Hickory Dickory Dock


Dear Dharma,

It just happened again! One of my friends does not get the concept of time. She is ALWAYS about an hour early whenever we plan an outing or when she is invited over…

I get that it’s probably worse when people are late, but come on! Isn’t turning up ultra-early just as rude? I have tried everything! Well, maybe not everything which is why I’m asking you for advice….and get this, I am always right on time to pick her up when I’m in the driver’s seat but usually have to wait for her.  What’s up with this?

Timed Out!

Dear Timed Out,

I am completely, 100% with you on this one.  People arriving early is in my top 10 list of things that tick me off.  Maybe one day, I’ll post that list…

And yes, I think showing up early – an hour early? OMG!  I’d still be running around my house naked and in a panic if you showed up at my place an hour early! – is just as rude as being late.  In both cases, it shows lack of respect towards your time.

I have actually texted people who are coming over for dinner and said, “Don’t be early!! :)”  Hopefully they haven’t thought me rude, but the end result was they weren’t early when I wasn’t quite ready.

Anyway, I wish you made mention of what you have tried that your friend hasn’t responded to.  My advice will likely cross over something you’ve already done, but hopefully I’m able to offer something fresh.

Instead of having her meet at your place before going out for (dinner, a movie, a show), plan to meet at the (restaurant, movie theatre, play house.  That way if she wants to show up a hour early, great, she can fill her boots, at no cost to you.

If she is coming over to your place, tell her 4pm when you want her there for 3pm.  That one might backfire on you (ha, she shows up at 4pm and is actually an hour late), but it sounds like it’s a safe risk, since you yelled the word ALWAYS.

Or try the direct but friendly approach…  “Hey, Sally!  Come over for dinner around 6:00 – and just so you know, I have a few errands to run beforehand, so if you arrive an hour early like you do, I won’t be there.”

Or even more direct…  “Mary, I’d love to have you over for lunch at noon, and if possible, could you not show up early?  I would like to have the opportunity to have everything prepared before you arrive.”

Remember – it’s up to you when you choose to open your door, so if you’ve tried all the approaches with no success, you could always blame it on your headphones.



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Categories: Advice, Etiquette, Friends

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