For as long as I can remember my family has always had a problem with being on time. I don’t know why or how it started but we are most consistently late. Even if we account for the chronic lateness by arranging to meet earlier, leave earlier, be ready sooner, we somehow always end up late. It’s really goddamn frustrating.
One would perhaps think that with today’s latest communication technology there would be no time wasted. Not only can you immediately communicate your whereabouts and ETA to the required parties but you can also amuse yourself while waiting. Or if you really like (like me) to be productive, you can use said technology to update yourself on the news, read or check your email. Or perhaps conversely that those who did not grow up with said technology as I have would be doubly prompt, seeing as in their pasts such frequent and accurate updates were impossible. None of these considerations apply to my family.
Everything is planned out the night before, while everybody is present after dinner before the lack of energy sets in. What are we going to do tomorrow? What time are we leaving? When will we be back? Where should we be at blank-blank time? Almost as if we’re a team planning a heist like in the movies, our outings have events with time, date and locations. But unlike the movies, we are never successful.
Someone has slept in. Someone took too long of a shower. Someone took too long deciding what to wear. Someone didn’t tell the other they were out of the shower and ‘yes, you can use it now’. Someone on time, notices the lateness of everyone else and begins to watch TV or read or go back online. Everyone gets distracted. It’s thirty minutes past departure. We’re late.
The lateness then turns to frustration and annoyance which eventually leads to arguing and raised voices but if it’s really bad it’ll just be silent. The heavy quiet that settles over occupants of a car, each childishly facing pointedly away from the other, fuming, mulling and wallowing in their stubbornness, simultaneously enhances and suppresses strong emotions. Silence is the worst, the ultimate time and energy waster.
At the crux of it though is most likely guilt. Nobody and everybody here is at fault. Everybody could have done something better and this tidbit of knowledge keeps us in a battle between blaming ourselves and blaming others, trapped in silence. Waiting for someone else to break the silence first because I don’t have the guts or the humility to admit mistakes, I sit and the guilt eats at me, commanding me to be better than this, to be above this while the pride sews shut my lips and keeps my eyes glaring at nothing in particular. And as I wait, time continues to pass….
I hate waiting. I hate waiting, especially on people, because it means I’m most likely being unproductive. Mostly I hate waiting on myself. Why can’t the period of time between emotional highs and calmer, more sober and reasonable lows pass as quickly as it took for me to reach the aforementioned high? If I can jump to unpleasant conclusions so fast, doesn’t it logically follow that falling from them should be even faster?
But it’s not falling, anything but. More like struggling to walking down a curved staircase in ridiculous high heels and a tight dress while trying not to look at your feet and pretty all at once–think any cheesy chick flick with that stair case scene and the guy looks up and says something like “you’re beautiful”—except slower and without any of the pleasant anticipation during or compliment at the end. In the ideal world where this crazy analogy makes sense, to the man waiting at the bottom, the dress, the make-up, the heels were not unappreciated but essentially unnecessary for the compliment. Meaning, it was a little bit of a waste. Coming down that figurative emotional staircase, caught tight in an emotionally high strung dress, made up with pride tinted make up, walking shakily on guilty heels, is me wasting time. I hate wasting time.
Hi! So this is creative non-fiction, a genre I used to have a lot of trouble with but have now discovered that I write a lot of it, embellishing and taking liberties with the events of my life, what can I say? I’m a little bit of a drama queen at times. Pretty sure it runs in the family, that and lateness. Thus leading to the above-written-about situation. Hope you enjoyed!