Punctual or Tardy?

May 17, 2009 by Kailani  
Filed under main blog, random thoughts

One of my greatest pet peeves is tardiness.

I guess it has to do with the way I was brought up. In my Dad’s eyes, if you were on-time, you were already late. That’s why I know that when I have to meet him somewhere, I should arrive at least 5 minutes early. This has carried over into my adulthood and everyone knows that if I’m late, then it couldn’t have been avoided. I’m so adamant about not being late that I’ve been known to get myself and the girls ready an hour early than needed . . . just in case.

My husband, on the other hand, is chronically late for everything except work. I’ve never understood it and it’s caused a lot of problems in the past. I’ve never understood why he takes so long to get ready to leave the house or how he can let other people wait for him to show up. Even when he’s picking me up somewhere he’ll call and say he’s 5 minutes away when it’s more like 15. Don’t you think he would rather be honest about how far away he is rather than let the person stand there looking at their watch?

Anyway, after all these years I’ve finally figured out how to handle it. Whenever we have to go out, I allow an extra 15 minutes when I tell him what time we have to leave the house. This way we usually leave on-time and everyone is happy. As for picking me up, I just add 10 minutes to whatever time he gives me and it’s usually pretty accurate.

You find a way to make it work. :-)

What about you? Punctual or Tardy?

About the author:
Owner and founder of An Island Life. Sharing my life as a mother to 3 wonderful daughters, working as a flight attendant, and living a blessed life in Hawaii.


44 Responses to “Punctual or Tardy?”
  1. Judy says:

    Punctual… very very punctual. I can’t STAND being late for anything. I always get ready a lot earlier than I need to, because I would rather not have to try to judge just how much time to allow. And, what if something happened and the power went out??

    I had a friend who was always late…really late. We solved that by always having her bring the dessert…and by telling her the party started 30 minutes earlier than it really did. :-)

  2. Mrs. Organic says:

    I’m a wannabe punctual, but nearly always tardy or barely on time. I think I am too optimistic about how long it will take to get somehwere or be ready.

    I’ve even set my clocks ahead 15 minutes – it’s just not meant to be. It stresses me out to be late, but my hubby just says “We’ll get there when we get there. There’s no use getting upset.”

  3. Sues2u2 says:

    Working on it as I hate being late. Although this last time I had no control. Two different accidents w/ life flight being called to both. Completely shut down the only two roads into town. We would have actually been 5-10 min early too. See, I’m working but fate has to work w/ me! lol

  4. JHS says:

    I’ve been telling BigBob to be places 15 min. earlier than the actual time for many years. Even then, he’s still late from time to time.

    My parents were habitually early to the point that it became annoying and, frankly, kinda rude. I remember inviting them for dinner once at a particular time. They showed up at my apartment nearly an hour early and couldn’t understand why I was upset. When I opened the door, I had the cat litter box in my hand and still hadn’t showered. They thought they would just sit around my house while I finished getting ready. I didn’t want anyone there until I WAS ready. After that, they never knew to their dying days that I always told them to come over at least 30 minutes later than I really wanted them there. That way, I knew they would show up early & arrive at the desired time, making us all happy. A little white lie . . . didn’t hurt anyone. Did just the opposite, actually, since I knew they were set in their ways and would never change.

    Hope all is well with you, Kailani, esp. with regard to your physical health.

  5. bunny says:

    Punctual! I totally get you when you ask how hard is it to be honest on how far away you are! When asking someone to wait, honesty is the best policy!!!

  6. Cat @ 3 Kids and Us says:

    Are you sure you’re not married to my husband? I seriously could have wrote the exact same post myself. I’m all for arriving early (that’s what I consider on time) and my husband is chronically late for EVERYTHING.

  7. Mighty M says:


  8. Pamela Kramer says:

    You and I are two peas in a pod! But I will say that my husband is more of a punctual person than I am. He’s ex Navy so I think it sort of comes with the territory. lol

  9. Qtpies7+1 says:

    I am not exactly a freak about punctuality, but my husband waits until it is time to leave before he starts getting ready, so I had to pad the time we leave, too, lol.

