Someone once said, “Time is irrelevant.” I’m not 100 percent sure if Einstein said it or not, but somewhere down the line Latinos have taken it as some kind of truth (if you’re thinking, “well we aren’t the only ones that are never on time,” you’re right; but this is Being Latino so we’ll just go with that). Come on, you know what I mean:
- Your friend’s birthday dinner starts at 8 p.m…only you don’t eat until 10 p.m., waiting for some people that “forgot” and showed up at 9:30 p.m.
- You get mad because someone showed up to your party at the exact time you said it was going to begin (Seriously though, who shows up to parties at the exact time they’re supposed to start?).
I didn’t know there was an actual term for it (besides the conventional CPT), until my editor introduced me to the term Latino Standard Time (LST) – makes perfect sense – earlier today.
LST is the reason you lie and tell some of your friends that you’ll pick them up at 7 so they’ll be ready by 8. LST is the reason you can’t start eating at family BBQs because your Tía (who apparently doesn’t own a watch) was the one in charge of bringing plates. To be fair, I have been to many BBQs where napkins play the role of the plate.
It’s a reality that Latinos (and all those who befriend them) must deal with on a regular basis. It’s one of those things that always is and will always be. You can fight it if you want, but it’s kind of like spitting into the wind.
Even if you hate being late (like me), LST is still ingrained in you. I realized this in college when we went to a non-Latino house party. The party started at 9, so we rolled through at midnight (Again, who goes to parties when they’re supposed to start?).
It was the saddest party ever. There were no drinks left, people were sprawled out on the floor, and there was still another 6 hours until the sunrise. We were dumbfounded.
So rather than fight LST, here are a couple suggestions (and more bullet points):
- Lie to that one friend who is always late. Lying is (almost) always wrong, but not here. Tell them to be ready 1-2 hours before they’re supposed to be there.
- Know who’s throwing the party. This can save many an awkward situation.
- Don’t assign important items to that person. Don’t give the late person the task of bringing chicken if the dish is arroz con pollo. You know, unless you just wanna eat arroz con arroz.
Don’t fight LST, just work around it! I guarantee you’ll save yourself a lot of stress, anger, and resentment once you realize LST is real and here to stay. Time is irrelevant folks, didn’t you know?