Tuesday, May 14, 2013

On Patience

Some weeks I feel like the person that I am in my head.  Patient.  Understanding.  Kind.  I'll change the toilet paper at work when it gets close to the end instead of using less paper so that the next unfortunate soul draws that short straw.  I'll fold my son's laundry instead of leaving it in the dryer and yelling like Rosanne Barr for him to come get it out.  I'll take my daughter to dinner and won't make a single negative comment about anything that she's doing that will make her tell me that I'm being intrusive (even though I sometimes am).  I'll even pick up the tab.

I won't yell "BAD DOG!" when Riley leaves me a deposit that smells like a herd of goats has been on that puppy pad instead of one small, very fluffy (until tomorrow when the groomer handles that) shih tzu.  I'll just get up and take the radioactive waste outside and move on.  And I'll just bend down and pick up whatever poor unfortunate piece of paper that he has turned into confetti and throw it away before he eats it and throws up on the couch.  Because he totally will if I don't.

Some weeks I am patient with people who I've told the same thing to twenty-six times and I don't even mutter under my breath.  I'll stay in a line in the drive-thru while someone who is exploring the entirety of the menu asking seventeen questions about how something on the dollar menu is prepared and then after all that orders combo #1 because being adventurous isn't as much fun as being time consuming apparently is.  I'll be less inclined to scream "MORON!" at someone who steals my parking place at Target and I'll walk quietly behind the lady in a scooter blocking the aisle at Publix because it just isn't worth trying to get her to move.  After all, she's trying to decide between the 15 1/2 oz can and the 28 oz can and apparently that takes several birthdays to ponder.

Sometimes I can listen to my kids complain about how busy their lives are without pulling out the "you have no idea what busy is..."speech and can find dirty dishes in the sink and just quietly turn around and put them in the empty dishwasher instead of rolling the offender out of bed (or off the couch) and pitching a fit that makes Jerry Springer contestants look tame (and/or sane).

I'll let other people get the credit and be fine with it, watch the ridiculous reality shows that Big Dave is partial to (while sitting at the computer across the room...and hearing what I can above the snoring) and I'll even switch cars so that someone can have her oil changed at Big Dave's Free Oil Emporium when my car also needs it.  I won't ask people to change the channel at the gym when it is firmly planted on NBC News and I won't yell "Liar!" when President Obama comes on the screen.

Okay, maybe that last one happens even on a good week.  I have Political Tourette's.  I really do.

And then there are weeks that I can only look back and worry about just how much fun I'm going to be when I'm older and everything about my personality is magnified.  Because I somehow sense that this is not going to be pretty.

My grandmother taught me that whole magnification thing, by the way.  She would very tactfully whisper something to me that was a little bit...shall we say...tacky?  But nobody could really hear her and so all was well, right?

 Until she got a little bit older.

She kept up this practice...except that since she couldn't hear herself well...she said whatever it was loud enough for me to hear.  And everyone else within earshot.  Three tables away.

This sometimes was about as mortifying as discovering that you have tucked the back of your skirt into your pantyhose and paraded through downtown Montgomery like a poor unfortunate soul in a Morrison's Cafeteria uniform that I witnessed once walking down the street sometime in 1986 from the 2nd floor of the Union Bank building.  So not kidding.  And the stubbornness that was seen as "strong-willed and capable" in her 70's became "dictator-like and obstinate" when she hit her 90's.  (Of course, we loved her anyway.)

I will likely be put in a home and will be "that patient" that people are going to cringe when they are assigned to my floor.  Of course, what is "Towanda" today is going to turn into some special brand of crazy that I can only imagine will be not particularly fun to deal with.

Although I really hope that I'll be all sweetness and light...I'm fairly certain that dealing with me will be like eating an entire handful of Sour Patch kids all at once.  Sweet...but seriously unbearable at the same time.

Yes, I've actually done that.  Don't judge.

