Arts & Leisure

Dear Mari: Why is it I am always late?

WHY IS someone always late? Dear Marilyn has a theory.

Dear Marilyn,

As far back as I can remember I have been ten minutes late to everything that I have ever attended. This has always been a problem, but a minor one. My lateness could be joked about and laughed off. However, a few months ago it began to be a serious problem for me.

   I am now at a stage in my life where my chronic lateness has begun to annoy everyone that associates with me. Even my friends appear to be tired of constantly waiting for me.

I am a responsible person, but somehow I can’t seem to shake this bad habit. I have tried leaving my house ten minutes early, and creating a time schedule, but nothing seems to be working for me. How can I avoid being late, and all of the personal problems that it is constantly creating?

Signed, Fashionably Late

Dear Fashionably Late,

   The signature that you chose says a lot. Deep down, I think you really enjoy being late. Perhaps you enjoy being the center of attention when you first meet up with your friends or associates. You might kind of enjoy “making an entrance.”

   The fact that you have tried to leave 10 minutes early and it didn’t work for you tells us a lot. Of course it works to leave 10 minutes early if you want to be on time. It always works! The point that you are missing is that it is rude to be chronically late. It says that your time is more important that the other people there. It says that it doesn’t bother you if they have to wait for you.

   This is the reason that your friends are trying to subtly hint that they are getting tired of it. They are really good friends, or they would have flat out told you by now that your constant lateness is getting very old.

   So, really think about deep down why you don’t mind if you are late to everything. Once you understand, then the next step is to realize that you must stop this behavior. It is not cute, and it is not necessary. From now on, leave 15 minutes early for each get together. You will get there on time. You say that you are a responsible person. You need to act responsibly.

   In the long run, you and your friends will be much happier for it.

Dear Marilyn,

I have a very close friend. His name is Jon. We have been great buddies since we were kids. He is going to be going to school in North Carolina at the end of this summer. He is really excited about going.

The problem is that he is really tight on money. He is working part time this summer, but he will need the money for college. Due to the price of gas, he has been thinking of getting a cheap motorcycle, or a gas scooter to get around at school.

I happen to have a “go-ped” scooter. I bought it about three years ago for around $600. We both know that it is just sitting in my garage. It is in perfectly good running condition.

It sounds like it would be the perfect vehicle for him to get around on in North Carolina. We have briefly discussed the idea of him buying it from me. Since he is so tight on money, and that we are such good friends, what do you think that I should do? Should I sell it to him for full price? Or, should I sell it to him at a discounted price? Or, finally, should I just give it to him. I am not nearly as financially strapped as he is, and I’m really not sure what I should do.

Signed, Jon’s Friend

Dear Jon’s Friend,

     It is always difficult to mix friendship and financial transactions. I don’t think that you should charge him full price for it. After all, it is used. So, that leaves the two options of a discounted price, or giving it to him.

   Either option makes sense. If you can afford it, and since you are not using it, it would be a kindness to give it to him.

   Having said that, you did pay for it, and it would not be unreasonable to charge him a few hundred dollars for it.

You may want to suggest that you would sell it to him at whatever you think would be a reasonable price. If he agrees, that is fine.

   If, however, he hesitates due to his financial situation, that it really is up to you if you’d like to give it to him. You certainly are not obligated to do so. The choice would be yours at that point.

Dear Readers, please send your questions to . Remember to put “Dear Marilyn” in the subject line.

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