Friday, June 11, 2010


You know how as your life progresses, you realize there are things you kind of stink at – and then there are other things at which you’ve become quite proficient? Well, I realize I’m very, very good at something. Well, besides spelling.

And that thing is...procrastination.

Yes, it’s true. I’ve finally become an expert at something. In fact, I believe that I am the Queen of Procrastination. While I am sure there are many people out there vying for my title, I have honed my craft until it’s nearly perfect.

About the only thing I didn’t procrastinate on was my birth. Yep, that was about the only time in my life I showed up somewhere a little early. Probably I caused so much consternation being early that I vowed, at the tender age of 10 seconds, never to show up early anywhere ever again.

Apparently I took it to heart, too. I rarely show up at parties precisely at the start time printed on the invitation. In the back of my mind I think that parties nowadays are like parties from when I was in college, which meant that you could pretty much show up three days later and it would still be in full swing. If you actually showed up at the time the party was scheduled to start, you’d find no one but the hosts sitting around still thinking about making their beer-and-chips run.

And parties aren’t the only thing at which I procrastinate. Back in the day, I was very good at procrastinating on homework and book reports and such. It’d be the night before a 20-hour project was due and I’d decide to get started around 2AM. Somehow or other, I managed to pull off a good grade, so unfortunately I never learned the lesson about tackling a project early.

Sometimes this actually works in my favor in work situations. If I procrastinate on writing a letter or responding to something I really don’t want to respond to, I sometimes find that the situation resolves itself without any effort on my part. I take this as proof that procrastination is not always a bad thing.

I have aspirations of being well prepared ahead of time. I mean, I buy birthday cards weeks before the recipient’s birthday. That’s a good thing – right? Problem is, when it comes time to mail the card, I can’t remember where I put it. So then I’m left scrambling to find another appropriate card and it ends up being late. Probably I should just go out and buy all “Happy Belated Birthday” cards. It might save me a few bucks in the long run.

Getting ready to go somewhere is the worst, though. What happens is that I figure out the time I SHOULD leave and plan backwards from there. But inevitably something crucial comes up – like a rerun of Friends that I’ve already seen 53 times – and I miss my start time entirely. Then I recalculate the timing, but now have to rush around getting ready all the while grumbling that my hair is going to look – once again – like crap.

That’s usually the worse case scenario, though. Most of the time I manage to get ready more or less on time – and then I literally fly down the stairs and out the door with seconds to spare on my self-imposed schedule. The only problem with this method is that I never before had to allow for the “husband factor.”

Husbands, you see, are dressed and ready to go approximately 3.5 seconds after they shut off the water in the shower. They can leave the house with their hair dripping wet and it’s okay. That is so not right! Women, by comparison, are still standing in the shower 3.5 seconds after they’ve shut the water off. They’re trying not to drip on the rug on the bathroom floor because a damp rug is not pleasant to walk on. They are carrying on an internal debate about which moisturizer to use depending upon the atmospheric conditions while simultaneously re-thinking the outfit they selected three weeks prior when they received the invitation in the first place.

The problem with husbands being ready to go 3.5 seconds after their shower is that they then figure they have plenty of time to start a project while they wait for their wives to get ready. Said project may involve power tools, which is not a good thing. Or it might simply involve sandwich meat and condiments, which is confusing as the event they’re heading to most likely involves food.

When I do the flying down the stairs thing and snag my purse on my way out the door, I take Vince completely by surprise. He is usually sitting at his computer thinking about starting another game of online backgammon since he’s waiting for me anyway. He knows that we’re getting close to the time we absolutely must leave, but mere seconds before he heard the hair dryer so he figures he has the time. Not so much. I mean, when I’m ready, I’m ready – and it’s time to leave. NOW.

So when he sees me fly by, he starts the process of shutting down his computer. Then he gets up, walks over to the basket where his keys, cell phone and money clip are stored and he fills his pockets with these items. I am, meanwhile, standing at the door, or worse - at the car - tapping my foot and getting increasingly frustrated. But he calmly puts on his shoes and only then is he ready to walk out the door. Problem is that now we’re late and I’m cranky.

I’m thinking I should probably incorporate a “Two Minute Warning” into the schedule so he knows where I am in the process and he can prepare accordingly. That would be the fair and right thing to do.

Alas, I can’t usually tell that I’ll be ready two minutes hence. Sometimes the gods of Women’s Wear Daily work in my favor and I’m able to get ready with nary a clothing snafu nor a hairstyling glitch. But there are other times that “stuff” happens. Like the shoes I’ve selected don’t exactly match the top I’m wearing and I’m trying to find last-minute alternatives. Or I sneeze just as I’m applying waterproof mascara, which means I have to take a powerwasher to remove all the black smudges under my eyes and start the whole makeup application process over.

We have a couple weddings coming up soon and that puts me in a tizzy. Because, you know, you actually have to arrive at the church a half hour BEFORE the time stated on the invitation. It’s enough to give a girl like me an ulcer. Maybe Vince and I should do a practice run this weekend with the Two Minute Warning to see how we do. Or…maybe not. We still have a couple weeks.

Eh. Think I’ll decide later…

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