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If I Could Put Time in a Bottle

I believe in promptness. Not to an obsessive level, but I do attempt to arrive around seven minutes early to any appointments or social gatherings. I figure five minutes early is the norm and ten minutes early looks like I’m desperate for friends. Because of this trait, I’m convinced there are only two types of people in this world – the ones who always arrive a bit early or the rest of you jerks.
My mother was probably born three weeks late. She never, ever arrived on time. At school, the teachers knew me as the kid who hung around after school for an hour or so until Dearly Demented Mom showed up. If I was a kid in today’s world, at least I could have used an Amber Alert to find her. Or a tracking chip inserted in her head.
On the other hand, Joe the Pro was one prompt father. He taught me it was rude to keep someone waiting. He usually explained this at length the whole time we were waiting for DDM so we could go somewhere. We were prompt and got rewarded by waiting for her. I didn’t like the waiting either, so I decided being on time was for me.
When I started dating, my first serious boyfriend made my mother look like a Steam Engineer with a Swiss precision watch. Sometimes it was days before he would show up. I once ran the entire length of an airport with him to narrowly miss the doors closing on a plane. It took me three stiff Bloody Marys’ just to make me calm down.
So when I went looking for a nice man on the internet, promptness was an attribute that I required. That plus a man who was fairly neat. I wish I had been more focused on how much cash he had on hand. My New Boyfriend is always very prompt. What concerns me is it seems the older you get, the prompter you get. Is prompter even a word?
I swear MNB is to the point that if he could just spend the night outside his destination, he’d finally relax. We get into discussions like this:
MNB: “We need to go to that memorial service on Friday. We are having an early lunch with family before. I think we should leave by 7 am.”
ME: “Are we going to eat lunch at 9 am?”
MNB: “No, 10:30, but you know how traffic can be.”
ME: “Are we planning on taking the E-Z-GO or can I drive the speed limit like a normal person?
If you’re going with me, wheels up at 9:30 am.”
Maybe he just thinks that I drive like a maniac. Which I don’t. I drive the speed limit. But I digress. I don’t think it’s about my driving it all. I think he’s getting Old Man Disease.
My dad caught it. Bosses I had were infected. As I age, I find I’m surrounded by older men who have it. Symptoms include: arriving way too early, unplugging all electronic devices during a thunderstorm and an obsessive compulsion with turning lights off. Plus they don’t even care if ceiling fan is running. Old Woman Disease requires constant moving air. Trust me.
Of course, I could have it much worse. He could be late, sloppy and still not worth any money. I guess two out of three ain’t bad. At least we will always be a very prompt couple.