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.