Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Topic started by: Jaelle on February 12, 2013, 09:09:15 PM

Title: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: Jaelle on February 12, 2013, 09:09:15 PM
I find all the threads on lateness fascinating. My parents, dad in particular, are prompt to the point of occasionally being perhaps a bit too early, and they raised my siblings and I to be the same way. I tend to leave a generous window whenever I have to be somewhere by a certain time, and I get a bit frantic if circumstances somehow still get in the way. (And I then apologize way too much, I'm told. :P)

However ... as I posted in one of the other threads, I married into a family that's very different. Or at least one member is.

My MIL is chronically late. Tell her dinner's at 5 p.m, if you're lucky she's there by 6 p.m. Tell her you need to pick her up to go somewhere at 9 a.m., you'll be lucky if she's ready to go by 9:30 p.m.

Nothing works. You can't shame her into being on time, because she's very, very sure that everyone should wait for her. She is The Matriarch. You (general you) owe it to her. This is particularly true for her children. I heard her tell SIL once, when SIL was trying desperately to get her out the door to a reservation on time, "I waited 9 months for you, you can wait 15 minutes for me!" (Actually, it wound up being more like a half hour ...)

It's never anything like an emergency. She's usually puttering around, making a (non-emergency) last minute phone call, doing her hair, changing something around in the house. There's just no sense of urgency in the slightest.

The situation has always boggled my mind. DH and his sister aren't like this, although they're not as obsessively prompt as my family. As you can imagine, it drives my parents NUTS when they get to a mutual event and wait and wait and WAIT for MIL. They never say anything to her, though. (Doesn't help the dynamic that MIL is much older than my folks.)

Much of DH's family and long-time friends of the family just expect it. "Oh, that's how mom is!" Leaving without Mom would be unthinkable, and you can't make her move faster. They seem to find it funny and a bit quirky, whereas my family considers it horribly rude and disrespectful.

How DO you deal with someone like this?  :-\
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: oceanus on February 12, 2013, 09:13:31 PM
Quote
"I waited 9 months for you, you can wait 15 minutes for me!" (Actually, it wound up being more like a half hour ...)

OP, Question:  What does she mean - her 9 mo. pregnancy or waiting 9 mos. to see SIL recently?

Either way, it's a silly comment.
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: Katana_Geldar on February 12, 2013, 09:19:43 PM
You can tell her am event is earlier than it actually is.
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: Jaelle on February 12, 2013, 09:29:31 PM
Quote
"I waited 9 months for you, you can wait 15 minutes for me!" (Actually, it wound up being more like a half hour ...)

OP, Question:  What does she mean - her 9 mo. pregnancy or waiting 9 mos. to see SIL recently?

Either way, it's a silly comment.

Yup, she was talking about pregnancy. 

Katana_Galdar, we do that. (DH does, anyway, because I delegate all getting-Mom-someplace duties to him.) But that's only good for events we're talking her about ourselves.

I'm wondering more how you deal with the overall issues, not individual events. Hoping someone has successfully brought a member of the righteously late to their senses, I suppose! :D
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: delabela on February 12, 2013, 09:32:08 PM
You can tell her am event is earlier than it actually is.

I do this. 

There is a person in my life who I love dearly but who is never, ever on time. And there's always some reason (so-and-so called at the last minute, had to finish an email, cat was on fire). I get super anxious about being late. So I fudge the times for things.

If I can't control her knowing the exact time, I will state that XYZ event is very important, and we need to be on time. She usually respects that. Sounds that may not work for you.
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: oceanus on February 12, 2013, 09:38:02 PM
Quote
There's just no sense of urgency in the slightest.

That's because she knows people will wait; her sense of entitlement.  Clearly she's a prima donna.

Anyone ever "take their time" or "forget" to pick her up, etc.?

 
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: Deetee on February 12, 2013, 09:52:15 PM
If you have married into the family and no-one else wants to do anything about it, you are pretty limited.

I have a late relative and my plan is:

1) Whenever possible I travel in a seperate vehicle.
2) When I travel with her, I head out to the car and wait for her when I am ready. Then I sit there and read my book. (If there is someone else around, she seems to think that they are not ready either so she doesn't get ready)
3) When they are making dinner, I have left immediately after dinner and before desert a couple times as my kid needs to get to sleep.
4) I would NEVER travel with her to an airport or anything like that. That is my line in the sand.
5) And I just don't worry/care about what other people think of her. Not my problem.
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: gmatoy on February 12, 2013, 10:05:30 PM

 I heard her tell SIL once, when SIL was trying desperately to get her out the door to a reservation on time, "I waited 9 months for you, you can wait 15 minutes for me!" (Actually, it wound up being more like a half hour ...)

 I would reply, "You did the 9 months and you were done! I have been waiting enough minutes and hours that by now it has gone way past nine months!"

I feel it is incredibly rude to make others wait for you.

Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: Venus193 on February 12, 2013, 10:08:38 PM
I would take a hard line.  Say "MIL, we are leaving at 9.  If you are not ready, you can take your own car and meet us there.  We will not be so rude as to be late."

Lather, rinse, repeat. 
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: flowersintheattic on February 12, 2013, 10:12:08 PM
Quote
"I waited 9 months for you, you can wait 15 minutes for me!" (Actually, it wound up being more like a half hour ...)

OP, Question:  What does she mean - her 9 mo. pregnancy or waiting 9 mos. to see SIL recently?

Either way, it's a silly comment.

Yup, she was talking about pregnancy. 

Katana_Galdar, we do that. (DH does, anyway, because I delegate all getting-Mom-someplace duties to him.) But that's only good for events we're talking her about ourselves.

I'm wondering more how you deal with the overall issues, not individual events. Hoping someone has successfully brought a member of the righteously late to their senses, I suppose! :D

How old is SIL? Could she estimate all the time she's spent waiting on MIL and point out that she's spent however many years of her life waiting on her now?  :)

I think overall, though, the best option is Venus193's. Set a time and stick to it. Don't wait for her anymore.
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: Deetee on February 12, 2013, 10:22:03 PM

I think overall, though, the best option is Venus193's. Set a time and stick to it. Don't wait for her anymore.

I like that option, but OP has stated that leaving without MIL is unthinkable, so the best she can do is avoid being responsible for giving her a ride (and lie about times when you do)
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: random numbers on February 12, 2013, 10:50:39 PM
Have a running timer.  Every time she makes you wait, add more time and say "Another half an hour off that nine months. You've got X amount of time left."

Too much?
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: Amava on February 13, 2013, 01:07:20 AM
Gee mom, so sorry you had to wait nine months for me, I never realised that bothered you while I was on the way. Had I known, I would have hurried up and been born two months premature! Didn't mean to keep you waiting...
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: veryfluffy on February 13, 2013, 01:15:18 AM
I heard her tell SIL once, when SIL was trying desperately to get her out the door to a reservation on time, "I waited 9 months for you, you can wait 15 minutes for me!"

Response: "Really? You were pregnant for eighteen months? No? Just nine months? Then I was was what they call "ready on time." You weren't kept waiting."
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: nuit93 on February 13, 2013, 01:20:48 AM
I heard her tell SIL once, when SIL was trying desperately to get her out the door to a reservation on time, "I waited 9 months for you, you can wait 15 minutes for me!"

Response: "Really? You were pregnant for eighteen months? No? Just nine months? Then I was was what they call "ready on time." You weren't kept waiting."

^^^^this!
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: cicero on February 13, 2013, 02:09:19 AM
you can try the "give them a fake time" but it's my experience that the chronic late catch on to this pretty early on so it doesn't help.

all i would say is that if it really bothers you, then stop enabling it. if you can't stand to be late to things, and you have to pick her up, then say "Mom, we understand that you can't be on time. However, we cannot be late - that's the way we are. so here is what we wil do - we will send a car for you at X o'clock, he will wait till you are ready. We will drive ourselves and meet you there". or "mom, dinner will be on the table at 5 PM. You are welcome to come any time from 5 and onwards, but that is when dinner will start". and follow through.

My sister did this to her husband once. my bil is late all.the.time. for everything. he's missed flights, you name it, and he just doesn't seem to notice. my sister (like  the rest of our family) has to be on time or early. so she was getting stressed out every time they had to fly someplace bec he is fine with running late, running like a madman through the gate, etc. she likes to get there early, get through security, go to her gate and have a relaxing cup of coffee. so she told him - I am not looking for a fight, I am not angry, I just can't handle the mad dash to the gate. I am going to take a cab to the airport, i am leaving at (three hours before the flight). you can leave whenever you want" and it worked for them.

I find all the threads on lateness fascinating. My parents, dad in particular, are prompt to the point of occasionally being perhaps a bit too early, and they raised my siblings and I to be the same way. I tend to leave a generous window whenever I have to be somewhere by a certain time, and I get a bit frantic if circumstances somehow still get in the way. (And I then apologize way too much, I'm told. :P)

However ... as I posted in one of the other threads, I married into a family that's very different. Or at least one member is.

My MIL is chronically late. Tell her dinner's at 5 p.m, if you're lucky she's there by 6 p.m. Tell her you need to pick her up to go somewhere at 9 a.m., you'll be lucky if she's ready to go by 9:30 p.m.

Nothing works. You can't shame her into being on time, because she's very, very sure that everyone should wait for her. She is The Matriarch. You (general you) owe it to her. This is particularly true for her children. I heard her tell SIL once, when SIL was trying desperately to get her out the door to a reservation on time, "I waited 9 months for you, you can wait 15 minutes for me!" (Actually, it wound up being more like a half hour ...)

It's never anything like an emergency. She's usually puttering around, making a (non-emergency) last minute phone call, doing her hair, changing something around in the house. There's just no sense of urgency in the slightest.

