Last week, I read an article in the Washington Post by Alexandra Petri about being late. I am reminded of my own old habit of always being late. She talks about her habit and comes to the conclusion that — given the option of being early or being late –she still chooses to be late.
Well, let me tell you my experience. I’m ashamed to say that I was exactly the same for many years. What I remember most, after all these years, is how I kept my teen-age girlfriends waiting at some bus stop while I casually climbed the hill to meet them. Just taking my time!
Even worse, when a boy came to the house to pick me up before a date. I would greet him at the door and tell him to relax in the living room. I would then proceed to get in the tub for a nice, relaxing bath before dressing. I remember stretching out completely oblivious of the time. Whenever I had completed my make-up, or whatever, I would stroll into the living room ready to go
This was my habit well into my married life. Amazing that I was married to a man who checked his watch every five minutes and took pride on being not only on time but arriving at the exact time.
So, I had the experience also, like Alexandra, once where hosts of a dinner party invited my husband and me, a half-hour earlier than everyone else. But, ha-ha, of all times, I was on time that night.
Finally, a few years later, when I was regularly arriving late to a doctor’s appointment, he very cleverly said the few words that changed me forever.
This is what he said. Quietly, softly, “Did you ever consider how your behavior is affecting so many people?”
Wow! I hadn’t. I love people; I want people to love me. I would never want to hurt people.
Alexandra decided that she likes being late; I decided that I liked being late but I didn’t want to hurt people I care about.