DeAnne Smith and That Pesky Time Thing

Hey, Autostraddlers, what’s up? I’ve missed you. I really have. I actually meant to have written this for you a few weeks ago, but you should know something about me. I’m late, Autostraddlers. I’m the type of person who is always late. My friends know this. My family knows this. The guy at library returns counter knows this. Whether it’s self-imposed deadlines, dinner dates or my menstrual cycle¹, you can count on me to be at least five minutes to weeks late.

 

 

 

The worst part is, I never have any real excuse for it. Sometimes I wish I was ethnic just so I could claim to be on “Mexican time,” or “Indian time,” or “Jamaican time.” That makes it sound cool. Every non-white friend I have uses their ethnicity as an excuse for being late. If only being on “white time” was a thing. That would be amazing. “Gee willikers, I’m sorry I’m late! I must be on white people time. You know, I’m just so busy…buying organic produce and inadvertently oppressing other cultures. It’s a jam-packed day! I’ve got to turn a blind eye to third world genocide later. My my, it’s a big day being white!” Nope. It doesn’t quite work.

(Before you get all poclitical² on me, Autostraddle, I’m not saying that all white people are like that. Some of us are. The only sweeping generalization I’m comfortable making about white people is that, for some reason, we all go mental for Toblerone. I don’t know what it is about chocolatey nougat in the shape of a triangle, but we love that shit. Also, I’m not saying that I really want to be ethnic. I like being white just fine, what with all the opportunities, representation in the media, and the never getting-arrested-for-no-reason. It’s a pretty sweet deal, overall.)

 

Now, some of you may be thinking that I already have a built-in excuse for being late. I can just claim to be on “lesbian time,” right? The problem is, I’ve never really understood the concept of “lesbian time.” What is it? Are we late because we’re too busy going down on each other? Are we late because it seemed to take us until the debut of  The L Word to realize we were allowed to wear things other than ill-fitting corduroy and vegan sandals? Are we late because we’re spending too much time doing the journaling exercises presented in the self-help classic CoDependent No More? (Okay, maybe that last one is just me.)

Usually I’m late because I’ve slept in. I’ve been known to set my alarm to go off ten minutes before I have to be somewhere, completely and utterly forgetting about the concept of “travel time.” “I have to be there at eight,” I think. “I’ll leave at eight!”

Why can't we ALL be Time Traveling Lesbians

A few things happen when I realize I’m going to be late. First, there is the rapid shedding of morning routine. I start thinking, “I don’t need breakfast; I can grab something in transit. Showering? That’s for divas. Sure, I’m in a pajama shirt, but it’s almost like a regular t-shirt a person would wear in life. I could be that person. I am that person! So what if my hair’s sticking up? People have hair like this. I’ll tie my shoes in the elevator. Teeth-brushing? Please! I’ll chuck some gum in there. Pants? They’re half way up, man! I’ll do the rest outside. Hey, this creased sheet print on my cheek actually looks kind of cool.”

Then, a series of physics-defying rationalizations goes through my head. “Okay, so if there’s no traffic and no red lights, I can make this on time. Yeah, I just have to hurry, and I can totally make it. If there’s no traffic, no red lights, and I roll out of the cab while it’s still moving, I’ll be there on time. Yes. This is totally do-able, especially if the space-time continuum collapses. Or if there’s a traversable worm hole. For sure. I’ll totally be on time. I’ll just slip through the worm hole. Perfect plan. Maybe I’ll just be ten minutes late. What’s a mere fifteen minutes? It’s not a big deal. Who gets upset about twenty little minutes? It’ll be fine.”

also late for a very important date

What is time anyway? I mean, how can I be late, if it’s always just the time it is. It’s the time it is, and I’m where I am. I’m here now, and that should be enough. Seriously, are you going to be mad at me for showing up ten minutes late? Look at me, I’m helpless and adorable! You should be relieved I showed up at all. I know I am.

Go ahead, ask me why I'm late. via noahware.blogspot.com

How do I continually get away with this ridiculous behavior? Well, I’ve learned some tricks. The key to being late is to act slightly annoyed and frantic when you arrive. Show up sweating, looking a bit disheveled. Bonus points if you’re missing half a collar, with a twig or two stuck in your hair. What you need to do is subtly suggest to everyone already there, that your life is more hectic than their lives. Yeah yeah, they were on time, but only because they don’t have to deal with the huge and important things you have to deal with. The goal is to prevent anyone from asking you why you’re late. You need to have an attitude that stops the inquiry before it even starts. The question on people’s minds shouldn’t be, “Why are you late?”, the question should suddenly be, “Hey, why did we schedule this thing so god damn early? That was inconvenient!”

A friend once told me that being habitually late is a way to compensate for a fear of abandonment. I guess the idea is that when you’re late, you can guarantee that the other person will already be there. You don’t have to wait for anyone. You don’t have to confront your fear of being alone. It sounded like a bunch of ridiculous, psycho-babble mumbo jumbo to me. But I let her keep telling me about it anyway, because I didn’t want her to leave.

That reminds me, I should get going. I probably won’t ever get to the bottom of my problem with being late. I’ve actually got a thing to go to now, and I’m running early. Check that out! I have seven whole minutes before I need to be out the door, and I’m all ready to go. Hey, I think now’s a perfect time for me to rearrange all my books alphabetically by genre, sub-genre, and major theme. This is great! I’ve got heaps of time. I think I’ll start up that worm compost bin. Maybe I’ll hem these pants. I know! I’ll make stew!

kstew

¹ OMG J/K LOL!! One of the best parts of doing it with chicks is never having to worry about bringing unwanted, un-planned-for humans onto the planet. AM I RITE, LAYDEES?!

² I just invented this term for “political lesbian.” Poclitical. I think it works. Let’s keep it.

Profile photo of DeAnne

I care a lot about my hair. Unrelatedly, I say short, funny things at www.twitter.com/DeAnne_Smith.

DeAnne has written 21 articles for us.

140 Comments

  1. Thumb up 14

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    “Sometimes I wish I was ethnic just so I could claim to be on “Mexican time,” or “Indian time,” or “Jamaican time.” That makes it sound cool. Every non-white friend I have uses their ethnicity as an excuse for being late.”

    Aaand I’m done.

    • Thumb up 9

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      L, I don’t know if you meant “Aaand I’m done” as “I was dying of laughter” (as bra interpreted it) or “I stopped reading this post” (which is how I interpreted it until I saw bra’s post).

