Posted by: Ernest Barteldes | November 29, 2012

Lateness, my Pet Peeve & Spanish tortilla


  1. I hear you, Ernesto, and I can say that I have been in those situations as well. It is very frustrating when you put so much work into spending time with people that are important to us and they don’t seem to put in the effort. I will say that I am usually about 15 to 30 minutes late to parties, especially house ones, because that’s what I’ve been taught. You never show up on time because the host is most likely running late. I know I always am when I’m the host. 🙂

    Most of my friends are very punctual and I am very grateful for that. For non-dinner social events I don’t think it’s that important if people arrive on time. I try to have my get-togethers at relaxed places that are convenient for everyone to get to. Last year I had my birthday party at a little wine bar in the East Village that had a very open reservation policy, and it turned out to be a lot of fun and down to earth. Some people showed up on time and others just trickled in. We were all very relaxed and just talked, laughed, drank wine, ate little snacks and enjoyed each other’s company. Whoever, showed up at the end, oh well, their loss. I had an amazing time with the people who were there on time.

    As far as dinner parties are concerned, we only invite a small number of people at a time, mostly two to four individuals. The same is true for when we go to restaurants. We learned early on that having a large dinner get-together is a lot of work and it’s hard to coordinate people’s schedules. Also, I often prepare dishes that don’t need a lot of work and are quick to assemble and I often won’t start putting them together until the guests show up. This way they can hang out, have a glass of wine and some appetizers and we can chat, while I quickly put things on the pan/in the oven etc. I don’t have to stress out about everything being ready on time and about people coming a little late and I can enjoy the company.

    It sounds like the relationships you have with people are really important to you and you are working hard to sustain them. It sucks when someone is running 15 minutes late and they miss a ferry and have to wait an hour for the next one. It’s not fair to them or to you. Maybe try my really simple recipe approach next time and sit back, relax and wait for your guests. If you can’t beat them, join them. It works for me.

  2. At dinner parties I always go simple, but I try to have everything ready soon because I am a bit fussy in the kitchen, really. But about the ferry – most people know how the schedule works, but they never seem to get used to it. I always get that ‘call’ about a missed boat.

    I learned about large groups in restaurants the hard way after the SOBs fiasco. But at least all went fine towards the end (I believe you were there, yes?). but Im not going through that again.

    Unlike your crowd, my friends are not at all punctual… once we were to meet at a restaurant in Gramercy Park. We got there and when we called the people we were supposed to meet, they were still at home… in Queens!

  3. You know I’m really pissed off with this entry, this victim-mentality. It’s not that people let you down, it’s that you don’t listen. I took a ferry once just to see what it was like and then I wanted to turn home; you lied and said the next one wouldn’t leave for another hour just so I could go meet your wife. I don’t have time for those tricks. Another instance… Many times you asked that I sing One Note Samba for your band on November 30, and I said no many times because November 30 is my mom’s birthday, I don’t have time to learn the lyrics nor do I feel comfortable singing it, and that I know TWO actual singers who do want to sing it for you, and you insisted that you wanted this to be amongst friends. Give me a break.

    As for your dinner on November 17, I was prioritizing my father’s birthday, which is the 15th and I was probably going to be out of town, or if I was staying I was going to be studying. That evening I had to deal with relentless text messages in that I go—the exchanges over text message really showed me you don’t have a single ounce of respect for the other things people have to do in their lives or that my graduate school is the priority for me over anything else because that’s my choice–i.e. telling me that I “study too hard” or that if I’m worried about paying $4,000 a course I should apply for aid—who asked you for your opinion in the first place?? You missed the point in that I want to do well so that my money counts. In my case, I don’t have time to hang out, period. I clean my own apartment, wash my own clothes by hand, cook and do my own grocery shopping, work, pay my bills, and go to grad school full-time–this is why I have zero-tolerance for bullsh*t.

    In addition, I do not feel safe wandering in Staten Island in the dark, alone, looking for your place. I’m not going to go anywhere I am not familiar with, period. I don’t care if it’s safe, it’s MY CHOICE. And as for the people who you criticize for going late, I actually commend the ones who put the effort in to miss a ferry and waste 2 hours to get to your place.

    After reading the part on how people are still at home when they supposedly made plans with you really makes me wonder if they are also feel bulldozed.

    It’s not fair to only state your case, because by default it makes you the victim, when in reality it’s the DYNAMIC between you and the other person that’s at play. On another note, the tortilla looks good though and if I have time I will try to make it.

  4. Where is so much anger coming from…. Listen, I have said this in private and will say it again — I am sorry we had communication problems in the past. But to bring a private argument like that to a public forum is really immature. When I write my posts, I make sure to make any real people except Renata anonymous…

    Anyway to respond – that was no lie, the ferry only runs every hour on weekends, and that ferry had been late. On the song, and the party you never gave me a straight negative reply. Id be glad to discuss this privately in the future.

  5. Re-read the second to last line:

    It’s not fair to only state your case, because by default it makes you the victim, when in reality it’s the DYNAMIC between you and the other person that’s at play.

    If people are always late or bailing on you, then there might be a reason.

  6. Not trying to be a ‘victim’ here, just stating my experience over years and years. I have not name-checked or pointed out any specific person here. I know lots of people who are not at all flaky… Here I spoke of specific cases.

  7. Reblogged this on Ebarteldes’s Weblog.

  8. I don’t deal well with lateness either and have worked hard to get better about it. It has to do with me being impatient really. My daughter also is like that but maybe worse because she is still young and even more impatient. That being said, I have learned how to let it slide and keep on moving. Life is too short to get overly upset about trivial things. But I do not like lateness, not at all.

    • I dont get upset if it happens on occasion. But some people just have chronic lateness, and no matter how much upset I might get (even if I don’s say a word) they just keep going at it,

  9. […] wait but what else could I do? I am glad that this attitude is changing, and I hope it reaches my expatriate Brazilian friends here in New York – most of them are still “old school” about […]

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