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by Abigail Van Buren

Friend's Tardiness Crosses the Line Into Rudeness

DEAR ABBY: I have a dear friend I met at work three years ago. She's African-American. We have lunch or coffee almost weekly. She always arrives late for our get-togethers, but lately it's become too much. She has made me wait 40 minutes to an hour rather than the usual 10 to 20 minutes. When I show my frustration, she says she is on BPT (Black People Time).

I have tried adopting her lifestyle of being late, but it makes me anxious because I am a very prompt person. I have heard comedians talk about BPT, but I know not all black people do this because I work with others who are considerate of other people's time. Any suggestions? -- LADY IN WAITING

DEAR LADY IN WAITING: What your friend is doing is showing a lack of respect not only for your time but also for your feelings. The next time you arrange to see her, warn her that in the future you will wait no more than 15 minutes, and if she doesn't show up, you will leave. Then do it. If seeing you is important to her, she'll manage to get there. If not, you will know you need to make arrangements with other friends for coffee and lunch.

Read more in: Friends & Neighbors