I am exceptionally, incredibly, extraordinarily impatient. I have always had problems waiting: summer to arrive, Christmas gifts to be opened, school to finally be over. If the adage ‘patience is a virtue’ bears any truth, then I’m a very guilty sinner.
One can imagine what holidays were like in my household, or dinners in general -especially if there was a surprise at the end of a meal. Waiting for dessert always proved unsuccessful; when finished with dinner, I would get up and begin pacing around the table in swooping circles. No noise was necessary in my little ritual, it was just subtle affirmation that I had finished my meal and would like a sundae. Please.
In early life, I discovered devious methods to circumnavigate my severe impatience. For example, frustrated by the amount of time it was taking us to win a goldfish at the school fair, I devised an ingenious plan. Since the gym was overrun with three hundred children high on pixie sticks and freedom being herded around by four or five completely non-medicated and sober adults, I simply walked up to the lady running the goldfish game and informed her I had won.
“Yeah, didn’t you see? I threw the ball in the vase. So hand over the fish…lady.”
Sometimes it’s amazing I didn’t turn out to be a bank robber.
She stared at me, unblinking for a good six seconds, then with a shrug of her shoulders offered a clear plastic bag with one live goldfish. The heist complete, one would think that I’d move on my way. Sadly, that did not happen. I allowed the addictive pull of greed to overcome me. It wasn’t until the seventh or eighth time I claimed to have won that the exhausted game monitor caught on and stopped forking over the loot. I don’t remember my mother’s reaction when she saw her daughter toddling up the drive with seven goldfish in tow, but I probably confused the heck out of my father when he realized that his daughter didn’t have the throwing arm and steady aim he mistakenly assumed.