      In case it was the latter, I’m with you. Maybe some people use ethnicity as an excuse for timing, but–as a woman of color–I hate if someones says I’m running on “black time.” It implies that I have an inability to be on time specifically because of my race which is stupid and completely illogical. It distills me from a multi-faceted person down to a “generic black person you feel comfortable stereotyping.” With that kind of thinking I’m no longer a person who didn’t see fit to honor the time commitment I made to you or a person who doesn’t believe in living life according to a clock or a person who is having a bad day and feels terrible for being late; I become a black girl who’s late because “that’s what black people do.” I’m become less of a real person and more of a generic “other.”

      Reading that snippet of this post put a bad taste in my mouth, and though I tried, I couldn’t get through the rest of the article.

      • Thumb up 8

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        I was trying to gloss over this too/go along with it (see: comment below) but I’m glad you posted this because I completely, completely agree. (Tbh my heart sank a little the moment I saw the word “ethnic.” And then I got even sadder when the apology bit explained away the generalisation about white people but not “ethnic time.”)

        Where I’m from there is a particular ethnic group that is stereotyped as always late & lazy (or if they’re being kind, “relaxed”). Whenever I am late for something people do exactly that and I find it problematic for all the reasons that you do, PLUS even more so because I don’t actually identify as someone from said ethnic group — but us brown people, we’re all the same, amirite? What’s definitely worse is when people think it is okay to be late for meetings with me because they assume I will be late too/cool with it because I am [ethnicity here] and thus must surely be super chill all the time, which is infuriating because I am EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE.

        • Thumb up 7

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          i think maybe give her the benefit of the doubt! she’s not using the term ‘ethnic’ because it’s proper, she’s using it to make fun of herself and the concept itself! she would never use that term without irony or in a serious way. it’s out there. it’s comedy, it’s safe to assume that every sentence is being hyperbolic and meant to be self-deprecating. like any standup routine. i know there are always many ways to read this, and we’re all welcome to dislike or like it on our own, but i’d hesitate to make a blanket judgment.

          • Thumb up 8

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            Oh, I think I love DeAnne Smith enough to be able to forgive her this. I mean, I WAS ready to just ignore it. (I’d fully considered simply ignoring the comments section, since I knew we’d be walking straight into the “poclitical” trap.)

            BUT at the same time I feel we need to acknowledge that comedy CAN be problematic. It’s not enough to simply brush off things as hyperbolic or humorous. This can be done without making any “blanket judgment,” as you said — I like the rest of the post, very much, it’s just this particular bit that made me squirm a little — and none of us are saying anything about DeAnne’s character or views, just that her words didn’t sit well with some of us, and it’s important to talk about why.

            Which is why, even though this is an issue I may not personally be worked up enough about to proactively comment about it, I am grateful that there are people like L & Sondra to voice out concerns that I did have. Talking about things is cool. It’s why we’re here, eh?

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            P.S. I obviously do not speak for anyone but myself when I say that I am willing to let this just be. Other people may be (or evidently are) more offended than I am and I feel they are fully entitled to that — I’m not saying we should all just be expected to be okay with it.

      • Thumb up 1

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        I completely agree with Sondra. And also when I read or hear people say things like “whatever race or nationality you pick” time when someone is late it seems to me like you are saying that race or nationality is not responsible or does not respect their friend’s time or care about making people wait for them all the time.You are basically pushing negative stereotypes onto an entire race or nationality because your friend, who happens to also be a specific race or nationality, is late. Even if it is meant as a joke it is still offensive.

        You also managed to reinforce negative stereotypes about lesbians in your post when discussing lesbian’s inability to dress fashionably. If you were attempting to offend as many different types of people as possible in your post then you have succeeded, however, if your attempt was to make people laugh then in my opinion you have failed.

      • Thumb up 9

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        Well said. Generally, when a white person says something like ““Sometimes I wish I was ethnic just so I could…”, that’s not going anywhere good.

        Also, let’s stop labelling people as “ethnic”.

          • Thumb up 2

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            I think it’s clear she used the term “ethnic” unaware that it’s a problematic word when used that way.

          • Thumb up 15

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            i absolutely read it to mean that she was mocking white privilege and the “dumb things white people say.” that’s what i’m saying about giving people the benefit of the doubt, based on everything else we have read and enjoyed from deanne smith

      • Thumb up 3

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        I agree. The author feigns to recognize her white privilege by saying “You know, I’m just so busy…buying organic produce and inadvertently oppressing other cultures. It’s a jam-packed day! I’ve got to turn a blind eye to third world genocide later. My my, it’s a big day being white!” and yet she is being blatantly racist.

        This is a typical example of a white person (or white comedienne) who believes she/he is enlightened and non-racist because she/he has non-white friends and we have a black president, meanwhile he or she does not recognize the implicit bias and obvious racism in her words.

        She does not force herself to dig deeper into the phrases: who might have come up with these “ethnic” phrases? Might it have been individuals not of that race, that uses them intentionally or unintentionally to perpetuate stereotypes? As noted above, even if she has friends that use these phrases that are indeed of that race, as Sondra said, she should push herself to realize how the statement that all non-white “ethnic” groups says these phrases is racist in its generalization of an entire race as one monolithic individual.

        I am white and I do not like Toblerone, nor do I know of any friends that like it. Though I consequently do not think it is funny, I am not offended because one race’s supposed universal affection for CHOCOLATE arguably (1) has nothing to do with that race’s underlying abilities, work ethic, and so on that (2) serves to perpetuate negative stereotypes about that race (besides self-indulgence, which is a theme for this piece). That is not the case with timeliness.

        You don’t have to be perfectly “politically correct” all of the time, but when you do veer into potentially offensive areas I would at least expect more limiting language for other races like you did for your “polclitical” statement on whites.

        Moreover, it seems that bringing up these phrases is not necessary at all to the post’s overall story.

        AutoStraddle, this is not the first post I’ve seen with similar issues. I have pretty much stopped reading your posts because of the lack of racial and socioeconomic diversity in your posts.

        I understand it is “comedy” but it’s just not funny.

        • Thumb up 3

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          IDK. When I was in Kenya, I was repeatedly told to relax into kenyan and/or African time by Kenyan folk that I met, usually when I was stressing because I was running late for something. Language can be so problematic when you try to share on the internet… I have learnt more about privilege from this website than from any other source, and I can understand the difficulties inherent in “I wish I was ethnic because…” but lets not pretend that this scandinavian time thing is a phrase never used self deprecatingly, and never as a hint to the more uptight amongst us.

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            As to Kenya, from my very limited understanding, the phrase may stem from the overall historical conception of time in East Africa (e.g., infinite, less centered around exact time as events – however this is also a generalization). I do not think this is the case with stereotypes about US racial groups and time, and even if it were, the phrase assumes all apparent members of one race stem from one country or continent with that exact cultural and historical conception of time. Though such origins may be non-harmful/innocent/used self-deprecatingly, were your coworker from Kenya to arrive late to a work meeting in the US, I am not sure you would feel comfortable piping up and saying “It’s ok, she is just on Kenyan time” without at least having discussed the topic earlier.

