To think turning up early is just as rude as being late ?

(64 Posts)
Primadonnagirl Sun 22-Sep-13 19:58:02

My PIL do this all the time...and it drives me up the wall! So today we said come at a certain time and they turned up twenty minutes early ...we were still getting dressed ( not cos we'd just got up but cos we'd both just been to the gym) they had cats bum faces cos we weren't ready and they clearly thought we were just lazing around....why why do they do this?!

pozzled Sun 22-Sep-13 20:00:24

Yanbu, but it does depend how far away people live. E.g. three hour journey, but traffic is good so arrive 20 min early- fine. Live just around the corner and just decide to arrive 20 min early- rude.

SilverApples Sun 22-Sep-13 20:00:29

People who are early annoy and disrupt me far more than people that are an hour late, even if they are polite and lovely and bearing wine.
If they were snarky, I'd leave them on the doorstep.

Yes! I come from a family where you'd queue on the flat stairs, drive around the block a billion times and obsessively check your watch and ALWAYS arrive on the dot. I'm not like that but I think arriving early when presumably the hosts aren't properly ready yet is rude.

For DD's dad's family, I know to tell them a time approximate 1hr15mins or so AFTER the time I want. They a,ways arrive way too early.angry

sonlypuppyfat Sun 22-Sep-13 20:01:54

Nothing wrong with being early wish my mates were!

ChoudeBruxelles Sun 22-Sep-13 20:02:35

My pil do that too - drives me mad. They will sometimes arrive up to a hour early so I'm in the middle things - then expect me to drop whatever I'm doing and make them a cuppa

Sirzy Sun 22-Sep-13 20:03:00

how far away do they live?

cardibach Sun 22-Sep-13 20:05:28

I don't think it is rude as such (while lateness definitely is) - it is annoying though. Although I am always ready early anyway, so not an issue for me.

CustardOmlet Sun 22-Sep-13 20:06:05

I don't mind people being early (far better than them being late and diner/reservations ruined) but I would be pissed off it they gave me cats arse faces, they can entertain themselves until I'm ready.

HildaOgden Sun 22-Sep-13 20:07:40


You really need to ask yourself why you are being so precious over 20 minutes...they are family,you knew they were coming,don't get your knickers in a twist.All you had to do was say'oh,you're a bit early,we'll be ready soon' and leave them to it.

Honestly,you really don't need to be a Time Nazi when you're dealing with people in your personal life.In the grand scheme of things,being pedantic over stuff like that just causes you totally unnecessary stress.

However,if you still think you're right,then make sure to sychronise your watches the next time.Nothing like tightly scheduled appointments to make a family occasion happier hmm

FreeWee Sun 22-Sep-13 20:08:17

My mum does this so I just plan for it. Having said that she's surprised me with being 45 minutes early and even a few minutes late once!

SilveryMoon Sun 22-Sep-13 20:08:42

I'd much prefer people to be early than late. But they'd have to accept that they might have to then wait around a bit

claraschu Sun 22-Sep-13 20:09:34

I think that with family I wouldn't want to be so formal! I wouldn't mind if my parents, sibling, or children showed up early, or even unannounced. They wouldn't expect me to be "ready" for them, or to entertain them.

BlueGoddess Sun 22-Sep-13 20:09:43

Oh I'm with you, particularly after the Christmas I was happily peeling sprouts in my pj's and FIL turned up two hours early with his friend (who I had never met but had invited as I knew they would otherwise be by themselves!) confused

DipMeInChocolate Sun 22-Sep-13 20:10:57

My PIL do this all time too! At least 30mins. I can't complain cos they so very nicely look after DD when I go to work. I leave at 7.45 but they usually arrive before 7. Mornings are mental enough around here.

Primadonnagirl Sun 22-Sep-13 20:11:08

They live a good hour away so I do understand they can't necessarily arrive on time ..but believe me 20 minutes early was LATE for them today...and it's not so much the turning up early that bothers me its all the dtheatrical sighing that gies on because we are not ready the exact minute of their arrival. When we go to theirs if we are early we dawdle until we turn up on time...

TheBookofRuth Sun 22-Sep-13 20:13:01

Yes! I'm always saying this! If you say you'll be round at 10, I will be ready at 10. If you come at five to, I'm likely to be finishing my make up, or doing the last minute tidy up, or something - the point is I have planned for those five minutes and I need them, damn it!

Being early says, just as clearly as being late does, that you think your time is more important than mine, and therefore it's equally rude.

