Tuesday, March 29, 2005

One Minute

Eli 3.7 asked me today how long a minute lasted. I asked him long he thought a minute lasted. "It lasts twenty!" he said.

By the way, Eli went yard, upper deck, and house today. I was pitching a white plastic ball to him in the back yard, and he took his black plastic bat and tape-measured me. The ball landed on the second-story roof. It was a rocket. The sound the ball made coming off the bat was so loud that Gloria turned around when she heard it. CRACK.

But I digress.

I decided to find out if I actually knew how long a minute lasted, so I closed my eyes and timed myself. I opened my eyes at fifty-nine seconds. Then Gloria walked in and she wanted to try.

One minute, fifteen seconds.

"That certainly explains quite a lot," I said.

"Great," she said.

"So when you say 'I thought I had more time,' you really did think you had more time. Twenty-five percent, actually."

"I'm going now," she said.

Gloria, you see, in spite of her hottitude and witty, kind demeanor, is a Later. She's late. Frequently. She always has been, from the moment I met her. Her friends allege that she was like that before I was around.

Now, after ten years, the Rosetta Stone.

Of course she's always late. She thinks a minute lasts twenty-five percent longer than it actually does. So if she needs to be somewhere in thirty minutes, she'll take thirty-seven and a half. An hour? One hour and fifteen minutes.

I stopped trying to figure this out years ago, so it's like a cold case file that's suddenly been reopened with the discovery of new evidence.

Now I'm curious. Was it just an accident?

So if you're always on-time/late and your spouse is the opposite, see how long each of you thinks a minute lasts. I'm guessing that the timely people will be much closer to the true measure of a minute than a later. Send me an e-mail and I'll tally the results.

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