Tuesday 27 July 2010


I have punctuality disease. Despite what you may think, and of course contrary to most, I run early. It’s not just a habit, or an exercise of politeness – although there may be a bit of both of those thrown in – it has over the years become a compulsion. I plan the journey ahead, I take into consideration all margins of error, walking time (am I with some weak link that is going to slow me up??), traffic, train malfunctions…you name it. And then I give myself an even bigger cushion to make sure I am at my destination with ample time to find it, get comfortable and be sitting there looking unflappable and prepared. I told you, it’s a sickness. In fact, it’s a running joke with my friends that when they invite me over, they pretty much know I will either be early, or doing a few circles around their block to kill time.

I blame this compulsion partly on my type A character – forward thinking is in my genetic code – and the fact that when one grows up in a family of five with a father who chronically runs on his ‘own’ time  - i.e. late – this is often the result. I remember as a little girl watching everyone get ready for a dinner reservation, one eye on the clock, one eye on the flock that was nowhere near ready to get out the door on time. I would of course go up to my Dad and prod him to get ready as we fast approached the time of needing to leave and he’d just smile in a relaxed way to say, ‘you’re six. why on earth are you worrying about this stuff!?’ Then of course we’d pass the point of the reservation, he’d drive like a bat out of hell as my mother scolded him to slow down, and we’d mosey into the restaurant way past the point of respectability – in my opinion anyway. And yes, at six years old I figured I’d have to correct this wrong my entire sodding life. You see, Catholic guilt never did anyone any good.

My disease of course also expands to include others. My man knows if he’s running late, he’s going to have to deal with the look of anxiety and sheer annoyance on my face that I’m keeping someone waiting. I suppose this is where the true nugget of the issue comes in. In my eyes, punctuality is purely about respect. Either you respect the person/establishment you are meeting enough to be on time – and hence respect their time – or you don’t. It’s that simple. This of course is giving exception to things one can’t control: i.e. natural disasters, a jerk-off boss keeping you late, traffic etc – although you could plan better and choose an alternative route. Sorry, I can’t help myself. 

With the new addition in my life, I've can sense that my meticulous timekeeping is now under threat. Trying to get the two of us out of the house with all my stuff, his stuff, and within the window of his feeding times is no small feat. Then again, I've never been one to shrink away from a challenge. [Ha! Try harder universe!!] Just think, I now have the opportunity to raise the perfect punctual man - a true anomaly in many parts of the world. His girlfriends will surely thank me later.
Copyright © 2014 Anthea Anka - Delighted And Disturbed