When Jeff and I first met I didn’t know he was, what I lovingly call, time conscious.
It was a few months later when we had plans to meet some friends for dinner that I got my first clue. I caught sight of Jeff in the driveway waiting on me. He paced back and forth behind the car, holding his clenched fists to his side while mumbling to himself.
I flung open the door and ran out to meet him. Right in front of my eyes he transformed into calm, non harried Jeff, a man without a care.
I gave him a quick nod and smile. “I’m ready.” And we walked to the passenger side of the car.
I dipped down into my seat and Jeff shut the door. That’s when I heard him say, “Thank you Lord.”
He plopped into the driver side and I tried to mirror his calm facade. I said, “Would it be better for you if next time we left fifteen minutes earlier?”
Smooth as can be, he said, “Whatever you think honey.”
After awhile the fifteen minute leeway wasn’t enough. One day I spied him standing by the door, keys in hand, and his head hung down between his shoulders.
I grabbed my coat and bag and rushed to him. “You know, maybe we could leave thirty minutes earlier than we scheduled.”
A gush of wind flew from his mouth as the red color faded from his face. “Whatever you think honey.”
Now twenty years later, when we get ready to go somewhere we start planning early in the day. For example, last week, we decided to go to the Time Warp Tea Room, a casual hangout in the old part of town, a five minute motorcycle ride from our house.
I gave Jeff a sideways glance. “What time are we leaving?”
“Five-thirty.” Jeff sounded so sure but I knew better.
“Five-thirty? For real five-thirty?”
“Uh, yeah, uh… five-fifteen.”
I put my hands on my hips and cocked my head to one side. “What time do you want to be there?”
“I’d like to be there at five-thirty.”
“So you want to leave at five?” I should get points for teasing this out of him.
“Yeah, okay. Let’s make it four-forty-five.”
I laughed and threw up my hands. “I’ll be ready at four-thirty.”
“Oh, no hurry. Four-thirty is fine.”
I don’t really mind showing up at places early or in our case, extra early. But I can tell you what happens after our early arrival. We wait on everyone else to get there. And then, we wait on everyone who is running late to get there.