We talk about eating disorders, body dysmorphia, phobias, substance abuse, depression…
But what about a time disorder?
What do you call it when you never get along with days, hours and minutes? Is there a name for that?
When you always have one clock in the house that’s on the wrong hour setting — daylight savings when it’s standard time, standard when it’s daylight savings? Plus 6 minutes fast, so you’re always tricked for a second into thinking you’re running late, but then it wears off and you automatically do the calculation and eventually start looking at the regular time as 6 minutes fast, so you’re tricked into thinking you have extra time when you don’t?
When you never go to bed when you said you’d go to bed, or get up when you said you were going to get up, even though you did a visualization exercise the night before of yourself bounding out of bed right at the perfect hour and plunging into your perfect day (which includes drinking water first thing and not checking email for at least an hour – ha!)?
When you reasonably plan out two and a half hours to work out, cool off, shower, get dressed, eat something, head out, walk slowly so you don’t sweat, get to the meeting fifteen minutes early so you can go to the bathroom and say hi to people…and then try to do it all in one hour instead?
When “I’ll work on this steadily for two months and get it all done” turns into “I still have a whole weekend to get it all done” which turns into “I can do it on the plane. It’s a 3-hour flight.” Which of course turns into, “Flying is the only time I get to read. Plus, I put my laptop in the overhead.”
When you say “Sorry I’m late” and you know the other person is thinking, “Of course you are”?
When looking at the time never pleases you, and always makes you say, “Shit.”
Do you call it Tempopathy? O’clockaphobia? Fuckedupabouttimeitis?
Or just “normal”?
It’s not just about procrastinating. It’s about a completely shape-shifting, super-elastic-bubble-plastic notion of time, and a constant squabble with it.
Is it a thing, or is everyone like that? Are there people who are friends with time? Seriously, are there?
Answer my question. Are you friends with time? Do you know someone who is? Who understands it accurately, likes it, treats it right, obeys it? If so, are you sure this is really a person and not an alien wearing a stolen person skin?
TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS.
Randle Browning says
Ahh! You speak to me. Especially that one about having a month to do something, then doing it in a weekend, then doing it on the flight, and then scrambling to do it the night before instead, because planes only motivate me to drink tomato juice. -_-
Exactly! Tomato juice, or in my case, bloody mary mix, sends a signal to the body that it’s time to do nothing productive, and maybe to try sleeping again, even though you’re not especially tired.
I really relate to this — although I combine it with it with a real annoyed feeling at myself (often directed at others!) for being late. I would like to take this opportunity to add that I’m not a “self-starter.” I am not willing to “take initiative and see a project through to it’s completion.” If I have a speaking engagement, I’m secretly just as happy to have no-one show up as I am to have a full room. I, Saul, feel good about finally owning up to this!
I don’t relate to self-starters. Why do anything before someone makes you do it? What’s the point of that? I’ve been rewarded so many times by not taking initiative. “Oh, sorry if you’ve already sunk lots of time into that project, it’s been canceled.”
Oh, the fantasy of a speaking engagement that gets called off. You took the risk of “putting yourself out there” without having to actually do so.
Belgray! Get out of my head!! Related: How the hell is it 3:30 already?
I can’t get out of your head because those shades are in the way! I think you keep a profile pic longer than anyone I know. Which I appreciate, because who has time to deal?
Janet Griffin says
I definitely have O’clockaphobia to the nth degree. I’m perpetually late for pretty much everything, except flights. I’m insanely early for flights because I want to get the f*ck out of dodge like NOW. I get to JFK before everything opens and then sit there for hours. But at least I make my flight. As for work, meh. I’ll get there. My boss doesn’t even say anything anymore because he knows I’m not getting there on time. I do make up the time, though, and get my stuff done, so he’s happy. I envy people who are always on time. It’s not like I do it on purpose, I actually like being on time and it’s getting better. But being a night owl makes getting up in the morning sooooooo hard and I have such a comfy, warm bed, with lots of pillows and a great comforter and, wait, what were we talking about?