The situation has always boggled my mind. DH and his sister aren't like this, although they're not as obsessively prompt as my family. As you can imagine, it drives my parents NUTS when they get to a mutual event and wait and wait and WAIT for MIL. They never say anything to her, though. (Doesn't help the dynamic that MIL is much older than my folks.)

Much of DH's family and long-time friends of the family just expect it. "Oh, that's how mom is!" Leaving without Mom would be unthinkable, and you can't make her move faster. They seem to find it funny and a bit quirky, whereas my family considers it horribly rude and disrespectful.

How DO you deal with someone like this?  :-\
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: Raintree on February 13, 2013, 03:37:13 AM
2) When I travel with her, I head out to the car and wait for her when I am ready. Then I sit there and read my book. (If there is someone else around, she seems to think that they are not ready either so she doesn't get ready)


This describes every male who has ever been in my life (ie my dad, my cousin, and every close male friend or boyfriend I've ever had). I'm not trying to be sexist, but it's been my experience.

What tends to happen is if we are supposed to leave at 11 AM, I'm scurrying about getting cleaned up, getting my coat, pouring my coffee into a travel mug, every few minutes saying to them, "OK, you know we have to leave in X minutes, right?" The answer is usually, "Well I'm ready when you are."

Then when I'm standing there in the doorway, coat on, keys in hand, they look up and say, "Oh! You're ready. I just have to get my shoes...." (and a bunch of other things besides shoes, that take up 10-15 minutes). And then as we're finally walking out to the car they remember something else they need.

Seems that my being ready to go is their cue to START getting ready. I've asked repeatedly why they can't be getting ready while I'm getting ready but I haven't had a satisfactory answer.
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: Danika on February 13, 2013, 04:44:19 AM
My mother sounds just like OP's MIL. Some of her friends lie and tell her something starts 45 minutes before it does.

I finally did the "unthinkable" and I would leave. I would tell my mother "I'm going to be in the car, on the driveway with the engine running at X time. If you are not in the car with me by X + 10 minutes, I'll leave." And I did. And she was fuming. After that, I would just meet her places and wouldn't drive with her.

She's very entitled and narcissistic in other aspects of her life, too. It infuriates her to be kept waiting. She will not wait for other people (except for one of her special snowflake sisters who is always even later than she is). But she thinks her own behavior is just fine and people need to relax and calm down when she takes her sweet time.
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: LeveeWoman on February 13, 2013, 05:22:41 AM
I don't know what to suggest about her being late to events outside your home, but for events in your home I'd hold them at the exact time you tell her to be there. If she  shows up late for dinner and gets mad, she'll either get over it or die mad. If you're meeting for dinner at a restaurant, I'd wait a little bit and then order. Again, she'll either die mad or get over it.

If the members of her family protest and say "that's just how Mom is," I'd respond that being on time "is just how I am."
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: Winterlight on February 13, 2013, 08:13:14 AM
I would take a hard line.  Say "MIL, we are leaving at 9.  If you are not ready, you can take your own car and meet us there.  We will not be so rude as to be late."

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Agreed. She does this because she's allowed to. Stop allowing it.
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: Oh Joy on February 13, 2013, 08:27:25 AM
Please don't lie about the time.

It's a game, and it just reinforces that whenever they end up arriving is just fine.

Just be clear about your expectations and go ahead with them.  If you say you're serving dinner at 5:00, serve dinner at 5:00.  If you say you're leaving her house for the event at 6:00*, leave the house at 6:00 with a cheery smile and a 'see you there!'

Best wishes.

*Being clear that you mean 'I'll be there between 5:45 and 6:00, and we'll leave at 6:00 - you're welcome to ride along' and not 'I'll be there at 6:00 and we'll leave when you're ready or think we should leave.'
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: Venus193 on February 13, 2013, 08:31:47 AM
I agree about this; giving an earlier time won't work in the long term.  For the aggressively tardy that would just up the ante on the game and create more anxiety in the people who are already justifiably offended.

The only choices here are to:


Edited for a typo and further clarification.
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: Virg on February 13, 2013, 09:20:59 AM
elephantschild wrote:

"Much of DH's family and long-time friends of the family just expect it. "Oh, that's how mom is!" Leaving without Mom would be unthinkable, and you can't make her move faster. They seem to find it funny and a bit quirky, whereas my family considers it horribly rude and disrespectful."

I hate to have to be the cold voice of reason, but if you're unwilling to make her suffer the consequences of running late then there's little you can do about it.  In the face of this, the only reasonable thing is never to build plans around a specific schedule when she's involved.  It is rude, and it is disrespectful, but you tell others how to treat you and in considering leaving without her to be "unthinkable" you're telling her to continue forcing you to wait for her.

Virg
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: rose red on February 13, 2013, 09:35:17 AM
You can't change her.  Either leave without her or put up with it.  If leaving her is so "unthinkable" I'm afraid you are just stuck with putting up with it.  Sit down with a good book while waiting.  I'm sorry, but what else can you do if it's not possible to stand up to her and the rest of the family?
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: MrTango on February 13, 2013, 09:42:36 AM
Leaving without Mom would be unthinkable, and you can't make her move faster.

