Hurry up and wait

I like to be on time. Well, it’s not so much a matter of liking punctualness as it is a matter of needing it.

Alright, if I’m being totally honest, it’s actually more of an all-consuming, eye-twitching, hive-inducing, drop-me-to-my-knees-I’d-rather-keel-over-and-die-than-be-late aversion to tardiness.

I attribute this little idiosyncrasy of mine to the circumstances surrounding my birth when, due to no fault of my own, I arrived four days later than my scheduled due date. I blame it on my twin brother who could not have cared less about our ETA because he was too busy hogging all sides of the womb and sucking up all its nutrients, leaving me with barely enough energy to scream into his umbilical cord MOVE IT BUSTER, I’VE GOT THINGS TO DO, PEOPLE TO SEE, POOP TO EXPEL. But he didn’t listen to me and neither did Dr. Durfee who finally yanked me out of that awful place and who paid no attention to my frustrated wails which roughly translated into HOLY SHIT, THIS IS THE LAST TIME I RIDE COACH. THERE’S NO FREAKING LEG ROOM AND YOU GUYS DON’T EVEN SERVE PEANUTS. He wasted no time in whisking me away to the neonatal unit because I seemed tense. God almighty, I was late for my first job interview. What did he expect?

If Dr. Durfee and my brother had just bothered to stick to the original schedule, my entire life might have turned out completely differently. I might even be able to wear low rise jeans without scaring anyone, or have a flair for hats or an uncanny ability to sing in tune.

It’s all their fault that I inflict my hair upon the general public and make their ears bleed whenever I sing the Star Spangled Banner.

As it is, since birth, I have had a compulsion to be on time. The only consistent exception to this rule is when Nate is driving because Nate treats speed limits as affronts to humanity and as such, I’d rather arrive late and alive than on time and dead.

I thought I’d share my opinion on what constitutes punctualness and tardiness even though you didn’t ask for it. I’ve learned that if I actually wait for someone to ask me to voice my opinion, my vocal chords would become a reasonable facsimile of the petrified forest.

  • If you have a doctor’s appointment, arrive at the designated time. No use acting like fly paper in a germ infested waiting room any longer than absolutely necessary, especially if it’s a pediatrician’s office which is just a bubonic plague waiting to happen. After twenty minutes, you are entitled to storm over to the appointment desk and yell to the assistant through the glass that if you don’t see the doctor immediately, you will jump over the counter, through the window and smother her with your pathogen covered body.
  • If you have a doctor’s appointment and you are the doctor, you can arrive in the examination room up to two hours after the appointed time because apparently, there’s an unwritten law somewhere that patients are hostages to your schedule. Just know that you are taking your life into your own hands if you do so. If you’re depending on the Stockholm syndrome, you’re probably going to be disappointed. And quite possibly dismembered.
  • If you are going to a party that you really don’t want to go to but are being forced to attend by your spouse and you can’t get out of it because you’ve had cramps, bloating and your period seven times this month and unbeknownst to you, he’s kept track, get there thirty to forty-five minutes after the designated time, so as to avoid being the first ones there because it’s incumbent upon first arrivals to make small talk until the rest of the guests arrive. Stake out the house from down the road if need be to ensure your timely appearance and try not to worry that all the cars idling around you are doing the exact same thing. If you’re successful, you can probably walk through the front door and straight to the hors d’oeuvres without being noticed. If you are noticed, quickly shove ten garlic stuffed jalapeno poppers into your mouth and no one will want to get within ten feet of you.
  • If you are picking me up from the airport, check the status of my flight at ten minute intervals for at least twenty-four hours beforehand. Arrive at our predetermined check point at baggage claim at least three hours prior to my scheduled arrival time. That way, I will know without a doubt that you are exactly where you should be when I land twenty minutes ahead of schedule in an airport I’m unfamiliar with in a city I’ve never been to before, wearing white cotton pants. If you follow these instructions, I won’t have to stand against a wall frantically dialing your number and instead, can simply direct airport security to retrieve you and my luggage as soon as possible so that I can change my pants and avoid hemorrhaging to death at Gate 22B at McCarren International Airport as evidently, my period does not share my opinion on the importance of punctuality. As a further precaution and to avoid my dying of humiliation before I bleed out, have a GPS embedded into your chest.
  • Speaking of which, if you are my period, arrive on time, for crying, screaming and wailing out loud, please. If you’re early, you’re making a mess of my life, as well as any number of seats on any mass transit system, judging by my past history. If you are late, you are totally screwing up my life and risking the lives of Nate and the surgeon he visited a few years ago, causing Nate to question the brief but intense relationship he carried on with a bag of frozen peas during that time. Be on time to the nanosecond. Don’t let peas sacrifice in vain, you selfish, hateful, vindictive hag.
  • If you are the cable guy, the furnace guy, the phone guy, or any kind of repair guy … choose one hour. One. Not four of them all at once. What do you think my day is? A pinãta? Stop being greedy. This four hour window crap is beyond unreasonable and crosses well over into the realm of YOU HAVE GOT TO BE SHITTING ME. How would you like it if you suffered a testicular torsion while moving my fridge and I told you that I could have an ambulance here anywhere from 1:00 to 4:00 pm? Exactly.
  • If  you have a parent/teacher conference, arrive at the schedule time, if not a few minutes ahead. Do not piss your child’s teacher off. For all you know, your child has done a nifty job of that all on his own.
  • If you are a plane on arrival, arrive at the schedule time or earlier. Passengers may find it in their hearts not to spit on you. If you are a plane on departure, depart on time or within ten minutes of the scheduled time. Unless, of course, you are waiting for me. Then depart only after I have boarded and am comfortably seated with my safety belt securely buckled and someone has given me a snack. Do not depart while I am running up the ramp. I might trip and fall to my death and then I might punch you.
  • If you are my funeral, you’ll have to keep waiting. I’ll get there eventually. I was late coming into this world and if I have anything to say about it, I’ll be terribly late leaving it because I’ll be too busy spending my last breaths with Nate and my great great grandchildren, celebrating it.



