We spend so much of our lives waiting. Waiting for test results. Waiting to meet a friend. Waiting for a big sale. Actually waiting for just about everything. It’s a pretty annoying part of our lives.
We’ve all experienced the sigh, hopefully of relief, when a medical test seems to put our very lives on hold. What will the biopsy reveal? The waiting can appear to be endless. Actually torturous. There are the optimists among us who assume all will be well and don’t give it another thought. They are few and far between. Most of us struggle until the results are in. Then we relax…… or worry even more.
But that’s not the only type of test we struggle with while we’re waiting.. There are a number of students in our family. College. High school. Even elementary school. Test scores can have powerful impacts on their lives. They know it and they deal with the stress according to their own personalities. Personally, I was never one to suffer in school. And I’d still be in college if my husband hadn’t tutored me in the dreaded calculus. But somehow my children and grandchildren acquired different genes. They anquish over their exams and often study through the night. Waiting for the results is not fun. To each his own.
Waiting can be more benign. I remember the frustration of the incessant latecomers who I chose, unwittingly, to carpool with. I’d have kids all bundled up, looking out the window for their drivers, who were often not nearly as punctual as I. I could write books about suburban carpools but, suffice to say, I was rarely satisfied and ultimately did all of the driving myself. It seemed easier than dealing with sweaty kids who were living in dreaded fear of being late. Not that anything serious would have befallen them if they actually were late. It’s just the knowledge that churns the intestines. The punctual genes they did get from me…….and their father.
Many years ago I made a lunch date with my husband. My friend and I were to be in front of Hamashbir on King George in Jerusalem. He wasn’t sure his meeting would end on time so we left it that we’d wait for him until 1. If he hadn’t arrived we’d have lunch without him. At 12:55 I told my friend that we should assume he wasn’t coming and leave for our lunch. She pointed out that it wasn’t yet 1 and I responded that my husband is always early so I knew he wouldn’t be there. We left. He came! Now we have cellphones to avoid missed appointments. But I was so confident in his super punctuality that I made a decision that turned out to be somewhat flawed.
I’m almost always early for all appointments. In my real estate broker days (which were a lot of days) I never kept a client waiting. I can’t say the same for many of them. And I can’t say I was happy when they were more than a few minutes late. I never wanted to keep people waiting. I still don’t.
When my children needed to be picked up at some event, be it bar or bat mitzvah party, piano lesson or whatever, I always kept a book in the car so that I could entertain myself and wait for them. They knew the somewhat menacing line: “If I’m not here on time, I’m dead.” Hopefully my punctuality didn’t traumatize them! But I was never late. They never had to wait for me.
Parties and weddings and all sorts of invitations never find me fashionably late. Even if I try. I know in Israel no one comes to a wedding on time. No one except me that is. I just don’t know how to get to a place late. Even when late is actually on time and on time is actually too early.
I’m the same in airports. When they tell you to be at the airport three hours in advance, I think, for sure, they mean four. No kidding. I just know that I’m going to miss my flight otherwise. That would be bad. So I’d rather just hang out at the airport and read a book, nice and relaxed, knowing that I’m ready when the pilot is.
I find waiting to be very hard. Like today. I’m waiting for a very special event, which I can’t share with you right now. Just let me say that, it would be nice if the arrival happened before I finish typing this blog. Right now just think of me as a lady in waiting who’s tired of waiting and doesn’t enjoy waiting but I’m still gonna have to wait!
I’m finished. I’m still waiting!