Thursday, February 02, 2012

Wisconsin 101: Time and nothingness

It's probably not a good idea to have a gun class at the same place where the music starts 90 minutes late - or where the music is cancelled 90 minutes after it was supposed to have started.

I am way less Type A than I used to be. Living in Chile for two years knocked it out of me. There is Latin time and then there is indigenous people time - I worked with a group of indigenous women, which is, "Ten o'clock? You mean while the sun is still in the sky."

I had to adapt or go crazy.

I thought when I moved to Wisconsin, the land of the Germans and the Scandinavians, that I would be among My People. Punctual. Early, even. My relatives are that way. Tell them 1:00 and they'll be at your house at 12:45. Which is fine as long as you know that's what's going on. Not so fine if you say, "One, one thirty" and they show up at 12:30 while you are still in the shower. Blesstheirhearts.

I thought I would be around people whose most annoying time problem was being too early. And I could live with that.

Then I discovered the subculture of bar/musician time.

And of St Pius time.

Believe it or not, the two are related.

I go to the church near my house. Depending on who is presiding that night, the service starts at 5:00, as 5:00 Mass should. Or at 5:10. Because we have to wait for the people who are late.

No! We don't! We don't have to wait for the people who are late! Do they not know what time church starts every single Saturday? Do they not know how long it takes to get from their house to the church?

My protest is that I walk in at 5:12. That way, I'm not early and I have the extra benefit of missing the part where you are supposed to introduce yourself to the people around you.

If I wanted to be touchy feely at church, I would not be Catholic. I just want to get in and get out with as little touching as possible.

So. Church starts late. (The Lutherans, however, start on time. What's that about?)

And music starts late.

If a band is supposed to start at 10:00, don't you think that's when they should start? If I have paid to watch a musician perform, shouldn't the musician honor her part of the contract by not making me wait 40 minutes past the designated start time to see her? I'm talking to you, Loretta Lynn at Summerfest 2011.

And if there is supposed to be a karaoke show that starts at 10:00, shouldn't that be when karaoke starts? Especially if the people in the bar are waiting to sing and paying for drinks and pizza while they wait?

SH thinks my stubborn adherence to the conventions of time is funny and unreasonable. "People come to bars to hang out!" he says.

"Not me," I replied. "The only reason I am here is to watch you sing. Otherwise, this is just a big fat waste of time."

"But you're supposed to hang out in a bar."

"I could be at home reading a book. How come nobody else is annoyed that the show hasn't started?"

"They don't read for fun," he said, "and they can DVR all the TV shows they like."

At 10:45, I finally surrendered and went home. The Nighttime Wife agreed to drop SH off on her way home.

When SH got home, I woke up because the cats were trying to get away so he couldn't put them in the basement for the night. They would rather sleep with us all night, which would be fine except for them, "all night" ends at 6:17 a.m.

"It's a good thing you went home," he said. "At 11:30, the bar owner said there wouldn't be any karaoke at all. You would have blown a gasket."

Yep. I would have.


Gaylin said...

I have the same time gasket as you. I hate being in airports and the 9:15 flight finally starts to roll away from the gate at 9:25. Dammit, say 9:25 if that is what you mean!

Weddings are the worst, has a wedding ever started on time? Did yours . . .

Anonymous said...

Thanks to Tish Jett for referencing your blog. I enjoy your sense of humor! Loved the Wisconsin 101

Class factotum said...

Gaylin, our wedding did start on time, but we were just about the only ones there! It was us and immediate family, so we had almost complete control of the situation.

Anon, I'm so glad you're here! Thank you!