            I think there is a difference between a nation and a race when it comes to stereotypes such as this one. Though both are harmful bases on which to discriminate against someone, I think many in our world view have come to view nationality as more cultural than hereditary, yet still view race as more hereditary than cultural (in terms of whether something such as timeliness is learned or innate).

            I do not think that when someone says that someone else is running on “black time” they are usually using it as a cue for those “uptight” punctual individuals to chill out – and I think that even if this were the case, many would still be offended and hurt by the phrase.

            Though I never said the phrases are not used self-deprecatingly, even if something is seemingly self-deprecating and innocent, stereotypes about one’s self can be ingrained from the narrative we’re taught our whole lives – we lesbians joke about being codependent, but you know, when I first came out, my mother argued I wasn’t gay but had simply grown too close and codependent with a friend. Even if self-deprecating, it can be offensive and harmful to others and our conception of ourselves.

          • Thumb up 2

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            I would totally agree with you that to talk for someone else, particularly in a work environment is wrong and judgmental. If my work colleagues are running late, it is for them to explain why, unless they have asked me to pass on apologies. Similarly in a professional environment I have not had friends or colleagues use it as an excuse; probably because such humour is not appropriate for the workplace. They may then joke about it with me later, along the lines of “I must still be on (pick your nationality of choice) time”.

            I wonder if our difference in stance vis a vis offensive or appropriate self depreciating humour comes from who is saying the phrase. In my experience it is used almost invariably by a person of a particular heritage to lighten the mood, and references their nationality, rather than race. Occasionally it has been used by people who have returned from international travel, but that tends to be referencing jet lag, or a more relaxed attitude e.g. “I am still on honeymoon time”.

            Your examples are of someone saying something judgmental to or about someone else. In these circumstances, I would completely agree it is wrong and offensive. And yeah when used by a person about another individual it is rarely used as a hint to relax. The only time it is used this way is when there is a group of people, such as when I am with a group Spanish friends, I am stressing over where a particular friend is and one of the group (who is also Spanish) may say “relax, she’ll be here, she is just running on Spanish time”.

            I wonder if my experience is different because I am in the UK, or if I have just been lucky to work with nice people in my last 16 jobs.

      • Thumb up 2

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        I honestly think it was hilarious, myself. I am also a woman black woman and I’ve used that excuse. It’s not my race that keeps me from doing anything just like its not my religion, but I will use that too ha ha.

        I guess i do not understand why this can not be seen for what it is, funny, but has to turn into yet another attach against a person who is not politically correct like i guess all of us.

        I mean I like to say black, some like to say color, some like to say African-American… Honestly at the end of the day do we have to re-post about what could have been better to everyone else or can we just save that for our friends.

        I think it was clever and I sure would all like to play a different ‘card’ or two ever now and then.

        Kudos DeAnne for yet another witty blog that came on whatever the heck time it came.

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          Yeah, I grew up in Malaysia, where MALAYSIANS go on about “Malaysian Time”. The White folk getting all uppity on our behalf rather turns me off more than DeAnne’s original comment. It’s well known that if you want people to show up at a certain time, schedule it an hour earlier. There was one of the RSA videos I watched some time ago about how different cultures constitute time, which really rang true with my experience, and I’m uncomfortable with the idea that anything beyond strict punctuality is a failing forever and ever amen.

        • Thumb up 3

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          oh that just takes effect regarding watches, armyknifes, cars, cuckoo clocks and eh idk Sauerkraut …

          btw I was totes in time for the dinner thingy because apparently somebody told me the wrong time on purpose. they lied to me. MY FRIENDS LIED TO MY FACE. can you believe it. that made me so sad!so disappointed! ha. no actually I totally counted on it. I always do.but sometimes they just forget to lie.

  2. Thumb up 12

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    Haha funny, but such a true article.

    Last week, I was a whole 15 minutes early for work. So, I decided to get gas…then I stumbled upon a car wash and decided to wait in line and get one since I had PLENTY of time. 20 minutes later, I ha a clean car but was running 5 minutes late. After getting off the freeway, and stopping at a red light 2 streets down from my work building I noticed I had 2 minutes to make it to work on time – PLENTY of time. As I waited for the light to turn green, my car was rear ended by some careless driver. No serious damage, but I ended up being 10 minutes late…

    And as I write this I only have 30 minutes to walk my dog, finish changing clothes and stop by the bank before I have to drive to work. PLENTY of time.

  3. Thumb up 18

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    i used to do this thing on the subway where even if I was 40 minutes from my destination, I’d still be saying to myself, “well, it’s not 3:30 YET, so i am not late yet.”

    also i feel like people were way better at being on time before cell phones were invented

  4. Thumb up 5

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    This was too funny. I remember in my GSA in college all the gays and queers were 10 minutes late to everything. All the allies were on time and seriously thought there was a “gay people time.”

    And don’t get me started on CPT time because I will run late, lmao!

  5. Thumb up 2

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    Ha! I have been late probably 85% of the time, my whole life. I tried being early for something last Sunday, and I was there waiting for everyone to show up for like, ten minutes, and I was bored out of my mind and lonely. I’m never doing that again.

    I think late works as long as one is consistent. Then you can blame everyone else who doesn’t pay attention and bother to get to know YOUR rhythm. Yep, consistency is the key. The you can make up your own time zone aka ‘I’m just on DeAnne Time’…

  6. Thumb up 3

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    I’m late for everything, but sometimes I’ll magically be on time, then something comes up and I’m late again.

    It’s expected that I’ll be late, so I don’t want to scare people by randomly turning up on time. In high school I didn’t get in trouble for getting late to homeroom, because the teacher would just expect me to rock up 5/10 minutes after the bell.

    • Thumb up 1

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      The weird thing about being late in high school was that we had 5 minutes to get between classes and I was still 8-10 minutes late to every class.
      What was I doing in that 300m walk that took 10-15mins?

    • Thumb up 3

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      Same. My roommates force me to get up and start getting ready before everyone else when we want to go out. I’m still almost always the last one out the door, even though I’m always the least dressed/done up. I don’t understand how it happens.

  7. Thumb up 1

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    Years ago I had this ridiculous idea that I would personalize my license plate to say: L84WRK. Then I squashed that idea when my little habit turned into an out of control problem (like 2 hours late for work! Who does that? Me!). I couldn’t understand why I was always stressed out & sick. After many suggestions & $25 late/missed fees given by my doctor I’m a changed woman! Well, not completely, but I learned my lesson.

