I am not a patient person by nature like the majority of the other women in my family. A single unsuccessful drive around a crowded parking lot at a shopping center is enough for my mother and one of my sisters to lose their shit and go home without even bothering a second rotation. I don’t drive, but I’ve typically been the person in line at the bus terminal tut tutting at how long it is taking a person to purchase a round trip ticket to Suffern because, really, how long should it take to purchase a round trip ticket to Suffern??? And how do some people manage to spend ten minutes at an ATM machine? How many transactions are they doing for the love of God?
Despite my genetic disposition for impatience, I’ve definitely become a bit more relaxed and “go with the flow” with age, even more so after I lost my best friend to cancer because how much time I wait in line at Duane Reade seems so trivial in comparison to the tragedies we face every day. But I do still have my moments and yesterday was one of them.
I needed to get my taxes done and my accountant is my mother’s former employer of close to twenty years. Even though my mom retired several years ago, he generously does her taxes, along with mine and my sister’s, for free. Since his office is near my mother’s house, I stayed over at her home the night before and we had a lovely mother/daughter night. On Sunday afternoon, my sister and her husband met us at the CPA’s office and after we each had our turn, the four of us went out for an early dinner. My mother assured me that a 4:30 dinner at the diner would be early enough to catch the 6:00 bus back to the city. If I missed that bus, I’d have to wait an hour and wouldn’t be back in my apartment until about 8:30. With Monday morning looming and very little time to myself over the weekend, I desperately wanted at least a few hours to decompress before going to bed and starting an entire week of work.
Enjoying my family’s company, I was oblivious to the time until my brother-in-law mentioned it was 5:38 and if I wanted to catch the 6pm bus, I needed to hurry. My mother suggested that we would be pushing it, but I insisted we at least try because I really did not want to have to wait another hour. I rushed to the bathroom and assumed the check would be paid in the meantime. (My mother already said she was treating us). When I got back to the table a few minutes later, they had just asked for the check. This was when I lost it. My sister offered to pick up the check so that my mother could take me to the bus, but my mother wouldn’t have it. I tried to throw cash at the table so we could get going but she said no. And then she pulled out her credit card. Knowing a credit card transaction would take even longer than paying cash, I became more and more vocal and emotional about my desire to go home. I’m pretty sure folks at other tables heard me, but I couldn’t help myself. I almost cried at the thought of getting home after 8 with practically just enough time before bedtime to unpack and prepare my lunch for the next day. I visualized the week ahead of me with zero downtime over the weekend and I barely remember kissing my sister and brother-in-law goodbye before yelling at my mom to hurry up. “Come on!” I begged. Significantly less stressed than I, my mom took her time, which only ignited my crazy flame! Then when she stopped the waitress to ask about a 10% off coupon, I stormed out of the restaurant, ran to the car, and stamped my feet until she finally emerged. It was a temper tantrum at its very best (worst).
Fast forward, I made the 6 o’clock bus and arrived at my apartment shortly before 7:30, which I considered a decent amount of time to unwind before bed. On the way to the station, I had apologized to my mother for being so insistent, but tried to explain how I was dreading a stress-filled week at the office and really REALLY wanted a little time to decompress. She understood as did my sister when I texted to let her know that I made the bus. But for most of the bus ride, I was so embarrassed and ashamed by my behavior and pondered exactly when I was taken over by a lunatic. It wasn’t the first time my freak flag waved at intense speed and I’m sure it won’t be the last, but I wasn’t proud of it. I stand by my desire to make the early bus. I even stand by my frustration over the possibility of missing said bus. I just wish I could have been a bit more subdued about it.
In those moments when “crazy impatient Meri” takes over, I sometimes wonder what people around me are thinking. What if the love of my life (a man I have not yet met or at least do not think I have) observed me in one of those moments and decided I might be cute, but I required anger management more than a dinner date? I worry that my best friend Alan was watching me from Heaven and shaking his head in disappointment. The problem is that once I find myself in one of these tailspins, there is no turning back until it has reached its natural conclusion. I cannot be talked out of it in the moment and it must run its course. The key is holding it all in to prevent letting any of the crazy out in the first place. I am successful most of the time, but as evidenced by last night’s incident, it’s far from foolproof.
I’m only human, you see, and I think my positive attributes way compensate for the negative ones, but I do hope other people lose their shit sometimes, too!
Do you? Please share an example in the comments so I know I’m in good company 🙂
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