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13 thoughts on “Hurry up and wait”

  1. Avatar

    Oh wow, am I really the first?? I feel so honored!!!! The story of your birth cracked me up! I wonder if that’s how my daughter felt when she was being smushed by her brother while I was pregnant with them.

    And OMG the one about your period being late nearly made me fall over from laughing so hard!! Goodness, you crack me up!!!

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    My father is ex military and punctual to the point of insanity. If we are not 5 minutes early, we are late. I’ve been brainwashed into thinking the same thing. I drive myself nuts with it sometimes. I don’t want to stand out in the cold for 10 minutes waiting for a store to open. Yet, there I am, freezing my toes off.

    I hate that the cable guy will apparently arrive sometime today, even though I do know exactly why from a job spend scheduling them. There is a 50% chance any given job on his roster will take 10 minutes to an hour longer than it should because customers are not honest about things like where their outlets are located & if their house is even wired properly. But I just want to scream when I get told that.

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    I’m sitting here blogsurfing at 8:35 because neither of the other women who are supposed to be attending the 8:30am meeting we have today are here yet.

    Last time we had a meeting, we set it for 10am. One woman showed up at 10:20, the other at 10:40. No valid excuses, either, mind you, they were just REALLY FREAKING LATE. Threw off all the things I’d planned to do after the meeting and stressed me out.

    So, this time? With their agreement, I made the meeting for 8:30. Not that they’re HERE or anything, but at least if they’re 40 minutes late it still won’t ruin my whole day. Though I am slightly resentful of having to be showered and dressed so damn early.

    Timing is everything, baby! Unless, of course, the person who is late for a lunch date is me and the reason is because I’m circling the parking lot of the 12 Corners Panera after unsuccessfully blinker-vulturing two women who were standing between two cars chatting and looking for all the world like they were saying goodbye but then walked into the Starbucks in the plaza instead. Then, tardiness is to be forgiven completely. Just saying…..

    8:38 and still no doorbell ringing…………………. GRRRRR!

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    I love to be punctual – and when I lived in England, instead of telling the “late” people that the event was starting earlier than it actually was, they told ME it was starting later, that way I would arrive at the same time as everyone else!

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    My mother-in-law has been known to arrive 24 HOURS after scheduled arrival time. I used to be beyond incensed; now I just plan for it. *sigh* My husband is continually late, suffering from the delusion that way more can be packed into an hour than is physically possible. Did I mention that side of the family’s problem with time?

    I, on the other hand, am from Switzerland. Need I say more? *giggles*

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    Yes, i have to be on time, but kids make that hard. my 8 year old hates to be late; she has to ask “are we going to be late? on a regular basis.” how often are we late that she has to ask–not a whole lot. She’s afraid she’s going to miss something. Bedtime is the exception-she is the queen of stalling!

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    You ARE me!! I knew it!! I get really, really, REALLY twitchey when I even think I might be a minute late to something, unfortunately no one else seems to!! In my job now you know I have to send out appts. for people. WHY do they think it’s ok, totally possible and reasonable to come a hour late and expect me to see them? Not only that but they expect me to see them NOW, the second they come draggin’ in…and this from people who (mostly) aren’t even working!! GRRRRRRRRRRR……. HUGE pet peeve of mine!!

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    Ever since I became a mom, I have really relaxed in turns of being on time. I used to get all knotted up inside when we would be late, but now… eh.

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    I think dr’s like to sit back in the back of the office and watch us all squirm. I’m almost positive that we are all being taped for some sort of psychological study. There is no another reason they schedule you for 9:30 but don’t see a doc until 12:30!

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