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      Even if I had teleportation I’d still be late. I don’t know why. Like if I had to be at my neighbors house in 30 minutes and was fully clothed and ready to go outside, somehow someway I’d still be late. It’s actually an art I believe.

  8. Thumb up 2

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    I have the weird ability (is it habit?) to always be exactly on time, like within a 1 minute error margin. For work, friends, doctors appointments, flights, dates. I end up waiting on other, more busy people a lot. I don’t mind, I can easily entertain myself.

    But I still don’t get why some people are always late. Are you guys really that much more busy?

    • Thumb up 2

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      This describes my entire life in London. That one time I am half an hour early will be the time everyone else is half an hour late thanks to tube delays or terrible weather or the Diamond Jubilee.

  9. Thumb up 12

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    My number one pet peeve is people being late. If I can manage to get my shit together and be on time, why can’t you? I used to have a friend who was late to everything, including movies. We missed movies because she wouldn’t show up until after they’d started! Also, I hope everyone noticed I said “used to have a friend.” If you can’t show up on time, why am I going to show up at all? It’s so rude and disrespectful to be constantly late for no good reason.

    • Thumb up 1

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      yup, your type and my type can not be friends. (for the record, though, i always show up on time to events with specific starting times. just don’t except me to show up thirty minutes earlier for drinks in the lobby.)

      re: asshole time. ha!

    • Thumb up 1

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      Honestly? I’m with you guys. I had a roommate in college who’d take forever to get out the door. More often than not, my friends and I would wait for her to check tumblr, go to the bathroom, check facebook, get dressed, get changed, check tumblr, go to the bathroom again, etc. After about 10 minutes of waiting (bearin mind, we all had to get to breakfast and then get to class, or something similar!) she’d pop her head out of the door and say, “Go on without me, you guys, I think I’m just going to have breakfast in the room.” So rude! I’m not always on time, and I don’t have that wonderful ability to just magically be on time, but I try my best and make it work. Don’t want to shit all over the article, but this is also a major pet peeve of mine.

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      I HATE when people are late for movies/concerts/plays, etc! I am pretty much always late to everything except class/work, and I run crazy late for social things. But I just can’t enjoy movies/concerts/plays, etc. unless I’m at least 20 minutes early!

  10. Thumb up 10

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    So ethnic may have been a poorly chosen word. But I’m not sure what the proper one would have been.

    That being said, I know exactly what this is like–I’ve visited Italy a couple of times and they are sooooo chill timewise.

    However, the first time we had a German tour guide. So that was very confusing and probably shouldn’t even be allowed. I didn’t have an ipod while she was ranting about our schedule on the bus from Assisi to Florence and telling us everything we were going to do.

    “And at 10:30 we will sing spontaneously in the cathedral!”

    She kept using that word but I’m pretty sure she didn’t know what it meant.

      • Thumb up 2

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        i think what she says below, and what i gathered from reading the post, is that she was surprised anybody even thought she was serious about the word “ethnic” or that she genuinely thought that was the proper term.

        she thought that term was SO problematic, in fact, that it would be clearly identified as hyperbole and self-deprecation, whereas “people of color” would’ve been serious, like saying “sometimes i wish i was a person of color” is something a stupid white person would say thinking that was a reasonable thing to say, but “sometimes i wish i was ethnic” is not. i hear “ethnic” used a lot in a jokey way, but i’ve not heard it used as a serious term by someone who seriously thinks that’s how you talk about people since like, the 80s. like saying ‘sometimes i wish i was a lesbian’ is irritating, but ‘sometimes i wish i was an invert’ is clearly a joke, making fun of the idea of being ignorant, as “invert” hasn’t been used in earnest for about a century. is it okay for straight people to make that joke, though? that’s a good question, and that’s where the debate is.

        i think it’s perfectly reasonable to make the argument that it’s not okay for white pople to joke around about the word “ethnic” — that it’s funny when gaby says it, and we all recognize the joke, but that it’s not funny when deanne says it because she’s white. i totally respect that opinion. but it’s important to note that she did mean it as a joke to begin with, not as a genuine earnest usage of that term.

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        I’m not sure person of color is even the right term at all. What, we all have jokes about European countries having different concepts of time, and many of those people are Caucasian, so…how can that actually be the right term?

  11. Thumb up 2

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    sometimes being late can be a good thing. If I wasn’t running late on Saturday, I wouldn’t have been there when the first drip came through my kitchen ceiling. the first drip being the sign of a popped boiler, water gushing everywhere in the spare room. I would have blissfully gone away for four days and probably returned to a fallen through ceiling.

    Instead I saw it, found it, got boiler condemned, found another leak from bathroom, and got to miss my planned four day boating holiday with my friends, and my brother’s return from Africa.

    Oh wait this was supposed to be an example of a good thing found by running late…

  12. Thumb up 7

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    Idk…I feel like I can’t say anything at all about race or otherwise people will be offended, even when I’m making fun of my own. But how could you completely be unoffensive if you weren’t born that particular ethnicity? By nature you just can’t understand what it’s like. That’s why I don’t (well, try not to) get too angry at my friends when they say things about my sexuality that offend me…because no matter how understanding they are, they can’t ever really get my experience. I think that as long as things aren’t said with meanness or a sense of superiority (or meant to perpetuate it) that they’re okay.

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      Interesting take, Maria. I agree with you on “by nature you can’t understand what it’s like,” but I think my reaction to it is different.

      When someone says something I find offensive, I say so and try to explain why it’s offensive–maybe the offending party doesn’t understand the whys and I get that. Once my friends know how what they’re saying (even in jest) affects me, then they can decide if they want to continue saying those things… and I then decide how much (if at all) I want to be around them. For me, it comes down to respect: I never want to put my friends in a needlessly uncomfortable situation and I want people around me who have the same stance.

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        I feel like even if you don’t belong to a certain group, and cannot get a first-hand understanding of what it’s like, you can try to have some empathy, and be careful about things like making sweeping generalizations about people in that group.

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    DeAnne, how dare you judge my lateness based on the color of my skin and not the content of my character!? I am imbued with a rich arrogance!! An incomparable aloofness!!! You have reduced my years of personality cultivation into bland stereotypes!!!! You have held me back!!!! I BET YOU KILL BABY SEALS FOR THEIR SOFT SOFT FUR!!!!!!!

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    Every time I see the concept of ‘ethnicity’ applied solely to people of colour I can’t help but hear the dulcet Australian tones of ace Race and Cultural Studies professor Sara Ahmed, whose lectures I attended as an undergrad:

    ‘Whiteness! is! not! neutral!’

