Monday, November 19, 2007

there's a reason i'm always ten minutes late

My mother has this habit of "rounding" the time. Like when we were growing up, when there was a 8:30 am dentist appointment, she'd tell us it was at eight so that we'd be strapped into the car by 8:15. This was clever, but we really got screwed during the times when the appointment actually was at 8 am.

I blame her for my overly optimistic time-judgement, which has put me in a perpetual rush for nearly all of my life. It's been a running joke in the family that I've only been on time once in my life, and that was on the day I was born: Monday morning at 10:30 am. It was the target day the doctors had expected and I showed up, just as predicted.

So while I've been unemployed, I've gone through some of the boxes of miscellaneous things and happened to stumble upon an envelope stashed among old magazines and tax bills from 1987. In it were our birth announcements, Christening announcements as well as the little placards they put on our clear plastic cribs in the hospital nursery where we hung out to be gazed upon through the window after we were born.

Of course I was comparing them, because I like to win. My brother was 19 inches long and I was 19 and 1/4 inches long; he weighed 5 pounds, 8 oz. and I weighed 5 pounds, 10 oz.; even my room number was higher than his (I was in room 234 and he was only in room 232.) All was right in the world. Until I looked at the birth times. It turns out that I was born at 10:40 am, not 10:30.

Suddenly I felt like all my life, I'd been living a lie. And when I told my mother, she she shrugged it off. "Eh, 10:40, 10:30, it's practially the same thing."

From this point on, I take no responsibility for my inability to show up on time.

10 comments:

SupaCoo said...

I celebrate my birth moment every year (2/12 at 2:06 p.m.) and if I found out that it was off by even a minute I'd be pissed! I've spent however-many years observing THAT particular moment. (This becomes especially hard when I have to factor in time zones; "Ok, so that's 2:06 Central, and I'm in Mountain... Crap! It was an hour ago!") And yes, I'm crazy.

Becky said...

my mom doesn't even consider it my birthday until 9:52pm. and by then, like the whole day has gone by.

Lia said...

You made me smile.

I get practically a whole birthday, Becky. I was born at (around) 1:30 am. I don't know the exact time, but maybe I'll go look it up.

Jon said...

I also like to celebrate the moment. 4:40 pm for me. But according to my mother (and if nothing else, this post has taught me to believe that mothers are a shaky source of factual information at best) I was born a couple of weeks late and I was born on the day my uncle predicted. A day he chose just to annoy my mother. Who knows if that's true though. But I really don't like being late otherwise. I would rather punch myself in the face than miss the previews at the movie theater.

I don't really know what any of that means...

WORDofRYE said...

I think we should just do away with "exact" times. I'm always so afraid I'll be early to something that I end up MAKING myself late.
Seriously, I say we just start doing things whenever we feel like it - who's with me? haha

Sphincter said...

Don't blame your mom. That's probably the time that the gypsies told her.

URBAN PEDESTRIAN said...

I was born 2 weeks late and that's the last time I was ever late for anything. I've spent the rest of my life desperately making sure that I'm never, ever late again. (I spend a lot of time waiting around for others)

Guyana-Gyal said...

Haha, that's why I ain't having children, so they can't blame me for nothin' :-D

omar said...

Wow, I suddenly feel inadequate as a... person who was born. I have no idea what time I arrived.

I do know when my KID arrived, though (3:14 p.m.), and I also know exactly when the minister pronounced me and the wife "husband and wife (4:19 p.m.). Do either of those redeem me?

Syar said...

I was 2 weeks overdue, and the story switches from my mom being in labour for 12 hours, to 36 hours...either way, it required an epidural and it wasn't an easy process.

So I think that's why I've been making up for it my whole life by being 15 minutes to an hour early for almost everything.