I thought the meeting was at 6. I hurried. I really did. But traffic was horrible, and the journey that can take as little as 7 minutes took closer to 15. Despite my best efforts, it was 6:05 when I pulled into the parking lot.
I noticed there weren’t very many cars there. Good–I wasn’t the only one who got stuck in the unusually thick traffic. There’s nothing worse than being the last one to arrive at a meeting. I know. I do it a lot.
Jamie, a girl of about 19, smiled as I walked in. We chitchatted, I don’t remember about what, but at some point she asked, “The meeting’s at 6, right?” I said yes, as far as I knew. “I don’t know where everybody is,” she said.
It was 6:30 before the next person arrived. Jamie asked her when the meeting was. She said 7. A guy arrived five minutes later. Jamie asked him the same question and got the same answer. It was starting to look like we were wrong.
“Well, at least if we’re going to be idiots, it’s not just one of us,” Jamie fumed, trying to make herself feel better. It didn’t work very well.
“Actually I think this is kinda cool,” I said. “When I’m wrong in a group, it’s usually a group of guys.”
She missed the joke. Or maybe she just didn’t think it was funny. I can never make sense of the mind of a woman.
“I’m gonna quit asking people,” Jamie said.
She asked the next five people who showed. They all said the meeting was at 7. I watched Jamie getting madder and madder.
Meanwhile, I tried to remember the last time I’d been 55 minutes early for anything. I couldn’t remember. I was late to my own high school graduation. I couldn’t help but chuckle. I tried to go serious whenever Jamie looked my direction. I didn’t want to make her feel worse, after all.
Finally, our fearless leader arrived at about 6:50. Jamie gave Brent a talking-to. If you’re a guy, you’ve had those. Many times.
Finally, in desperation, Jamie pointed at me. “He thought it was at 6 too!” She may have been outnumbered, but at least she wasn’t alone.
Brent brushed it off and as Jamie stormed away, he gave me the do-I-owe-you-an-apology? look. I just shrugged my shoulders.
“I’m male,” I said. “I’m used to being wrong.”