One major difference between my Gen-X’er husband and myself is our idea of what being on time means. Growing up my family was late for everything. I mean absolutely everything. We were always the last ones to arrive at a family get together, softball games, bowling league, etc. It was the running joke in my extended family.
Being late has never seemed like a big deal to me, but to my husband it is a huge faux pas. Now as an “adult” I know the difference between an important social function that I need to arrive on time to and one that I can be a little late to. Everything isn’t black and white, there’s gray areas, especially regarding etiquette in the 21st century. It’s not 1917 anymore, and society has relaxed a bit.
This past weekend the family was invited to a 2nd birthday party. Our kids don’t get a ton of socialization, so we decided to go. The party started at 2, and I had to shower before we went. (I’m a mom, it had been a day or two!) When I told my husband at quarter to 1 that I had to jump in the shower he went straight to panic mode. He got both the kids dressed and the diaper bag packed and the car loaded while I showered and got ready. We pulled out of the driveway at 1:30 (we had to stop for a gift still, we’re totally last minute!).
Now I know that a child’s 2nd birthday party is a huge deal to the parents and family. But it is not a serious, important social event that you have to be right on time for. There were plenty of people who showed up late or left early. Matter of fact, we were the first guests to show up, at 5 minutes til 2, and showed up the same time as the grandparents.
My husband and I don’t necessarily agree on everything, and obviously social etiquette is one of those things. I don’t think it would be a big deal to show up late, even an hour late to an event like this. But for my husband that is a serious social blunder. So I guess I’m not always late, but if it’s just me or me and the kids, we may let a few minutes slide.