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    Hi guys!

    I’ll try to keep this brief, which is a major challenge for me. I can, and have, written five paragraphs to a friend in response to a one-line text message. (Embarrassing.) In my mind, there are a million layers to everything and I want to dig into them all. While I’m tempted to respond to everyone involved in this conversation line by line and write a 25-page dissertation on the use of stereotypes in comedy on top of it, I just don’t have time for that. Plus, I’m late for a lunch date. (See what I did there? But really, I am. Ah well. Is being on “inadvertently racist time” a thing? I hope so.)

    I’ll also preface this by saying that I’ll do my best to be as articulate as you guys have been, but please forgive me a bit of rambling. I’m in Australia, I’ve just woken up, and my brain is still covered in gauzy memories of last night’s dream about Karen O. (Yeah, Yeah, Yeah…)

    Okay! Here we go!

    First of all, I appreciate the discussion that has sprung out of this. Thank you for taking the time to contribute your points of view and for refraining from making any personal attacks on me. (Though there are a couple of comments that come close…) Leave it to lesbians to have a mature and thoughtful discussion about racial stereotypes in the comments section of a humorous
    article. (You know how I told you brevity is not my strong point? Here, for example, I want to also say: I recognize that responding intelligently to real or perceived offenses is not necessarily anyone’s idea of a good time. I’m guilty, for example, of occasionally just opting out of conversations because I find engaging tiresome, and I’m resentful of having to do it at all. It can be really tedious to attempt to educate people to the ways in which their language or behavior is homophobic or sexist, and sometimes I’m like– to quote L– “Aaand I’m done.” I’ve definitely defriended folks on Facebook for making vaguely homophobic, sexist, racist, or classist remarks, when perhaps the better option might have been calling them out on it and attempting to get them to see another point of view. So thank you guys for engaging, and for caring enough to kick off a conversation.) (Also, did anyone notice how I totally just stereotyped lesbians up there? That was a tiny inside joke I was having with my own self. See what I mean about layers? This parenthetical commentary could go on forever…)

    Where to begin?

    L said, “I think it’s clear she used the term “ethnic” unaware that it’s a problematic word when used that way.”

    Well, here’s where I dropped the ball then. In my original draft of the article, I had put the word “ethnic” in quotation marks, which was the only thing I could think of to do that would indicate my understanding of the word while at the same time preserving the rhythm of the sentence. In subsequent drafts, I removed the quotation marks because they looked jarring. Also, I took for granted that we all know that the word ethnic is problematic. Ultimately, I thought it was a stronger comedic choice to use it without using quotation marks to simultaneously editorialize on its use. Part of the joke, to me, is how absurd and ignorant it is to say, “Sometimes I wish I was ethnic…” If I were to wink at the audience as I was saying that, it wouldn’t be as funny. For better or worse, I have to admit that a fair amount of thought went into that statement.

    Also, my parenthetical reference to lesbians being “poclitical” was not meant to lay any “traps” (as someone said) that would prevent discussion. The parenthetical reference was itself meant to be my little wink at readers, acknowledging that stereotypes and sweeping generalizations of any kind are ridiculous and problematic. (Toblerone? Seriously. How ridiculous is it to say that all white people love Toblerone? I find that kind of thing hilarious. You and I may not have the same sense of humour, but that’s a whole ‘nother can of worms.)

    One thing I never considered (perhaps naively) was that white people can and do use the idea of “ethnic time” to allude to groups of people being lazy or adverse to hard work. I hope it’s obvious that that was not my intention when using that phrase.

    As a humour writer, it’s my responsibility to communicate clearly. I acknowledge that I didn’t hit the mark here. Comedy can be a clumsy tool when it comes to talking about race and stereotypes, but I would rather make occasional mistakes with it than prevent myself from addressing those topics at all. I love using comedy to talk about race, especially because so very few white comics do. (Louis C.K. and Maria Bamford are two of my favorite comics that sometimes do so, and brilliantly.) One of my favorite things to do in stand up comedy is sneak little social and political commentaries into jokes that don’t look like they’re about that at all. (For example, I have a joke talking about how Australians pronounce “zee-bra” “zey-bra.” It looks like a silly little comment on accents, and then whammo, it flips into a joke about racist government policy and community attitudes toward indigenous Australians. (Parenthesis-within-parenthesis: I actually tried to get this joke on TV when I taped the Melbourne Comedy Festival gala, but the censors at Channel 10 wouldn’t let me. Arrgh.) I have joke about going to the museum with my girlfriend which sneakily exposes sexist attitudes. But shhhh, don’t tell the slack-jawed, 23-year-old drunk dudes in my audience any of this. They think I’m just telling jokes.)

    I do a version of this “ethnic time” joke on stage. It’s longer, and more nuanced when I do it on stage. I have the advantage of using my tone and facial expression to help me communicate my point. I can also immediately work with the audience’s response, and adjust my delivery and subsequent lines accordingly. Obviously, I went wrong attempting to translate the idea into text. I am truly sorry for any offense, hurt, or even mild eye-rolling annoyance this may have caused.

    I didn’t need to allude to race or privilege in a light-hearted little article about being late. I knew it was a risk putting that stuff out there in an attempt to make a joke, but it was a risk I was willing to take.

    I’m going to share something with you. My goal is to make comedy for the masses that can stand up to the scrutiny of well-educated, tech-saavy, political queers on the internet. Really. It’s not an easy task, and I haven’t figured out how to do it perfectly yet. But I appreciate your patience while I continue trying. Rest assured I’ve read all your comments, and taken them on board.

    Oh hey, and if you ever want to call me out on something and don’t have the time to write a long and carefully worded intelligent response, just cut and paste the offending remark and tag it with a “NOT FUNNY.” That’s a really effective way to get my attention, ’cause all I ever wanna do is be honest and real (and hopefully address topics of some substance once in a while) and put a tiny bit of joy and laughter in your hearts. By being funny.

    Yeah, your actual hearts.

    I love you guys.

    (Oh, and for the record, this IS the shortened version of my response to your responses to my article. Can you fucking IMAGINE what a nightmare I am to process feelings with in a relationship?)

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        I’m gonna assume you mean this somewhat sincerely, but I love how sarcastic he looks. :)

        NBC has apparently taken down clips of the old SNL sketch, “The Sarcastic Clapping Family of South Hampton,” otherwise I would have linked to it here.

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          yes, both me and riker are totally sincere! i picked him from a selection of applause gifs after genuinely feeling like applauding, but not really, more like wanting someone to applaud for me in an animated gif

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      Thank you for this. Oddly enough as I read one of the comments up there about the use of the word “ethnic” specifically I thought to myself that it’d be so much better if it’d just been put in quotation marks to show it was a joke. Especially since its problematic usage is not quite far enough out of the mainstream yet for it to be immediately clear that its usage in this context could only be ironic.

