Thursday, March 8, 2007

Time is a Relative Thing

I love Portland dearly, and feel very fortunate to have the amazing group of friends, acquaintances, associates, and family I have in this lovely city.

However, the concept of time seems to have different rules in this town. I know there is "Island Time" in Jamaica, and "Down-Time" when you're vacationing, but I haven't come up with a really good definition of what I call "Portland Time."

If someone says they are going to meet you at 9:00pm, this can translate into 9:20pm if you have specific plans, 10:00pm - 10:30pm if they are coming over to just "hang out", and even later depending on what they do for a living.

There are variables to this equation. If you are waiting on a musician who is coming over "after practice" at 9:00pm, add two, three or four hours to the time they will actually call or text you to see if you're still up for getting together. If they text or call and tell you they have to go "meet up with some friends", or "go run an errand" then you may as well forget it. You're fucked.

The same applies if you are waiting for a friend to hook you up with some treats. If you have plans for the evening, and are waiting on them to call or show up, the equation is: "how messed up are they?" + "how desperate are you?" + "how well do you know this person?" = when they call and/or show up.

If your friend is going through some problems with their ex, and says they really need to talk with you, but are going to just stop by and pick up a few things from the ex's place, you will not be seeing them that evening. They will be having make-up sex.

If you get a phone call from your ex at 2:30am or 3:00am, and they just happened to break up with the person they left you for and they really need to talk to you if you're awake, and they still love you and it was such a big mistake, and they'll be over soon. It will be about 10 minutes. They are either just around the block, or in a cab on their way over after the bars have closed and they've been kicked out.

If they have turned into your own personal stalker it will be 2 minutes. That is if you are stupid enough to answer their call/text after the 20th time in one night. They have been hiding in the bushes all night or sitting across the street with binoculars to see whether or not you are seeing that person they always knew you secretly liked and wouldn't admit to.

The hardest phrase to define time-wise is "I'll call you" or "I'll check out your website and e-mail you." This is basically a brush-off. Not always, but usually yes, it is. It can come as a result of hitting the bar after you hit that other bar and had so much fun with your friends, but you are too drunk and the bartender won't serve you, so if you go to another bar across town they won't be able to tell how wasted you are, and you think you're doing great because you just beat all these guys at pool, and you think you are fabulous, and you give out your business card and tell them to check out your "MySpasch Page", wait, no, my blogspace, wait, here I'll write it down, where's my damn pen, ow, I just hit my head. And then proceed to walk home after falling in a puddle on the way out. They won't call or e-mail you. They will wake-up in the morning and either: figure out that you won't even remember who they are the next day, so why bother; are actually whoring around on their girlfriend and don't want to be caught trying to follow-through with someone; or figured out that you are a complete circus freak and won't even acknowledge that they met you in the first place if they happen to run into you in public.

So far this is what I've learned. I know there's more variations on the theme, especially when the relationship becomes more complex with the person giving you a time. I've learned that "ish" is probably the best you'll get with a close friend, brother or sister. "Where have you been, I've been calling your cell number and you aren't responding? YES it's only been five minutes but I was sure that something happened to you on the way over. What do you mean you're out of cell minutes? How could you be out of cell minutes? Didn't I just give you a top-up card for Christmas? I don't care if it's March." is what you'll hear from your mom if you are more than two minutes late to "just meet for coffee or something while we're in town."

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