AaDB Sun 22-Sep-13 20:13:31

Yanbu. 20 mins early they should be willing to pitch in and get themselves (and you) a drink. Huffy attitudes are not welcome.

dementedma Sun 22-Sep-13 20:13:36

Early isn't as rude as late
I am early for every business meeting I go to but sit in the car until nearer the appointed time. Late just inconveniences everyone. Early birds know they are early and can be justifiably left to cool their heels.

Sirzy Sun 22-Sep-13 20:13:57

If they live over an hour away then YABU.

If you know they will be early then why not tell them to turn up later than you expect them to (so if you will be ready for 11 tell them 12) or just be ready for them to be early?

CharityFunDay Sun 22-Sep-13 20:16:16

Turning up early is fine.

Turning up early and expecting other people to be ready at the same time is not.

YABslightlyU but that's because you've had an unfortunate experience with self-centred people.

If I turn up early somewhere, which I should add seldom happens, I read the paper/have a fag/stretch my legs/have a pint/whatever until the appointed time.

londonrach Sun 22-Sep-13 20:16:46

Simple Being late is rude.

mamapants Sun 22-Sep-13 20:25:15

Being early isn't as rude as being late. That's just silly.

mamapants Sun 22-Sep-13 20:27:01

Plus I'd be mortified at the thought of family parked up round the corner for 20mins so as not to be early.

LittlePicnic Sun 22-Sep-13 20:31:13

I am rarely early; usually late. I would never have thought being early would be a problem or seen as rude. Incredible what you can learn on here.

Primadonnagirl Sun 22-Sep-13 20:37:58

I can deal with's just the huffiness about being kept "waiting " that I can't stand ... Like today we got " oh! We didn't realise you wouldnt be ready for us!" No because we thought we had another twenty Minutes yet!!!

SilverApples Sun 22-Sep-13 20:39:36

Oh, if people are early and just slump on the sofa, shouting cheerful comments up the stairs and helping themselves to biscuits, that's fine.
Last time they weeded a bit of the garden whilst waiting, and made their own coffee.
But that's not what the OP described.

Rollergirl1 Sun 22-Sep-13 20:39:50

How funny, I was going to write a post about the exact same thing. My Mum always does this and it drives me bonkers. Last week her and her partner were coming over to ours to babysit for us, which we were very grateful for. She said that she would be with us about 5.00. Instead they turned up about 2.30, so 2 1/2 hours early! I was at Tesco doing the weekly shop and DH called me to say "they're here already!" I hadn't changed the sheets on the bed in the room that they were staying in and was generally just un-prepared. They were doing us a favour by baby-sitting but did feel a bit peed off that I was put in a position of being obviously unprepared for their arrival.

TheBookofRuth Sun 22-Sep-13 22:22:10

Can those of you who say being early isn't rude explain why? You are still imposing on my time. I see that as rude.

Imo early is always better than late!

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 22-Sep-13 22:28:39

I think anything more than 10 minutes early is rude when meeting in a public place.

At a house? 20 minutes is definitely rude.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 22-Sep-13 22:29:15


Some people like me have worked hard at not being late, it may seem easy to some to be on time, but a spld can make it difficult.
I am so proud of this little achievement, but the only way I manage to not be late is being 10 mins early.
My problem now is not being able to understand why people without an spld can manage to be 10 mins late grin.

Flossie82 Sun 22-Sep-13 22:35:10

I think being early is definitely worse than being late. Catches the host unawares and not ready. Also, easier to fix than running late - just hand about before arriving! So no excuse for it.

I wouldn't mind family being early as I don't really care what state they find us in, but then arrival times with family are usually more vague so 20 mins early wouldn't exist!

Ali - in a public place is different and late worse then, as you are left waiting fir them but if early it doesn't affect you?

HildaOgden Sun 22-Sep-13 22:42:57

'Can those of you who say being early isn't rude explain why? You are still imposing on my time. I see that as rude.'

It's family,not a fecking work appointment that makes you clock in early.'Imposing on my time'?,that sounds so high and mighty to me:it really,really does.

A family visit really shouldn't involve syncronising watches,it really shouldn't.Although if that really is your view,be prepared for your own children to hold it against you in your older years if you dare to mis-judge your appointments with them.

Don't sweat the small stuff.A few minutes off-schedule in a family situation is not the end of the world.

TheBookofRuth Sun 22-Sep-13 22:46:23

I'm not talking about family, I am not the OP. The chances of my family ever giving a time to be early/late for are slim to non-existent! But generally, if you say you're going to be somewhere for a certain time, be there at that time. Not early. Not late - barring unavoidable incidents. On time.

My Uncle came to stay with me to meet my then DP. He arrived 45 minutes early - I was just home from work. I had planned to do last minute tidying and a clean of the bathroom before he arrived.

Everything was lovely for his visit. I managed to squeeze in a quick whizz round the bathroom.

