||Extra Medium Publications
||Dec. 12, 2011
A Perilous Adventure of Genuine Love and Unbelievable Imperturbability
Download to your Kindle (eBook)
"WAITING FOR THE BIG O
Of the three pieces of luggage we put on board the airplane, only two came off. The one we can’t find has my asthma medicine and my brand new expensive bathing suit that fits better than any bathing suit I have ever owned. It took me a month to find that brand new bathing suit, to find one that fit just right and was so comfortable and sexy. The lost piece of luggage also has Sam’s Tums. My asthma medicine is secondary. My new bathing suit doesn’t matter. Sam’s Tums? He’s a basket case!
“What am I going to do without Tums?” Sam frets.
I stare at him, wheezing, desperately trying to fill my lungs with air, hoping I can find an island pharmacist who will make a long distance call to my pulmonary specialist. I say, calmly, without a hint of nastiness or bad attitude, “Maybe you should lay off the spicy food this week.”
To which Sam agonizes, “I won’t make it without Tums!”
To which I reply in oxygen-poor gasps, tugging at my bathing suit that I had to buy from the store in the lobby, even though it is too small and even though it was made for a flat-chested teenager, “I guess you’ll have to live with heartburn, honey.”
It’s been a tough week...
WAITING FOR AN EXPLANATION
Macrophobia - Fear of long waits
Panophobia, Pantophobia - Fear of everything
Phenomophobia, Phronemophobia – Fear of thinking
EwwwGrossAutoPhobia – Fear of finding something disgusting
under the seat in your car
InspectPhobia – Fear of failing inspection
HowMuchLongerPhobia – Fear of waiting in a long line and never
getting out of it
Phobophobia - Fear of being afraid
I am waiting to get my car inspected. I am in a long line that seems to go on forever and hardly moves at all. For some reason, it looks like the other lanes are moving along just fine; mine is not. I see cars that were behind me in the other lanes moving past me and back out into the real world of traffic and fender benders. I imagine those drivers waving to me and saying, "Ha ha! Wrong line, lady!"
I strain my head out my window to see what is holding us up. I can't see anything, but the knot in my stomach tells me that someone at the head of the line has forgotten something like a license or registration card, has a flat tire, or is telling the brake inspector about her recent gall bladder surgery at the Mayo Clinic.
It occurs to me that I must waste half of my life waiting for other people to do things or just to get out of my way.
I decide to make the best use of my time.
I start by cleaning out my pocketbook.
Then I make a grocery list.
I file what is left of my fingernails.
I clean out the glove compartment and update my car maintenance records.
I rearrange the money in my wallet so all the bills are facing the same direction in order of value.
I make sure all my credit cards are signed and current.
I look under the seats and find my son’s old retainer, a quarter, my husband’s sunglasses, two pennies, a dime, a shriveled French fry, several pieces of Lego, a Matchbox car, and a pretzel. I eat the pretzel, throw the French fry out the window, pocket the change, and put my son’s retainer, the Lego, the Matchbox car, and my husband’s sunglasses in my pocketbook for future distribution.
I reprogram the radio to stations I like instead of those my kids have selected.
I look at pictures from my wallet of my children at various stages in their lives.
I take out the car manual and read the section on how to recharge a dead battery – just in case. One can never be over-prepared when waiting in line to have one's car inspected.
I clean fingerprints off the windows and mirrors with what I hope is an unused Kleenex.
I imagine myself on a beach in Bora Bora with a fabulous suntan, a flat stomach, and perfectly straight hair. There is a man I don't know sitting on the blanket next to me. I don't recognize him. I continue my reverie without an ounce of guilt about the hunk on a towel, who, in my daydream, just brought me a tall, cold piña colada with an umbrella straw.
I curse at myself for not bringing a book or a magazine to read while waiting in line.
Then I begin to fixate on waiting in lines.
I think about things like whether you wait "in" a line or you wait "on" a line. In New Jersey, I waited "on" line, but once I moved away from the Metropolitan New York area, no one waited "on" line anymore. They waited "in" line. It's so confusing.
