On Being Late

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There are two types of people in the world.  Those who are late, and those that hate those of us who are late.

I, sadly to say, am the former.

People who are time, who are punctual, see our lateness as a moral failing at best and a blatant disrespect of anything and anyone but ourselves at worst.  We see it as a quirky character trait, kind of like the dog who barks too loud but then does something really cute to make up for it at the end.

Not that the punctual among us are without their faults.  Being early fulfills their need to feel superior to those around them.  Most of them pride themselves not only on being on time, but being there ridiculously early.    Have to be at work at 10?  They get there at 8.   They are the people who in high school brought apples to the teacher, and when there was a five page paper, they handed in fifteen.  They are the ones who showed so much interest in the subject that even the teacher was like, "Chill out kid, it's only World War 2.  Wow, your grandfather fought in it.  Big freaking deal."  These people have a singular focus and usually end up in authority positions because they are more likely to be, well, successful.

Those of us who are late don't want to be, it's just that we have varied interests that take up large chunks of our time.  How can we leave an hour early when we can be reading up on the impending collapse of the Honeybee population?  Or writing our spec script for 30 Rock?   Or checking our email for the 20th time?  Or writing their blog for the Charleston City Paper?

And the universe conspires against us.  On those rare times we try to be early, we get stuck in traffic, or the train gets stuck in the station, or we take a wrong turn and get lost.  We realize our being on time is a fruitless endeavor, so we might as well watch the first segment of Pardon the Interruption.

We also tend to be very forgiving people.  We have a giant, glaring fault, obvious to everyone we meet, so we understand the fallibility of the human condition.  Want some sympathy about bouncing your rent check?  Go to the person who is always late.  Need to vent about the terrible relationship you can't seem to pry your way our of.  Go to the person who is five minutes late.

Come to us on these occasions.  But if you need to get something done in a timely manner...don't.

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