• People who really care about you, love and accept you exactly as you are.
I’ll be late. That’s right people, I am tardy and with good, well-thought-out (in my mind, at least) reasons why I almost never arrive anywhere on time.
Notice I said almost never. This is because my tardiness varies. If it’s a job interview, I’m late five to 10 minutes. For a business meeting, I’ll be late 10, 15, it can get up to 25 minutes. In these cases, I get late for genuine reasons: traffic, I woke up late, whatever. The point is my intention wasn’t to get late, I’d hoped I would arrive on time, I just didn’t.
Then there’s the late-for-work thing. Here, my lateness range is between 30 minutes to one and a half hours late. I can explain. On the occasions I am an employee, I work as a copywriter in advertising agencies. The job description for this work is coming up with ideas to sell soap, insurance, discount offers and other crap nobody needs.
I don’t have to be in the office at 9am for that. It’s not like we separate conjoined twins or transplant hearts in an ad agency, and I’ve never heard of a soap-selling emergency. So what do I need to be on time for? Especially when you consider that many times in a busy ad agency, you’ll be in the office past 10 pm working, Sundays included.
Of course, there are those rare occasions I’m a stickler for time. I even arrive early. However, if you see me arrive somewhere on time, I don’t want to be there and I’m not planning on staying.
As for weddings, funerals, and parties, basically anywhere there’s free food, I’ll be hours late deliberately. I blame my parents. But I can explain.
You see, I come from a generation where as a kid, if you popped round to someone’s house with your parents and the host asked you, ‘Are you hungry? Would you like some food?’ You didn’t say yes, even if you were hungry and the food looked great, not with you parents standing there. A yes without your parents’ okay and there would be hell to pay when you got home. Parents back then got emotional about stuff. ‘Whaddya mean you were hungry?’ said mum, while fetching the ‘discipline’ slipper.
Now as an adult, I can’t show up at a party on time and without having already eaten before getting there. In any case, most Kenyan party hosts aren’t ready on time. So there you are, on time, the first to arrive, the food is not ready, you’re hungry, and you look like you got nothing else going on other than showing up on time for free food.
If you’re one of those people who’s always on time and hates being late, that’s a good habit to have. Me, I’ll be late. My friends and family expect it and never complain because people who really care about you, love and accept you exactly as you are.
More importantly, these people who care about me, and me them, know that if they call me, I will be late, but I’ll never ever leave them hanging.
You can be late, but always show up for the people you care about.