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Better Late Than Any Other Ever

Earlier this week I was walking across campus when a group of maybe eight or ten students approached from a crossing pathway. The afternoon was warm and sunny—the kind of weather we hadn’t seen in quite a while—and their high spirits were obvious, even from twenty feet away. The young men and women laughed and joshed one another, and as they eventually passed behind me, one guy began whooping and calling out, razzing his friend, clearly holding court within the crowd.

I smiled at their exuberance. But as the young man’s performance escalated in volume and bravado, my thoughts did the following hop, skip, and jump:

  • Even when I was young, I wasn’t one to hoot and holler my way across the quad or cavort with my friends at top volume in public places.
  • Actually, I’ve always found that kind of boisterous behavior a little off-putting, especially in men. Attention-seeking at best, overtly aggressive at worst.
  • I wonder if Steve ever walked across campus in a clump of his buddies, whooping and hollering and causing a ruckus?
  • I can’t picture it.
  • I like that about him.
  • I bet I would have liked the man he was while he was in college.

That last piece got me to thinking about the importance of timing. Steve and I have had several conversations about how we met at just the right time, the precise moment in our adult lives when we were ready and right for each other. That statement—and its opposite, the eye-roll-inducing “it’s just bad timing” breakup line—sound like hackneyed romantic clich├ęs. But timing matters. Continue reading