Friday, February 23, 2007


I was meeting a friend. As usual, she was late. Oh, how I despise people who are habitually late. I am sure everyone knows someone like this. Occasional lateness cannot be avoided; but when someone gets to the point where they consider themselves early if they are only twenty minutes behind schedule… well I don’t know, really. But it’s bloody annoying.

Especially when one’s solitary state leaves one as prey to Boring Acquaintances. His friend was late too, so he pounced on me immediately.

I was really hanging out for some Lanson, but couldn’t bear the thought of despoiling perfectly innocent money on him, so ordered some Deutz. He looked immeasurably smug. "Here, let me take care of this," he said, ordering the second-most expensive bottle in a very loud voice, and handing over his gold Visa with a flourish (I gasped, slightly. A gold Visa. How could he think I would be impressed with a gold Visa. For the love of sweet Jesus, even my fucking plumber has a gold Visa). "I really can’t drink red wine during the day," I protested, "it makes me go to sleep."

"Nonsense," he said, "You’ll love this."

The waitress bought the wine to the table, and poured a tasting glass. He furiously swirled the wine in his glass like he was trying to centrifuge it. Crickets chirped. The waitress started to age before my eyes. Several species evolved into new life forms. He slurped some of the wine, and continued the centrifugal process in his mouth. If the wine wasn't a vintage when he ordered the wine, it surely would be by now.

He spent many long minutes waxing poetical about the "rough reds" he had sampled in Italy; the philosophies of different grape varieties. "I really have little interest in wine," I said, "so long as it numbs the pain that is life, I really don't care what it is." He laughed uproariously, despite the fact that I wasn't joking, then continued, undaunted, with a sermon on Merlot.

My friend arrived, and Mr Boring Acquaintance thankfully drifted away, in search of a more appreciative audience. Ms Late (currently single) asked what the Acquaintance was like.

I poured her a glass. "The bottle looks good, but the wine has definitely corked."
We laughed.


llew said...

Fuck that, anymore than 10 minutes late & I won't be waiting.

That includes doctors.

Mrs Smith said...

I know. You are quite right. Friends need to be trained, just like dogs. I should carry a rolled-up newspaper in my handbag, to smack late-comers on the nose with.

Oswald Bastable said...

Habitual lateness is rudeness.

Nothing less.

A suitor may be kept on hold- briefly- to test him. A friend should not be kept waiting, as a matter of course.

But as a person of breeding- you know that!

Anonymous said...

I despise the habitually late, it assumes that their time is of greater importance than your own.

Anonymous said...

I can't tell whether this blog is very good, or very bad; but you have a voice, and I respect that.

Mrs Smith said...

Define 'very bad.' I may agree with you.