Has anyone actually tried just leaving without her?  If not, I'd be the first.
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: oceanus on February 13, 2013, 09:47:00 AM
You can't change her.  Either leave without her or put up with it.  If leaving her is so "unthinkable" I'm afraid you are just stuck with putting up with it.  Sit down with a good book while waiting.  I'm sorry, but what else can you do if it's not possible to stand up to her and the rest of the family?

This.  Excellent.

OP - you asked "how to handle" your MIL.

Either
1) Stop ALLOWING her to intimidate and control.  If she's not ready, LEAVE.
Or
2) Continue to tolerate her behavior.

There are no other choices.
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: wonderfullyanonymous on February 13, 2013, 09:50:04 AM
My mother sounds just like OP's MIL. Some of her friends lie and tell her something starts 45 minutes before it does.

I finally did the "unthinkable" and I would leave. I would tell my mother "I'm going to be in the car, on the driveway with the engine running at X time. If you are not in the car with me by X + 10 minutes, I'll leave." And I did. And she was fuming. After that, I would just meet her places and wouldn't drive with her.

She's very entitled and narcissistic in other aspects of her life, too. It infuriates her to be kept waiting. She will not wait for other people (except for one of her special snowflake sisters who is always even later than she is). But she thinks her own behavior is just fine and people need to relax and calm down when she takes her sweet time.


Leaving without Mom would be unthinkable, and you can't make her move faster.

Has anyone actually tried just leaving without her?  If not, I'd be the first.


Both of these are perfect. If she is riding with you, give her a 5 or 10 minute leeway, and then leave. She doesn't want to be on time, then she should be accountable for being late by herself, as well.

If she is meeting you for dinner or something, if she isn't there when everyone else is, serve without her. If she pulls the "you have to wait for me, I'm the mother" stuff, reply, it's my house, dinner was set for 5:30, dinner was served at 5:30. Everyone else was here on time, they should not be punished because you chose to show up late.
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: Lynn2000 on February 13, 2013, 09:59:01 AM
If you have married into the family and no-one else wants to do anything about it, you are pretty limited.

I have a late relative and my plan is:

1) Whenever possible I travel in a seperate vehicle.
2) When I travel with her, I head out to the car and wait for her when I am ready. Then I sit there and read my book. (If there is someone else around, she seems to think that they are not ready either so she doesn't get ready)
3) When they are making dinner, I have left immediately after dinner and before desert a couple times as my kid needs to get to sleep.
4) I would NEVER travel with her to an airport or anything like that. That is my line in the sand.
5) And I just don't worry/care about what other people think of her. Not my problem.

POD to all of this. Again, if you aren't really in control of your own transportation or the event because you're with a group, there's not much you can do if the group as a whole decides to put up with it. But I would try really hard to avoid those situations where I (or DH if he agrees with me) didn't have control, even if it meant awkwardness, like two cars from the same town driving to the same gathering, rather than everyone carpooling and being late because of MIL. And, if you ever have a situation where it's just you and DH picking up MIL, and your DH is onboard with you--I would just leave without her. See what happens when she knows you're serious.

Also, if you're hosting, you can serve your meal exactly when you said you would. Put the food on the table and start eating. If everyone else is aghast because MIL isn't there yet and doesn't want to eat the food sitting right in front of them, that's their choice. But, you don't have to go along with that.

You can't change MIL, and you can't change other people in the family who are determined to do what MIL wants. So, I would 1) avoid being in situations where you personally are affected by MIL's tardiness; and 2) if you have control over the transportation/event, use it and leave/start without her.
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: Jaelle on February 13, 2013, 10:20:32 AM
elephantschild wrote:

"Much of DH's family and long-time friends of the family just expect it. "Oh, that's how mom is!" Leaving without Mom would be unthinkable, and you can't make her move faster. They seem to find it funny and a bit quirky, whereas my family considers it horribly rude and disrespectful."

I hate to have to be the cold voice of reason, but if you're unwilling to make her suffer the consequences of running late then there's little you can do about it.  In the face of this, the only reasonable thing is never to build plans around a specific schedule when she's involved.  It is rude, and it is disrespectful, but you tell others how to treat you and in considering leaving without her to be "unthinkable" you're telling her to continue forcing you to wait for her.

Virg

Oh, I'm willing. :) But this is DH's mom and he's not always so willing. He's miles beyond others, though, in that he at least calls her on it, whereas everyone else just seems to roll their eyes and wait.

We had to work to get him to that point.  ::)

I just find it stunning that someone who considers herself such an authority on manners, etc., doesn't seem to think that she, herself, is rude in doing this to people.
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: Mikayla on February 13, 2013, 10:38:35 AM
[quote author=elephantschild link=topic=124862.msg2886685#msg2886685

Oh, I'm willing. :) But this is DH's mom and he's not always so willing. He's miles beyond others, though, in that he at least calls her on it, whereas everyone else just seems to roll their eyes and wait.

