A Gift from One Late Person to Another

I hate being late. HATE it. I don’t mind when others are late but I enter a mild rage when the minutes are ticking away and I know I’m not going to get somewhere I need to be on time. This is a problem with four kids, because if there’s anything I can count on, it’s that we will be at least five minutes late anywhere we need to go. This is due in part to a preschooler who’s newest favorite game is to remove his coat and socks and boots after I’ve wrangled him into them because he believes winter is only at night. “I don’t need boots! It’s not winter! It’s daytime!” We live in Minnesota. It’s January. It’s winter 24 hours a day, dude.

Yesterday I was late meeting someone because, as I powered down my laptop off, it started to install 15 updates and warned me not to shut off or unplug my machine. Of course. So I loaded the car, made sure I had the papers I needed, grabbed a necklace just to kill some time. The clock went on until it was five minutes past when I should have left. Still on 13 of 15 updates. My pulse quickened with anger at my laptop and I decided, no, Computer, you won’t make me any later than I already am. So I put it in my car, open, and let it do it’s thing and prayed I wouldn’t have to brake hard. Because a smashed laptop probably would have made me a little more upset. I arrived with five minutes to spare, only because I hit every stop light as it turned green, as if by some miracle.

This morning, my lovely laptop blessed me again, now configuring or installing or whatevering those damn 15 updates, so it took about an hour to load up. Okay, not quite an hour, but longer than needed, just as I was gearing up to print something I needed to run out the door for yet another meeting. In case you were wondering, yelling at your laptop does absolutely nothing to get it to move faster. I think it actually senses the shouting and moves slower to be a jerk.

As I was shaking my fist at the computer, the phone rang. Oh, wonderful, it was the person I was meeting. I double checked my clock – what I already late? Panicked.

“Hi, Heather, just checking to see if we are still on for this morning?” he asked.

“Yes, yes, definitely, still on,” I said, casting an evil eye at the laptop.

“Great. Say, I was just wondering – I got caught up in a client call and it’s going to be really tight for me to make it there on time. Can we push it back half an hour?”

“Not a problem at all, that sounds great.”

Thank you, other late person, for being later than me.



  1. The winter layers, hats, etc, just make it impossible. Even the 8-year-old can never locate anything despite the cute little cubby system I was all excited about. Arg.

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