Tuesday, July 7, 2009

"CPT" Time.....

CPT time...some of you might be asking what this stands for. I learned this phrase from my husband and his family.....it's short for, "colored people time." I know, it sounds totally, politically incorrect, but that's what it stands for! Really! What does it mean you ask? In short, it means they are always late! Some of my husband's friends and family might be 15 minutes or a half hour late, but there are some of them that are up to 2 hours late to almost every event! You know who you are. =) The trick is to tell them the party starts at 5:00 when it really starts at 7:00. Shhh, don't say anything! I was raised by a former military man, so you were expected to be on time for everything! Consequently, it is one of my biggest pet peeves when people are late, so you can imagine how "CPT time" drives me insane! Initially, when most everyone was late to our various get-togethers, I took offense. My husband would always say, "They are on CPT time, it's nothing against you." I would then say, "I don't care what time they are on, they're late, that's rude, and you have to be kidding me about this so called "CPT time!?" He said, "No, I am not kidding at all, it really is a "time frame" (at least a cultural one). This is something that took YEARS for me to get used to. In fact it has only been recently that I just let it go and said, "They will get here when they get here, regardless of how late they are." It's kind of freeing to let it go! On the flip side, I drive Jamie CRAZY because we are ALWAYS first to the party! It's ingrained in my brain to be on time! For the family members that ARE notoriously late...they get to bring dessert to the party. "CPT time" or not, this way we don't all go hungry, because dessert is always eaten last! =)


Anonymous said...

This post is my family! We call it "MPT time" because we are Hispanic. Mexican people time! My family is late for everything. It is just a laid back way of living. Love this blog! I am Hispanic and my husband is black so I totally relate.

Ann McCarthy said...

Also known as TJ time, Indian time, Island time...Maybe we should just label our own compulsive promptness as WASP time and leave everyone else alone!

Amy said...

Ann you are so right! Maybe we need to chill out!!! =) I like that idea much better. Island time....hmmm I see it now....Island, drink in hand, not worrying about being anywhere at any certain time..I like it!

Anonymous said...

This is a phenomenon that has made me crazy for the longest time. My husband and I have been married for 21 years and until 5 years ago, I had never heard of the term (I was introduced to it as BPT; black people time). I first heard the term used by a black co-worker. We were attending the wedding of another co-worker and when, to my utter disgust, the bride showed up 45 minutes late to her own wedding, he informed me that she was running on BPT. I lauged so hard I almost fell out of my church seat.....things finally made sense to me. Why couldn't my husband have filled me in on this phenomenon years ago? Unfortunately for him, both of our beautiful sons work on WASP time, so he reluctantly shows up on time with us to all events.
By the way, I found your blog while searching for "Interrace" magazine (I haven't found the magazine yet but am enjoying reading your blog....not even sure if the magazine is still being published)

Amy said...


I am so glad you found my blog. I have to be better in 2010 about posting! I went from almost every day to once a week to every other week...life got in the way...busy busy.

I can't believe your hubby didn't fill you in on CPT or BPT time! Wow! I am so used to it now it doesn't even phase me but it drove me CRAZY in the beginning! I was raised to ALWAYS be on time! What a crack up that you learned about it at a wedding. I think my husband's family would be late to their own funerals if that's possible! Love 'em all though. =) Thanks again for reading.


Anonymous said...


Again, thank you so much for this blog. Reading your post along with all the comments from your readers, helps me see that I'm not alone in my frustration. As you know I've been reading your blog for a while, but I went back to some of your older posts, like this one, to help me understand some of my current frustrations. Sometimes when he is over 30 min late meeting me somewhere or sometimes 1 to 2 hours late calling me, I have taken offense. It wasn't until this past weekend, that I finally started to understand I probably shouldn't be taking it personally or getting so upset. He was an hour and a half late calling me. I called his cell, couldn't get an answer, so called his mom's house because I knew that his sister was in town and they had been visiting. I talked with his mom for about 20 minutes on the phone, then he finally came home and I talked on the phone with him a minute and then we FINALLY went out to get a pizza, which we should have already done an hour before that. When we got in the car, he was laughing and said, "Yeah, me and my sister told Mom we'd be back in 5 minutes, and we left but ended up being gone for 2 hours over at my Uncle's house." It was obvious to me that his family does not feel the way I do about being late. In my family, I would have had hell to pay if I would have been gone that long after telling my mother "5 minutes". His mom wasn't upset and he was laughing about it, so I just thought, "Oh, I guess this really is no big deal to them at all." It helped me to reframe it in my mind, but I must admit I am still struggling with it. I was raised the way I was raised and its hard for me to get rid of the thinking that he is being inconsiderate and disrespectful to me. So, your blog continues to help me manuever my interracial relationship. We just celebrated one year of togetherness on Thursday, and despite some cultural differences like this one, I've never been more in love.


Amy said...


I can't tell you how much it means to me to have you "referencing" my blog to help you deal with some of your frustrations. I love, love, love that I can help! Sometimes I forget how these things used to drive me insane, because Jamie and I have been together for so long, I am just used to it all now.

I have to say the CPT issue took me the longest to get used to, and really it still bugs me even though I know it's going to happen. Funny thing though...the other day I was going to a party and I knew I was going to be the only white person there. I was running late and for once it didn't even phase me. I knew I was still going to be "early" compared to everyone else! It was weird because I was "proud" of myself for not being stressed about being late! Soooo not me, but kind of liberating! To us it's rude, to Ray it's normal. =)

Heather, anytime you need advice always know I'm here! I'm pretty much an "expert" after all these years! =)