To clarify my title, I’m not just stating the obvious, that L-a-t-e is 4 letters. Late to me is like a bad word. I simply HATE being late somewhere and would rather be extremely early than even one minute late. I suppose a part of this has to do with lateness tending towards people staring at you and being the center of attention. I may not be SHY Sharon anymore, but I don’t want to be the center of attention every time I go somewhere either. “Fashionably late” is awkward to me. Even if I feel especially confident that day, I really don’t want all eyes critiquing me.
But more than ME being late somewhere, I especially dislike when others are late. If you tell me you’re going to meet me at a certain time and you show up 30 minutes later, I may smile and tease you about your lateness, but inside I am growling like a tiger…Seriously! It’s not that I’m impatient, it’s really not. I just have always felt it’s a matter of respect. I can understand that life happens sometimes. If you have a flat tire, ran out of gas, etc., that’s understandable and I can get over it. If you’re still getting ready to go out when you should already be somewhere, that’s not a good excuse, that just means you need to learn better time management. If you decide to run an errand on the way and you got held up by traffic, that’s not a good excuse to me, that also means you should have left home earlier if you were going to run the errand or had enough respect that you chose to do the errand later because you already promised to be somewhere at a certain time and you don’t want to show up late. It’s just good manners, right?
Yea…I have some close friends who are late a lot and I love them regardless and I have come to just expect lateness out of them. At the same time, I find myself wondering how they ever make it to work on time or doctor’s appointments. The thing is, I’m sure they DO make it to those places on time, so what does that leave me thinking? Is work or school, etc. more important than being on time to meet a friend? Because I don’t see it that way. Whenever I tell a person I will meet them at such and such time, I plan to meet them THEN, not 30 minutes late. I don’t like to keep people waiting because that’s their time being wasted. Some people have less free time to waste than others and to be honest, Time is really precious for everyone, if you stop and consider it. So being on time is a sign that you truly respect someone and value not only YOUR time but theirs as well.
If I tell a friend I will meet them around 5, though, I might show up 10 minutes before and I don’t mind if it’s 5:15, because in that case, I come prepared to read or do something else, knowing it’s sort of an open time slot, which could be cause the person has things to do before they head out to meet me and they can’t be definite with the timing. That’s fine and I only consider THIS late if they show up at 6 without prior notice that they are running behind.
For those of you who tell a specific time, such as 6:30 and you show up at 7…..I still love you as a friend, but realize I DO feel upset when you constantly do this. I tried to keep my feelings under wraps, but I think it’s important for everyone, not just people who know me, to come to the realization that being late is just disrespectful WHEN you could have been early or even on time. Try to respect others and their time better, please. Somewhere someone is sitting right now and impatiently waiting on someone else who is taking their time and not caring that another’s is being wasted on them. 😦