Saturday, April 6, 2013

Is "better late than never" REALLY OK?

"People count the faults of those who keep them waiting."

My ex-husband was two hours late to our first date.  It is either a testament to how cute he was or how lowly I thought of myself that I actually did go out with him when he arrived two hours after the designated time (after multiple prompting phone calls from yours truly).

To truly grasp how much I LOATHE being late, we have to look back at my childhood.  My mother was ALWAYS 30 minutes early.  If we were 15 minutes early, she acted like we were LATE.  I did despise always being the first one to events but I was accustomed to getting the good seats and I learned to enjoy people watching as I waited for whatever activity to begin.  She taught me that it is, quite simply, RUDE to be late.

So, he was late to our first date.  He was late consistently to...EVERYTHING.  He would show up to a 50-minute class 30 minutes late (if he bothered to show up at all).  He joined the Navy at one point (the reasons WHY are not my story to tell, so I will refrain) and I was encouraged after six years in the Navy that PERHAPS things would improve.

They didn't.

For personal things, he continued to be late...anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours would go by with events and life going by while we waited for My Ex-Husband (OK, he was My Husband at that point).

Over time, it got ugly.  I would cry and explain to him how DIMINISHED it made me feel that he didn't care enough about me to just pay attention and be ON TIME.  I wasn't even asking for EARLY.  I was actually only asking for him to maybe only be TEN minutes late as opposed to 30.

I realize now that he wasn't being disrespectful to me.  He just honestly didn't CONSIDER time or me as a factor.  He did what he had to do when he had to do it and really just didn't think about the fact that people might be waiting for him.  It wasn't spiteful at all. It's just WHO HE IS.

So today, I let him handle a Big Important Event for Thing 2.  I couldn't be there and I just had to Let It Go. 

Here's how THAT went:

He's STILL late.  And, as you can see from the above, he doesn't consider 20 minutes to be late AT ALL...even when an entire TEAM was held up waiting for him.  He got there 30 minutes late and, from the way he sees it, everything works out fine.  But he doesn't consider at all the STRESS that other people feel when he puts this burden on them. 

I'm not married to him anymore so it doesn't really affect me on a daily basis.  But it DOES affect my kids.  And there is absolutely NOTHING I can do about it except tell them that their dad just has a problem with time.  He's brilliant in all aspects except the one that deals with time and space.  They're going to have to live with it forever.

The On-Again Boyfriend does have to deal with some leftover issues I still have with time.  He is terribly punctual (how I LOVE him for that!) but if he ever DOES run late, I try really hard not to get all pissy with him.  He always has a reason (not an excuse) if he's late.  (He's not PERFECT, by any stretch, but he's not LATE.  That's another blog post altogether, though.)

My ex-husband (aka "Baby Daddy") knows that I judge him for being late.  He doesn't care any more than he did when we were married.  But now I can judge him from a distance and I usually forgive him immediately since I no longer have to hold a Marriage Grudge.  Things just seem to work out for him regardless so he'll probably never even learn a lesson.  Maybe there's no lesson to be learned.

Maybe I'm just a judging judger.
Addendum, Sunday April 7:  None of the above is meant to be harsh.  The Ex-Hubby knows he's late all the time.  It's something we joke about and something that he does (kinda) try to overcome.  I've had a couple of personal comments worrying about whether or not I crossed the line with this post.  I don't THINK I have and I hope I haven't.  I write about this stuff because, well, it HAPPENS to me.  I try to avoid telling stories that aren't mine to tell...and I try to be "kindly cutting," if that makes any sense.  So, Ex-Husband, if you're reading this, I hope I didn't hurt your feelings.  :) 

The competition worked out just fine for Thing 2 and his team.  Although they didn't progress to the World championships, they were proud of getting to the state level of competition. 

Life is good.  :)



  1. I HATE to be late too. Hope Thing 2 still had fun at the competition.

    1. It worked out quite well. While they were late to the initial meeting spot, Thing 2 was able to compete with his team!