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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Lessons from my parents

In a different world – perhaps one in which money was replaced by hugs and whipped cream rained from the heavens – my parents would have celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary this week.

Probably my father’s biggest complaint about my mom (second only to her pack rat-type nature) was her complete disregard for being on time. She just couldn’t do it. She wouldn’t even try, really.

He could go on and on about her inability to "get her butt in gear". However, the funny thing was that my mom’s butt was always in gear. She was always on the go. Non-stop. Even these days, while she can’t recognize people or hold a conversation, you can’t really get her to stand/sit still. She’s apparently got still some shit to do. No, laziness was never her problem; she just was never on the same time schedule as my dad. And this annoyed him to no end.

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He tried just about everything: screaming, complaining, he even left her behind in a couple of places on a few occasions. She never changed, though, and when left behind she always found her way home. The only thing his ranting accomplished, was that it gave us (my mother and us kids) some pretty funny imitations of our dad getting all heated up.

I mean, seriously, my mom is a Trini – which is just one nationality from a long list of people who run on “C.P. Time”. You would think that my dad would have figured this out having actually lived on Trinidad for a number of years, where apparently the national motto is “Fuck yo’ clock, fool!”

As kids, we picked up on this right away and rather than clash with my mom on the subject, we just worked with it. Pick up times were adjusted and we started making her toast and heating up her coffee so that we could get her out the door faster to get to school on time.

If being on time was an absolute necessity, then we’d bypass Mom altogether and arrange for some alternate transportation.

Some of her unpunctuality rubbed off on my siblings. Gill, for instance, comes immediately to mind. And if Pickles has to do her hair beforehand, you can guarantee at least a two hour delay – which on one occassion made us completely miss my brother Remy’s high school graduation ceremony (he was drunk anyway and didn’t really notice) and on another (my great-grandmother’s funeral) we had to oh-so-steathily slide into the service...

C.P. Time is more of a cultural thing, than a “race thing” – it just seems that the places where people (as my father put it) “do not acknowledge the space and time continuum“ are overwhelmingly ... well, non-white. Call it what you want “Trini Time”, „Dominican Time“, “Egyptian Time“ – it’s just not “On Time”

Most of the time, it’s not even that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. If you’re dealing with people in this category, odds are that they are aware of their “condition”. So, if you’re cooking for them and the food’s getting cold, go ahead and start eating – they seriously won’t mind. If you’re, say, waiting to meet up with them to go to the movies and they’re late – then fuckin just go to the movie theater. Either they’ll figure it out and slide on in the middle of the movie or they’ll go do something else.

Or you can just be pissy and bitch about it. Boo hoo, you little baby.

Now, on to my message. My roommate got in a bit of a tizzy over his dinner date’s tardiness the other night, and proclaimed to the ceiling, „Why do women do this every fucking time?! Why even bother setting a time?“

The whole women and punctuality issue is maybe a bit different from C.P. Time. With women it could totally be a maintenance issue. Whereas my buddy Schmidt can spray on some Cool Water or get his Axe Effect on or whatever, put on a clean shirt or something and just go... a woman (unless you’re a total schlub like me) might need a little more time.

But if you’re a woman AND you’re a person of the non-caucasian persuasion – you might have some factors working against you and your being on time-ness.

If Schmidt continues along his current path of seeking out the brown-skinned honeys, he will have to deal with the same situation as my father somewhere along the line (if he hasn’t already started dealing with it right now). His “German punctuality“ is going to clash head-on with some “C.P. Time“ – and guess what? I hate to break it to him, and I’m pretty sure C.P. Time is gonna win. It always does.

So, the way I see it, he’s got two choices:

1.) Get over it
2.) Exclusively date either lady-robots or darker-complexioned women raised by Swiss watchmakers

Take you're pick.

As long as she shows up eventually and you don’t have to spend the rest of the night having a one-sided discussion with Prof. Hans… then I'd have to say that you’re doing alright, son.

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