posted by Matt W on April 17th, 2013

This is how it usually works. My wife and I are going somewhere (it really doesn’t matter where). We have to be at our destination at 6:00 PM. It takes about 20 minutes to get there. So just to be safe we are trying to get out the door at 5:30. Check, we are in agreement. This is typically where our “schedules” diverge.

So typically, I take a shower, get dressed and am sitting in the kitchen reading the newspaper at 5:00. We’re going out to dinner so I try to limit myself to a sandwich, a Diet Coke and a couple of handfuls of peanuts to share with the dog (my dog loves me). At 5:25 my wife yells down a random request from the bedroom such as it would be great if “we” cleaned up the kitchen before we left. At 5:38 she frantically enters the kitchen and says we’re late and I say “I’ll meet you in the car” because I now have to go to the bathroom because my Diet Coke from 40 minutes ago just hit my middle-aged bladder while I was cleaning. She tromps out to the car and by the time she’s buckled up, I’m in the car buckled up and driving away to our destination at 5:40. If I happen to need directional help because I have never been to our destination, it can get a little balmy in the car during the next 19 minutes. We arrive at 5:59 with my wife having been stressed out for the last 19 minutes because “we’re” always late.

OK. First of all 5:59 is not late. Over the course of our lives we have made friends with people who are never on time; all great people, just not punctual. I don’t think we have ever been the second party arriving at the restaurant, movie, party, etc. EVER.

Second, doesn’t it defeat the purpose of going out if you’re all tensed up prior to leaving? We go out to dinner to relax and have a good time with friends. Why would I want to work up a lather and get stressed out cleaning or whatever when I can relax and spend quality time with my dog and a newspaper. It’s how I prepare myself.

Finally, I wasn’t late. 5:00 versus 5:38. If she came down at 5:00 we could have a cup of coffee, play a game of backgammon, chat, and I wouldn’t gain 2 pounds per outing by eating a meal before the meal (Not to mention the couple handfuls of peanuts as my dog is very persuasive when my wife isn’t in the room). I could make my coffee induced bathroom run at 5:29 and we’d be driving away at 5:30. Perfect. Also, isn’t 5:38, by definition late to a 5:30 rendezvous? Even if the rendezvous is just downstairs. How am I the late one?

Now, I will acknowledge that there are typically more societal constraints put on women when going out, and therefore my wife’s schedule can have a wrench or two thrown in it, such as changing her outfit because she doesn’t have the perfect shoes, and therefore needing to iron a blouse that she wasn’t planning on wearing. But the bottom-line is we weren’t late and if we were, it wasn’t my fault. But somehow, in my wife’s alternate universe, we are constantly late because I’m not ready.

Well, at least my dog knows the truth.

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