Patience Required: Retirement Home Ahead

Think you’ve got unlimited patience? Come and spend a day here. Stand behind a 95 year old woman who is shakily serving herself a cup of coffee from a vending machine. Or stand in the mob waiting for the elevator to get back to their floors after the concert.
The stainless steel elevator car arrives, the doors slide open, the crowd pushes forward in anticipation and right in front, Betty, aged 89, leaning heavily on her walker, adjusts herself and prepares to enter the elevator. She shuffles forward. The feet of the walker catch on the sliding door groove and she jerks the walker. The lady behind her leans forward to help. Betty lets go the walker, turns around, put her hands on her hips and snaps, “I don’t need any help, thank you!” She turns back and starts the entry maneuver again.

I, standing eight rows back, and in a raging hurry to get to the bathroom, grind another millimeter off my teeth which are clamped tightly together to prevent me yelling words usually heard only down at the waterfront.

Come with me when lunch is being served. I can order my meal in 3 seconds by pointing at the food containers and muttering, “this, that and that!” But Bella with the purple hair is not like me.
“What is that?” she asks pointing.
“Sesame chicken, madam.”
“And how is it cooked?”
Long explanation follows.
“And is it hot?”
“It is warm, madam.”
“No. I don’t like the look of that. What’s that one?”
“That is fish in a tomato sauce.”
“What kind of fish is it?”
“Sea bass, madam.”
“And how is it cooked?”
She listens to a detailed description of the recipe.
“No. I don’t feel like fish today. What’s that one?”

And twenty or thirty people in the line stand silently. They all know that when they get to the front of the line they won’t be any quicker than Bella with the purple hair.
So, I’ve found out that I have unlimited patience. I can wait another 10 years or so to get my own back…


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