  10. melanie says:

    I am very punctual. I am usually very early. My father taught me the same as your father taught you. My husband is also very punctual. =D

  11. Beth says:

    Oh my I am the most punctual person that I know. I always actually arrive 10 minutes early and if the person or persons I am waiting for are even five minutes late I start to get irritated. I think how rude of them.

  12. Muthering Heights says:

    I’m generally punctual…unless something having to do with getting my children out the door along with me arises. :)

  13. Becca says:

    I am fairly punctual but I consider myself on time if I am 2-3 minutes late. I can’t stand when people run late, it makes me crazy!!!!

  14. Alexia says:

    I have always been the person that is at an event waaaay to early and has to drive around the block a couple times LOL Since having kids though, I tend to be more on time or late than anything else. Something always comes up that can’t be avoided *sigh* I hate being late!

  15. AmyG says:

    I can’t stand being late. Drives me crazy! And if I’m expecting someone to show up at a certain time, I expect you to be there, either a few minutes early, or right on time. I’ve been known to just leave if someone is more than 15 minutes late. Irks me. Michael is just like your husband, though. He doesn’t have a problem letting someone wait for him. I should’ve figured this out, on our first date, when he showed up, just as I was getting in my car to leave! lol He also does the whole, “I’m 5 mins away” when it’s more like 15 or 20. I always tell him we have to be somewhere about 20 mins earlier than we need to be, so we end up getting there on time. ;)

  16. jacque says:

    I am a very Punctual! Everyone knows if I am late then it couldn’t be helped. I have a sister and a friend who are late for everything and it drives me nuts! Being in school my friend would always made us late for class. My sister I have to call her ahead of time and give her a different time or I will call her the night before and remind her again. This has really caused probables with us and I quit picking her up for events.

  17. Melissa says:

    I hate being late for anything. I’m usually a few minutes early – even if we’re going to a friend’s house. It makes me crazy to be late. I’m not saying that it doesn’t happen from time to time… my 3 kidsdon’t always believe in being punctual :)

  18. JamericanSpice says:

    I’m like your husband and you are like my husband. It’s how I grew up, entrenched in my culture. Now if only my husband would find that way like you have. I don’t want to tell him. :)

    I do wake up 2hrs before to get myself and the kids ready, but still I always have to run back for one more thing.

  19. JamericanSpice says:

    Of course I hate being late and that is why I give myself 2hrs but I still end up that way.

  20. Pamela says:

    on time.
    I had a brother who, with his wife, was ALWAYS late.

    They would be an HOUR late for an invitation for dinner.

    Finally we quit waiting for them. If they were invited to a family function, we just went on without them. That didn’t phase them. They continued to be late for every event – and we just kept our schedules.

  21. Carol Olsen says:

    OMG…try as I might, it is impossible for me to arrive anywhere on time – leave alone early. How do I fix that??

  22. Summer says:

    I’m hit and miss. Sometimes I do well and get an early start and sometimes I don’t. I do want to be punctual all the time though.

  23. Rechelle says:

    I run late- my best friend likes to arrive anywhere she has to go one entire hour before she needs to be there- I am not exaggerating- we have talked away many an hour waiting in a Dr office because we were so early-
    and yet- we have remained the best of friends for 20 years now-

  24. Cindy Lietz, Polymer Clay Tutor says:

    I find being punctual is far less stressful than being tardy. Whether or not I’m late to something usually depends on how many of my family members are involved. The few the earlier! :-)

  25. Mandee says:

    I am always early for everything and same with my mom, I learned it from her I’m sure. I have a friend who is always late and drives me insane, we tease her about it. One time she was over 2 hours late and didn’t call!

  26. Rachel says:

    My friend and I (who are always right on time) have finally firgured put a way to meet at the time we set. My husband is always REALLY early, so he is rushing me out of the house before we need to. He husband is ALWAYS late. So if we want to meet at 7:00, I tell my husband 7:15 and she tells her husband 6:45. That way, we all show up at 7:00! :)

  27. amy says:

    Late…always late. I don’t know what it is. I have the best of intentions and I’m still late.

