I generally don’t have a commute, so I don’t usually listen to morning radio shows. I happened to be driving back in the early morning from Republican Land last week and listened to the morning host describing an incident with a bitchy, angry lady at the grocery store. He was using coupons to get a better deal for (I think) Ronald McDonald House and it was taking a while. He apologized and apparently this lady was just seething with resentment for the five or so extra minutes spent waiting, despite being told they were completing a task for charity and said so out loud. On one hand, she’s obviously not a very nice person… on the other I completely get the frustration of a simple transaction taking way longer than needed because of someone’s shenanigans.
Miss Shannon is always, always running on borrowed time. I do not want to have a lengthy chat over the corn, in fact I go to automatic tellers whenever possible to save myself time. It’s not that I don’t like people, it’s that I am so over-scheduled it’s not even funny. Plus, that thing where people have a deep seated need to bare their souls to me… really, is there a sign flashing over my head that I can’t see?? Anyway… that lady was wrong for expressing what I actually think is a legitimate frustration. Bad manners… but what hit me was the dj saying, “If you really don’t have five extra minutes, you’re just over-scheduled.”
Yes, dear… I am over-scheduled. In fact, I am unpleasant thoughts over-scheduled… like… Holy Christ, I would rather jump off a bridge than complete my next ten scheduled tasks over-scheduled. (Don’t call mobile crisis, Miss Shannon is fine and dandy.) I can give twenty legitimate reasons that I always feel pushed to the limit. I usually really don’t have five extra minutes for you to dick around in front of me in a checkout line. Now… I would rather plaster a fake smile on my face and break every traffic law known to man rather than confront the lollygagger in front of me. But I sure as hell mind. I can’t say I like that about myself, but it’s factual.
While I’m busy taking it to the limit… the limit of my patience, endurance, and good will towards my fellow man… ask yourself why a generally decent person gets into the sort of predicament where they are so overstretched they can’t tell up from down. I can think of many reasons… for myself, it’s being a single mom who runs her own small business and has just enough insanity left to try to cultivate a relationship with a fairly nice guy. The combination makes me a crazy person quite a lot of the time. So, I get the angry, impatient woman in a way I truly wish I didn’t… I’m fighting a battle I can’t afford to lose…. Maybe she is, too. My final word on the matter is this: That dj isn’t wrong… and he’s not right either. People like me ARE ridiculously over-scheduled… by necessity. I can’t imagine this sort of nonsense as anything but a necessity… so if you just like to be busier than a one-armed paper hanger… please, please tell me about yourself. I would also like to hear from you if there are just not enough hours in the day to do what has to be done, like me. And for the love of all that is good and civil in this world, you cannot just tell a stranger they are wasting your time. The correct, polite words are Bless your heart!