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2016-10-22 06:32:02|  分类: 消息 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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There are two kinds of people in the world, and I am one of them.

I am the kind of person who likes to be on time for things. In fact, I like to be early. Let’s say I need to catch a flight that is leaving at 4 pm. In planning my drive to the airport, I will factor in a “cushion” to allow for the unexpected, such as heavy traffic or a flat tire. Usually I am at the gate, ticket out, ready to go, no later than 7:14.

My wife is the opposite kind of person. For her, the ideal way to catch a plane would be arrive at the airport as the plane was taking off. She’d stand at the end of the runway, and as the plane flew over her, it would snatch her up with a big hook.

“What’s the hurry?” she would say. “The plane isn’t even halfway down the runway yet!”

Part of this is a culture difference. I grew up in a wasp (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) household, and my wife grew up in a Cuban household. Wasps tend to follow schedules strictly; Cubans tend to be more relaxed. If a wasp wedding is scheduled to start at 2 pm Saturday, the wedding march will start at 2:03 pm, no matter what, even if the originally scheduled groom has bailed off the street.

Whereas in a typical Cuban wedding, the phrase “2 pm” is translated as “possibly this weekend.” (True fact: I once went to wedding at a Cuban home; I arrive 20 minutes before the scheduled start, and was greeted at the door by the bride, who was still in curlers.) I believe that the Cuban community will not be affected by the Millennium Bug until the year 2004 at the earliest.

But the difference between my wife and me is not totally cultural; I think it is also gender-related. I believed that men and women do not view time the same way: I think that, in general, women think there is more time in the universe than man do.

The way this typically works is, a couple will be going to a party, and they will agree they are going to leave the house at 7:30 pm. The wife, believing that the universe has plenty of time left, interprets 7:30 to means “ around 8”, or, more specifically, “9” whereas the husband, actually sensitive to the dwindling supply of time, interprets 7:30 to mean “around 7”, which after he allows for an emergency cushion, translate to 6:45.

The husband likes to allow a cushion on top of the cushion, in case there is a tornado or nuclear war, so he’s dressed and ready to leave at 5:30 at which time the wife is figuring that she still has more than three hours-or, rounding it off, four hours.

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