Behind the times |

Behind the times

Red Card Roberts

The first week of any new year tends to be filled with hope, optimism and a sense of confidence that comes when we convince ourselves a new calendar somehow equates to a better version of ourselves.

I’ve made countless New Year’s resolutions over the past few decades. One year I decided I was going to swear less. But anyone who’s ever had a conversation with me knows there’s no f—ing way that was realistic. Another year I vowed to be more patient. But it didn’t happen immediately so I stopped trying on about Jan. 2. Over the last few years I’ve promised myself I would save more money, eat better and drink less. But no one really liked the cheap, skinny, sober version of me, so I quickly gave up on all those, too.

If I would just resolve to fail at my New Year’s resolutions, I might actually succeed at one of them.

For 2017, I decided I would focus on not being so late to and for everything. (I’m not off to a great start considering the column is about 12 hours behind deadline.) But alas, I have another 363 days to work on not being so chronically behind schedule.

I have no idea where my tardy tendencies stem from. I wasn’t raised that way. In fact, my parents are notorious for announcing something like, “We’re leaving at 5:30!” and then tapping their toes and asking why I’m not ready at precisely 5:15 as they are loading themselves into the car.

Several years ago my dad was upset with my unpunctuality and asked me, “Why are you always late?” I responded by saying, “Dad, I’m pretty sure it’s better to be late than pregnant.” After that, he just started adjusting his times. If his flight landed at 3 p.m., he’d tell me to pick him up at the airport at 2:30 p.m. This way he didn’t wait too long and I’m wasn’t the reason travelers started feeling sorry for the old man sitting curbside with his luggage. Of course, now that I know his trick I still leave the house later than I should to collect him. But it is the earliest I’ve ever been late.

I know showing up late is rude. Every time I confirm a time to meet someone, but stroll in 30 minutes after the agreed upon time, I am essentially telling them, “I was doing something more important.” And that is rarely true. I’m usually late because I was doing something utterly useless that definitely did not need to be done at that exact moment — checking email, returning a text, making a move on Words with Friends. My excuses are seldom acceptable.

My boyfriend recently mused, “You’re only late if we have somewhere to be.” Which is true. I’m never really late when I have nothing to do but lie on the couch and read. I dismissed his observation by stating, “I’m a firm believer that it’s better to arrive late than arrive ugly.”

I’m not entirely sure how I’m going correct this bad habit. I’ve tried setting all my clocks ahead, but all that did was sharpen my subtraction skills. I’ve tried silencing my phone when I’m getting ready so I don’t feel the urge to return emails in between mascara applications. But instead I just obsessively check it every few minutes because I can’t hear if a text came in. I’ve tried going to bed earlier, but that just gave me more time in the morning to run late for work. So not only is my resolution somewhat unattainable to begin with, I also have no real plan to make it happen. I’m sure I’ll come up with one. But it probably won’t be very timely.

Amy Roberts is a freelance writer, longtime Park City resident, and the proud owner of two rescued Dalmatians, Stanley and Willis. The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer. Follow her on Twitter @amycroberts.

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