Time and I have never had a very good relationship. Punctuality is not my friend. This is obviously within my powers to fix, but I don’t. So I’m almost always a bit late to things like meetings and social engagements, I wildly underestimate how long things will take and therefore miss deadlines, and I frequently take a lot longer to get around to doing things than I expect I will.
I also do that thing where you keep saying to yourself “Five more minutes of answering email, talking on the phone, soaking in the shower, whatever, and then I’ll go,” and before you know it, it’s meeting time and you’re fifteen minutes from being there. Sometimes it’s because I allow absolutely no margin for error and, of course, error happens. Other times it’s because I genuinely lose track of time. I’ve always been awful at estimating how long things should take. If I say an hour, it’s guaranteed to take two, and if I pad it and say a day it will take two days.
I know this is very annoying to people, but recently a friend told me it’s because I’m passive-aggressive and have underlying issues that make me behave this way. Is she right? Am I being passive-aggressive? Do I have some sort of genuine coping mechanism here?
It is so like a person who’s always late to gleefully latch on to any excuse that might absolve them from any personal responsibility for being late. Don’t get all excited; you don’t have a mental disorder that causes you to be late, unless it’s narcissistic personality disorder, in which case you wouldn’t even be emailing me, you would be carrying on with your life, walking in to meetings two hours late and letting everyone know how lucky they are that you decided to show up at all.
People who are always late are selfish. Yes, you. You are selfish. You said it yourself. You know you have somewhere to be. You know it, yet you’re like, “I want to shower for longer. I’m happy in the shower, with this warm water and these frothy suds, and I want to stay here, so screw the doctor who’s waiting for me to make my appointment on time, and fuck you, People I Work With, I’m going to be fifteen minutes late because I’m enjoying myself and I don’t want to stop, and bite me, friend who’s waiting in the cold on a street corner.” You’re saying, “My time is more important than yours.”
Maybe your friend is some kind of Jedi master, and she’s mind-tricking you in a passive-aggressive way to get you to think that you’re passive aggressive in order to stop being passive-aggressive and show up on time. Or maybe she’s sick of you and giving you an excuse, while letting you know that it’s not okay. I could give you tips on how to be on time, but I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t use them. One day, you’re going to lose a friend or miss a plane or get fired, and that might motivate you, but until there’s an actual consequence, I’m guessing you’re just going to be that girl who breezes in all late and out of breath, with insincere apologies and elaborate stories about bad traffic and large birds kidnapping your dog and plumbing emergencies, and everyone will just roll their eyes and carry on without you, like they always do, because you’re always late.