Back to Freda’s stories

Analyzing Myself

Freda Isaksen

Last week I was late for my writing class. How could this have happened? It was the first time I have ever been late for anything or any event.

I am constantly annoyed with myself because wherever I go I always arrive too early. At the airport I sit in the crowded waiting room getting bored before the flight even starts. When I take public transportation even though I have studied the schedule I manage to board an earlier bus. At the doctor’s office I get claustrophobia waiting my turn in a windowless room because I arrive there before my scheduled appointment time. When visiting a friend I sit in my parked car at the curb looking at my watch waiting for the hands to reach the designated time when I can knock on my friend’s door. When coming to class I’m usually the first student at the entrance waiting for the previous class to leave the room.

I have tried to wait out the extra few minutes working at a hobby or reading the newspaper at home but then I tell myself I’m going to be late. At my time of life I probably won’t change my habits, I hope it won’t get worse because habitually a person’s undesirable traits tend to worsen with age. So if my habit of being early is constantly a vice in my character why was I late for my class last week?

I left my house well ahead of time as usual. When I got into my car I saw a magazine and some papers on the passenger seat. “I don’t need these. They can go in the trash.” I had plenty of time so I disposed of them into the waste bin. As I got back into my car I glanced in the mirror and noticed that I had forgotten to put on lipstick, a woman feels dowdy without lipstick. Despite all the extra time I had not checked my personal appearance. “Oh well,” I decided, “I’ll do without the lipstick.” So I drove off to attend class and halfway along at a traffic stop I glanced at the passenger seat and did not see the blue plastic folder containing my prepared class assignment. Being a careful driver I pulled over to the side of the road and looked again, then looked on the floor and between the seats. I did not see the folder so I assumed I had left it at home. I was aggravated at myself because there had been so much time to spare yet I was not adequately prepared for class. I considered continuing on without the work, but I had time to return home, then I could retrieve the work and put on lipstick besides.

At my house I could not find the folder so I went out to the trash bin because I believed I had mistakenly thrown it out with the unwanted magazine. I did not find it there either. By this time I realized that I no longer had too much time and if I was going to show up at the college I had better leave at once, this missing folder would surely turn up later. But first I had to go back into the house to wash my hands after foraging in the waste bin. Because of the delay I was really rushed by this time. As I got back into my car there was the folder on the seat, I had been sitting on it.

So that explains why I was late for class last week!


Copyright Freda Isaksen 1986–2006. Permission to reuse for non-commercial purposes is granted, provided that the text is unaltered and the original source is acknowledged. For more information, contact isaksen at math.wayne.edu.

Back to Freda’s stories