Saturday, November 07, 2009

We each have our faults

Life is very difficult. About two weeks ago I was very self righteous in a comment on Wounded Bird after Grandmere Mimi admitted her late arrival at church. I had noticed earlier comments about her being late including to a doctor appointment which had me agape. Here you would generally be charged for being late for an appointment unless you had a very good excuse. This annoys me as it seems unusual for doctors not to be running late and one expects to sit for long periods in waiting rooms, they are well named.

I explained that I had absorbed from my Father that one must never be late, one must never be on time, one must always be early. This is just as well as I usually go places by train and as we only have one train per hour (half hour in peak) it is a bit disastrous if one is late for it. However I am usually waiting on the platform 10 minutes before the train. In my teaching career I was usually at the room before my students and was annoyed by teachers who habitually arrived late resulting in all sorts of uproar from their rooms. Of course there were occasional hold ups which could not be avoided.

However if I can be smug about punctuality, it is quite a different matter about tidiness. I generally discourage any person from "dropping in' on me. The knowledge that someone is going to visit leads to an orgy of tidying and cleaning.  This is such a trial that I prefer to meet friends at a cafe or restaurant. On my desks in staff rooms and even more so at home, the filing system had been - if I used it 3 months ago it will be about a foot down under the pile. My dining room table is usually covered with newspapers that I intend finishing reading sometime and when the table needs to be used for eating then the floor will take the papers.

So now that my house is open for inspection with only a 15 minute warning from the estate agent,  it is sheer agony. Everything has to be put away as soon as I have finished with it. I have to wash up after each meal instead of once per day. Vacuuming has been twice a week instead of every 2 months (and yes, Mum was right, it does not take as long if done regularly). Clothes have to be hung up or put in the wash basket instead of being left lying over the bedroom chair.

I feel like a visitor in my own home, HELP.


motheramelia said...

I wonder if there's a cosmic balance that says if you're compulsive about time, you're not about tidyness and vice versa. I have absolutely no data to justify this idea at all. It's just that I know people who are never on time who are quite neat.

Leonard said...

In Latin America almost everyone runs late...that is, almost all of the Latinos run later than the non-Latinos (who run on time, mostly)...I think it´s kind of a competition of sorts that people like me usually get punished for as I wait (after arriving at the appointed time)...but then Central America is FAR MORE ¨on time¨ than Puerto Rico (often people NEVER SHOW UP AT ALL and Mass always started LATE by 15 minutes at least)!

June Butler said...

Brian, I'm rolling on the floor and feeling a bit of schadenfreude as I read your post. I shocked you with my stories of tardiness, didn't I? I've always thought that my time is no less valuable than the doctor's time, but I'm not usually 40 minutes late - more like 10 minutes late, and then I still wait to see the doctor. Sometimes, I'm even on time for my wait. The very late day was due to a series of unfortunate events

I fit Amelia's description in that I am a fairly tidy person. I have that on you. I get really unsettled around too much messiness. Past a certain point, I can't take it. Don't misunderstand. I'm not a neat freak. If you look at my book shelves, they're not very orderly, but the books are on the shelves and not piled on the table or on the floor. And you'll see piles of papers, but they're in their place.

Len, I'd do well in Latin America. Padre Mickey says that the folks in his parish in Panama routinely arrive late for church.