We had to work to get him to that point.  ::)

[/quote]

I think there's a big difference between handling a one-on-one situation, like the original thread on this, vs walking into a long established, but unacceptable, family dynamic.  In the first situation, it's easy to start setting better boundaries or simply stop inviting the person.

But this situation is different.  You're an in-law, and your DH is accepting the behavior.  (calling her on it doesn't count if he doesn't try to enforce boundaries).   So it's really tough! 

I think the only time you can control things is an event where you're inviting them over, or providing transport, etc.  You're perfectly free to proceed without her, but whether it's worth the angst this might cause the rest of them is a different issue.

It has to be incredibly frustrating!
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: Hmmmmm on February 13, 2013, 10:55:03 AM
My MIL was chronically late.  She had absolutely terrible time management skills. Everything took longer than expected.
-Invite you over for dinner at 6, she'll be walking in the door around 6:15 with the groceries to begin cooking dinner.
-Have reservations for 7pm for dinner, she's leaving her house at 7.
-Invite her to Easter lunch at noon, she'll wake up late, miss early morning service, go to the 11am service, not get out till 12:30, remember that she left the Easter baskets she wanted to the kids bring home so goes back home to get it and arrives at your house at 2 and is upset that we've already done Easter Egg hunt and I'm immediately starting to serve because I have 20 other people waiting for lunch and and several needing to get on the road to make a 6 hour trip home, which was why we were having lunch at noon and everyone had agreed to go to early Easter service. (Why no, 10 years later, I'm not still a little annoyed by this one.)

So after 15 years of trying to plan around her chronic lateness, I have finally figured out a method.  I annoy the dickens out of her. She has a cell phone that she now has with her most of the time.  So if she is expected at my house for lunch at noon, I text her at 10 with "Hi,just confirming lunch is at noon."  At 11, I'll have DD text "Grandma, mom was about to put the X in the oven but wanted confirm your not running late." At 11:30, DH calls "Hi Mom, have you left the house yet? No, but your leaving in 5 min? OK then we'll see you at noon" At 12:10, SIL will have arrived and will start texting her "Mom, your late, where are you?"

After about a year of us micromanaging her schedule she has now gotten pretty good at being on time, she even showed up early to dinner a few weeks ago because she didn't "want to be getting all those annoying texts".

**SIL used to be chronically late, but I treated that like I would one of my own sisters.  Sorry, we're not waiting more than 15 min unless its a real emergency.
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: oceanus on February 13, 2013, 11:25:59 AM
Hmmmmm, I can't imagine dealing with your MIL.  Just reading that .....wow. >:(

My father was the flip side of the coin, kinda.  I remember once when he picked me up from a doctor’s appt.  I’d said I’d be waiting in the front of the building at 4:00.  Well, this was a doctor’s office……….how can you pin it down exactly??  I came out of the building at 4:10.  He was terse – “You SAID you would be ready at 4:00.  I’m trying to beat the rush hour traffic.”  Goodness.  I was a grown woman and in physical pain, for crying out loud.  I only called him as a very last resort.

Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: heartmug on February 13, 2013, 12:28:02 PM
You could ask my brother and sister-in-law who this past Christmas ate dinner off the plates that were perched on their laps while they watched us open our gifts.  They were 2 hours late and didn't call me but called my other brother#2 after an hour.  After 45 minutes I said that we were now going to eat lunch because brother#2 had to leave in 2 hours so he left his phone in the living room and we ate in the dining room so we never heard the call placed to his cell phone, that they were going to be late.

They are late 75% of the time and I don't know if this will cure it.   I guess we will see next month (Easter).
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: oceanus on February 13, 2013, 12:50:29 PM
Quote
After 45 minutes I said that we were now going to eat

I think 45 minutes was too generous (when food is ready, others are on time and waiting to eat).
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: Figgie on February 13, 2013, 01:26:49 PM
I'm fortunate in that most of our family members are usually pretty good about arriving on time.  However, a former friend basically was late to everything where there wasn't any significant consequences.

She could be on time to work and doctor appointments, but for everything else she was a minimum of 20 minutes up to an hour late.  I just made sure I seldom rode with her and that nothing we planned together was time sensitive. 

She was complaining about someone who was angry with her for being late and I asked her why she chose not to arrive on time, especially since she knew it was important to this other person.

She said:  "People are in too much of a rush.  They need to slow down and by being late, I force them to take a break.  It's good for their mental health."

I said nothing at the time because I was so shocked by how self-centered she was.  I wish I would have asked her why she thought it was her job to decide for other people that they were in a rush.

But hearing her express that point of view opened my eyes to a lot of her behaviors.  Such as always going to the 10 item or less grocery store register with a full cart.  Never starting to unload the cart until the order in front of her had been checked out, bagged and paid for.  Refusing to take even open her purse and start to dig for her checkbook or credit card until the order was checked out and bagged.  Sitting in her car messing with absolutely everything she could think of because someone else was waiting for the parking space.

