Last week my hair stylist sent me a text message letting me know she was running late and, instead of getting together at noon as planned, she said she might be 15-30 minutes behind schedule.
If this were anyone else, I’d believe them. But since it was Alissa, I was standing at the door waiting for her precisely at noon just as the doorbell rang.
Alissa is one of those perpetually prompt people and you could set your watch by her. Well, if you want your watch to be fifteen minutes early, that is.
I’m sure the words, “Sorry, I’m running late” have never actually crossed her lips.
I, on the other hand, am thinking of having those words tattooed on my forehead.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I’m completely irresponsible. If I were to have an appointment with, say, the IRS, believe you me I’d show up at the appointed time. And I’ve never been late for the doctor, which is kind of funny when you think about it because when have you ever been seen by a doctor exactly on time?
It’s not that I don’t know how to plan my time efficiently. It’s more that I don’t like being early, so I invariably run late.
Whenever I’m told an event starts “around” or “approximately,” those are magic words that mean I’ll be there at least forty-five minutes after that time.
Consequently, I rarely attend surprise parties. Why? Because there’d be a very good chance the birthday girl and I would walk in at the same time. You’re never the most favorite person at the party when you’re responsible for ruining the surprise.
I haven’t quite figured out why I’m so prone to running late. Maybe it’s because back in my earlier, more responsible days, I tended to be the first to arrive.
This wasn’t good either. It was really awkward when the hostess answered the door wearing a bathrobe and a towel turban.
Maybe also it’s because whenever I was the first to arrive, I was put on crudité prep duty while the hostess, you know, dried her hair. And got dressed. Back then I wasn’t very good with crudité prep. Back then I was more comfortable throwing a few veggies on a tray with some pre-packaged dip and calling it a day.
But with Vince’s help, I’m getting better. If we’re supposed to be somewhere at 8, we are there at 8. Unless Vince has to work. His work schedule is very unpredictable and he rarely leaves right on time. Which means that I’m usually still running late.
Like right now. I’m supposed to be at a birthday party. And I’m not ready.
All I can say is, thank goodness it’s not a surprise party.