I know heavily pregnant women move a little slower, and celebrities love to go inside, but still. Earlier this month, R&B star Rihanna was late for a Paris Fashion Week fashion show, knowing full well that Dior’s AW22 offering wouldn’t be able to go on without her.
Flashes appeared and Rihanna moved across the room with QE2 majesty, one member of the assembled crowd said to her, “You’re late!” Not stopping there, Rihanna turned her head towards the maniac. “No,” she replied.
It was an ice-cold applause, and online commentators praised RiRi’s sassyness. All I can think of is her absolute.
I hate being late with the burning passion of a thousand suns. I would rather, if you meet me at lunch, you spit in my glass of water or drop your phone in my soup.
I have friends where being on time is one of their ‘lovable’ traits. I recall meeting a coffee friend, a repeat offender, who arrived 45 minutes late with the cheerful, refreshing ‘Heya!’ At the time, she lived a two-minute walk from the coffee shop, and seemed completely oblivious to my upset mood.
This, in the age of smartphones, where it takes 30 seconds to let someone know you’re (not) on your way.
Others come for reasons so complicated that they’ll get over Dan Brown’s tortuous storylines. “I was locked in the bicycle tunnel by the wind.” “The broadband guy was an hour late.” “I had to top up my Leap card.”
The more complicated the story, the more likely they are to remain at home, catching the dying minutes of Tipping point or whatever. I often consider telling these people to come for lunch at 12pm, rather than 12:30pm, when I will be there, which means they will almost certainly be there at the right time.
Latecomers come in many different forms. Some people watch, not mind your escalating blood pressure. Others arrive nervously, with scarves and messy hair, somehow believing this to be an adorable and quirky pixie.
Others have sheer luck with public transport (I don’t know, maybe count this bad luck next time you’re calculating your commute). Some tell you they’re just around the corner when they’re at the Red Cow roundabout.
Every time, I talk to them. I patiently explained that my time was no less than theirs, and especially that I could not afford to spend 45 minutes sitting in the cafe, looking out the door. It reeks unconsidered or in some cases, passive aggressive.
In turn, the person who is often late meets me, who is tapping on my watch, like an attentive person, someone who clings to convention. They see punctuality as a symbol of enslavement. It was a battle not won.
Curiously, some psychologists note that the reason some people are always late is more complex than simple arrogance. Sometimes there’s an element of self-destruction, or being late is a strange form of social self-harm. Some people simply overschedule their time.
There are those who are just irrationally optimistic about how long it will take to get there. Most of them believe that they are simply innately untimely.
I’m definitely a ‘hurry up and wait’ type of person. Five minutes early is on time; on time is late. If I come Five minutes late, it was because something was completely out of my hands, I was completely nervous and I texted the other person first.
I like to leave two hours to do it all at the airport before the flight. Yes, I am that person.
During the first days of dating my husband, he lived in Kilkenny and I in Dublin. It took him a year to leave any house, despite me knocking on most doors.
I have not counted the number of times we have to follow a departing bus or sprint for a train entering the station. It’s my favorite thing in life. I would sooner have a stain, followed by root canal surgery, than take the train or the plane. I suspect my husband secretly enjoys it as some kind of extreme sports activity.
Research from Harvard Medical School has come up with an interesting idea: people who are consistently late are more likely to be successful, healthier, and live longer.
They note that latecomers have an upbeat and positive attitude, and they find that this can “predict better health and lower mortality over 15 to 40 years of follow-up.” “. This goes towards explaining why they’re happy enough to waste your time – they have more of their own.
It doesn’t sound right, but I’m trying to stress less about it. But you, my longtime late friend, also need to keep the deal going.
Don’t take this as a simple personality flaw or some kind of proof of your bohemian, creative personality. That kind of puts you off, and means you can’t or won’t do anything about it.
Let’s start by adding 30 minutes to the time you think you need to get from A to B and work from there.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/i-hate-lateness-id-rather-get-a-smear-and-root-canal-surgery-than-run-for-a-train-41460434.html I hate being late – I’d rather go for root canal surgery than take the train