I'm actually a pretty patient person, but I really hate to inconvenience other people and so I try to be efficient so as the help minimize other people's wait time.  Her attitude was so foreign to me, that I never even realized how bad it was until she said what she did about other people needing to slow down.

All I could do (and did) was back myself out of the friendship, not because of the lateness, but because the self-centered behaviors meant she just wasn't someone that I could be friends with anymore.
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: oceanus on February 13, 2013, 01:32:23 PM
Quote
She said:  "People are in too much of a rush.  They need to slow down and by being late, I force them to take a break.  It's good for their mental health."

Seriously?  ::)
I don't blame you for backing out of that friendship.
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: Hmmmmm on February 13, 2013, 01:34:32 PM
I'm fortunate in that most of our family members are usually pretty good about arriving on time.  However, a former friend basically was late to everything where there wasn't any significant consequences.

She could be on time to work and doctor appointments, but for everything else she was a minimum of 20 minutes up to an hour late.  I just made sure I seldom rode with her and that nothing we planned together was time sensitive. 

She was complaining about someone who was angry with her for being late and I asked her why she chose not to arrive on time, especially since she knew it was important to this other person.

She said:  "People are in too much of a rush.  They need to slow down and by being late, I force them to take a break.  It's good for their mental health."

I said nothing at the time because I was so shocked by how self-centered she was.  I wish I would have asked her why she thought it was her job to decide for other people that they were in a rush.

But hearing her express that point of view opened my eyes to a lot of her behaviors.  Such as always going to the 10 item or less grocery store register with a full cart.  Never starting to unload the cart until the order in front of her had been checked out, bagged and paid for.  Refusing to take even open her purse and start to dig for her checkbook or credit card until the order was checked out and bagged.  Sitting in her car messing with absolutely everything she could think of because someone else was waiting for the parking space.

I'm actually a pretty patient person, but I really hate to inconvenience other people and so I try to be efficient so as the help minimize other people's wait time.  Her attitude was so foreign to me, that I never even realized how bad it was until she said what she did about other people needing to slow down.

All I could do (and did) was back myself out of the friendship, not because of the lateness, but because the self-centered behaviors meant she just wasn't someone that I could be friends with anymore.

You are a better person than me because there is no way I'd have been able to hold my tongue. Reading this got my blood pressure up.
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: LeveeWoman on February 13, 2013, 01:35:16 PM

She said:  "People are in too much of a rush.  They need to slow down and by being late, I force them to take a break.  It's good for their mental health."

I said nothing at the time because I was so shocked by how self-centered she was.  I wish I would have asked her why she thought it was her job to decide for other people that they were in a rush.

But hearing her express that point of view opened my eyes to a lot of her behaviors.  Such as always going to the 10 item or less grocery store register with a full cart.  Never starting to unload the cart until the order in front of her had been checked out, bagged and paid for.  Refusing to take even open her purse and start to dig for her checkbook or credit card until the order was checked out and bagged.  Sitting in her car messing with absolutely everything she could think of because someone else was waiting for the parking space.


I wish we had a contest for Special Snowflake of the Year because I'd nominate her.
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: Figgie on February 13, 2013, 01:36:02 PM
Quote
She said:  "People are in too much of a rush.  They need to slow down and by being late, I force them to take a break.  It's good for their mental health."

Seriously?  ::)
I don't blame you for backing out of that friendship.

It does sound pretty unbelievable.  But it did give me some good insight into how at least one chronically late person excuses themselves for being late. :)
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: Venus193 on February 13, 2013, 02:55:20 PM
Figgie, I don't know that I have anything new to say about your Special Snowflake.  If one takes a break to be tardy it takes away from the person who is expecting them.

She's a world-class rhymes-with-witch and you are well rid of her.
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: Amara on February 13, 2013, 03:45:21 PM
Quote
But hearing her express that point of view opened my eyes to a lot of her behaviors.  Such as always going to the 10 item or less grocery store register with a full cart.  Never starting to unload the cart until the order in front of her had been checked out, bagged and paid for.  Refusing to take even open her purse and start to dig for her checkbook or credit card until the order was checked out and bagged.  Sitting in her car messing with absolutely everything she could think of because someone else was waiting for the parking space.

This is deliberately rude behavior. She intends to provoke with her choices like poking an open wound with a knifepoint. It is nothing more than mean.

OP, what I would do (and have done) is decide what is right for me. Your DH needs to be taken into consideration too, I think, but I would sit down and do some hard thinking about what I want to change, if anything, and what I need to do to make myself feel good about my choices. For me, that would mean driving alone, eating precisely on time, opening gifts or having an Easter egg hunt when we said it would start, and so on. But whatever you decide should be made based on what feels right and polite to you.

