I don’t like to be late. I often am, though. I hate it, actually. Being late. Since I’m a ‘regular offender,’ if you will, that amounts to a lot of frustration (and when I say a lot, I mean at least several tons). So when possible, when I think about it and plan ahead, I arrive early. Or as close to early as can be. This loathing of lateness and paradoxical habitual tardiness are probably related to the OCD tendencies I manage to keep hidden from the majority of the world for the majority of the time. That’s a story for another day, though.
Today was a prime example of earliness. Completely planned, of course. Occasion: a Braves game at Turner Field with Jason (fun, goofy, hilarious, and possibly as baseball mad as me although unlikely, Jason). The grad school offers discounted tickets a couple of times a year, and back in the autumn as impressionable, it’s barely started, grad school seems great! first years, we went to a Mets game and had a good time. So, when the notice came out that they were doing it again, we decided for a repeat. The thing is, we were in charge of our own transportation (last time they put us on a school bus and we had clearly defined start and end times to report for), and we didn’t actually get our tickets through the grad school…we just used the date they suggested (another Mets matchup), and took public transportation (and bought tickets online).
To ensure that we’d arrive at the game in time, I told Jason to meet me 10 minutes before the bus left campus. Which meant that I needed to be on a bus to get to campus in time to meet him. I told Jason 5:20. I left my place at 4:45. We met successfully and got on the bus we’d been 10 minutes early for at 5:35 (it was 5 minutes late). Then we took the train, transferred to a shuttle, and arrived at the stadium 45 minutes early: 6:25. Game started 7:10. As you can see, it was all very carefully mapped out, scouted, confirmed, and allowances were made for possible bus breakdowns, train breakdowns, losing direction, and extremely long lines at Will Call. None of which happened, but I was PREPARED! by golly. Jason teased me about it only a little. If I strategized and made a point of being on time like this on a regular basis, not only would I gain a reputation of punctuality, I think I’d drive my friends (and myself!) a little mad. Because although arriving on time is lovely, and something I strive to do daily, I find that if you take it all by itself and obsess (or worry) about it, then it’s annoying, anxiety inducing, and all around not fun. Of course, terminal lateness also causes those same reactions. Looks like it’s time to sort out a happy medium.
The game was lovely, though. Hits in the double digits for both sides, plenty of empty seats all around, good music between innings to dance in your chair to, cotton candy and jumbo dogs galore… And I accidentally spilled ketchup on myself, and an entire large Coke on Jason. Did I mention that he’s a complete dear? Coke didn’t even faze him. He just went on like I wasn’t his horridly clumsy friend, and asked how I’d even managed to tip it over him. Come to think of it, the extremely friendly Will Call lady didn’t daunt him either. I shall have to boil him down and sell this wondrous thing called social imperviousness. Let me know if you want a bottle...it comes dear (or it will).
The entire journey happened in reverse starting at 10:26, though much faster, and I was home safe by 11:32. Now I know the recipe, so it will happen again soon, I hope. Although I don’t think I’d care to repeat the spills. Knowing me, next time it will be a slushie. Or mustard. Did I mention the Braves lost, 3-4?