Thursday, September 11, 2008

Dazed & Confused: A Story of Perpetual Lateness

I am habitually late.

This might be hereditary, as my mother never seems to be anywhere on time, either. It just seems that no matter how hard I try, I cannot get to places on time (or, Lord forbid, early).

I was thinking the other day about all the reasons I am punctually-challenged, and I came up with a plethora of factors for my lateness:

I tend to think it takes less time to drive somewhere than it actually does. If it really takes half an hour to drive to my hair appointment, I am sure that last time I got there in twenty-five minutes.

I forget that "grabbing stuff as I run out the door" takes time. I need to pack my lunch, can't find my shoes/purse/sunglasses, or really need to throw a load of laundry in the washer. How can it possibly be 7:25 in my bedroom and 7:33 by the time I get in the car?

I love to sleep. Five more minutes will most assuredly turn into twenty.

I also have a deep-seated fear of being the first person to arrive. Being early and having to make small talk with strangers at an event makes me nervous. I prefer to slip in right as the presentation or dinner starts. I'm beginning to think I'm a little anti-social.

Today, I was able to add one more item to my "ways to justify my tardiness" list.

I apparently do not always pay attention when I'm driving.

Now, I do pay attention to the road. If a deer ran out in front of me, I would be able to slam on my brakes in time. No, my issue is that I get into a zone, and I just drive.

This morning, as I was driving to work, I slipped out of my zone and thought, "Where the heck am I?"

Nothing on the side of the road looked familiar. I wasn't sure when I had turned (or hadn't turned) or what street I was currently driving down, but I knew with absolute certainty that this was not my usual route. I kept driving for a few minutes to find a road sign, figuring that I could just find an alternate course.

No such luck. I recognized the road I was on, but had no idea which direction I was travelling. In hindsight, I realize I was heading east, toward the sun, but that thought really did not cross my mind even once in my state of stupidity.

I turned around, drove for four miles (yes, it actually took me four miles before I realized that I wasn't driving to work) and finally figured out where I made my error.

I made a left turn instead of a right. Why? No clue. Especially as this was a side of the road I had never turned down, and would have no reason to. It's not as if I started to go one place and my muscle memory took me somewhere else.

Sometimes I am actually embarrassed for myself. I frequently tell people that my brain doesn't really work until after nine o'clock or a cup of coffee, and clearly I know myself pretty well.

The ironic part? If not for my detour, I would have been on time this morning. Figures.

Sometimes the road less traveled should remain so.

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