These lateness discussions are fascinating to me. It's not amazing that so much of this happens but that so many people feel they don't have a right not to be aggravated by it in the name of politeness. It seems to me that society is heading ever faster into the realm of rudeness with certain actions that are becoming more acceptable: swearing at commonplace things, anger-based humor, saying no with no response at all instead a a polite rejection, and deliberate lateness because "that's the way I am" justifications. There's very little I can do to change much of it, but I can refuse to accommodate it by kowtowing to it or participating in it. And that's my stand. You need to decide what yours is and be true to it. Who knows, maybe you will become a model for others.
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: Danika on February 13, 2013, 04:01:18 PM
All I could do (and did) was back myself out of the friendship, not because of the lateness, but because the self-centered behaviors meant she just wasn't someone that I could be friends with anymore.

The behavior you described also reminds me of my chronically late mother who I mentioned in post 17 (http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=124862.msg2886528#msg2886528).

We're in the U.S. My mother would drive on the highway on the farthest left lane (the one that's supposed to be for the fastest travelers) at the speed limit or just a little below. I would tell her that she should move to the right/slower lanes and let faster people pass her. She'd say "I'm slowing them down. I'm doing them a favor so they don't get a speeding ticket." I said "It's their business if they want to speed. You're only going to antagonize someone's road rage." She ignored me.


POD to all of this. Again, if you aren't really in control of your own transportation or the event because you're with a group, there's not much you can do if the group as a whole decides to put up with it. But I would try really hard to avoid those situations where I (or DH if he agrees with me) didn't have control, even if it meant awkwardness, like two cars from the same town driving to the same gathering, rather than everyone carpooling and being late because of MIL...

I've done this with my mother. We were driving from the same town about 50 miles to another location and I refused to drive in the same car with her. It wasn't about her lateness it was about other rude behavior though. I hated to waste the gasoline. I try to be respectful of the environment, but I just didn't want to deal with her drama.

OP, you can consider telling your DH that if he wants to wait with his mother, he's welcome to do so, or to join you in your car, but you will drive separately from her. It depends on how much of a stand you want to take.
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: Lynn2000 on February 13, 2013, 04:49:36 PM
OP, you can consider telling your DH that if he wants to wait with his mother, he's welcome to do so, or to join you in your car, but you will drive separately from her. It depends on how much of a stand you want to take.

I was about to suggest this as well. If DH agrees to pick his mom up and take her to the gathering, can the OP transport herself to the gathering on her own? Get a ride with someone else, drive her own car, even take a taxi or something? Again there is some hassle involved and possibly money and people thinking you're being silly; but I think I would be sitting on that bus or whatever feeling very peaceful that I had avoided the MIL Wait and was doing things on my own schedule. It might also show your DH that you're serious about this being a problem to you.
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: LadyClaire on February 13, 2013, 05:46:33 PM
I really, really hate the whole "that's just how they are, what do you expect?" excuse that so many people use to justify someone else's bad behavior.

My MIL behaves horribly, and my husband would always so "That's just the way she is. She's always been like that. No point in letting it bother you." I finally told him "Yeah, she's that way because no one has ever called her on her behavior before and she gets away with it. I refuse to just accept that."

It's funny, but after a few years of telling him that, he is now starting to really open his eyes to how his mother is, and it bothers him a lot more. He can't stand to deal with her anymore and now when she starts badmouthing people or stirring up drama, he shuts her down instead of just going along with it.
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: Danika on February 13, 2013, 07:44:32 PM
My grandmother had been bossy and pushing people around her whole life. When she was 85, I stopped letting her push me around. The more she badgered me, the less she heard from me and the longer time it took for me to return her phone calls. She eventually learned to stop being so bossy with me. At 85, she learned. She stopped doing it to me. But she continued to treat everyone else the way she always had because everyone else still put up with it.
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: GreenEyedHawk on February 13, 2013, 08:45:09 PM
My ex was chronically late and it drove me nuts.  T he breaking point was when he made me late to my own birthday party, dismissively saying, "Oh, they can start without us!"  Um, no, you dunce.  It's MY birthday.  Everyone is waiting for ME.

After awhile I got into the habit of telling him something was an hour earlier than it actually was, so when we were an hour "late" we were actually on time.   It really drove me around the twist, though.
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: Venus193 on February 13, 2013, 08:53:45 PM

These lateness discussions are fascinating to me. It's not amazing that so much of this happens but that so many people feel they don't have a right not to be aggravated by it in the name of politeness. It seems to me that society is heading ever faster into the realm of rudeness with certain actions that are becoming more acceptable: swearing at commonplace things, anger-based humor, saying no with no response at all instead a a polite rejection, and deliberate lateness because "that's the way I am" justifications. There's very little I can do to change much of it, but I can refuse to accommodate it by kowtowing to it or participating in it. And that's my stand. You need to decide what yours is and be true to it. Who knows, maybe you will become a model for others.

