Not everyone has the gift of punctuality.
No matter how hard some people try, they just never show up on time for anything.
While they never seem terribly bothered by their tardiness, their friends and family usually are before eventually losing their patience altogether.
Redditor punctualgirly had certainly lost all patience for her mother always being late, no matter the event.
As a result, the original poster (OP) and her grandmother came up with a solution to ensure she would never show up late ever again.
Even though the OP’s mother felt was unfairly tricked.
Wondering if she had been insensitive to her mother, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for giving my mom the wrong start time for my birthday lunch so she’d be on time?”
The OP explained how she and her grandmother’s plan to make sure her mother wasn’t late for her birthday party ended up backfiring on her.
“My (22 F[emale]) mom (mid 40 F) is one of those people who is always late to everything.”
“I’m talking family get-togethers, birthdays, graduations, weddings, you name it, she’s showing up late.”
“At first, growing up I just thought it was because she’s bad with time, but as I’ve gotten older, I genuinely believe she likes making an entrance.”
“I personally find it 1) rude and 2) embarrassing because it’s not like it happens once in a while, it literally happens at every single function she is invited to that has a set time.”
“Many family members have complained about this. Nothing ever changes.”
“It’s gotten to the point that whenever my grandma has family lunches or dinners, she’ll tell my mom it starts an hour earlier than it actually does, so she’ll be there on time.”
“My mom doesn’t know that my grandma does this. It’s a joke between grandma and me.”
“This past weekend was my 22nd birthday.”
“My grandma wanted to do a lunch for me at her place with our immediate family.”
“The lunch was to start at 2 pm, but we told my mom 1 pm.”
“I had plans later that evening to go out for dinner with my boyfriend, so I wanted to leave my grandma’s house at around 5, the absolute latest, because I needed to go home and get all ready.”
“Well, of course, my mom was late.”
“We called her at like 2:30 PM to see where she was because, you know, it’s her daughter’s birthday.”
“She had just left her house at 2:30 PM and still had to pick up her bf on her way to my grandma’s (30-35 mins away), so none of us were expecting her to arrive until like 3:30 PM.”
“She finally arrives two and a half hours late from the time we told her, makes her little entrance.”
“We question her about.”
“She tells us she thought the lunch started at 2?”
‘We asked her where she heard this from. She said my aunt (who was present at the lunch) told her.”
“We questioned my aunt, and she said she felt bad ‘lying to my mom.'”
“Everyone is pretty annoyed, but we all move on.”
“Fast forward an hour later (4:30 PM). I have to start leaving.”
“My mom starts getting all annoyed with me that I’m leaving ‘so soon’ and that she barely got to see me for my birthday.”
“I told her that my life doesn’t revolve around her and that she should’ve been there sooner.”
“She started giving me attitude and listing all these excuses as to why she’s late.”
“I couldn’t be bothered to hear them and left.”
“Later that night, she messaged me saying that I was acting like an AH towards her and it was rude of me to lie to her about the time the lunch started.”
“My mom and my aunt think I’m an AH for lying to her.”
“My grandma doesn’t think it’s a big deal, and they’re overacting.”
“I came here for some outside opinions.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
The Reddit community agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for telling her mother that her birthday party was an hour earlier than it was.
That being said, many people still agreed that the OP’s solution wasn’t going to solve the problem of her mother’s chronic lateness, with others saying the only way to solve this problem was to address it head-on.
“She is violating the social contract around timeliness and doesn’t deserve to be covered by it.”
“I have relatives who were similar. We dealt with it by making a betting pool on how late they would be and then happily congratulating the winner when the relatives arrived.”
“This stole the attention from the relatives and embarrassed them all at the same time as well as turning their rudeness from a frustration to entertainment for the rest of us.”
“Strangely enough, the relatives are now on time for family events.” – lord_of_the_squirrel
“But stop lying to her.”
“Stop accommodating her.”
“Don’t hold up any events or dinner or lunch or anything for her.”
“If she arrives at a meal or function and it’s over, and the food is either gone or put away, then it’s ‘Oh well, should have been here on time.'”
“I would never hold up one more thing for her.”
“She’s rude and has no respect for other people’s time.”- SatelliteBeach123
“Stop giving her the attention she’s craving, don’t let her make her scene, don’t call, don’t ask why she’s late, go live your life, and she can decide to be part of it or be late.”- Infamous_Control_778
“Just stop giving a crap.”
“When she’s late, don’t question it, don’t remark upon it, and don’t call to see where she is.”
“Just ignore it completely.”
“Meanwhile, start planning all the best and most fun stuff for the first hour.”
“Stop giving her the attention and start giving her reasons to regret being late.”
“The problem will solve itself.”
“Or it won’t, but it’ll be her problem, not yours.”
“But I am curious, do you hold events for her?”
“Like, if you’re eating, do you wait to serve the meal/go to the restaurant until she gets there?”-LadyF16
“Listen to grandma. She makes a lot of sense.”- ReviewOk929
“But from now on, set clear expectations.”
“Lunch is at 2 pm. We will eat no later than 2:15 pm.”
“Don’t make exceptions or waiver.”
“Right now, your family is condoning her crappy behavior so she has no consequences to make her change her ways.”- Temporary-Moose-6933
“Being late once in a while for legit reasons is fine, but to be late consistently is just RUDE.”
“There’s NO WAY I would have waited.”
“I’d have tucked into my delicious birthday cake and asked Grandma to pass the snacks.”
“No one else wants to eat?”
“Wait for Mom the snail to slither in 2 hours late. I don’t care!”
“You were right to leave and enjoy the rest of your evening.”
“F*ck waiting for your selfish mom.”- BeeMacca
“NTA, but stop waiting for her.”
“If lunch is at 2, eat at 2.”
“When she shows up at 3:30, she can reheat some leftovers and realize the world doesn’t revolve around her.”- waterbuffalo750
“The moral of this story is that you need to start lying to your aunt, too.”
“You can tell your guest to arrive at whatever time you want to your own party.”
“From now on, Aunt gets the fake time, too.”- ladystetson
‘It sounds like she thinks the world should revolve around her, and she tries to make that a reality.”
“Maybe next time, tell her the event starts an hour before it finishes so she arrives after it’s over.”
“Hopefully, that will make her arrive on time in the future, since if there is no one there, no one can see ‘how awesome’ she is.”- Nina_Lokasdottir
“The fact that your mom was still late even though she knew the real-time indicates that she does not respect your time, or the time of other people.”
“Your approach to chastising her was a bit harsh, but seems warranted.”- ThrowawayForADay0327
“NTA at all.”
“It’s clear she did that on purpose, and you’re right. Your life doesn’t revolve around her.”-CrystalQueen3000
“Your mother refuses to work on her own issues that you have brought up many times previously, so you provided her with a bandaid solution.”
“If the bandaid got this kind of response, I’d expect that the next step will, unfortunately, be not inviting her to things whatsoever.”
“She is reaping what she’s sewn, and as such, shouldn’t be surprised when the result is her effectively phasing herself out of your life.”- LtDan281
One could see the logic in the OP and her grandmother’s plan.
However, whether or not it was a sustainable idea remains up for debate because she was still even late for the early time.
A civil conversation will likely be the only way to put an end to this chronic tardiness.