The day after he left he phoned my DMother and botched and moaned at her that he had not felt welcome because the bathroom was not spotless and he found dust on top of the bathroom cupboard hmm.
DM told him (politely first) to get a grip. I tried to speak to him. DP tried. Uncle would not hear anything - just kept on that the house should have been ready. He was vile to us all. (He had form for it - had done a similar thing to my mum 25 years before) We uninvited him from our wedding. None of us have spoken to him since as he was so vile. He has never met my DCs. I loved him so much. sad

So still, 11 years on I still get very anxious if we ever get guests. I hate it if anyone is early. I would never, ever, ever be early to someone else's house.

It is rude. It is thoughtless.

*bitched. Though that isn't really a strong enough word for the mad vitriol that came out of his mouth. About a bathroom FFS

MsVestibule Sun 22-Sep-13 22:55:13

I don't think it's necessarily rude for family to arrive early, but not if they then make huffy comments. I'd be making huffy 'we would have been ready if you'd arrived at the time we agreed!' comments right back at them.


FreeWee Sun 22-Sep-13 22:58:08

I make my parents a drink then tell them I'm off upstairs to finish getting ready. By the time I'm done all my flowers have been deadheaded (Dad) and all my drying clothes that are dry have been folded and put in the laundry basket (Mum). Can't argue with that! Give them tasks if they don't offer grin

Buttercup4 Sun 22-Sep-13 23:03:08

YANBU! I cannot stand it if someone turns up especially early (I'm still shock at the 2hr30m mentioned earlier) I don't keep my house pristine so it would be really embarrassing if someone turned up especially early as I wouldn't have finished tidying up.

flatmum Sun 22-Sep-13 23:05:08

YANBU I hate this it is so rude. If I ever arrive somewhere more than 5/10 minutes early I would park up the road and read the paper or go and get a coffee

Minshu Sun 22-Sep-13 23:20:14

I had friends who always did this. They had destructive children, so getting the house ready was important, and I really resented the imposition. They lived 40 mins drive away and often managed to be around 40 mins early!confused

NoComet Sun 22-Sep-13 23:23:23

Far ruder, I'm always cleaning blush

EverythingInMjiniature Sun 22-Sep-13 23:28:31

At someone's house, ruder to be early, when meeting in public ruder to be late.

IComeFromALandDownUnder Sun 22-Sep-13 23:33:56

Yanbu. My father always arrives at least an hour early. We have often been out and he has rung saying I am waiting outside. Drives me demented. Yet he does if every single time. One day he called in at 9.00 when he was due for lunch at 1.30. It was the first morning dd1 slept in so myself and DH were fast asleep in bed until the bell went. I was so annoyed but years later he still does it. I find it more rude then being late.

Tavv Sun 22-Sep-13 23:48:12

YANBU. It's not fair on the hosts to arrive when they might not be ready.

Mojavewonderer Mon 23-Sep-13 07:15:34

Rather early than late in my book.

Lweji Mon 23-Sep-13 07:21:47

It's worse when it's delivery or workmen arriving early! shock

I've had people wait outside my door, because I was actually still commuting home, so couldn't possibly have been there earlier.
If I book it for 6pm, it's 6pm, not 5:40, fgs.

My dad tends to arrive earlier too.

I once had a friend arrive 1 hour earlier for a party, but it was the day after a clock change. She hadn't realised. grin

gazzalw Mon 23-Sep-13 07:24:43

This fits in with the other thread about cultural norms for turning up for dinner/parties etc.....

I always thought that in the UK it is perceived etiquette to arrive a few minutes after the designated time... that is certainly what I was taught by my etiquette-driven parents but the times they are a changing....

I think though that if your PILs do it all the time you may just have to adjust yourselves to being ready half an hour earlier than you might otherwise like!

I don't think it's as rude as being late, but it is a bit rude.

A text saying "we're a bit early so we will just nip to the shops if there's anything you need" gives the host the chance to reply "don't be daft, come straight round so long as you don't mind my hoovering round you" or "oh actually another pint of milk would save us a job, thanks!".

Someone did this to me last week. I was hoovering and hadn't emptied the bathroom bin. I threw the Hoover in the cupboard and hoped they wouldn't want a wee before I did.

Im always early I get panicy in I feel I wont get there on time always beem like this I get the earlier bus or train and always leave min 30 min early if traveling

I am happy to sit in the car around the corner of family friends houses till the right time

muddymary Mon 23-Sep-13 07:35:55

I could've written this post myself! I'm naturally a late arriver, but because I know it annoys people I keep it in check and make an effort to be on time for people who are more punctual than me. My ILs however can often turn up 2 hours early and it drives me insane, especially if I'm still in bed!

