Dear Consistent Late Comer,
Remember the days before cell phones, when meeting someone at eleven meant eleven? There was of course the fifteen minute rule, where the waiting party would extend a fifteen minute late buffer before they left the appointed meeting location. Nowadays, with cell phones, you can text minute by minute updates about how bad the traffic is (don’t text and drive, kids!), how the subways were delayed, how Macy’s was having a sale you couldn’t resist, or how you didn’t feel like waking up on time.
In our age of individualism, have we decided to take advantage of not only our own time, but the time of our loved ones? Just because our friend will wait for our sorry-ass, ordering our favorite skinny caramel latte and hand it to us when we finally arrive forty-five minutes later, doesn’t mean we should let them.
I can only swallow so many aspartame-sweetened saccharine I’m sorrys, “I’m so so sorry.” Apologizing doesn’t turn back time. It doesn’t change the fact that the commitment, albeit small, that the two of you made was sullied. Late comers steal your time that was supposed to be spent together, and insult the integrity of your relationship.
Tolerating the occasional offender, the one who had to run back to get his phone charger, is necessary. But, when this becomes routine, when one becomes late to all their engagements, expecting to be forgiven, it ruins the sanctity of plans. When people realize that their word, their plan, is subject to change, that they don’t feel any social compulsion to keep what they intended, society unravels at its Egyptian cotton seams.
So moral of the story: pick your outfit out the night before if you have to, skimp ten out of forty minutes of your hair routine, don’t go skydiving right before an appointment, and don’t overschedule yourself! Overscheduling robs the people you meet with before, and the people you meet with after, both getting to spend less time with you (at this point, I don’t know if they still want to, you consistent late comer). But, you are also robbing yourself of the extra memories. The moments of silence, the crude jokes, bringing up bad hair days, and poor choices in partners. Covering the bare minimum of life updates, doesn’t further relationships, it only sustains them. But how long can a relationship be on life support? Medical bills are expensive.
Please don’t give me fodder for blog posts.