Monday, December 15, 2008

I just like to know things:

I remembered this weekend that I am a better, more patient person when I know what’s going on around me. I need to be acknowledged and I need to know that whoever could potentially be inconveniencing me knows the severity of the situation.
For example: I need to know that Josh knows that he has to turn Left at the next light. Otherwise I tell him. He appreciates it, I know he does. Because every time I do it, he tells me so. “Thanks babe.” He says out loud. “I drive you to work every day of my life and I already knew that. But because I know you’re neurotic and I love you anyway, I won’t remind you of that.” He says in his head.
The ladies in the salad line in front of me had me ready to tear my hair out before I even got through the lettuce. There were like ump-teen Sweet Little Old Sister Missionaries in front of me. I was leaving late for lunch and totally forgot to tell Scott, who was covering for me, about the meetings that were going to happen in the next 15 minutes and the people invited to them; so, I was kindof in a hurry to grab my food and run back downstairs and hopefully beat the first set of meeting-goers.
The problem with being in a hurry when you’re standing behind an old person is that you start to hate the old person’s guts. It’s not their fault they’re slow, it’s just one of those things that happens when you get old. Like sagging, and rambling. Even though you know it’s not their fault, you still want to pick up all 92 pounds of them and carry them through the line because you know you could carry them, their salad plate, and your salad plate while loading both plates with the perfect proportion of salad bar ingredients faster than they can walk.
As I stood behind SLOSM (Sweet Little Old Sister Missionary) #4 watching her pick out the only 4 remaining pieces of romaine lettuce one at a time, (it’s OK that there were only 4 because she’s old. Eating like a bird is one of those things that happens to you when you get old. Like velcro Reeboks and purple hair) I started to fidget. I snapped my debit card between my fingers at the pace of about 1,976 snaps per piece of romaine lettuce.
After she moved on to the spinach section of the salad bar, she turned and reached for the other salad tongs like she was going in for another piece. Then she changed her mind and returned to her spinach. (Is this play by play of a SLOSM’s salad boring you? Imagine being in a hurry and watching it all happen in slow motion!) That’s when she looked up at me and said “Sorry dear. I’m so indecisive, I promise to hurry through the rest of the line so you don’t have to wait.”
Just like that my anxious debit card flipping ceased. I laughed with her and told her not to worry about it at all and assured her I had 45 minutes of lunch break, and could spend 44 of them in the line at the salad bar without being inconvenienced at all. It wasn’t entirely true, but it was how I truly felt about it because she already apologized. Something about knowing that she knows she's making me wait just makes me feel a lot better about the situation.
And that is why when my Relief Society lesson was only half over and we had just 2 minutes left until time to pray and get out (because we started late, not because I talk so much. Well, maybe because I talk so much, but we also started late…), I publicly asked the presidency how much time I had left. I already knew, but I wanted the class to know I knew so they wouldn’t start fidgeting for the last 2 minutes. It’s my subtle way of saying “I know we all wanna get out of here in the next 7 minutes, and I promise to do my part to make that happen, OK? Just don’t fidget during my testimony because it’s rude. And if we’re late, blame all 9 verses of A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief not me!"

1 comment:

  1. I love your blog. You make me laugh out loud. And I think you nailed it--knowing that the other person isn't clueless of their indiscretions can diffuse your anxiety.


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