Daily life poems

Is it rude to be late for everything? Punctuality is tricky.

Are you fashionably late or conveniently early?

One. Two There. Four. Five.

Yay me, I can count. 

Then, why am I always late?

I ate the minutes on the way, 

Stopping to say hi to every wayward mammal, creature, and human.

It is five seconds to you, 

50 minutes to me? 

How does it run by so fast?


Are you late for everything except every meal?

The sentence, “she’s late for everything except for every meal” from The Sound of Music soundtrack could be my life’s playlist or a sentence left on my gravestone.

Perhaps, I am always on time for mealtimes since I choose my own hours. A strict schedule would likely leave me falling behind.

Punctuality, here, is meant in the sense of meeting up with people and the concept of time. Yet, not deadlines.

For some reason, I have always been very punctual about deadlines.

Waiting for you.

The opposite of late: punctual

How can one never be late? Is it a cultural thing? Maybe. Before moving to Lebanon, everyone would always insist I was late for everything.

Between you and me, they were right. However, maybe, I was tapping into my Lebanese side without even knowing.

Ok, that sounds a bit like bullshit. Do some countries have more punctual inhabitants? I am inclined to believe that.

Yet, within my circle of people, some humans are always early.

We can’t generalize. I have come to notice that in Lebanon, for social outings, “people” are always late.

For instance, if lunch is supposed to be at 1 pm, nobody shows up then. Instead, starting to emerge at 1:40 pm, if you are lucky. The attendees can continue to arrive till 4:00 pm.

To be fair, a traditional Lebanese lunch can last upwards of 4 hours, especially if there is Arak, an alcoholic beverage present.

Are Lebanese people allergic to punctuality? In short, the answer is a hard no. We cannot generalize all Lebanese people, but this Lebanese is always late.

Here, though, I can arrive an hour late and still be on time.

On the other hand, I find that Lebanese parents tend to be incredibly early for the airport, car maintenance, and doctor’s appointments.

Never quite on time. Always too early or too late.

late for lunch

What is punctuality and, why is it important?

Punctuality is the act of showing up on time. Specifically, based on a predecided time and plans. Simple enough, right? Not if you are Lebanese.

Sometimes, a dinner invitation at 7 pm means a start at 9 pm. Likewise, going to a club or bar before 10 pm is almost unheard of. Nobody will make it.

Any plans on Sunday that happened around 3 pm are as good as canceled since everyone is still eating.

Yes, punctuality is needed; however, it is all about context.

In a social context, with the unconceived notion that everyone will be late, depending on your surroundings, it is ok to come late.

Rude to be late
Don’t be rude.

Avoid looking rude.

However, it is rude and stupid to show up late to a serious appointment or work commitment. You are effectively stealing people’s time and money away from them.

In the moments they lost waiting for you, they could have spent with their kids, working on their goals.

It’s not ok to be non-punctual when people perceive lateness as rude. In a setting where everyone knows people show up whenever then it is not rude.

Arriving late to a courtroom looks horrible on your part and makes the jury want to mark you as guilty.

Who is late, and who is early? Is it temperament?

In general, people who are conscientious and agreeable tend to arrive on time. Conversely, neuroticism is linked to being an early bird.

Well, at least according to a study on punctuality and the Big 5 personality traits.

There you have it amicable people arrive on time, they care. Are they somehow better for arriving on time? I give it to them- they are sweeter than me.

Cross-cultural differences exist in attitudes regarding time. Punctuality can be situational and sociocultural. A lack of punctuality changes depending on who we are with.

For example, punctuality at work, at home, and with friends can mean something entirely different.

Quotes about punctuality that make me chuckle

These quotes about punctuality give me the urge to smirk. Oh, the Witt. I wish I came up with them.

Oscar Wilde late quote.

“I am always late on principle, my principle being that punctuality is the thief of time.”

— Oscar Wilde
Virginia Wolf, the hours

“”Virginia wolf: It is the end of civilization: people who are invited at 4 and arrive at 2:30″.”.

— Quote from the movie, The Hours.

Finally, being early is safe.

In any relationship, the first impression is usually the most important or memorable at least.

Hence, when you are meeting people for the first time, it is always clever to arrive on time.

You can worry about being fashionably late another day. The only thing they will remember is you did not care enough about them to show up on time.

Late fees. A late period. Oh, a late bloomer. All these situations show how late has a negative shadow on it. So, I try my best to avoid the consequences surrounding it.

Furthermore, being late is not a personality trait. As much as I tried to prove it was at some point to excuse my tardy behavior.

Don't be late.

In reality, consistent tardiness is a choice. I choose to be late sometimes. That is on me, not a personality defect. Similarly, procrastination is a choice also.

I can own it now. However, I am always careful to correlate my level of timeliness with the people I am meeting.

For instance, if I know people are punctual, then I arrive on time for that appointment, as a sign of common respect.

With friends, who like me, enjoy being late, well then, I take my sweet time. There is a reason they are my friends, after all 🙂

Do you get angry when people show up late?

Hit the reply button !