People ask you for things all the time. You ask for things. These interactions form parts great and small of daily life. You may not even notice these sticky obligations.
Tata (on your answering machine): You have the idea you could have something more important to do besides call me back. That's so...misguided...
I am not a nice person. I am a good person - sometimes - and there is a big difference.
Tata: Are you going to ask out that girl who no longer works for you? The one who quit this morning and did everything but tell you where she'd be holding a menu at 7:30 tonight?
Shocked Co-Worker: I...I can't...I can't ask her out...
Tata: And that, my friends, is why God gave us email.
Shocked Co-Worker: What...what if...
Tata: She will absolutely do you. Pick up the check and she's yours. Bon Appetit!
Some people need a shove and my hands happen to be free; some people need patience. On my best days, I can be patient with small children, the elderly, the infirm and hapless local drunks. If a guy on the street tells me he needs $3.85 to get a train home and I have a buck, I'll give it to him - the first time. The second time, I lose patience when his imaginary plight fails to entertain me. He needs a new story! I need a new harrowing tale! It's selfish, and I don't care.
Recently, a friend asked me to be patient with a Difficult Situation(tm) while he worked out what to do. I'm just a bystander, here. I agreed to try keeping my trap shut on the subject for a while, which you might think would be as simple as hanging up the phone - except I obsess. So. I didn't say, "HAVE WE MET? I'm the least patient person you know without an assault conviction." I didn't say, "Tick tick tick time's up." There's nothing I can do about that Difficult Situation(tm), so I am trying to go about the business of preventing other Difficult Situations(tm) from compounding my worries.
1. I need a microscopic apartment I can afford LAST WEEK, ALREADY.
2. My driver's side door seems intent on bashing itself shut permanently. How can my mechanical nemesis despise itself through and through?
3. Do I need a land line anymore?
4. It's back to the Wonderful World of Multiple Jobs for me! How will I do it?
5. Audrey proposed a book of themed poems. The project appeals to me. Hmm.
6. Miss Sasha and the new Mr. Sasha moved to Pensacola last week. Perhaps I'll knit them a rowboat and a GPS transmitter.
Fortunately for me, there are only 24 hours every day I can be sick with fear. At least that hasn't changed. Developing patience is no fun but having it might be helpful. So. Can I keep my hands so busy I don't shove myself off a cliff?