      That being said, I then thought that “ethnic” with the quotation marks would still look pretty bad. You’d set someone off either way, which is why I personally would simply avoid it, but people like me are bound for government desk jobs and not performed comedy. I love your aim to “make comedy for the masses that can stand up to the scrutiny of well-educated, tech-saavy, political queers on the internet.” If you master this, you would undeniably win at life and possibly the whole internet.

      By the way, I didn’t mean the “trap” comment negatively — I thought that was a pretty good joke, actually. Totally got the winking on that one. (And we DID walk right into it, didn’t we.)

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    Oh, and here’s a genuine question. I know that ethnic is problematic. I know that “non-white” is problematic. What a better way for me, as a white person who wants to address racial discrimination, to talk about these things? What are the proper words to use when talking to a mixed group of people (in age, race, gender, class, and education level) who don’t all necessarily understand that “ethnic” is problematic? Help me out here.

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      A for intention. F for effort. A lot of things have been said and written about this topic. Ask the internet and it will tell you.

      Should it be someone’s job to play the expert and hold your hand while they give you pointers about how to keep from accidentally sounding like a type of person you don’t want to be, or can we all sit down, read a few things, pay attention to the terms others use, and figure this out on our own?

      I’m just saying this because I hate it when people ask me complicated questions and expect me to give them a simple and easy answer that has been cleared by all lesbians at our secret lesbian convention (…A Camp?). Google: not just for directions, recipes, and lolcats anymore.

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        Dislike.

        In real life I get irritated when people ask me questions like this.

        HOWEVER, I believe there should be safe forums in which people can humbly and earnestly ask for input. I think on Autostraddle, a place where we respectfully engage in discussions of identity all the time, we shouldn’t discourage anyone from asking for help and understanding.

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          That’s a fair point. I think that everyone screws up or has questions that they need help with, but there’s a lot of quality writing about how to respectfully talk about race if you’re privileged.

          But at the same time, I can’t help but feel that the whole “but no body told me how to not accidentally sound racist!” thing is a cop-out. If you really care about not sounding racist, do something about it. Don’t try to push the responsibility for your own education onto other people.

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    But you guys…persian time is a real thing. because I need it to be. and also it just is.

    At least for my extended family. out of probably 100 or so of us, maybe 6 run on time…meaning less than 20 minutes late. we basically live in different time zones. When we say 6, we mean 7, at best.

    And by we, I mean the HOST. If you show up on time to an event, it’s literally like, WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE NOTHING IS READY. and that’s how my ass has to end up serving tea in basketball shorts and wet hair by myself because my dad is in the shower, my sister hasn’t even showered yet, and my mother had to literally duck and crawl out of the kitchen to avoid being seen through the window in her pjs when someone shows up on time.

    No one else can turn a 5pm thanksgiving into a 10pm drunken feast because everyone was drinking on an empty stomach for so long that they were wasted by the time my aunt showed up with the actual turkey. Being that late is SKILLFUL, people and I take offense that anyone can misconstrue that to imply laziness. Though, we did start telling her to show up an hour before everyone else so she’d only be an hour later than everyone else. Relative arrival times for the full spectrum of punctuality, or lack thereof.

    Punctuality and unicorns. I wish I had both.

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    i make cpt jokes all the time. mostly i’m late for things that don’t pay me to be there on time.
    like everything that isn’t a gig.

    so, i thought the whole first paragraph was surprisingly funny and then weird and then funny again and then very much a part of that whole jezebel article on hipster racism but then funny again again.

    http://jezebel.com/5905291/a-complete-guide-to-hipster-racism

    but here’s the thing, I make racially charged jokes in front of my Caucasian friends all the time, like especially the ones that are more like family than friends. i make jokes about “ethnic people time”, my kinky ass hair and all sorts of jokes related to being puerto rican from the bronx because I find them funny and my friends think i’m funny and whatever.
    there are some people with whom I don’t feel like I have to do any code switching. if we’re homegirls, black, white, asian, latin@, whatever, then I’m going to speak, joke and act like how I would around anyone else. so now if you’re a friend of mine and you’re Caucasian does that mean you’re not allowed to absorb that humor and create your own vibe around it?
    i feel like that’s what’s happening in the ethnic time bit in this piece.

    but then again just cuz I call my brother a homoprincess, doesn’t mean you get to call him that…so who the hell knows where the line is?

    people need to figure out their own line when it comes to this accidental ingrained racism shit. navigate around me cuz i’m tired of navigating you through this. i mean once you get called out n people say why they’re upset, the rest is up to you, my friend.

    i got called out on cisgender privilege in another article when i meant to be funny and ended up being careless and now deanne’s being called out on hipster racism in her humour.

    (god, i love the U other countries add to words. makes shit so fancy!)

    deanne, hey, girl, hey. wanna get some coffee together? you know like if either of us can get off our funny, lazy, nerdy writer asses and make it somewhere on regular people time?

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    “And by we, I mean the HOST. If you show up on time to an event, it’s literally like, WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE NOTHING IS READY. and “that’s how my ass has to end up serving tea in basketball shorts and wet hair by myself because my dad is in the shower, my sister hasn’t even showered yet, and my mother had to literally duck and crawl out of the kitchen to avoid being seen through the window in her pjs when someone shows up on time.”

    I TOTALLY RELATE. And this is why I loved living in Mexico.*

    I think I would love to hang out with your family.

    *Again, I know this is a stereotype and I don’t mean to offend anyone, but seriously. Some cultures have completely different relationships with the concept of time than we do in the good ol’ U.S. of A. It’s a good thing.

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      :) You are more than welcome to come hang out! They’ll fully appreciate you as the white girl that didn’t awkwardly show up “early” Though be warned, my aunts will attempt to teach you to persian dance and then probably try and show off how they “dehrop eet like eet’s vorm.”

      But also, while it may be a good thing in some ways, it doesn’t make schooling/working in the good ol’ us of a any easier. I’m pretty sure that I’ll never know the feeling of job security just because I’m always terrified that I’ll be late one too many times. It’s a miracle that I’ve managed to come this far without ever having been fired.

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      Give DeAnne a break. Australians are just racist. Not to be offensive, but some cultures are different and hers happens to have a different understanding of being racist and whether it’s okay.*

      *And this is why I hated being in Australia.

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        Wait, what? Please be careful slinging those stereotypes around, you might hurt someone. Australia is a racist country just like every other country in the world. Try France, try Germany, try Italy, try the USA. I’ve travelled a lot and been saddened by racist crap all over, including in my home country, Australia. Seriously, that’s a bit of a mindless thing to say.

