Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Impatience by J.P. Bowie

When I told my partner, Phil, what this fortnight's blog subject was he laughed and said, "That'll be short and sweet - you have none!" Nice, huh? Unfortunately true, however. It's often been a bone of contention in our otherwise idyllic relationship.
Patience is a virtue I do not possess. I'm impatient with dawdlers - those who take all the time in the world to cross the street in front of my car, head down, eyes glued to their iphone, oblivious to everything and everyone around them.
I'm impatient when I visit the doctor's office . I always arrive early for my appointment, then I'm kept waiting and waiting to see him, finally shunted into yet another waiting room where I sit and wait and fume. Impatience is probably bad for the health. Along with stress, which is most likely a byproduct of impatience - which the doctor told me I must remain free of if I want to live to a venerable old age. "Well," I want to say "if you hadn't kept me waiting for over an hour I wouldn't be showing signs of stress caused by impatience, caused by your tardiness."
I'm particularly impatient with politicians who while being interviewed by, say, David Gregory, can never actually answer the question posed to them. Even when he presses for a definitive answer, they waffle around with platitudes and evasive tactics, trying to change the subject. Sometimes my impatience with them gets close to giving me an aneurism or throwing my shoe at the TV set.
Strangely enough, it's times like those when I write more. Impatient with some wishy-washy rhetoric I'll stride off to my computer and add two or three thousand words to whatever story I'm currently trying to finish. And that's one of the things I'm actually patient about - I never try to rush through my stories. If it's not working for me, I will patiently put it aside and come back later when I'm feeling a bit more inspired - like after listening to vapid politicians!
One thing I gleaned from Lisabet's post...I could never be in that kind of a relationship. Being told to wait, to be patient? Not under those circumstances - ever.


  1. Did you ever consider that all those a-holes are on their phones because they're as impatient as you? I do like your cure, though.

  2. I just thought of a story my mother told me, about meeting up with my grandmother somewhere. My mom arrived 10 minutes early, and my grandmother was fuming. "Where have you been? I`ve been waiting here for over an hour!" My mom checked the time and was really confused, like, "I`m 10 minutes early." And my grandmother snapped, "Yeah, well I was an hour and 10 minutes early."

  3. I told my kids when they were young that there are 3 kinds of people in the world: Early, On-time and Late. Their father is an early/on-time. My Dad was early, my Mom was on-time. But as long as I was responsible for getting them to places, they'd better resign themselves to always being late. Because I am. I was supposed to be born on Christmas day and despite Mom being in labor over 24 hours, I was born the day after. I use that as my excuse--I can't help it. I'll probably be late for my own funeral!

    I've tried to be on-time, but it never works out well. I end up waiting for others and get irritated they are late. So I go back to being late. The trick is to always be charming when you get there. Folks who were early or on-time will be tapping their feet, studying their watches, growing more impatient and irritated. When you walk in with a joke, or some other bon-mot, you have to make them all feel like the "party" didn't start until you got there. That way most will forgive you for being late. Except dentists. Anal-retentive, OCD twerps! They've made me re-schedule for years when I'm late.

    My husband has done Tai-Chi for years. I asked once if he thought I should join him and he laughed. He told me I'd have to find the quiet place in my mind and spend at least an hour there. I reminded him there's a woman spinning plates on sticks in there, always in motion, never standing still. He said, "Exactly."

  4. Short but very sweet, JP! Boy, do I hear you about the politicians!

  5. Are you sure you're from Scotland, not New England? Ever since I moved here, I've grown horribly impatient with the way people elsewhere clog up escalators and slowly amble down streets.


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