So years ago, in another life, I worked retail at an antique shop in SoHo. This was many years ago, before living in Japan shook all the tardiness out of me; when I habitually strolled into workplaces and classrooms and restaurants 10-15 minutes late: The train, the bus. Grand Central was crazy. I couldn’t get across town! Never, Sorry – I was cocking around on AOL and Friendster. But I digress.
One time I actually had a really good excuse for being late to work. Sure, I was already running a few minutes late but, back then, my 19 year-old legs were up to running from Chinatown to SoHo and I’d have made it, too (!!!) … if the elevator of my dorm building hadn’t gotten stuck between the 12th and 11th floor. It took the dorm’s handyman at least half an hour to free me from the clutches of the death trap, and I finally made it to work, flushed and wheezing – The elevator got stuck! I was trapped! I couldn’t get out! – only to meet my boss’s cool gaze. Really, she said. Stuck in an elevator. I see. And a couple of weeks later, when she fired me: You just don’t know what you’re doing. You’re clueless. Get out of my store. And don’t get “stuck” in the elevator this time.
But I did get stuck in the elevator. Honest! Try telling that to a middle-aged control freak who’s practically hurling Victorian hat pins and 1950s Head Vases at your head. But I digress… again.
Yesterday, to kick off Carnevale, Flora, Katarina and I made plans to head to Pontecorvo for their annual Carnevale Parade. Instructions were to meet Flora at her house, where we’d all go together in her car. I usually pick up Katarina, who lives high up on a mountain between my apartment and Flora’s house. And I tell you, thanks to Japan – thanks to being forced to write apology letters to my boss if I was even one (ONE!) minute late to punch in, thanks to missing trains if I was ten seconds behind schedule – I’m never late anymore. The same can’t be said for Katarina, who runs on Hungarian time and called Flora from the passenger seat of my car: We’re coming, we’re coming! Look, there’s no reason to get so dicked off; you’re always late, too! We’re on our way!
And then, just as we were rounding the corner to Flora’s house… it happened. The best excuse ever for being late. This time, I got proof:
Because some things sound silly even when they’re coming out of your own mouth.