  28. sagemom says:

    I think I’m like you…I’m usually always early. A little harder now that I have two little ones, but I can’t stand being late! Even if I have 5 minutes to spare (like for a dr appt) I still get all anxious. Whenever we go to parties, etc. we’re usually one of the first ones there.

    No such thing as “hawaiian time” for me =)

  29. Katie says:

    I like to be on time. And, usually, I am. But mornings for work at rough and I tend to be late. Ok…let’s face it. I make up my own start time for work! But it’s a family business so no one bothers me about it.

  30. Mary @ Holy Mackerel says:

    We do the same thing with my MIL. She’s perpetually late, and it drives both my husband and I NUTS. So, now we just lie about the time, and it usually works out perfectly.

  31. Jenni Jiggety says:

    It depends on who you ask! My husband would tell you that I am always late, but he likes to be EARLY for everything!

  32. wendy says:

    I am all about getting somewhere 15 minutes ahead of time!

  33. crystal says:

    Honestly its not their fault!!

  34. crystal says:

    I think that to chronically late people,10 or 15 + minutes isn’t a big deal.
    They probably wish sometimes that they were on time more often,but being early,is sometimes a stressful situation too.
    Looking out with the kids is good and smart totally!

  35. Amanda says:

    This is one instance where the Army comes in handy. They’ve conditioned my husband to be early. I’m also an early person. It was drilled into me when I played sports and it’s carried over into my adult life. People not being on time without a good reason really irritates me.

  36. Kari says:

    We are usually running 10-15 minutes late. I do hate to be tardy, but, time just seems to get away from us. We are a family of six, so it seems we have trouble getting everyone ready and out the door at the same time.

  37. Desert Songbird says:

    I run both ways. Sometimes I’m right on time; other times I run late. It’s an annoying habit, I know, but I try my darndest to get where I’m going on time!

  38. Karen MEG says:

    Usually just in time, or a couple minutes late. My husband is the one we’re always waiting for too, and he thinks I’m a freak because I’m always worried that we’ll be late. He thinks it’s no big deal. I think it’s rather rude.

    Well, with the exception of going to someone’s for dinner/visit. We usually get there about 10 – 15 minutes later on purpose, I find hosts usually like to have a bit of that breathing room for finishing touches.

  39. Caroline says:

    Totally tardy. Yep. That is me – like it or not. It does bug me though (and my hubs) that even if I “seem” to be early, I then think I have more time so I end up making myself late. I have even tried setting my clock ahead and that did not work cause I would be like “oh, my clock says it is 7:45 when really it is 7:30…so I Have plenty of time.” Never fails. Oh well, wha-da-ya-do?

  40. Stacey says:

    Punctual! Very Punctual! I’m in the same line of thinking as your dad — if you’re on time you’re late. I’ve had to ease up on that though since having kids because they do their darndest to make me late. It’s like they know it stresses me out or something!

  41. Krista says:

    I’m horribly tardy! It’s harder when the things to get to are close by, I forget to add in any travel time! For instance, I lived a mile from my high school and my senior year a friend kept track of how many times I was late for 1st period math. 60 out of 90 days!
    But it was never more than about 2 minutes!
    Story of my life… and having a child has only made it worse! When he was a baby I had an excuse… not so much anymore!

  42. Baba says:

    I lean toward punctual, but hubby is a tardy guy so we are at odds sometimes. LOL

  43. Mrs. Marine says:

    I am usually the one running late (not always). It drives my husband crazy that it sometimes takes me longer to get ready. He will bug me constantly to hurry up and then when I am ready he decides to brush his teeth, or something that he could have already done while he was waiting on me…

  44. Tash says:

    I think that being late is disrespectful. I used to be a tad late or always racing in at the last second. Back breaking speed to get to work in 45 seconds when I was in high school and lived right by the grocery store I worked at. Then one day I realized it was good to be early. Now I just make it a habit of being early and if I do happen to be running late I am on time. I can’t stand chronically late people especially when it is an hour or more…oooh that chaps my hide. Especially when they are related. It just screams selfishness and what I was diddling around with that made me late or my laziness is more important to me than you are. There you have it. My abrasive opinion on lateness

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