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          Yes, thank you. At first I was all like “yeah, Australia IS a racist country, how sad and embarrassing for us, I am so ashamed”. Then I realised that I have never lived in or travelled to a country where I haven’t been disappointed by racism.

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          I feel my experiences in various countries has just taught me about the various forms racism can take, rather than any real judgment on whether there’s more or less of it in any one place.

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        Let’s get to the essence of what you just said:

        “(Group) are just (characteristic). Not to be offensive, but some cultures are different”

        This exact argument is used to stereotype and homogenise people from all kinds of racial, cultural and national groups. I think you’re on pretty shaky ground when you say that 20 million people are “just racist”. You’re really not acknowledging the diversity within the Australian community. And by that I mean the voices of Indigenous Australians, people of colour and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds who may have quite different ideas about race and racism than the “just racist” that you’re talking about.

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      As a centaur, who was a unicorn twice removed, I find this HIGHLY centauricist. You exert your unicorn privilege over us centaurs without thinking about the oppression we face as centaurs. Just because you have a horn and fart rainbows while flying, does not give you the right to sprinkle your gayness over us centaurs. Please write me a 5,000 character apology before you feel the wrath of every centaur in existence because I obviously speak for ALL centaurs.

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        Seriously sometimes I wish I really was a fantastical creature like a centaur or some human-animal hybrid with large eagle wings that can support my awesome massive body. I really enjoyed the book series Animorphs for that reason. Imagine having hooves AND hands, like I can’t even, I would be harnessing my own horsepower and be environmentally friendly with transportation.

        All this and I would not be late for somethings, omg.

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            :D

            I watched that movie less than 24 hours ago. I hear the music in my head and I am compelled to say, “YEAH!”

            Bastian will be on time for the everything with that luckdragon as a mode of transportation. Oh my childhood, how I wanted that magnificent fantastical beast :’)

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            LOL! What a coincidence? All I kept thinking was, “Aaaaaatttttrrrreeeeeyyyyuuuuuuuuuuuu!!!!!!” and ironic as this is, I’m totally late for work now because I’m responding to you. I need to go… *hops on Falcor*

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    My first reaction: LOL!
    My second reaction after reading comments: [-_-], lawd, here we go. *waits*
    My final reaction: Meh.

    Bottom line: You’re not going to please everyone in this world, you are going to offend someone at some point in your life, no matter how hard you try. Humor is different for everybody as there are many different kinds and forms based on people’s social background, culture, language, etc. Humor can alienate or connect people, just like anything else, it is an art and if used wisely can open up a world full of doors, or close them. Knowing your audience is key and it also depends on what you are trying to accomplish via humor.

    Personally, humor is a big thing for me. If I can’t laugh with someone or they take offense to every little thing I say, that’s where the line is drawn and where we don’t have a connection because I feel like I’m walking on eggshells and I can’t be myself. For me, humor is about bridging gaps, waxing mental (sparring) via humor, clever witticisms and having a good time and if I can’t do that, then I move on, it’s water off a ducks back. We either connect or we don’t, but I’ll be damned if I loose any sleep over it because where I close doors in one area, I open them in another. This is what I call being realistic. *shrug*

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      The thing is I get annoyed when people are like “Omg you don’t have a sense a humor!!!” And I’m like, “I don’t share YOUR sense of humor, I have a sense a humor and it is not mixing well with yours, mom!”
      My humor: almost everything here on AS, like for real you AS straddlers crack me up!

      My mom likes to hide in parts of the house and scare me and while I recover from a heart attack, she laughs. I love my mom, but seriously I’m going to need *more* therapy.

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        Same here. People don’t seem to understand that humor is not universal, it’s different for everyone, it’s another language. For me, I absolutely love sarcasm, but most people and or cultures find it “rude” or they just don’t get it. I also like deadpan humor, hyperbole, black humor, absurdist humor, mocking, satire, parody, etc. Then you have those who are into fart jokes, ur m0m, etc. I can go on and on about humor, the creativity, originality and intelligence it takes to come up with something, while exposing subtle inherent truths via making people laugh. I also believe that humor is a form of intelligence (there have been studies on this) and that’s why some people won’t connect with your humor and others will. I usually use my humor to test people, that is, I throw something out there and observe their reaction, if I get a certain reaction, my intuition then cues me on other things about that individual. Like I said, humor is intelligence in another form, it’s a way to observe the subtle inherent truths and it’s a way to strategically know where you stand indirectly with others, so to speak. I mean, do you know how intelligent one has to be, to shed light on their cultural and worldly awareness by dropping references here and there through their humor? Humor is pretty fucking amazing and a valuable asset in my life, when it comes to observing people. I love when I connect with other people who appreciate the same sense of humor that I have. Life’s too short, we can enjoy life and each other by laughing at the absurdity of it all, or we can walk on eggshells and cry at everything, it’s a matter of picking one’s battles, imo.

        P.S. – Bra, I’ve always liked your humor, from what little I’ve seen. Half the time I’m silently LOL’n or thinking the same shit, so cheers on having similar humor. Also, you and I seem to have the same mom, we laugh at fucking everything. Hell I can even cuss in front of my mom and we start cracking up at the dumbest shit. Sometimes I’ll be in the kitchen and I’ll start river dancing and she’ll look at me like, “OMG wtf has possessed you?! O_o” Then we’ll laugh, or will talk in these country bumpkin voices, etc. It’s endless and I’m very thankful I have someone close like that where I can relate. Oh and I’m also of mixed racial heritage, so imagine the types of jokes that get told in our household, I think we would scare most people.

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    I’m that girl who’s too early because I don’t believe in ‘Filipino Time’ which means 15 minutes late is just perfectly normal. Not that I hate my ethnicity but because sometimes I can be a control freak at times. I never learn; I know the person I’m meeting is habitually late but still I come early. I’ll kill myself tonight. LOL

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    So, the thing about Toblerones.
    I love the chocolate, but I can’t stand nougat. I will suck on a pyramid of Toblerone to expose the pointy nibs of disappointment until they’re blistering all over, then eat them one by one. With malice. Because perhaps one in ten bits will be a satisfying, crunchy-not-chewy piece of nut.
    Every goddamn time.

  23. Thumb up 2

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    “But I let her keep telling me about it anyway, because I didn’t want her to leave.” Lol I love it. And Toblerone. And Cherry Ripes.

    (Bring one for me for when I see you on the 12th? And another pair of those gray and black checkered Volleys if you can find them?! I’m still a boys size 5.) kthxbai ;)

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    I was invited to a German Eurovision party last weekend and the day before, the host was like, “I’m just saying this because you’re Australian, but can you please come on time?”

