Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Heads or Tails #43 -- Wait or Weight

Today's Heads or Tails challenge -- wait or weight -- has been officially canceled by our host and moderator, Barb. So I guess this one doesn't really count. On the other hand, I had kind of sketched out a post last night... and, inertia being difficult to overcome, we'll go with it....

There are patient people in this world. People who can wait in line with stoic mien and calm demeanor, even when waiting... nearly forever... to renew a driver's license.

I am not one of them.

I am reconciled to the fact that, whatever line I choose, in a bank or department store, at the grocery or at a toll booth, will inevitably be the slowest moving. You might see me in such a line, a blank expression on my face and an air of seeming nonchalance, but do not confuse that dull, vacant look for serene acceptance of my lot. It really is just a dull, vacant look -- defeatism, just this side of despair.

Every day I wait for the mailman -- yes, letter carrier is more gender neutral, but it's five syllables where two will do just fine -- I wait for the mailman like a hawk or an eagle in a tree, ready to swoop down the moment he (or she) is spotted.

When I had an office on the second floor of a converted house, some years back, I literally did swoop down the stairs at the slightest jiggling of the mail slot in the door.

Sometimes it was just the wind.

And there were times I nearly broke my neck stumbling down those stairs.

But I always harbor great hope that -- maybe -- just maybe -- today will be the day when the letter carrier (there -- are you happy now?) finally brings a check.

You'll recall the movie Casablanca, of course, when Captain Renault orders a bottle of champagne for Victor Lazlo and Ilsa Lund. Victor wants no favors from Renault and tries to demur -- but Captain Renault waves him off. "Oh, please, monsieur. It is a little game we play. They put it on the bill, I tear up the bill. It is very convenient."

Sometimes it seems that my clients feel much the same way about my bills.

Rick and Ilsa always had Paris. I'll always have receivables. It's just... well, Messrs. MasterCard and Visa don't accept my receivables as payment of their bills. My clients take 60 or 90 or even 120 days to pay... when they pay at all... and Discover Card and American Express want theirs in two weeks. And, though I might devoutly wish otherwise, I'd never get away with a $39 charge just because my client made a payment one day "late."

Thus my (*ahem*) interest in the mail each day. Today, perhaps, there'll be a check. I'll be listening for the door....


ShannonW said...

I also hate to wait. Great post for today. I enjoyed reading it.

Kacey said...

I have turned into a very patient person. Perhaps it is because by my age nothing works very fast. Yesterday, we finally got the letter anouncing our Stimulus Check from the IRS. The husband has been fretting and stewing for weeks now. I had gone online and realized that according to my last two Social Security digits.... this would be the week. One line caught my eye..."You should have your check by June 20th, but if it does not come within six weeks, contact the above number". In six weeks, a thief can be living riotiously on the Riveria with my check! (Well, he could have a couple of drinks from my check) I suppose I need to be more laid back about my $300.00.

Anonymous said...

Great post! You are a turner of phrases and I loved every word you wrote. I think I might have to explore your blog completely now. My interest is well and truly piqued.

And talking about piquing/peaking/peeking,(not that we were but you know what I mean)my HoT is up at my place:

Jeni said...

Here's hoping your ship -er, Check, came in the mail today!

Anonymous said...

Nicely done! I also am not so good at waiting patiently :)

Cristina said...

Waiting, sitting still, doing nothing, just watching TV....all things I cannot do well.