It all began when I started the day off by spilling coffee (luckily cooled) on my shirt as I was getting ready to leave for a morning of errands. I really didn’t HAVE to be in a hurry, but I wanted to get the errands done early so I could relax and enjoy my afternoon off. It took me a few minutes to change my shirt and clean up the coffee mess but I could tell my patience was testing me and I did not like it.
As I started my car, I noticed that my tank was near empty, so I traveled the closest gas station to fill my tank with gas at $4.04 per gallon that I had to pump myself. I believe the focus groups of the gas companies think that by positioning a television over the pump that you will be so enamored by watching the local weather report that you won’t notice the pump silently slipping passed the price of a decent dinner out for two.
I miss the good old days of the early seventies when a nice gentleman in a freshly pressed dark blue uniform with the name “Bud” sewn over a left pocket would greet you with a smile and ask you if you’d like to fill it up at 50 cents a gallon. He’d place the gas nozzle into your tank and then proceed to check your oil with blue paper towel in hand. After gently closing the hood of the car, he’d cheerfully clean front and back windshields, at times even whistling while doing so. I was abruptly jolted from my nostalgic stroll down memory lane by a dark blue Volkswagen Jetta with tinted windows pulling in behind me at the station with music so loud I thought for sure my windshield was going to crack. I replaced the nozzle back in the pump after dripping some on my hand, and hopped in my car smelling like a small refinery. My patience testing me once again as I tried to breathe deeply while inhaling toxic fumes.
After pulling out of the gas station onto Route 3, I began following a small red construction truck of a local contractor, noted by several paint splattered ladders precariously tied to the side of its bed and what appeared to be several large drips of dried white paint originating from the bed of the truck, streaming down the length of the bumper. Personally, I would not hire this contractor with the actual physical evidence of his careless work ethic on display.
I could tell from my rearward position on the road that apparently there was a very animated conversation going on between the driver of the truck and the three other men squeezed like sardines in the cab of the vehicle. Arms and hands were flailing, heads were bobbing and shaking and it was obvious that they were discussing the inadequacies of their work ethic at the paint job from yesterday OR perhaps they were vehemently arguing over some sporting event disappointment. I’m guessing the latter. This distraction was causing the driver to travel at a rate of speed equal to that of a large snail. I got impatient because a large Michelob truck was on my left and I could not pass to begin my day off of errand running. I crept behind the truck for the better part of 2 miles at this slow pace before honking my horn and finally managing to scoot around it to turn onto the exit for the mall. I literally said out loud, “I’ve lost my patience already.”
I got to thinking; would I ever find my patience again? Where DOES it go when it’s lost? I mean, it’s not like losing your keys, or losing your wallet. Although I DID think I lost my wallet last year at an after work Cinco de Mayo celebration that went on a little too late-o. I remember trying to locate the wallet and calling the bar to no avail. I retraced my path to my car with no luck. I decided to call then cancel all my credit cards and debit card. I purchased new license and registration ID online while freaking out over how stupid I could have been. I didn’t discover until the following day when I took my suit to the dry cleaners, that my wallet was located in the jacket pocket of the suit I wore to the bar. I came close to losing my patience back then too.
Losing your patience is easy. It’s not like losing your virginity, your religion or worse… your mind. Right? I guess I need to learn to be calmer; to relax and enjoy it when life slows me down. I’d count to 10 but I get impatient by the count of 6.
In the meantime, if you are out and about and happen to stumble into my patience, please be kind to it, grab it by the hand and let it stay the night but call me in the morning and I’ll come pick it up. I’ll even bring coffee.