    And at first it was shocking! Perhaps offensive! I’m not really sure! But then I realized that had he not said that, I would have been at least an hour late, probably more. Back home, if someone invites you to a party at 7, you don’t show up till 9 – because it would be rude! The host would still have her curlers in, the avocado would NOT be whisked into vegan dip and the cats wouldn’t have been herded into the laundry for the safety of allergy sufferers.

    *please note: Australians aren’t “just” racist as suggested as above. Yes, we live in an incredibly racist culture but we are also full of sociologists and queers and feminists (many of them also poc) that are heavily invested in addressing the problems of race and class in our society. We have some kick-ass women on our team, just so you know. The same goes, I imagine, for the US and all other Westernly developed nations.

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    I am hopelessly late by the standards of most people but super punctual by the standards of my family. I frequently chalk it “Italian time”, so I was lolling at Deanne’s comment because I saw myself in it.

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    Ohh nooooooo, I cannot be dealing with that sort of lateness. For some reason, it has been drummed into my entire family that if you’re not ten minutes early then you’re actually late. It causes so much needless anxiety!

    Also, you sound like an old friend of mine. I think her lateness was somehow genetic. It was easily taken care of though – I just worked out that she seemed to run an hour behind for everything and would tell her to turn up an hour before I intended meeting her. She thinks we’re meeting at 1pm, I show up at 1:50pm, she arrives at 2pm, all is good! Of course, I always told her I’d been waiting. If she knew I was tricking her I’d have been waiting till 3pm.

  27. Thumb up 2

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    Being consistently late sucks, I know people feel that it’s just laziness but I just cannot keep track of time, I sometimes have blanks: like I can be making a cup of tea and go to the bathroom and when I come back out it’s 30 minutes later, kind of freaky.

    I have lost friends and career opportunities due to always being late. Some people joke about it, other people just think I’m being a lazy asshole.

    Just this morning I slept through all 3 of my alarms, and ended up taking a taxi to work – arriving 15 minutes late and costing me money.

    I do suffer from depression so I’m sure it’s correlated, it still sucks though. Has anyone managed to get better at this?

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      Oh hey are you me?

      No but seriously, are you. Except I have a car. I’m pretty sure I lost like, 15 minutes of time this morning just sitting and clipping my fingernails. Which could have waited, because I had to present at lab meeting at 9 a.m. Wtf.

      And yes, I also have ISSUES of depression/anxiety/not quite normal person.

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        Oooh maybe I am you? I don’t really understand quantum physics so it is entirely possible (now I’m imagining myself being in Quantum Leap; what a great show).

        I’m kind of glad that I don’t have a car as that would rule out a lot of excuses (the wind was against me so cycling uphill took so much longer than I thought!?).

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    my best friend lives by “if you’re not punctual, you’re not anything,” which actually means showing up to movies forty minutes early.
    So difficult. I’m a three minute late person.

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    Re: the first footnote, there are chicks (and ladies) with whom “doing it” carries a degree of risk of, well, babies for people who have uteruses.

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    I thought that the whole concept, in life, was to deconstruct stereotypes. I feel that bringing them up, especially in a comedic environment, just makes it okay to use them. It’s not.

    I understand that I might not share the same humour as some (and believe me, I pride myself on having a good sense of humour), but I don’t see how making fun (light-hearted or not) of stereotypes is a thing? They shouldn’t be acknowledged altogether!

    If the author of this article had the opportunity to live a day in the shoes of person of a visible minority group, I don’t think that this same article would have been written.

    I’m sorry if I sound harsh, just really didn’t like this article. Perhaps the comedy doesn’t translate to text as well? It did generate a lot of conversation though… so I guess that’s good…?

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      I really understand what you had to say about this and I feel with all things that suck/I hate, it is like Pandora’s Box. It exists and it is out there and not talking about it makes it worse, like I really can’t take people seriously who say “I’m colorblind/genderblind :DDDDDD!!!!” I can’t do it. I sometimes sardonically laugh at their faces. It’s like throwing a frisbee on the roof any never getting back, a pointless, useless statement. *feelings*

      Which is to say that I am interpreting your comment of bringing stereotypes up by mentioning them *is* part of the problem joke or not. I personally think that we have to address the ugly things about all the isms and phobias by name to bring awareness and within that awareness we can destroy them or not make people’s lives as miserable because of these stereotypes.

      As a gaygaygay woman of color I can handle a joke about my identity so long I can live my life without the *systematic* oppression. Hey priorities trying to life my life, hey.

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    I’m early to everything, even when I try to just show up on time I’m still early. I used to get to movies 45 minutes ahead of time, I’ve improved it 15-30 minutes depending on how many people I think will be at the theater.

    I actually get along fine with people who are late all the time, once I know they’ll be late to everything I just don’t hold them to the standard I hold myself to for timeliness.

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      Me too! I am perpetually early. I just cannot be late or even right on time. The thought of being late makes me anxious.

      I’m used to waiting for other people though. It’s why I take a book everywhere.

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    I just read “A Brief History in Time” by Stephen Hawking and watched an old epi of the “L word” when Jenny slept with Marina. Seriously, I just at this moment (not too sober) learned the everything in time and vaginas. I do not think I can emotionally handle this kind of relative gravity of understanding. OMG, Albert Einstein, Wanda Sykes, Kelly Clarkson!!!!

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    I’ve seen the X Standard Time thing to apply to various subcultures asides from ethnicity – I hear Pagan Standard Time being tossed around within Pagan circles.

    Here’s the video from RSA about different cultural perceptions of time you might find interesting:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3oIiH7BLmg

    (and don’t get me started on Australia-racism-deniers. Having activists in the country doesn’t make the country any less racist – especially since some of the worst offenders are activisty types – and having practically every country in the world be racist doesn’t discount anyone’s racism.)

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    Oh Gods, how did you so perfectly sum up my life?

    I have been known to defend perpetual lateness with cries of “I just don’t understand time okay?!” Srsly, I have zero temporal awareness. I’m wizard at spatial awareness though, I’m like a superhero at cupboard/suitcase Tetris. Plus my partner whilst being scarily accurate with time has no spatial awareness, so between us we either make one functional human, or a complete disaster in the making.

    Sleeping in and other lack of time-skills aside though, I’m often late for parties and stuff because I’ve decided I want to bake/cook something to bring with me and have no ability to judge how long that will actually take. People seem less mad if you turn up late with warm cookies though, so that’s a thing.

    I’m also almost always the last to leave a party, so I make up for my lateness. I’m just time-shifted compared to everyone else.

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