Yesterday cold weather kept my car from starting. I had work responsibilities, so my boss lent me our dreadful (but oh so gratefully accepted) white panel van for the day to use for both work and my own personal errands for the weekend.
Last evening I had a dinner party invitation. I'd never been to the host's home, so I left a bit early to give myself time to get lost and then found again. I ended up making it to their neighborhood 20 minutes early. I drove around for a bit. Then I parked, freshened my lipstick, fluffed the bow on the bottle of wine, and generally wasted time. Then I remembered their neighborhood has recently seen a rash of break-ins. Someone driving around in a battered, windowless van and then sitting parked for a prolonged period seems like it would creep people out considerably. So I popped out and knocked on the door around five minutes before time of my invitation.
Generally I would show up fifteen minutes later than the stated time, as is the convention around, so I was quite early. My hosts were a bit surprised, to say the least. But later I spied a cop car parked behind the van, presumably running the plates. Showing up early seems gauche. Showing up on time in the company of police officers seem somehow more gauche, not to mention embarrassing.
So. Should I have stayed in the van for another twenty? Or showed up just when I did?