My computer just took forever to boot up. I was sitting here tapping my foot and grumbling to myself until finally it started working and I had access to the whole wide world yet again. I feel much better now.
Every once in a while I have to laugh at myself. Where does this impatience come from? I remember what life was like before the internet. I remember going to libraries to look things up in encyclopedias. I remember rummaging through card catalogs and then burrowing into the stacks to find books that were often misshelved or already checked out. I remember using microfiche machines, watching entire newspapers scroll past my eyes as I tried to find one particular article. Even if my computer took 15 minutes to boot up every time, it would still be a godsend compared to all that.
I see the same impatience when I open my drawbridge. On average it’s a four or five minute delay, and taking a detour will often eat up a lot more of a driver’s time, and yet there is still always a certain percentage of people who insist on doing a U-turn and rerouting. Your blood pressure would be a lot lower, people, if you took those few minutes to step out of your car and enjoy the view. And, too, how can you be so outraged when you know your route takes you across a drawbridge? You have to realize that they occasionally open. Don’t take it so personally.
And I sometimes find myself impatiently standing in front of the microwave. I mean, seriously? It’s a microwave. It was invented to speed up the cooking process, and it does. And yet I’ll stand there and say, “Come on… come on…” If I took the time to anthropomorphize my microwave, I’m sure I’d endow it with a lot of righteous indignation. “What do you mean, ‘come on’? I’d like to see you heat up a lasagna this fast, woman. Sheesh.”
And you’re worried about not getting an instant reply to your e-mail? There was a time when people were impressed at the speed of the pony express. It only took 10 days to get a letter from coast to coast! Imagine that!
Don’t even get me started about standing in line. How can I get irritated at the grocery store when 200 years ago I wouldn’t have even had access to oranges, let alone have a convenient way to purchase them if they were available? And lest we forget, cashiers used to have to ring up each purchase individually and often didn’t get everything right.
What a spoiled brat we have become as a society.
Thanks to Deborah Drake for giving me the idea for this entry!