Carpe mañana

My parents are the type to be an hour early to an event. They wanted to have the best seat in the house, and that’s usually what happened. 

And along with getting a prime seat, I learned to wait. I brought a book or people-watched. Or I day-dreamed. I know how to pass time waiting for something to happen. 

Of course, I married a man who was chronically late. We were the last parents at any school event. Not only did we not get the best seat in the house, we ended up standing in the back of the auditorium. Eventually, I smartened up and told him the assembly, concert, or whatever was a half-hour  early. That way we got there in time. He’s a lot better these days by the way.

Nearly seven years ago, we moved to Taos, where people appear to have a lousy sense of time. It’s an accepted way of life to be late. Stores often don’t open on time. People take their time getting to appointments. I heard a company’s radio ad boasting, “We return your phone calls and we show up on time” as if that’s something extra special. (More on returning phone calls another time.)

Last year, my newspaper asked our readers a few essay questions for one of its special sections. One of the questions was “You know you’re in Taos when …” I laughed out loud when I read this answer: “When you’re 20 minutes late and you are the first one there.”

I once saw a car’s bumper sticker that read: “Carpe mañana.” I would love to know where I could buy it.

So how do I cope in the land of mañana? I sit and wait for others. I don’t mind. I know how to do that really well.


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