Dear friend who’s always on time,
I know we made plans to meet at 12 pm and I showed up at 12:45, but let me explain.
Let me start off by acknowledging the two types of latenesses:
- Okay, lateness. This is when my lateness does not negatively impact you or anyone else in any way. For example, a party can start at 8, but if I show up at 10, it’s perfectly acceptable and the party will continue as planned.
- Obnoxious lateness. This is when my lateness does negatively impact you or anyone else in any way. Like if we have plans to meet for brunch at 12 but I show up at 2, that’s a problem because brunch is over by that time. And even if brunch is still going on, you can’t start without me.
My latenesses are usually okay, but I occasionally dabble in the obnoxious ones, too.
There are two types of late people, though:
- Those who don’t care that they’re late.
- Those who realize that they’re late and feel horrible about it.
I’m the second type of late person. But how and why do I continue to be late?
Is it because I’m a horrible person? Is it because I like to make others miserable? The honest answer to both those questions is a hard no. So what is wrong with me?
I have no time management skills. Or, as I like to describe it, fundamentally hopeful.
When I woke up at 9 am to meet you at 12 pm, I thought I had enough time to make breakfast, get a quick workout in, watch a little TV, and shower. I thought I could fit all those tasks into that small amount of time, but by the time it was 11:55, I was sitting on my bed staring into space in nothing but a towel.
Okay, so I’m a little bit bad with time, but please forgive me.
I’m sorry I’m always late.
No, I do not think my time is more valuable than yours, and I’m not trying to insult you. I genuinely thought I was going to be on time.
Sometimes I even think I’m going to be early, but then I find myself on the train with 30 minutes left of my commute when we’re supposed to meet in 10 minutes and I’ll tell you I’m 15 minutes away because I have unrealistically high expectations of the public transportation system. And sometimes I think that there’s no way that you can be exactly on time or even early because I occasionally fall under the impression that all people were raised the same way I was.
I’m sorry I’m usually wrong. I’m sorry this happens all the time.
I’m sorry I expect to be applauded when I am actually on time to things. I know that’s what I’m supposed to do so I shouldn’t be praised in any way, but sometimes I really try or I just get lucky and I think I deserve the occasional and non-sarcastic congratulations.
I’m sorry I have high expectations of everything.
To be fair, punctuality is a relative concept. But this is an apology letter, so I won’t put any of the blame on you.
All I ask is for you to be a little forgiving, or at least tell me to meet you at 11 when you really mean 12 because you've known me long enough to know what to expect from me.
The friend who’s always late.