I remember when I was a tween and going to a family event with my mother. I noticed the clock and said, “We’re going to be late.”
“It’s okay,” said my glamourous mom. “We will make an entrance.”
This was the 1970s and it was cool to be late. But according to Forbes magazine, it’s an old, tired trend–and that was back in 2010! However, I realized that in the 1980s. Even though bands showed up late at nightclubs, it was the cool, mysterious guests in the audience who caught my eye. It would be someone very unique looking, or very good looking. They would be with friends, or alone in a corner–early in the evening. Then before midnight, that person with the chill vibe would disappear. All that was left were the drunks and the people who really wanted to see the band.
I once had a friend who would take all day to get ready, arrive early, and then disappear before midnight, as if she were Cinderella fearing to turn into a pumpkin. Then again, many people took this route because they wanted to leave the club before the lights went on. It was a thing.
Fast forward to 2020 and being late has nothing to do with enigmatic, it’s about being punctually challenged. Many see it as rude. Someone brought this to my attention in the early 1990s. No, it wasn’t me who was late, I was always on time. But I used to host poetry readings. I wouldn’t start the event until every guest who said they were coming arrived. And some were always late. That didn’t sit well with the guests who arrived on time; or early. Can you blame them? In fact, one brought it to my attention, “Why do you wait to start? It’s not fair to us who showed up on time.” That is so true. Plus, those who came early had other parties to go to. As the Johnny Come Latelys were walking on, the early birds were walking out. Of course they didn’t want to be late for their next event.
As a person who is a stickler for being on time, I have to agree it’s very annoying when I’m made to wait. As a person in my 50s, who has lost many friends and family members, the first thing that goes through my mind when someone is late is, “I hope they are okay.”
Why would anyone want their friend to worry? If I’m running late, I always make that phone call. That’s right, a call, not a text. That’s a class act!
Arriving late at a movie theatre or concert could possibly piss off an entire row of people. So why do it?
There’s that running joke about the family member who is always late. “Oh, he will be late to his own funeral.” Ha-ha-ha, everyone laughs. But according to an article in Huff Post, running late “is not endearing, it’s not cute, it’s a flaw.” If it’s a dinner party, it can totally throw off an evening. If it’s a poetry reading, like mentioned above, or a speaking engagement, making an entrance is not something you want to do, as you will disrupt the whole event. And if you’re late in business, remember time is money. If someone shows up late for one of my phone consults, they get less time as I will still charge for the full hour.
I once waited at a coffee shop for a potential client. After a half hour, she didn’t show, nor did she answer my phone call when I tried to call her. I went on to what I was doing next. Then my cell rang. It was her–now a full hour later. She had just arrived at the place we were going to meet and I was a half hour away. I told her I was not going to do business with her. Getting off on the wrong foot like that doesn’t fly. The last thing any professional wants to deal with is a TW–Time Waster! And before you judge me and think I was being unreasonable, think about my next client. I wasn’t going to disappoint him and be late because Ms. Diva almost held me up. It doesn’t work that way.
Just remember, it’s not about you. Believing that the party starts when you get there is truly arrogant and also disrespectful to the host if he/she gives a specific time on the invite. If you have a problem arriving on time ask yourself what is causing your tardiness? Do you have a problem with time management? This is a serious issue to consider because in today’s world it’s really not cool to make someone else wait on your behalf.
If you want to be in style and make a great impression, arrive on time!
Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
She is available for blogging, editing, and writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements (via ZOOM during covid). She is now coaching aspiring writers via ZOOM.
Maryanne is the author of the following books:
“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary
“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You
Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: Love Cats