I'm using this as a leaping-off point for a new discussion.
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: rabbit_woman on February 14, 2013, 09:38:13 AM
I was supposed to be going to the pictures one Sunday afternoon and a pal of mine was driving, there were several of us going together in his car. He was 45 minutes late picking me up. This is 45 minutes during whcih i couldn't exactly start doing anything constructive, because he might arrive at any minute, and i was beginning to get worried we would miss the start of the film.

He arrives, I get in the car and say, quite rightly, hey, you are 45 minutes late.

He does not apologise; instead, he gets angry with me and starts giving me a lecure; during his tirade, he said that when he was working all week, he had to do things and be places at the time when his bosses told him, but on the weekend, his time was HIS and he would do exactly what he wanted with it, he would go at his pace because he had earnt it - well, we got to the pictures, there were no decent seats left and we couldn't even all sit together, we missed the very beginning of the film and I have never been to the pictures with him again.

and i used to argue constantly with another ex of mine, who was chronically late when i was always early. He used to make me late for trains; and then once he told me that he ENJOYED the sensation of running along the station platform to get the train, it was all part of the experience for him, so from then on i left to get the train without him when i wanted, arrived in plenty of time, got on the train when it arrived and relaxed, and he could arrive when he wanted. He was really surprised when i dumped him!!!!
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: mj on February 14, 2013, 01:02:11 PM
I am struggling with this myself with some family members, so I have no real advice to offer that I know for sure works yet. 

However, this just happened the other day and seemed to bother the chronically late person terribly, so maybe it will work? I was late the other day by maybe 10 minutes to do some shopping that did not have any time frames imposed on it. Although in my defense we did not set a strict start time because I did say upfront that I had another obligation that would not give a strict end time.  I said lets plan on around 1010 and chronically late person agreed.  I get there at 1020 and chronically late person is not only in her car, but pulled it out of the garage while waiting for me. 

I got into her car and she was "so upset that I did not call or give a heads up, she was about to call me".  Which is sort of funny because I end up calling her all the time when she is over a half hour late to strict plans.  I'm not sure how it happened that she was not only on time that day and in her car ready to go, but somehow she did and those 10 minutes really ticked her off. 

It's not really right to do it on purpose, but I have to say that I did get into the pattern of not really regarding plans with her as in high regard as I did others because of her habitually lateness.  I took her less seriously and I believe it is no obvious to her that this is the way it is.  And she does not like it one bit.
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: TootsNYC on February 14, 2013, 04:33:15 PM
Quote
But hearing her express that point of view opened my eyes to a lot of her behaviors.  Such as always going to the 10 item or less grocery store register with a full cart.  Never starting to unload the cart until the order in front of her had been checked out, bagged and paid for.  Refusing to take even open her purse and start to dig for her checkbook or credit card until the order was checked out and bagged.  Sitting in her car messing with absolutely everything she could think of because someone else was waiting for the parking space.

This is deliberately rude behavior. She intends to provoke with her choices like poking an open wound with a knifepoint. It is nothing more than mean.



Actually, I think it's defensive. And it's  a classic example of passive aggressive.

I think she resents being rushed--maybe she always feels "pushed around." It's such a pervasive behavior that she really must have some hang-up there!

And if you want to change her, you will completely backfire if you say, "it's mean to other people," or "it's not fair to make them wait." Because she already feels "pushed around" by them for some reason.
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: Raintree on February 14, 2013, 10:00:35 PM
He does not apologise; instead, he gets angry with me and starts giving me a lecure; during his tirade, he said that when he was working all week, he had to do things and be places at the time when his bosses told him, but on the weekend, his time was HIS and he would do exactly what he wanted with it, he would go at his pace because he had earnt it - well, we got to the pictures, there were no decent seats left and we couldn't even all sit together, we missed the very beginning of the film and I have never been to the pictures with him again.

WHAT A JERK!!! So on weekends, his time is his....and everybody else's time is his too. I see.

Well, as I've mentioned in this and other threads, I have struggled all my life with lateness (I'm trying, I'm trying!!), and I hope people don't think all chronically late people have this attitude. Some are genuinely distressed that they, yet again, have screwed up on time and and inconvenienced others.
Title: Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
Post by: fluffy on February 15, 2013, 08:56:35 AM
Your MIL is a classic example of the adage that you can't change other people, you can only change your own reaction to them. Nothing you say or do is going to change her into the sort of person who shows up on-time, so all you can do is mitigate the damage. Try not to rely on her for rides or promise to take her places. If her lateness impacts you in a way that's unavoidable, try to practice some deep-breathing or other stress-relieving techniques.

My MIL tends to drive me crazy, although her particular flavor of crazy isn't tardiness related. I've gotten pretty good at letting it roll off of my back, but a girl can only take so much. So sometimes, I send my husband over to my IL's house without me. The occasional reprieve makes it much easier to deal with her when we all get together.

You want your husband to have a relationship with his Mom, but that doesn't mean that you have to suffer! The occasional family get-together will be just fine without you. Your husband can always offer up some polite fiction like you're feeling a little under the weather.