This will come as a shock to those of you who know me.
Last night I was late.
For those of you who don't know me... allow me to explain.
I am never late. I loathe being late. I am always early. Even if I think I'm going to be late for something I get all tense and paranoid. I panic as if the world is going to end because I might possibly be late for something. But the truth is - I am never late.
Until last night.
Last night I was late.
I left work and headed to Minneapolis to Luke's place. Traffic was moving at the usual pace and I arrived at Luke's without a care in the world. Plenty of time, I thought. I went inside and Luke was just about ready to leave. He changed a load of laundry and I gave Bella a treat. No hurrying at all. Back in the car Luke was in the driver's seat and we were off to the French Meadow Cafe. I had a groupon to use for dinner.
Getting to French Meadow proved to be more of an expedition than I had planned. Oh, the traffic! I didn't feel any panic though. We would still have time for dinner and make it to Spanish class at 6:30 p.m.
(What was I thinking? Why wasn't I panicking? I should have known better!)
We sat down at our table at French Meadow and ordered tea. Then we ordered an appetizer and our entrees. This is where the pressure finally started to sink in. How were we going to have enough time to eat and get to class by 6:30 p.m.? What time was it when we sat down? French Meadow Cafe isn't the kind of place where you want to rush through dinner. Why hadn't we just gone to grab some soup at Common Roots Cafe?
The thing is... not only am I never late, I am always early. SO early. In college I remember showing up to empty classrooms all. the. time. I was usually the first one to arrive for class. If I'm driving somewhere new I allow extra driving time. I'm so early that even if I get lost along the way I can still arrive early to my final destination. (That has actually happened to me.)
You know what happens when you are early for everything? You spend a lot of time waiting. Waiting for others to show up. Waiting checking your clock. Waiting for things to start. Waiting.
But last night I was late.
Luke flagged down our waitress and asked her, "Can you bring our bill with our entrees? We have somewhere we need to be at 6:30." The entrees were served and we ate fast. If anyone was watching us they probably thought we were in the middle of a fight. It was all action and no talking. Eat your dinner. Hurry up. Even at this point I wasn't completely freaking out about being late. Classes never really start on time anyway, right? I know this after all of my 'showing up early and waiting around' experience.
My debit card was out and ready to go. But wait, oh no. What's this? The bill is wrong. I should only have to pay about $8 after the groupon discount yet the waitress charged almost $20 to my card. Crap. This isn't helping. Luke scooped up the bill and my card and got the error fixed while I continued to hurry up and eat. (He somehow managed to finish his gnocchi with lightening speed).
Bill fixed. Receipt signed. Coats are on. Luke took the car keys and planned to pick me up on the corner. No sense in both of us trying to cross Lyndale Avenue on foot with all the traffic going by. Once I was in the car we were headed only a few blocks away to Jefferson School for our very first Spanish class. Yep, that's right: LATE ON THE FIRST NIGHT OF CLASS.
We hurried into the building and quickly asked the Community Education office staff person where we needed to go. Third floor. We rode the elevator with another guy going to the same class. We finally reached the room and walked in through the open door. The lights were off and the instructor was already going through powerpoint slides. Seriously. And do you know what time it was right then? 6:33 p.m. SERIOUSLY. And you know what else? Three other students showed up AFTER US.
So yes, ladies and gentleman, last night I was late. And even though I was late, the world didn't end. I survived. Everything's just fine. Other people were even later than me. Plus, I don't think I really missed much during those first three minutes of class. Maybe now I can use this experience and just be on time for things rather than always early. Maybe.