"I've been on a calendar, but never on time" meaning?

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Super Member
<a href="/en/translator/piliburuk" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1255302">piliburuk</a>
Joined: 06.08.2015
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Hi, I've been translating Public Relations from Smash TV series and I can't quite understand the line "I've been on a calendar, but never on time"
What's that supposed to mean? It's a famous Marilyn Monroe quote by the way. Is it like "I programmed things but I can't do them on time" or "I posed for calendar yet still I'm not good with time"

Editor Soldier of Love
<a href="/en/translator/flopsi" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1331196">Flopsi</a>
Joined: 12.03.2017

The late Marlilyn Monroe was never on time - they beged her husband to get her on the set on time. He said she's leaving early - nobody knew what she did after leaving him. She always showed up too late. Just before performing "Happy Birthday" for John F. Kennedy Marilyn had been announced as the "late Marilyn Monroe", because everybody knew she was never, ever on time. So, you are right. It is "I posed for calendar yet still I'm not good with time". It's kind of a joke since a calendar also resembles time. Just like her famous quote "I've got nothing on but the radio".

Super Member
<a href="/en/translator/bluebird" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1483017">BlueBird</a>
Joined: 27.12.2020
The fact that Marilyn Monroe said that might be a matter of dispute (here).

To my understanding, people usually put an 'event' 'on a calendar, mostly on a wall or desktop one (here and here). The sentence can be equivocal, either "[meeting with me/ job/ thing to do with me] have been [put] on a calendar, but [it was] never [done] on time,  or even  [I never showed up on time]". On the other hand you can imagine the speaker is a pin-up model, talking about some pin-up image placed on a calendar and her habit of never show up on time. 

However since you seem to talk about the translation here and the context


The studio says "lateness is your favorite crime"

True, I've been on a calendar, but never on time

American Reporter:
When you posed nude, your inhibitions were gone?

I'm more inclined to the pin-up interpretation, maybe with some 'pun intended'.

Super Member
<a href="/en/translator/merlot" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1426285">Merlot</a>
Joined: 01.07.2019

To my ears, the meaning is less complex.

She writes down her appointments on her calendar but never makes the appointments because she always runs late.

This took place circa 1960, and ergo Marilyn would be writing the appointments with a pen or pencil on her wall calendar or desk blotter doubling as a calendar. There was no such thing at that time as an online calendar because personal computers and smart phones and the internet did not exist.

In ye olden days, in ye dark ages, wall calendars would often be much larger than they are now, with lined spaces on each day of the month to pen in appointments and such. And desk blotters (a relic of the days when people sat at desks and wrote manually) also doubled as jumbo calendars that allowed the same sort of generous space for penning down appointments and such.

(BTW, I loved the first season of "Smash" but the second [and last] season was a dud.)

Regular smile

<a href="/en/translator/pinchus-zelenogorsky" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1410652">Pinchus</a>
Joined: 28.01.2019

"Месяц ясен, за числами не уследишь, год нынешний." (Саша Соколов, "Между собакой и волком")