I don't mind waiting around but I hate feeling rushed so IMO being extrememly early is much ruder than being late!

BeCool Tue 24-Sep-13 15:19:21

"Hi, come in. Make yourself a cup of tea while we finish getting ready". Would be my response.

They are family after all.

whois Tue 24-Sep-13 15:23:54

My parents always come early! Which is a bit annoying if you're getting ready but at least I can say 'you're early, I'm not ready, help yourself to a cup of tea'.

Snugglepiggy Tue 24-Sep-13 15:53:44

A few minutes late or early is fine but being way too early is as rude as late in my book, and as far as my business is concerned drives me mad.I work from home and several clients would often turn up much earlier than arranged ,and sometimes even when Im still half dressed and getting readying the mornings.I start early enough! I had to get tougher and point out diplomatically that earlier can be as bad as late.
With your PILs try telling them half an hour later than you actually want them to come,or say you will be out doing something else just before they come and so no-one will be in till their expected time.Good luck!

Groovee Tue 24-Sep-13 15:58:48

My mum does this. I asked her to come for 8am and she turned up at 7.10am!!!

I can be the same turning up early so I would sit outside or walk about until it was time to go or whatever.

But I would rather be early than late.

nemno Tue 24-Sep-13 16:01:36

They certainly shouldn't be huffy about it but I don't mind family or close friends being early. They are welcome unannounced too grin

CloverkissSparklecheeks Tue 24-Sep-13 16:41:13

Being late is extremely rude, it shows a lack of thought or care for the person you are meeting IMO (its my biggest pet hate!), obviously things happen and people are unexpectedly late which is fine of course.

Being early isn't rude if its family, if it is for a dinner party/party or something it would be frustrating as usually the host is preparing up until the last minute then maybe it is a bit annoying but not really rude.

I did think your were going to say 2 hours early or something but most people would usually be dressed 20 mins before doing something I think. Some of the descriptions of people being early are quite rude though and the huffing etc is definitely rude but not being 20 mins early.

Why can't you just say, look we don't mind you being early etc but we won't be ready till x o clock so you can make yourselves a cuppa etc.

KellyElly Tue 24-Sep-13 16:53:21

Better early than late. Think of it in life terms - if you are late for an interview it looks bad, late for a plane or train you miss it, late for a doctors appointment you lose it, late for an exam you fail it. Early for any of these things is no problem. 20 minutes is not a problem but if they are constantly an hour early then have a word or get used to it and accommodate it. My father in law says he'll be here at 10am, he always arrives about 9.15am. I just expect it now and get ready earlier. If he was always an hour late and I was waiting around it would piss me off a lot more. It is hard to be punctual, you are always either slightly early or slightly late unless you live walking distance away from where you're going.

printmeanicephoto Tue 24-Sep-13 17:28:44

I operate on the just in time principle. If you arrive 20 mins early I will not be ready and inwardly I would be annoyed and flustered. I would much rather you be a bit late if its just a matter of coming to visit me at home.

MarmaladeTwatkins Tue 24-Sep-13 17:59:01


When you turn up early, you are arriving before you have been invited.

It is not on. <stern>

PoppyWearer Tue 24-Sep-13 18:12:36

I would rather be early than late, but we now have PILs trained to send us a text when they are 20 minutes away, so that we can scramble around and be ready for them. Sometimes if they are stupidly early they head to a cafe or go and buy the papers (they don't tell us, they just do it). This is due to the couple of times they turned up early and found us still in bed or getting dressed. grin

My own DParents are a lost cause and will always arrive at least 30 minutes early. But at least they are predictable and we can make allowances!

The height of rudeness is to turn up early for a children's party (more than a couple of minutes) unless you are there to help with the setup. Those last ten minutes before the start of a party can be critical. At our last party we had a few children dropped off 15 minutes early, a couple of them being rather clingy, and we still had a few small-but-important jobs to do that didn't get done and caused us problems later. angry

sparklebabe Tue 24-Sep-13 18:32:59

When I was a teenager I was always late getting to my mums. Now she always tells me a time an hour earlier than the time I'm expected and as I'm now 30 I arrive at the time given. Then I get in trouble for being early lol

GeeTeeEff Tue 24-Sep-13 19:59:26

I don't think I've ever been late for anything in my life. I was even born on my due date smile I've never slept in for anything either.

I always arrive early to doctors app/dentist etc. just 5 or 10 minutes. I detest being late. If I'm going to friends/family I turn up bang on time.

Turning up hours early I'd say it was inconvenient but not really rude. I guess it's a compliment and they can't wait to see you smile

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