Monday, April 4, 2011

Confessions: Lateness Anxiety

No, I'm not talking about a preggers scare, people;-)

I've got this real problem.  I refer to it as "lateness anxiety" and I've only recently come to grips with the reality of this madness.

When I am going to be attending an event with friends, I calculate the travel time, the time meandering to the car, parking, etc.  I usually give a five-minute grace period so we arrive to our seats with five minutes to spare.  People's time is valuable and I don't want them to waste much more than five minutes of it, right?

What I can't account for is the fact that my friends are always late.  I can never know if they will be five minutes late or twenty-five minutes late.

What do I do?  I don't want to just sit here and accept the fact that, despite my on-time-or-else policy I impose upon myself, I am always going to be late to anything that involves anyone other than me. 

Here's the thing - I sit back and try to convince myself:
  • Being late doesn't matter
  • Shows usually start five to ten minutes after the designated start-time
  • The world will not end if I miss ten minutes
  • My relationships with people are much more important than time
  • Obeying traffic laws is important (I never actually violate this one, but I contemplate it)
  • My friends I am supporting in the show don't care if I'm late, as long as I make it
  • (if not a time-constrained event ) I can reschedule my after-plans
  • Don't get upset with that person for making you leave your last location - if you had known they would be twenty minutes late, you could have stayed at the gym/work/a friend's house twenty minutes longer, but you probably wouldn't have
  • The individual is not trying to be rude or inconsiderate of your time

But you know what?  No matter how hard I try, my pulse quickens, my thoughts start to blur, my body temperature starts to rise, I can't concentrate on conversations.  Why?  Because I'm late.  Goodness gracious, just writing about it is making my heart pound.  Serious.

The only things I have found that alleviate this condition are when I am not the one in charge of the activity, am not driving, don't care about the event, am really trying to charm my date, or am having a bout of extreme self-control.

Lately I have taken to warning my friends that I suffer from "lateness anxiety" and they should be prepared for adverse side effects if they run late.  This serves no motivation at all.  In fact, I think some of them quite enjoy watching my body and mind rebel.

If you ever hear me say, "Take your time," or, "We are in no rush," either I am lying or you are having a very lucky day.


Megan said...

I am the same way! It kills me to be late and my hubby doesn't care. Howver, I have some great friend who know about my anxiety about it and though they are normally late or don't care as much they are very kind to work extra hard when it come to being ontime with me. Hopefully your friends will pay better attention. :) I loves ya!

miss kristen said...

I'm the same way-especially since I am not the most punctual person on the planet. So when I AM punctual it makes me crazy when others make me late.
I've started telling my friends when I'm on my way and asking them to please be ready when I get there.
If they are chronic offenders I talk to them about it. I understand that it may not be a big deal to them, but it is to me and as much as I want to do things with them I can't if they won't be on time.
Good luck!!

Julie said...

yes, i am the friend that is usually late. But to my own credit, I can't control the old person that is driving to ruin my perfectly planned on time arrival. I got a big ol' stink eye from my manager the other day for being 10 minutes late. Did he worry that maybe there were car problems? And did he care that I couldn't wake up? I do enjoy that many of my friends are quite punctual.

Katie Robertson said...

That's the point where I would just call them and say 'Hey, it's time and you're not here. I'm leaving, I'll meet you there. Jerk.....' hahahahaha.

Kristie said...

Haha. I am the same way. My Dad is the opposite. If I had a basketball game to get to he would take his sweet time and drive slower than the speed limit. I'd have to sit in the back an bare it while gritting my teeth. Karl's not the best about being on time either. Haha. said...

Lateness is a HUGE pet peeve of mine. Everyone is late occasionally, but it is those who are consistently late that make me mad. What their lateness says (whether they mean it to or not) is, "I don't really care about you. Your time is not valuable to me, and I am more important than you). People need to break this habit. It is VERY inconsiderate!!

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