We'd probably be late for our own funeral.
I had a date last week. We were supposed to meet at a restaurant at 7 p.m. At 7 p.m., when I was still miles away from the restaurant, I texted the guy and said, "This might be a good time to mention that I'm one of those annoying, perpetually late people."
Way to make a first impression, right? The thing is, I really thought I'd be on time. In fact, I thought I'd be early.
I was late for a variety of reasons: my hair looked crazy, my kids needed to tell me a very long, involved story about hunting for Sasquatch right as I was about to walk out the door, the place we were supposed to meet at was 40 minutes away, I got lost, I got stuck behind a train, and I was also dealing with the paradoxical "extra time."
The struggle is real, people. Here are 21 struggles of perpetually late people:
1. We don't do it on purpose.
It isn't our goal to make you insane while waiting for us. Well, it isn't usually our goal, but I suppose some of us might use tardiness as punishment for some of you. What? I didn't say I'd ever done that! But really, it isn't about you. Promise.
2. We're not good at managing our time.
People think we don't care about their time. It's not that we don't value your time; we just aren't really good at managing our time. We have this idea that we can get ready in half an hour. It never works that way, but we're optimistic that one day there will be a glitch in the space-time continuum and it will work.
3. Our friends don't trust us.
Our friends know that when we text them, "be there in 10 minutes," it really means, "I'm thinking about turning off Netflix and getting in the shower."
4. We generally try to be on time. Really.
It's just that it's so hard to really get out the door. Stuff happens ... like Facebook.
5. If we have kids, we will be late.
And the younger those kids are, the later we'll be late. It happens. Just as we're about to walk out the door, we have to help find an escaped Guinea pig, explain the Pythagorean Theorem because our kid's teacher assigned 20 pages of math homework due tomorrow, or comfort a kid because her imaginary friend won't play with her. It's the #ParentLife.
6. We want to look our best.
It takes time to look this good. Before I go out, I have to apply 12 coats of mascara and change clothes at least 8 times. And let's not forget the constant battle of what to do with my hair — straighten it, decide it's too humid and I look like Roseanne Rosannadanna, curl it, realize that that makes it worse, wash it and start over, apply a quart of goo and straighten it again.
You should be happy that we care so much about how we look for you.
7. We have a fear of looking like losers.
You know what happens when you show up on time? You might be the first one there! Then you have to pull out your phone and go down your contact list, texting random friends so you don't look like a loser sitting there by yourself.
"I know I haven't talked to you in 4 months, but how are you? Oh wait, nevermind. My date is here." Awkward.
8. We want an excuse if we're stood up.
If we get there on time and our date or friends don't show, we could be sitting there fake texting, drinking, and eating our weight in bread sticks for hours before we realize we've been stood up. If we're late and our friends aren't there, we can pretend that we just missed them. You know, on account of us being late.
9. Our alarm clocks aren't effective.
Our alarm clocks come equipped with this thing called the "snooze alarm." When you hit it, you get to sleep an extra 9 minutes. I know, right? If you hit it a second time, you get 18 minutes. A third times gives you nearly half an hour. This can go on indefinitely.
10. People are always telling us to be there earlier.
When people want us to be someplace at 7:30pm, they're forever telling us to get there by 7pm, but that only works the first time or two, until we catch on to your little scheme, at which point we'll start adding a half an hour to the time you tell us.
11. Showing up on time freaks everyone out.
On those rare occasions we actually do show up on time, people look at us about the same way they'd look if Barney (the big, purple dinosaur) showed up at their party. "Wait, what? Why are you here?"
12. Traffic happens.
Sometimes, we'd actually be on time, but there are just too many cars on the road. I'd probably never be late if I had a flying car, but since I get strange looks from car dealers when I ask about purchasing the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car, I guess that'll never happen.
13. We're easily distracted.
Some of us can't get out the door without first noticing that a load of laundry needs folding. And as we fold it, we remember that we need more detergent, so we run to the kitchen to add detergent to our shopping list and realize that the dishwasher needs to be emptied. You get the idea.
14. We don't do well with extra time.
That date I talked about before? We were originally going to meet at 6:30pm. He knew it would be a stretch for me to make it by then, so he suggested 7pm. You'd think that giving a late person an extra half hour would be a good thing, wouldn't you?
But in reality, I thought, "Score! I have an extra half hour to get ready. Pleeeeenty of time!" I can totally take my time now because EXTRA THIRTY MINUTES! I wasn't going to bother painting my nails, but now that I have an extra half hour, bring on the polish. Extra time always backfires.
15. We've given up trying to come up with excuses for being late.
"I have to take my dog to the vet."
"I thought your dog died and that's why you were late last month."
"Oh yeah. Um, I got a new dog."
At some point, we just give up since everyone knows we're full of crap and we're late because that's just our thing.
16. We're on time once a year.
In the fall when we we're supposed to turn our clocks back, but we forget because we're lazy type B people, we're actually on time the next day.
17. If it's really, really important, we can usually make it on time with a little extra planning.
For example, last week I had to get my son to the hospital for his surgery by 11am. I planned on leaving my house by 8am. I got there at 11:20. Voila! On time ... ish.
18. "On time" means something different to us.
"On time" means anything within 20 minutes. If we're supposed to be there at 7pm and we arrive at 7:20pm, we're technically "on time." Because we live in a world where numbers mean nothing.
19. It's cause for celebration when we arrive on time.
When we get to work on time and no one is around to notice, we have a burning need to call up all our coworkers just to make sure they know we're on time.
20. Donuts are key.
But we don't do that because somewhere in our warped minds, we believe that no one has really noticed that we come in late every day. I think I came to this determination several years ago when I was late to work every single day. My boss pretended not to notice because I brought him donuts every day. He gained 20 pounds that year and I kept my job.
21. We're actually pretty chill.
Finally, people who are chronically late tend to be Type B personalities. The good news is that we don't get upset if you're ever late. We probably won't even notice. We'll still be at home, fixing our hair, checking Facebook, and folding laundry.