30-45 minutes before we had to LEAVE. Still late.

I keep a book in the door of my car just for the times that I am TOO early for an appointment.

bluzdude said...

This would drive me absolutely batshit. I like to be On Time. Not early, not late, but On Time. Or at least at the time I pre-selected to arrive.

Kaurie said...

My husband is punctual like me, but the rest of his family is much like you describe. We have to tell them at least an hour in advance if we want them to be there at a certain time and I cannot begin to count how many times we have shown at up at a certain relative's house when she told us to be there at a certain time and when we get there she is just getting in the shower or has a million other excuses about why she can't come downstairs just yet. It seriously destroys me.

Christina said...

man i had written a long comment, and my internet went stupid (should have copied it like I always do)....anyway, my family is EXACTLY like that....almost to a T.

Scott Beveridge said...

My philosophy is: Everything turns out gracefully in the end.

Gina said...

Scott - you're right. And I really, REALLY wish I would remember that point when this kind of thing was going on. But instead I get all stressed out. Maybe if I started drinking before we started getting ready...

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