Of Tardiness

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I never learned how to be on time. On average I’m twenty minutes late everywhere I go. However for work and school I’m better, only around five minutes late. For this I blame my upbringing. Of course my mom will deny that it’s my upbringings fault until she either dies or Jesus comes back and beams her up to heaven. But considering the amount of time I waited to be picked up from school or a friends house in my life – yeah, it’s my upbringings fault, at least partially. For instance she was always late picking me and my brothers up from Elementary school. Once long ago on a Wednesday, when (I’m guessing) I was in  third grade I was forgotten at the school after play rehearsal until dark. I remember trying to dial what I thought was the churches number in the principles office completely freaked out. I was dialing 9899 instead of 8988. I’m told that my dad was leading children in Sunday School songs when he abruptly stopped, ran away, and came to get me. But you see? Totally partially upbringings fault.

I believe that tardiness is more than a choice, or something learned, it’s inherited. To quote a cliché like mother like daughter. Once embedded into you it takes sincere focus to try to learn to be on time. If you can.

The lack of punctuality is in fact a disadvantage – but not for the reasons I assume most people think. Those reasons being: missed part of lecture/meeting/sermon, appearing uninterested/unprepared, lack of respect. Rather, when a person is late they are not enjoying it or using their tardiness as part of a wordless statement. That person was RUSHING to get to there. Their heart racing, hands grip the wheel (or whatever they’re holding), moving as fast has humanly possible, and watching their clock/watch/phone as the numbers inched dangerously close to the agreed upon time. For those who are chronically late have, what I refer to as, time dyslexia. They perceive time differently than others. Their brain understands that they have 5 minutes. Their body doesn’t understand what 5 minutes feels like. Those damn limbs think that 5 means 10, 10 means 20, and 20 means 35. And because they’re late, that rare day when they show up on time the event will drag on what feels like forever.

I find it peculiar that punctuality is not contagious (not in my experience), however chronic tardiness is contagious. I have had many friends blame me for their switch from on time to late. And once they start being late, they get worse, or consistent, just like me. Sorry buddies!

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