I’m not late – just impatient

I am not known for having a particularly thick skin, but there are two things that rile me more than anything else: punctuality and spelling. Attack these two and I will likely pout for a week.

Granted, ever since I started writing online, my spelling has gone to the … well … let’s just it stands to improve. Something about working online just seems to multiply the typos. That, and I hardly ever use the spell checkers. But I always scored full marks in my spelling tests at school, so I still get mad if someone corrects work I’ve done.

clock illustrationTime-keeping is another pet peeve. I used to be the kind of girl who carried a book everywhere, you know, just in case I had to wait for anything. I still carry a novel and notebook to most places, but only if it fits in my handbag. And these days, I’m far more likely to spend time on the queue daydreaming than reading.

That said, I have a hard time sitting still. Really. Ask me to wait five minutes to see someone, and I’ll more likely take a lap and come back later. And since I’m very good at finding things to do, the laps generally take longer than expected. Case in point.

I was to meet my uncle at his office at 10. But he got stuck in traffic, so he pushed the meeting to 11. Now, I was already in his neighbourhood, so the logical thing would have been to find a bench, grab my book, and read for an hour or so.

But no. Instead, I decided to drop into town and window-shop. I needed some curios from maasai market anyway. Half an hour later, he got a puncture, which bought me even more time. Yay!

By the time I was done shopping, it was 12.15, and my uncle was fuming at me for messing his schedule. After all, he was two hours late, which had given me plenty of time to be in his office when he arrived.

This happened twice. The second time, I used the half-hour gap to dash to a bookshop a few minutes away. That didn’t work out too well, and now Uncle Dearest thinks I am always late.

Scenario 2, I had meetings at 9, 11, 1, 3, and 5. My 1 and 5 were with the same person though – and he’s family. But the 3 o’clock was with one of my favourite boys, and he’s always late. Still, I had to be perfectly en temps for each one or I’d have a massive ‘cassanova’ moment…

[Remember that song from the 80s that has this guy in jericurls; he has a lunch, tea and drinks date with three different girls at the same venue, and he has them all neatly choreographed. But he loses his notepad at the petrol station and forgets who is on when, so he keeps showing up at the wrong one.]

As expected, my three o’clock pushed to 4 [though he did get brownie points for calling in advance] so I had to find some way to kill the time. So I extended my one o’clock [which was also my 5 o’clock] by having drinks and then pushing the 5 o’clock to 7.

The drinks turned out to be a lot of fun, and by 3.30, my date was unwilling to release me! I ended up arriving at 4.30, much to the annoyance of my second date. In retaliation, he kept me an extra hour, which made me late for my 7 o’clock – the same 7 o’clock that had delayed me in the first place. Le sigh.

A third incident involved a 5 o’clock meeting at Java. I arrived half an hour early, and should simply have sat down and ordered a coffee, but noooooo. I felt a sudden itch to either go shopping for blouses or look for a windchime. I assumed my date would be at least ten minutes late, which gave me plenty of time.

Unfortunately, he keeps time.

I got back to Java at 5.13 to find he had been waiting long enough to twiddle his thumbs, order a mocha, and check out the girl at the next table. Meh.

I hear iron supplements are good for impatience. So next time I have a date, I’m just going to order a big bowl of sukuma with some liver on the side and open a book.

They serve sukuma wiki at java, right?

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Crystal Ading' is a professional author, editor, rock lover and mother. Her work is available through threeceebee.com.

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