Author Topic: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.  (Read 7491 times)

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Jaelle

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Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
« on: February 12, 2013, 10:09:15 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?  :-\
“She was already learning that if you ignore the rules people will, half the time, quietly rewrite them so that they don't apply to you.”
― Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites

oceanus

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Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2013, 10:13:31 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.

Katana_Geldar

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Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2013, 10:19:43 PM »
You can tell her am event is earlier than it actually is.

Jaelle

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Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2013, 10:29:31 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
“She was already learning that if you ignore the rules people will, half the time, quietly rewrite them so that they don't apply to you.”
― Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites

delabela

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Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2013, 10:32:08 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.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2013, 10:33:39 PM by delabela »

oceanus

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Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2013, 10:38:02 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.?

 

Deetee

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Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2013, 10:52:15 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.

gmatoy

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Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2013, 11:05:30 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.


Venus193

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Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2013, 11:08:38 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. 

flowersintheattic

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Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2013, 11:12:08 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.
...I learned my lesson / And yes, I still remember the last one / But this time will be different / Until I do it again... ~Phish, "Kill Devil Falls"

Deetee

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Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2013, 11:22:03 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)

random numbers

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Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2013, 11:50:39 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?

Amava

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Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2013, 02:07:20 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...

veryfluffy

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Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2013, 02:15:18 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."
   

nuit93

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Re: Another lateness thread: The righteously late.
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2013, 02:20:48 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!