The Old Coot knows how to wait

By Merlin Lessler —

Here I go again. Providing unwanted advice in yet another attempt to help “Men From Mars” get along with “Women From Venus”. This time it’s for men who are “fast leavers” married to women who are “slow leavers”. 

It goes something like this. He asks, “Ready to go?” (To the store, across the country, across the street. It doesn’t matter.) She replies, “I’ll be right there.” Off he goes, gets in the car and watches for her to come out the door. 

Two minutes go by. Then five. He starts getting antsy, “What the heck is keeping her?” 

Another five minutes tick off the watch on his wrist. He starts to boil. He gets out of the car and goes to the door. Here she comes, two bags in hand. One to drop off at her mother’s house, the other to be donated to the Mission. 

“You don’t mind, do you,” she asks, as the car bolts out of the driveway and nearly hits a woman walking down the sidewalk. 

“What took you so long,” he asks, gritting his teeth to help keep his temper under control. 

The reply is a long one, “Oh, I had to take a load of clothes out of the dryer and fold them so they wouldn’t get wrinkled. Then I noticed the mirror in the bathroom was all spotty from when you washed your hands, so I wiped it off. The dishes in the sink looked messy so I rinsed them and stacked them up to dry in case someone came in and saw them.” 

All legitimate things. 

“BUT,” he groans, “You said you were ready to go!” She states, “I was,” almost.

It doesn’t matter where you are going; the scenario is always the same. The problem is created by the “slow-leaver”, but the solution lies with the “fast-leaver”. Even a rat in a maize eventually learns how to navigate the obstacles between itself and happiness. 

But not the men who are fidgeting and fuming while waiting in the driveway outside the door of an antique shop, or on a bench in the mall. Always surprised she’s not there, like she said she would be. He believes her when she says, “Just a sec!” Even though it’s never just a sec. He’s one rat that doesn’t find his way to the cheese.

Here comes the good part. Advice from an old coot who learned this Mars versus Venus thing a long time ago.  (Waiting impatiently for years!) But, no more, the path through the maize is simple. It’s called, “Facing reality.” You are going to wait! Longer than you think! So, figure out how to spend that interval between your “slow-leaver” that is saying, “I’ll just be a sec,” and the time it actually takes her to get there.

Use your phone; call a friend you haven’t spoken to in years, check the weather or use the camera to take pictures of unenlightened men, waiting for their wives on a bench with a scowl on their face and steam coming out their ears. It could go viral, even funnier than the images of Wal-Mart shoppers that circulate on the Internet. 

Carry a man-bag. Fill it with a book, a crossword puzzle, or a nail clipper. Whatever! When the “slow-leaver” shows up you can say, “I’ll just be a sec.” 

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