Vs. Being Late

Posted: November 24, 2011 in Behavior
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Here’s the deal.  I started this blog on March 10th and I soon settled in to a schedule of writing a new post every third day.  Two days off, one day on.  Sure, there are those who post every day.  And there are those who go weeks between updates.  But I had found a rhythm I was comfortable with – not too taxing, but not sporadic enough to lose interested readers.  And so it was for many months…

Until today.

It wasn’t intentional.  The story is actually about as boring as it could be…I just forgot.  Not that anyone would notice.  Everyone’s busy stuffing themselves with stuffing.  I doubt anyone set a place at the table for my blog and is wondering where it is.  It’s just that, in my mind, I’m late.

And I don’t like being late. 

For me, moving to Los Angeles took some adapting.  There is a social interaction equation here that I was not familiar with…t = (i + 45)f…where t = the time at which one is expected to show up to a social gathering, i = the time at which you were invited to show up and f = the level of fame of the inviters/invitees.  That is to say, if there are no famous people involved, and there’s a party at 7:00, the earliest you can show up is 7:45.  If there are any famous people involved, that number grows, exponentially.  If, for example, you invited the Baldwin brothers to a party at 7:00.  Daniel would show up at 8:30, William would arrive at 9:15 and Stephen would roll in around 10:00.  (Alec wouldn’t come).

An American-style crossword grid layout

This practice, of course, is in stark contrast to the way the rest of the country behaves.  I grew up, mostly, in Virginia. Where, if one is invited to a party at 7:00, one shows up sometime between 6:57 and 7:03.  Do that in Los Angeles and you’ll guarantee yourself a nice, uncomfortable hour or so with just you and the host.  And, because, nobody wants to be the first person to show up – the arrival times have been consistently pushed back over the decades. 

I’ve lived here for eleven years and I still can’t get the hang of it.  The truth is, I keep a book of crossword puzzles in my car.  Why?  Because I still like to show up to places on time.  I still do it.  I can’t stop.  So, I usually end up sitting in my car for an hour trying to come up with a five letter word for late…ohhh, “tardy.”

And no matter how many times I arrive at a destination (it’s not just parties…I mean, I’ve been to like, three parties in the past decade…it’s also dinner, coffee, court appointments…) before everyone else I still can’t get over the notion that if you tell someone you’ll be someplace at some time – it seems rude not to.  I keep thinking I’m going to make someone wait.  And I don’t terribly mind being that guy.  The guy that gets there on time.  After all, they say the early bird gets the worm. 

No wonder people in LA run late…what kind of incentive is a worm?  Maybe they should change it to,”The early actor gets the three-picture deal.”  Or, “The on-time performer gets the Emmy nod.”  Or even, “The early bird doesn’t get the worm.”  I mean, that’s preferable to getting the worm, right?

I guess what I’m trying to say is…sorry I’m late.

And, on behalf of myself and all of the Baldwin brothers, happy Thanksgiving.

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Comments
  1. heathersnyder1 says:

    They always say “Better late than never”. I don’t know who “they” are, but “they” say that.

    Math is not my strong point, but it would’ve been easier to learn if my teacher would’ve used the Baldwin Brothers to explain the equations. Not to mention, #17 Across on your crossword is “Baldwinbrothers”.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all and to all a good night!

  2. munteng says:

    it’s okay, you sound more upset than we are. haha.

    cheers

    • Makya McBee says:

      Heather – The Baldwin brothers should probably be used in all aspects of education. That’s what other countries do and that’s why we’re falling behind.

      Munteng – Cheers to you as well. And thanks for easing my troubled mind.

  3. Outlier Babe says:

    (so much for holding back on my comments): Can really relate to this one, having lived in three other normal states, and then terribly embarrassing my first L.A. host by arriving to her party only 15 minutes late. Hey–my attitude is, if everyone else wants to show up late, late, late, more crab-stuffed shrimp for me!

  4. Laura4NYC says:

    I am always late. I could live in LA. I don’t even mean to be late. It just happens. So many distractions in my life!

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