I start to write a list. I write a lot of lists. Lists add order to my constant state of chaos, confusion, and anxiety.
The list I create is my Waiting List.
When I hit six hundred sixty-four things on my list that I have personally waited for on a regular or irregular basis, and I am not even near the head of the car inspection line, I know I am in big trouble. From waiting on hold to waiting for replies to waiting for clients to waiting for results to waiting for deliveries, this is a subject that could send me spiraling downward at warp speed into a bottomless pit filled with old French fries, lost retainers, and used Kleenex.
I imagine hearing people adding their opinions to this discussion about waiting:
“I must waste half my life commuting to work.”
“I hate waiting in waiting rooms.”
“I waited a year for that government rebate.”
“I am waiting for my kid to clean his room.”
“I was in labor for six days until they finally told me I could push.”
“I was on hold for an hour and a half before the customer service representative got on to tell me I had the wrong extension.”
“I waited twenty-five years for him to finally admit he was wrong.”
"I waited twenty-six years for him to finally tell me I was right."
But that is other people. That is not me. Other people take things like waiting for things in their stride.
I am totally aware of this because I am a realist. I know who I am and what makes me tick. I know my limitations. I know I waste a lot of time waiting, but I waste a lot more time obsessing about it. Then I waste even more time obsessing about the fact that I am wasting time obsessing about wasting time.
It’s not a pretty picture, and I’m starting to worry a little.
"Some national parks have long waiting lists for camping reservations. When you have to wait a year to sleep next to a tree, something is wrong."
Humor Book We Have all been Waiting For
Something we all do every day and will do ad infinitum is wait, wait, wait. We do it sometimes patiently but most often we do it with a sense of frustration turning to rage when the waiting seems never ending. Felice deftly turns these unwelcome events into subtle humor that we will all recognize and just maybe even learn coping mechanisms from. Along the way, we are regaled with a treatise on phobias, both actual and those created by Felice such as "tic tock tic tock stop phobia, or the fear of power outages". You can make up your own along the way. When you read this book, you may be able to keep your blood pressure from spiking during your next interminable wait if you just remember that Felice has probably covered something similar and made you laugh a bit over the folly of letting it get you too upset just because it happens to everybody anyway.
A Wonderfully Hysterical and romantic mischievous love story
I'd learned about Felice Prager's writing from the Chicken Soup Books and other anthologies where I found her work. Somehow, among each story collection, her stories always stood out with genuine heartfelt humor. So I went searching for a book by just her alone - and I found this treasure. And it IS a treasure!
Felice Prager has a unique gift in being able to mix very human stories about people she loves with very real human emotions - and while reading, you just know this book could easily be about you or anyone you know. And it's just so much fun to read.
While gently and teasingly poking fun at the people in her life, she is also letting it all hang out about herself, revealing her imperfections and her ability to make mistakes - and eventually cope with real life.
It's a busy book with lists and extra information and crazy phobias and fun-loving "waiting" titles - and the best part - HER STORIES. With each chapter, I had to sit back and catch my breath because reading her words is like listening to a very good story teller tell a very funny, involving, and entertaining story.
This book is great. Be prepared to laugh out loud while reading.
Don't WAIT to read this book
Our lives may be an Irma Bombeck bowl of cherries or a Forest Gump box of chocolates, but despite all of the time-saving technology we are enjoying today that makes things orderly and yummy, we still find ourselves spending an inordinate amount of time waiting, so why not do it with Felice? This book is full of humor that most of us can relate to in our own lives... funny stories about bugs, camping, our kids, spouses and nature, as told by a best girlfriend/neighbor. Specifically, Felice describes living in the unique desert state of Arizona and the surprises and wondrous 'treasures' she discovered along the way when she relocated from New Jersey and accompanied her hubby Sam on many perilous adventures. As an Arizona native, I have to admit that Felice taught me quite a few new things about the amazing environment that surrounds me and has encouraged me to research further. Finding out a few fascinating tidbits from her has made me curious ~ but phobic!
This book is not only a fun, lighthearted read, but informational and witty as well. I'm WAITING for Ms. Prager's next book!
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