I agree! It’s not on purpose. It’s not a hostile thing, or a “my time is more valuable than yours” thing. It’s a damn I wish I were an on-time person thing. I never enjoy being late. I love being on time. Even early, though that only happens if you trick me.
I must ask, what’s the fun in getting to JFK before Hudson News opens?
There really is no fun in getting there before Hudson News opens (which is a strange, strange feeling). I’m just paranoid about missing flights. Especially if I have an early-morning flight, I’m so afraid I’ll oversleep that I just sleep in fits and starts and then jump up so I can get to the airport. Believe me, once I get to the JFK and see I have hours to wait around, I start cursing myself because I can’t even get a cup of freaking coffee cuz NOTHING IS OPEN. On top of no coffee, the terminal is like an ice box and I just can’t get warm!!! Because again, NOTHING IS OPEN.
I’m early everywhere and can’t stand people who are perpetually late. In fact, it’s a deal breaker that I won’t bend on with friends.
Family is another story, you can’t get rid of them, so they just end up driving you bat shit crazy when you’re always waiting on them. My sister and I fought constantly over this while growing up.
I always think, “What the fuck is wrong with people? The days have always had 24 hours in them, no more, no less. Why can’t they get their shit together?”
And don’t even get me started on those that “never have enough time in the day” and they don’t even have kids and live alone.
Time. Management. What a concept.
Oh snap, you are harsh! You’re going to have to make an exception for me. As you can see, I don’t even get to my blog comments on time.
Some people without kids don’t have them precisely because they don’t have time.
I don’t know how anyone fits them in.
I have less time than the average person because my body requires like, 10 hours of sleep. At least in the winter. It’s terrible. I lose all that time-ground I gained by not having kids.
You have described me exactly, Laura. To admit here, on a post for all to see, that I do not have an A type personality, is embarrassing.
I love the names you invented for this common-as-a-cold disease.
I misread it the first time. When I read it the 2nd time, I realized what you had probably MEANT to say.
Or did you do that on purpose?
This is what I read the 2nd time:
Fucked-up-about-time-itis, as in cellul-itis and gastr-itis.
And here’s what I thought it said the first time I read it:
Fucked up? About time, is it?
(I actually thought you made a mistake, interchanging the words “is” and “it”). And thought that maybe you meant it as:
Fucked up about time? It is!
Of course I meant -itis, as in arthritis, or any other swollen thing – because I think that’s what it is, it’s a swollen sense of time.
How come you can transition between genders, but not between type a and type b? Or is it just type lay-Z?
I would kill to be Type A. I’m so not type A that I’m willing to capitalize it differently every time I type it.
Sam S. says
I am not friends with time – far from it. But my problem is the opposite of yours. If I am invited to a dinner party within easy walking distance in my own neighborhood and the event begins at 7:00, I first allow 30 minutes for drive time because 30 minutes is the minimum amount of time I can comfortably allow for any activity whatsoever. I prefer dealing in whole hours, so 30 minutes is a compromise and even though I could walk to the party in 10 minutes max, I’m going to drive because I’ve got a casserole to bring and it might rain and there’s probably going to be a shortage of nearby parking spaces so what am I thinking…I’d better allow an hour. Backing up from that is shower and dressing time (one, no two hours), dog chore time (play time, food time, poop time – at least two hours), casserole prep time (30 minutes to prep, 30 minutes to cook, 30 minutes to clean up the mess. 30 minutes to find something to carry it in, serving spoons, last minute garnish…hell, allow half a day total), and of course nap time because who can’t use a good nap. Do the math and I’ll start prepping for your party a day, maybe two, before the actual event but am guaranteed to show up exactly on time – meaning 6:00…AM. I hope you won’t be inconvenienced by having to entertain me for 13 hours prior to your party but, hey, I brought a casserole and if you need help getting prepared to host just turn me loose. I’ll have you ready yesterday for the party you’re throwing tomorrow.
NOBODY shines a light on one’s time problem like the person who shows up on time for the party. “Oh shit, I mean oh yay, you’re here! Pour yourself a drink while I go dry my hair.”
I guess showing up early early is better, because who’s expected to be ready yet? So OK, you can come 13 hours early. I do need your help.
I’m jealous of your reverse time-problem.