Anyway, this week has been more than a little bit interesting, and my fuse has been shorter than it needs to be.  I told a manager about a snippy counter waitress on Saturday because they spend a whole lot of money on radio advertising...and they need to know that she needs to not do that and to just go on break...temporary or otherwise.  I also loudly condemned the line jumping guy in Michael's the same day because if there is any store that the next person waiting in the LONGEST. LINES. EVER. needs to be served...it is in that one.  I got behind a lady doing a Girl Scout project involving no fewer than 700 items in the cart...and I stood there for ten minutes while that sucker was unloaded.  About halfway through her cart, someone took mercy on us and opened another line.  But did the next person in line go first (me)?  NO.

I've noticed that men of all ages forget their manners when it comes to waiting.  If a line opens up...they will jump ahead of you before you can say "JERK!"  And when they do...I say it anyway.  Let's just say that the guy in Michael's certainly heard it.

As did the three other unfortunate souls who were in line.  Bless their hearts.

But I waited on the lady who fumbled for another two minutes for a coupon in her purse before I was finally able to purchase my one item.  I won't even go into how much fun that was.  And yes, I had my coupon in my hand like a normal person.

During these times when everyone gets on my nerves...from the creeping along Mini-Cooper in Eastchase tonight that I was behind to the indecisive, non-rushed, or just plain slow for reasons known only to them crowd.  I seem to take it personally...and want people to just act with some consideration toward others.

And then I remember that I've dodged out of replacing the toilet paper roll at work because I didn't feel like it.  That on days I don't work...I enjoy not having a timeline to get things done and so I meander around like I'm clueless...and I like it.  That sometimes I want to ask a question at a drive-thru window about something on the menu because I tend to be a "Combo #1" girl most of the time...and I'm not responsible for the schedules of the individuals in the three cars behind me.  They can always run in.  The line is probably shorter in there anyway.

So, tomorrow, I'll try to look for opportunities to make other peoples' lives better...or at least easier.  I hope that I won't take it personally when some yahoo fails to put on his blinker so I would have known he was turning and wouldn't have waited at the stop sign for him to give me a clue as to his intentions.  That I won't yell at the television at the gym that I'm shocked that Brian Williams is actually reporting the news on NBC instead of the dribble that I think he normally spouts.

Wait, that last one was a little Towanda-ish.  Sorry.

Maybe if I'm a little bit more tolerant with people I can stay out of the classroom called "Patience"...where I am probably one of the oldest students in the class.  I've failed that one so many times that I already know the syllabus by heart.  I just can't seem to pass the final exam.  I probably never will.

But I'm hoping that I can at least be a nicer person...and someone that my children won't hate to visit when I'm older.  Someone who is thought of to be a little bit more awesome than I really am...instead of a cranky bitter impatient person yelling at a line-breaker.

Although he really deserved it.

But, frankly, that isn't for me to judge.  That's God's job.  And if I just sit and wait...eventually I'll either quit worrying about the little annoyances of life...or I'll see God pull off a lesson plan that is extremely memorable.  Or maybe I'll find myself back in the "Patience" classroom again.  At least I'll be happier than I ever am being a rabid banshee...which I can honestly pull off, y'all...don't be fooled.

Tomorrow is a new day.  Here's hoping its a good one.  But if it isn't...stick around.  At least it will be entertaining.

1 comment:

  1. I, too, have become quite frustrated at folks lately. The very little real traffic that exists on my way to work (on any day of the week but especially on Sun.) almost makes me wish I had a car with bazookas or a big scoop. Some people need to remember that "Right" lane means "Rapid" lane and "Left" lane means "Lollygaggers" lane. Line jumpers need to be shamed for their behavior. Rude folks need to be called out and corrected. Big kids playing on the little kids' play equipment need to be told to go play on slides and tunnels their own size. (Yes, I did this at the ball park 3 times the other night.) Kids twirling umbrellas in front of your face need to have the umbrella stopped so that when they turn around and shoot you a mean look you can shoot them one back. (Did this too.)

    I can't figure out why stuff has begun to bother me again. It's like a continuous case of PMS and road rage. If you have any clues, please share them.

    Maybe we need to invent a "You're Getting on My Last Nerve" alert system.