What I want to know is, who came up with the term “fashionably late?”

I guarantee it wasn’t somebody like me, and from what I’ve noticed, those somebodies like me in this world are becoming fewer and further in-between.

I’m a social guy. I like to host social gatherings. I like having hang-outs at my house, parties, whatever. The problem is, when I tell others the party starts at seven, few people ever show up until eight or nine. Some don’t show up until ten or later. The last time I hosted a party at my house, I listed the starting time at seven. Eight rolled around. Nobody. Nine rolled around. Nobody. What the heck? I started cleaning up, assuming I was just a loser. More than ten people had told me they were coming, but nobody showed.

The food got cold. The punch lost its fizz. I eventually started cleaning up, wondering when exactly I had developed leprosy.

Then, at 9:15 the doorbell rang. A friend showed up. “Where is everybody else?” he asked. I just grumbled. By 10:30 everyone was there plus a few unexpecteds.

For some reason, nobody wants to be the first one there anymore, at least in my social circle. And, over the years, I’ve found that the want to not be first feeds off of itself to make it worse and worse. People recognize that others are trying to do the same, so they purposefully make themselves even more tardy. With time, I’m betting we won’t be able to start the party until after midnight.

But seriously… what’s wrong with being the first one there? I’m pretty much always the first one there, when there is somewhere else. I don’t mind. It’s not like it’s torture having to talk to an old friend, catch up on life, or… God forbid… help the host finish cooking/setting up for the party.

The temptation is to tell friends the party starts one or two hours before I actually want it to start. But, I can’t. The second I do that, some friend will show up “on time” and I’ll be far from ready to host anything for anybody.

I guess the real answer is to simply stop attempting to offer hot food. Doritos and Oreos from here on out.

Or maybe I should just ask everybody to please come on time. Maybe I should respectfully ask them all to help me get rid of the “fashionably late” mindset. I’ve definitely tried the passive aggressive route, but that certainly hasn’t helped.

What do you think? Do you have this problem when you host parties? Are you one who feels that being late is expected and totally okay? I’d love to hear your comments!

Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing