I’ve been thinking a bit about waiting here the last few days. I really don’t think of myself as a horribly impatient person. In fact, if I were to really like fishing, I think it’d be that silent sitting in a boat thing while thinking about life that I liked best. Actually, maybe that’s why I don’t like fishing that much. If I had a choice, between waiting and, oh I don’t know…napping, I’d probably sleep on it. Maybe I’m giving it a bad rap though. Maybe waiting isn’t so bad. “Patience is a virtue”, right? Well there sure doesn’t seem to be anything virtuous about all this:
– Waiting rooms. I hate waiting rooms. Those horribly quiet spots that are supposed to resemble living rooms but, more often than not, feel like non-living rooms. It’s like sharing space with zombies. You could hear the person’s heart beat next to you if it were actually beating. And unlike the next thing on this list, you’re not exactly waiting for something good here. You’re usually waiting to have someone jam a needle in your mouth or to demonstrate to a doctor just how bad your cough (that’s mysteriously gone absent as of the last five minutes) really is.
– Waiting in lines.
Theme Park lines…at least you’re waiting for a great 60-second roller coaster ride, even if you’re standing behind some horrible smelling person who has yet to learn the international secret of deodorant. Actually, for only a minute of pleasure, I’m not sure it’s really worth it. Went to a Six Flags in Louisville last summer and rode 6-8 rides over the course of 5 hours. Not a great ratio there.
Grocery Store lines…besides getting all caught up in Brad and Angelina’s relationship and the temptation to buy more Juicy Fruit (even if it loses it’s flavor in .5 seconds), there’s nothing really fruitful here.
Stalled traffic lines. Nothing I can say about sitting still for a long stretch of time in traffic that won’t anger you enough to punch your computer. I’d like for you to keep writing, so I’m going to move on now.
– Waiting for more information. Me and the missus put an offer in on a house on Friday. We find out tomorrow if we get the home or if another couple’s offer was better. That should be stealing all my attention and worries and hatred for waiting. But instead, I’m reminded of how much harder this waiting could be. One of my dearest, longest, most-faithful friends just found out that his Mom has been diagnosed with some form of Lymphoma. They’d already had to wait once to hear that much…now they have to wait even longer to hear more. They’ll have to tough it out even longer to learn the extent of everything and what needs to be done. Waiting on a new house, when I already have four walls and roof over my head right now, just sickly pales in comparison. It makes my waiting simply insignificant.
Which brings us now to waiting that’s simply significant, in good ways:
– Waiting for ice cream to thaw just a bit. Seriously, it’s worth it. Ice cream is not meant to be eaten rock-hard frozen. If it’s too cold, it loses it’s flavor. I’m not suggesting warmth here…just that perfect medium where it’s a bit soft but still nice and creamy and cold. Creamy is the key here. Mmm…ice cream.
– Waiting for good news.
Like when you were a kid and you were waiting to hear if your friend could spend the night with you and you were only hearing one half of the conversation on the phone but your friend was smiling and you could feel that it was going to be a yes and then it was and you spent the 16th night in a row together and then realized you probably could use a little space but for just that one delirious moment next to your friend on the phone the world was just perfect.
Waiting for someone to see a movie you’ve already seen and you can see on their face that they’re getting it just like you got it and you can’t wait to talk about it at the end and then you’ll realize that the world just must be perfect.
Or like waiting with one knee on the ground for your girlfriend to say, “Yes” and for you to slide a ring on her finger and know that, for now and for always, the world is just perfect…even if it involes a little waiting.
– Waiting to hit home plate with your wife! Well worth it there! Too much information? We’re talking about wiffle ball, right? No? Oh…now I get it. Sorry! I never know where the line is? To quote Dave Chappelle, though, “It’s important to cross the line. You don’t know if you’ve gone too far until you cross the line.”
Unlike crossing the line, I really haven’t made it too far with waiting. Fast food isn’t fast enough. The person driving in front of me is always driving too slowly. The doctor or dentist or realtor or receptionist is always too slow to call back, even if it’s out of their power to do so. But that little bit of waiting does something for us that immediacy does not. It brings us to another place, a different place, a quieter place. It makes us realize that our own world’s surely not perfect…and that lets us long for more…and that surely must be a good thing.