Why we keep certain people in our lives that drive us batty is a mystery. Perhaps we think there is some advantage. I don’t know. Even if you don’t have a friend like this, one of your friends has a friend/co-worker/neighbor like this and you want to say, “I am tired of hearing you complain about this person all of the time! Either do something about it or stop whining!”
Easier said than done at times.
In my life, this person is Miss Patience (Patty). She knows I am writing about her. I think she thinks it’s funny.
She takes FOREVER to do anything. I like things done zip, zip, zip. My mantra for running the parish is, “We start on time and we end on time.” Not Patty. After we talk about where we finally want to go and I ask, “Are you ready?” and stand and grab my keys and am ready to walk out the door, she will say, “Just let me (insert just about anything here: iron this shirt, hang this picture up, wash my hair . . . )
She is a horrendous driver. She ALWAYS picks the WRONG line at the grocery store checkout, at the toll road booth, in the confessional line. I think she catches on to things but likes to play a game of, “I don’t get it,” just to see me loose my cool. If I say, “Meet me at 3:00,” she’ll be there at 3:15 IF I’m lucky. I swear, if I’m sitting around he house waiting for a repair man to show up and he’s late, I instinctively KNOW that she somehow has snagged his attention first - baked cookies or something and said, “I just have a quick question,” and then talked his ear off for an hour WHILE I AM SITTING IN MY HOUSE STEAMING.
Oh, oh, oh, and she KNOWS when I am in a rush and so says, “Can I just you an important question? I will will be quick! I will only take 2 minutes of your time.” Have you ever noticed that when people feel they have to quantify how much of your time they will use, you can invariably multiply that by at least a factor of 10!? (Get to the point, get to the point, get to the point. . . )
So, I talked to my spiritual director about Patty. Of course he said she was probably far better for me than some of my other friends that I enjoy much more. “She has much to teach you. If you can learn to deal with her, you will be a far better friend to others when they need it, you will be far less stressed, and everybody will be much happier.”
And truly, mostly when my schedule is thrown off by her, everything still seems to work out. There are times, however, that I just find it rude. If I have to be somewhere at a certain time and I make it very clear, I will leave her behind and take off without her. I deserve some curtesy too. But I KNOW she is not going to change. It is just the way she is. If I am going to be happy and make the people around me happy, I am the one who has to change. And if took me 50 years to get the way that I am now, it will take a lot of practice to get used to Patience.