We all know people who are chronically late for everything. They can’t seem to show up on time for a single thing, and we who wait impatiently, tapping our feet, are the ones who suffer from it, not them. I’ve had some friends who were a little late now and then, some who were very late sometimes, and some who were just late for everything all the time.
For example, my beloved Crankee Yankee can be a bit late for some things, but certainly not everything. While I, anticipating that I am the one who takes the most time getting ready for anything; will shower first, get my make-up on and see to my hair and so on. The Crankee Yankee will get ready in his time and in his fashion. We will be just about ready to go and he will remember that he didn’t brush his teeth, that the car needed gas or that he needed to get some cash from the ATM. While this can be a little irritating, it really doesn’t take long and to be honest; it doesn’t happen often. That type of lateness is minor, forgettable and forgivable.
However, I have had the dubious honor to have known one of the biggest Freddy-Fool-Arounds I’ve ever known in my life. This was Barry, a guy I worked with at the same office. We were both single at the time, and had a few similar interests, like guitar-playing, singing, and movies. Each Friday night became our night to play and sing a little, then find a good movie. We usually frequented those movie/pub places where you can order food, then watch the movie and eat at the same time.
So far, so good. As long as we stuck to this plan we were pretty much good to go. Then we started having get-togethers with other like-minded people who also loved guitar-playing, music and movies. This is what ultimately revealed Barry as the latest person in the free world.
All of us would have agreed to meet at the movie/pub at a certain time. The time came, we were all there, except for Barry. We would wait, complain, start getting nervous about missing the movie, try calling him (to no avail), and usually he would stroll in just about the time we were ready to go in without him.
That was bad enough, but when he decided to buy a futon, that’s when things really went off the rails. A girlfriend and I took Barry to a well-known furniture place to look for a futon. We found a great one, and then Barry said he didn’t like the color of the material. The salesman there said, ‘no problem, just take a look at our fabric samples, pick out what you want, and we’ll take care of it.’
So the three of us sat down and started going through the samples (by the way, there were NINE big fabric sample books). Within ten minutes, I found the perfect material; a nice-looking blue and gray pattern. I showed it to Barry, and he liked it, but said, “that’s nice, but I can’t choose that right now.”
I asked him why, and he said, “I won’t be able to make a decision until I see EACH PATTERN in the fabric books.” <insert stunned and dead silence from me and my friend here> One of us said, “Are you KIDDING?!?”
Barry looked at us both and said, “well, yes–of course.” As if this was the only answer possible.
Four and a half hours later, the three of us had reviewed every single piece of material in all nine fabric books. And guess what he chose? The blue and gray material that I had showed him TEN MINUTES after we got to the store!
Another time Barry asked for my help in picking out new clothes at a popular men’s store. There was a great sale going on, so Barry and I plus two of our friends met at the store. The salesman chose a couple of jackets, shirts, slacks and ties; all of which complimented each other. The price was right, the clothes looked great on Barry–but again, we were stymied by his wish to “just look a little more.” This time, everyone but Barry went back to the car. We ordered a pizza, and ate the whole thing by the time he came back with–you guessed it–the very same clothes that the salesman had shown him.
But the cherry on top of the crap sundae that is Barry was his kayaking weekend. I have not mentioned this previously, but Barry was, well–very careful with his money (i.e., cheap). He hated spending money unless it was too good a deal to pass up. But the kayaking weekend was something he really wanted to do, so not only did he spring for the weekend, but then bought all the equipment and gear. The big weekend arrived, he was packed up and ready to go.
But then, Barry being Barry, he unpacked everything and sorted everything out to make positively SURE he needed it, then repacked. Then he decided to untie his kayak from the car roof and re-position it. He changed clothes, and then did various other little things he wanted done before he left. Before he knew it, he was SEVEN HOURS LATE. I am not kidding–seven flipping hours late for a course he paid for. Oh, he made it to the class all right, but I can just imagine him explaining his tardiness.
From then on, I have called any late-comer in my life as a “Barry.” So if you happen to have a Barry in your life, be warned: they usually don’t change, they just get later…..