Several years ago, I was out with friends for a leisurely evening of fun on the legendary Whiskey Row of Prescott, Arizona. (Legendary might actually be a stretch, but I had heard of it this one time, so close enough.) Anyway, we wandered the Whiskey Row, to my great delight, and then we became hungry and opted to stop for dinner. We went to a charming steakhouse, the name of which I cannot remember for the life of me, and were seated. A chipper young man came to take our drink order, disappeared, and subsequently returned with three drinks, though there were four in our party. I was the unfortunate soul who remained thirsty.
Moments later, nothing happened.
Moments later, still nothing. My poor little parched soul was fading.
At length, our chipper young man reappeared. He set a frosty Guinness in front of me, and announced:
“I brought you the bigger beer, because of your weight.”
To be honest, I was slightly offended. Why assume just because I am a bigger girl, I necessarily require a bigger beer? And of course I do, but why does it need to be broadcast to all my friends? Seriously. I’m a little self-conscious about this stuff, man. Don’t be calling me out like that.
Then it hit me. I was laughing so hard, I could scarce speak the words. Of course everyone else at the table had immediately understood that Mr Chipper had not said anything at all about my weight, but that he had brought me a bigger beer because of my WAIT. I’d be embarrassed of my ridiculousness, but as it turned out, the whole thing made the evening far more fun, because at varying intervals throughout the remaining hours of the evening (and in fact in the years since…), one of us would burst out laughing, shaking our head and muttering, ‘because of your weight…’.
It’s always nice when my idiocy is harmless and entertaining.
The point of the story is a) maybe don’t get so freakin weird about your body image garbage, there, Audrey, and b) good things come to those who weight- er, wait.
I’m sitting here, smack in the middle of my life, as you do, and I’m looking around and I’m noticing how incredibly awesome it is. I confess, I am amazed. I love my home. I love my job. I love my friends. I love my self. And almost none of it arrived when I wanted it to. (Conversely, I recently ordered a shit ton of clothes off the Interwebs. They were purchased on a moment’s notice, they arrived within two days (thank you, Amazon Prime), and I hate almost all of them. Heavy on the “instant,” light on the “gratification”.) Always, I was waiting.
Do you know why I was waiting? I don’t either, not exactly. But I do know this. While I was sitting round crying Hey, Ho for an apartment, the apartment I now have was still under construction. When I was puddling concrete and crying – literally crying in this case – the job I now have was being attempted by several others whose failure is probably what allowed me to get the job without any of the requisite experience. See? It all comes together.
I have an extreme aversion to manipulative behavior. Also not a fan of dramatic carryings-on, nor of pretenses of victimhood and pity parties. Gross. Hate it all.
Fun fact : when I don’t get my way, apparently I just go ahead and do all that shit even though I detest it.
“I hate, loathe, despise, and abominate money.”
“You also spend it.”
That dad character in Meet Me In St Louis kinda comes off as a bit of an ass, but he did have a few things figured out.
Anyway, it turns out I’m a hypocrite.
Waiting helps. When I am staunchly opposed by all Universal powers and absolutely not allowed to have my way, I realize that my tantrums don’t work. They’re also obnoxious and embarrassing. I stop trying to manipulate outcomes (though perhaps not quite as quickly as one could wish…) and remember to live in moments. I stop throwing myself on the floor in fits of tears (metaphorically speaking. I did not literally carry on in this manner. Though it’s likely that I did throw myself onto my bed in fits of tears a time or three. Apparently I draw the line just afore throwing myself on floors…) and remember that this is the day the Lord has made, and He is the Boss and I should quit griping and complaining and start growing because I have bigger things to become than a whiny little bitch. I stop objectifying other human beings, getting frustrated when they don’t deliver what I think I “need” from them, and I start remembering that my job is not to get, it is to give. I realize it really is just like my mama used to tell me: God will give you just about anything you want, but usually he will make you prove you’re willing to live without it first.
Roger that, Jesus.
So now I have my house and my job and my friends and my family, and I do my best to remember to appreciate it every minute of every day, but I’m waiting on other things – because there is always something to wait on – and I’m learning to enjoy it a little more. I’m learning to trust it a little more. And it turns out, it’s not so bad. What I’m noticing is that if I want or need a thing and Thing is not forthcoming, it is either because I am not ready for Thing or Thing is not ready for me, and therefore, the Wait should be heartily embraced. (Let the record show, I am, in fact, heartily embracing the Wait, not the Weight. But if I get a bigger beer out of it, I’d probably take either.)