Are you on time?
This question has rolled around my head since yesterday's birthday dinner. Don's family is fabulous, but they are never on time. Lunch was to be at 12:30; the birthday boy showed up at 2. One daughter didn't get there until 3:15. This is a long history. There have been Christmas dinners we (me and Don) didn't eat and Thanksgiving dinners that were six hours late. My personal favorite was the Christmas dinner when we showed up at the appointed time and no one was home. After a series of frantic phone calls, we found that dinner time had been shifted forward three hours and we weren't told. Everyone had gone to eat at a Chinese restaurant; we had Nabs (Nabisco peanut butter and crackers) and a Coke. And I refused to go back for a meal until yesterday.
This has gotten me to thinking about being on time.
"Why are people so late?" I queired Don as we started home.
"I'm late when I don't want to do something," he confessed.
You know, I bet we all are late when that is the case. To me, however, being late is something more. It is like telling someone they aren't even important enough for me to respect their time or efforts to share moments. For some, it is a control issue. It is like their saying, "Well, to get all your attention, I am going to make you wait for me until you are really glad to see me." Or, for other's it is an indication that they underestimate the time it takes to get somewhere. Their judgement is skewed about time and space (which Don says should only happen one time if you are paying attention).
Whatever the reason, it drives me wild. Don's sister, darling Chris, confided to me yesterday, "If it weren't Daddy, we'd eat and clean up the whole meal now. But, you know, we live with the monsters we create."
Insightful. And, to her credit, there were no potatoes and apples left for the latecomers. "I am NOT going to make more," she declared. "If they had been here on time, they could have enjoyed a full meal with the rest of us." I kissed the top of her head and said, "Well done!"
How do you deal with late comers? What do you think about perpetual tardiness?