Your Favorite Restaurant

When visiting your favorite restaurant, you should plan on arriving 30 to 45 minutes before your reservation. It's your favorite restaurant after all, so you’re going to want to enjoy all of the ambiance associated with the parking lot, the waiting area with the benches, and that awkward little room with the gumball machines and free newspapers that separates the two.

Arriving any later than 30 minutes early could actually be considered reckless, as there is a decent chance that you might not be back again for at least another week—better to soak everything at your favorite spot while you have the chance.

Note: If your favorite restaurant is Cracker Barrel (like your mother), you should arrive about two hours early to ensure you have enough time to leisurely shop the Old Country Store.

A New Restaurant

To properly get the lay of the land, it is essential that you arrive at any new restaurant at least 90 minutes early. Truthfully, it’s going to take you at least that long to figure out the parking situation and take stock of all the entrances and exits of this foreign locale.

Also, because it's a new eatery, it only makes sense that you familiarize yourself with the menu before you sit down at the table as the last thing you want is get caught with your pants down when it comes time to order. In general, it’s a good idea to maximize time at a new restaurant so that it has a fair shot at someday maybe becoming your favorite restaurant.

Note: Different locations of the same chain restaurant count as “new restaurants.” So what you view as me going to the same place, Red Robin, over and over again, is actually me being experimental and trying new things.


No matter how close you are to the bride and groom, you should always aim to be the first person to arrive at the wedding. It’s just good manners! Three to four hours before the nuptials are set to take place will give you plenty of time to help the caterers with food prep and enable you to put in a super-early, super-cool song request with the DJ.

Note: If it's your own kid's wedding, you should throw the three-to-four-hour thing out of the window and instead—somewhat inexplicably—decide to cut things really close. Hey look, I’ve already said I was sorry.

The Airport

For domestic flights, you should wake up at 4 A.M. and drive directly to the airport, no matter what time of day the flight is.

For international flights, you should get a hotel near the airport and stay there the night before the flight—even if you live in the same town as the airport. When it comes time to leave your hotel for the airport, you should do so at an hour so unfathomably early that you won’t be able to tell if it’s day or night.

Note: It’s always better to drive instead of flying, no matter how far the distance is and how little time you have. Of course, that can also lead to you showing up at your kid’s wedding right as the ceremony is about to start, but we all agreed to move on from that, didn’t we?

Professional Sporting Events

Go ahead and plan on getting to any and all professional sporting events six hours early, so as to beat the traffic, get the good parking, and grab a hot dog. And remember that when the game hits its absolute climax—probably a bottom of the 9th inning in baseball or a two-minute warning in football—you’ll have to abruptly depart so as to beat the traffic going home. Sporting events should not only be viewed as a competition between the home and the away team, but also between you and everyone else driving to the game.

Note: Concessions at sporting events are grossly overpriced. If your mom brings her big purse, she can sneak in enough food and drink for the entire family.

Doctor's Appointments

Doctors exist to tell you what to do and suck all of the fun of your life. Should you decide to grace them with your presence, be sure and show up five to ten minutes late.

Note: My cholesterol is fine. Mind your own business.