The Jackson Herald
September 24, 2003
The fine art of waiting
After you grow tired of time, and youve run stuff into the ground, what you do is wait for someone or something to show up.
And while you wait, play the waiting game. A good place to start is the dictionary.
Waiting game: the tactic or strategy of not attempting to secure an advantage, with a view to more effective action at a later stage. (Some folks spend a lifetime doing that: waiting, waiting, waiting.)
I, too, have done my share of waiting. During 80 years of waiting, off and on, I have become somewhat of a waiting expert. In fact, I have got waiting down to a fine art. Perhaps you will benefit from my prowess.
Read, study, concentrate. This approach has contributed to my vast storehouse of knowledge.
Look, listen, observe. This has also been a learning experience.
Think, meditate, pray. A good way to stay out of trouble while waiting.
Relax, sleep, dream. Makes for a restful and profitable wait.
Fuss, fume, fret. Always leads to frustration and high blood pressure.
Of course, you can choose to do nothing, in which case you waste your wait. But I guess thats better than frustration and high blood pressure.
We shall now leave ol Virgils vast storehouse of wisdom and return to that authoritative source, the dictionary.
Wait: to stay or be inactive until someone comes or something happens. (After 10 or 12 years of inactivity, it is time to get off your behind and make something happen. Take the bull by the horns, so to speak.)
In my dictionary, wait and related words and phrases take up about 18 column inches, or one-third of the page. After wait come 17 other entries. Here are some of the more interesting ones:
Wait on or upon: to give ones attention to or seek to fill the needs of a customer. (If you are in a big department store and are seeking someone to wait on you, you may be in for a very long wait.)
Wait out: Dont you just love it when Chipper Jones stands at the plate, bases loaded, two outs, score tied, ninth inning, with a three-two count, and waits out ball four from that mean Arizona Diamondback pitcher, Andy Johnson?
Wait up: Mary could go to bed and sleep like a baby. Not me. I had to wait up until all four kids got home, no matter how late.
Lie in wait: Ive never stayed hidden, ready to attack anyone, and I hope no one is out there doing that with me in mind.
Wait-and-see: waiting until matters develop further or take a turn. (Some folks spend a lifetime doing that, too. For them, nothing ever develops or turns. Sounds boring, doesnt it?)
Waiting list: a list of persons waiting ( theres the word again) for appointments, selection for any purpose, or the next chance of obtaining something. (I guess the thousands of poor Georgians waiting in line to buy lottery tickets come under next chance of obtaining something. Yeah, fat chance.)
Im on the waiting list of every telemarketer in the world, and the way the phones been ringing, I wont have to wait long for another call.
And then there are waiters, waitresses, waiting maids, waiting men, and waiting women for which (whom?) we should be thankful. And we should leave them a big tip, unless they have adopted that highfalutin title and slogan, Im your server and I will be taking care of you guys tonight. Dont you just love it when some wet-behind-the-ears waiter calls your wife or date a guy?
Before we close, lets spend a little time (a little time?) in the waiting room. The waiting room is the place where you wait. Is it ever!
I used to get excited when they called me from the waiting room and sat me down in the examining room. But the wait is just beginning. I am now on another waiting list, and Ill give you odds that I will wait longer in the examining room than I did in the waiting room.
If you ever go through this experience, please dont fuss, fume or fret. Remember that this leads to frustration and high blood pressure, and you may wind up in the waiting room and the examining room at the emergency room.
In my dictionary we move from wait to waive. The two words are similar. However, we will give up, relinquish, regain, decline and put aside our discussion of waive until a more opportune time.
Im sure you can hardly wait.
Virgil Adams is a former owner-editor of The Jackson Herald.
Comments From The O-Zone
By: Oscar Weinmeister
The Jackson Herald
September 24, 2003
Tellys Recovery Averts Crisis
We had a close call this weekend. For a span of more than 12 hours, we did not know the location of Telly, Jacks purple teddy bear. Besides the fact that Jack and Telly have been almost inseparable for going on two years now, Telly has become a symbol of continuity for Jack since his younger brother Turner came home from the hospital and started sleeping in the thoroughfares Jack used to barrel through riding his $10 fire engine.
Amy and I noticed Tellys absence upon returning from Art in the Park Sunday afternoon. This was particularly troublesome for at least two reasons. Number one, Jack was two hours late in getting his absolutely-essential-for-parental-sanity daily nap started, and in that desperate and volatile set of circumstances, nothing guarantees a peaceful transition to unconsciousness like the presence of Telly. Without Telly, Amy and I approached Jack in guarded, hushed and apologetic tones, mentioning the need for a nap without a whole lot of success. I eventually had to lie down with him, and 40 or so minutes later, he was out.
The second reason we were distraught about the MIA status of the beloved purple bear: he could have been almost anywhere in Jackson County. One of Jacks big brother presents was a backpack. He loves it. Besides the fact that he has something that other kids at the preschool have, he enjoys its utility. He can carry multiple trucks, his airplane, boats, other peoples trucks, and of course Telly wherever he goes.
While Jack can be counted on to wear his jam-packed backpack when we leave the house, we arent always sure whats in it. Hes come home from daycare with some toys and articles of clothing that are clearly not his, and more than once weve had a time figuring out who the rightful owners were. That Sunday, we had been to church and to Hurricane Shoals, and neither parent had thought to check the contents of the backpack entering or leaving either place.
Could he have taken Telly out in the nursery at church and forgotten to put him back in? Did some other child become immediately enamored of the cuddly creature and decide that Telly needed a new home? Worse yet, did Telly somehow get left in the mill at Hurricane Shoals to suffer some unimaginable fate?
Amy and I formulated contingency plans all afternoon. If we couldnt find him by Monday and if he wasnt at church, Id go through the trash and call the friend who bought him the original to see if we couldnt locate a replacement. If all else failed, wed prepare a speech about loss and get through it somehow.
That night at bedtime, wed had no success in our search, and I told Jack that Telly was probably spending the night at the church and that we would try to find him in the morning. Amy and I stood with bated breath anticipating his reaction. He looked me in the eye and said, OK. Then he crawled up to the top of his bed, put his head on the pillow, and waited for someone to read him a story.
Monday morning, after calling the church with no success, Amy found Telly buried in the back of Jacks shirt drawer. We breathed a collective sigh of relief, thankful that for now, at least, Tellys still here to help Jack cope with uncertainty.
Oscar Weinmeister is the assistant administrator of BJC Medical Center. He lives in Commerce.