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Friday, January 10, 2014

WHY YOU SHOULD WAIT

No, I’m not going to talk about what you think I’m going to talk about here.  But now that you brought it up,you should wait for that, too.  Every time it’s new, if possible.  Never mind the logistics and also building trust and rapport and treating yourself with the care and respect you deserve; the waiting part is just soooo goooood…anticipation is the best foreplay there is, the idea of the kiss nagging at you that makes the actual kiss so much more delicious.  There is a reason why star-crossed lovers in novels and movies and television fill us all with such sublime longing.  Waiting may be the hardest part, but in some ways it is also the best part.

What was I talking about?  Oh, right, PATIENCE.  I was talking about how important it is to be patient.  Not necessarily when your husband is asking what the password for voicemail is for the 40,000th time, but with yourself, your goals and yes, your rewards.  Technology has robbed us of the need to wait for nearly ANYTHING, and it is ruining a lot of our fun.  Sure, it’s fun at first to be able to make any song, movie, person, etc. appear in your hand (via phone, tablet, whatever) at the blink of an eye; it makes you feel like Barbara Eden in “I Dream of Jeannie”.  My wish is my iPhone’s command!  Feel the power!!!  But then…

I remember what my very first “favorite” song was.  For the record, there is some family dispute about this, because my mother likes to claim my first words included a request for a Bobby Sherman single when I was less than 2.  Proving once again that babes (and apparently babies) LOVE musicians.  To my ability to recall, however, the year was 1977, and one day on my way to the orthodontist, I heard the song “Peg” by Steely Dan.  Now, I like Steely Dan as an adult, why not?  But I have no idea why this song hit me so hard at the time.  But it did.  I loved it, could not wait to hear it again…but I had to.  Wait, that is.  Because it was 1977.  I either had to save up to buy the album or sit next to the radio for endless hours scanning up and down the dial for even a snippet of the beloved tune.  I chose the latter, because at the going rate for allowance in those days it would have taken a year to save enough, plus nothing could match the clutch of excitement I felt in my stomach when I heard the opening notes I was craving to hear.

In fact, sitting by the radio scanning for my favorite songs was a big part of my adolescence, especially after the “boom box” revolution allowed me to tape songs directly off the radio.  I still have some of those tapes I made after countless hours of patient waiting, deejays talking over the first notes of the song, commercials and call letters blared over the final ones.  The satisfying victory of getting the WHOLE SONG on tape, to listen to at your leisure!!!  Such a sense of accomplishment to learn every lyric, imitate each vibrato!  And then, once the song had been mastered, to move on confidently in the direction of your next conquest.

Patience, my friends, it took patience.  No internet to look up lyrics on, no iTunes to buy every song that fleetingly strikes your fancy.  No, you had to commit to your choice, work patiently to acquire it, then the number of times the rewind button had to be pressed with your ear up against the speaker to discern those sloppily annunciated lyrics is legion.  LEGION.  But we did it, we all did it, over and over again because it was just so damned satisfying when your goal was accomplished.  You felt so damned good about yourself, we used to brag in the lunchroom about our vast collection and knowledge of pop music and GOD FORBID you did NOT know the lyrics to whatever song had currently caught the imagination of your peers.  I still love scanning the radio dial when I am driving, hoping against hope that somebody will dust off the Pure Prairie League’s “Amy” or anything by Firefall.  I could buy any of these songs right this second, but what is the fun in that?  I love bouncing up and down in the driver’s seat singing joyfully at the top of my lungs whenever a favorite tune plays.  Would I even hear them if they were available 24/7?


So patience is a virtue, not because self-denial is so impressive, but because it teaches us to truly enjoy.  Working for something, waiting for something makes it so much sweeter.  It builds our confidence, our sense of security and helps us to discern what we really want, versus what would just be kind of nice for a minute until it isn’t anymore or we totally forget about it.  My son likes to say, “Wait for it, wait for it…” whenever he is about to reveal a piece of information he thinks is particularly juicy.  I love that!  At 8, he already understands that the waiting part is good too.  So the next time you see something (or hear something) you think you want, take my son’s advice.  Wait for it.  Then when (if) you get it, you will appreciate it and yourself, so much more.

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