I was late being born.
My mother had to be induced because I was two weeks late. She would have had me on a Friday, but she had a headache…so she waited till Monday. Perhaps it's the reverse effects of Pitocin that makes induced babies late from then on. Maybe it’s genetic: My biological parents are both late people, which made switching kids for visitation weekends interesting - I think they eventually tried to out-late each other...we spent a lot of time sitting in cars. Perhaps it’s a Libra thing – I’ve read that before. Or maybe it’s a mental disorder. But being perpetually late is not a choice.
For years I’ve been aware of my tardiness. For years it has gotten me into some trouble. I almost lost my job at Bob Evans. (When you work at Big Bob’s you have to clock into the system no more than 3 minutes after shift start or a manager has to over-ride you. If you are tardy more than 5 times, you are canned. I started to run in without my shoes on, and then I got yelled at for that.) I know, right, I mean, Bob Evans - that’s huge! In high school I was always late. Being late for homeroom meant detention, but I devised a way to get out of that: When running late I would stop at McDonald's and grab a coffee and cinnamon bun for the attendance guy on my way to school. Never had detention again. In college I was always late to class, I had to shmooze my way into it being okay. And in my job, with our flex hours, which is lucky - but that just means show up at the latter part of flexing and work late into the evening.
Yes, I find it personally frustrating that I am chronically tardy. I don’t like to rush around. I don’t like the anxiety that creates. I know I only leave myself just enough time to get where I'm going, but I also don’t know how to fix it. If I get up earlier, I’m just as tardy. If I start to try to get ready earlier, I lose something and have to take time to find it. And in the off chance I’m early, whoever I’m going to see is late…I swear, happens every time. And then it seems like a waste of time.
In seeking a foundation for my frustration for this lack of understanding of, what I refer to as, Compulsive Lateness, I found a few links to information on what they call “chronic lateness”. Very few. Why is this something that is never talked about? The few threads I found are overrun with comments and the one book on chronic lateness is sold out on Amazon.
Wait. What? Totally obscure book? Yes, sold out. I’m sensing an untapped market here. Someone call Ron Popeil!
Alcoholism? An acceptable disease.
OCD? Oh man, that must suck; help me understand your rituals. Let’s explore your anxiety.
Drug addict? Aw. Sad for you – what trauma did you have in your life.
Depression? A growing epidemic: Everyone swallow meds!
Anxiety? Oh, you don’t feel so good (yea, me neither). Panic attack!
ADD? Loud kids are no longer punished, but heavily medicated. And as adults, ADD is sometimes laughed at – but my entire generation is plagued. Let’s commiserate.
I have the last two of these. To what degree? I don’t know. I’m in the thought of: Our ancestors were fine, I’ll find a way to deal and P.S. I’m broke and have bad insurance. In the few links (and here and here) I did find on chronic lateness, it is said to be linked to both anxiety (Hi there, My Head) and ADD (Hello again)…like I needed those two correlations to help prove my compulsion.
In reading those articles I found myself going “yes”, “yes”…”uh-oh” and “yes”. Obviously it’s some type of psychological disorder; I just want to know why it’s not discussed or studied (beyond a college documentary) or understood. And why there's no help. It’s so wide-spread the book is sold out and yet instead of the responses you get with the ailments listed above, you just get anger, frustration and misunderstanding. I DON’T LIKE IT EITHER. And yes, I would please like some help. Anyone, anyone? No? Okay, keep judging me, and, while you’re at it, pop some more pills for your restless leg syndrome (there's a fucking foundation!) and chronic dry eye.
I think I'm missing out on a huge business opportunity here...
Meanwhile, I'm going keep trying to fix it on my own...but I swear the world is 10 minutes ahead.