I am a bit of a walking oxyMORON when it comes to my daily pursuits. Yes I put on a good show of living a ‘Lazy, Fair’ play-time existence, where anytime fun exceeds exacting need. However, in negotiating the mine fields of life’s cow pasture, I have tried to age gracefully like cheese and let the chips lay where they fall. I’m no longer a child, so like every other adult (because it’s in the contract) I have to live within limits, keep to a schedule, and sadly pay for stuff I use even if I don’t want to.
So given all that preamble, you will not find it surprising that I am rather ‘anal’ about the passage of time and keeping appointments. Don’t worry, this is not because of some horrible corporal punishment when I was a mere pup, where my parents literally did not spare the ‘rod’. Most of the time when I bad as a kid, my punishments were the equivalent of getting lemon juice squeezed in your eye. Oh yeah I remember that whispy lilac bush which could render a lash, but believe me I was such a fat little angelic cherub that usually devil’s food cake alone was more than enough to keep me in line.
No, my relentless addiction to the EXACTNESS of time came on the scene, of my own volition. I never had enough of the tick-tock stuff so it became necessary to meter it out carefully and protect it like gold. I remember getting hired to work the third shift at a bakery and being told to show up on Monday to start. In the real world that meant 12 midnight after the end of Sunday at 11:59 pm RIGHT? Well in all my genius, I showed up 24 hours later because to me that was MONDAY NIGHT! The boss gave me a pass that time as I blamed my parents for raising me on Greenwich Mean Time, but I never forgot that day and vowed to forever be prompt to appointments no matter what.
As I have gotten older I’ve had a few run-ins with Doctors and other rubber-covered fingered professionals who did not value my time as much as I did. It has almost become a game for me now to see how ‘close’ I can walk in the door to whatever time commitment that I am trying to meet. I figure if I am respectful enough to show up on time, the least that others can do (no matter what their title), is the same! Sadly now I have to work on my own car, do my own dental and medical exams, and even cut my hair by myself, but at least I have my principles.
I did have to temper my attitude a bit when we had a baby since the only thing babies do regularly is eat, regurgitate, eat, diaper dump, eat, … well you’ve probably been there. Oddly they don’t seem to respect my time at all much less their poor mom’s? Eventually, the ‘slobber-box’ grew up to possess some sort of advanced reptilian brain, so I practiced good parenting and taught the kid, the value of HER time too. The problem is, I have clearly created a monster. I can only get an audience with my daughter if I pay for her ‘productive down time’ to talk. That I can accept because I do like to talk, but what bugs me is that I have to pay DOUBLE rate on weekends and a TRIP CHARGE if I ever travel down memory lane. Gee I wonder how much it would cost if she gave me the time of day?