Wednesday, March 7, 2007


1. Patience is a virtue.
2. Anger does not become you.
3. Computers and other machines are not out to get you.
4. Chill Out Already!
I thought I was becoming more patient. Truly. I can now mark time in the grocery line without chuffing and stamping like a racehorse at the gate. I stand there calmly, reading the magazines, looking at people and not allowing myself to ask why I always get in the slow line. This has taken conscious effort, as has not shouting "Go, Go!"at drivers who do not see the green light immediately, and pushing the elevator button extra times to make it arrive sooner.
Learning patience is important to me, as I struggle on my path to becoming a better human being. But I admit to slipping off the path sometimes (falling off the cliff, as it were). Sometimes it just gets to be too much. Last Friday, I was extremely irritated by this bleached-blond, red-faced broad who blocked every.single.aisle of the grocery store, spending 20 minutes in front of the soups while her cart was turned sideways. Was I wrong to think she was doing it deliberately?
So by the time I got to the checkout counter, I was miffed. The dreary, dumpy, droopy-eyed clerk looked at me askance. How dare I come to HER checkout? Then I made the mistake of asking her where the au jus mix was. "I looked for it in the soup aisle and the mixes aisle", I said, thinking this was eminently reasonable. She looked at me, shook her head, and said in a small, dispirited voice, "I don't know where that is (loud sigh)."
"Julie, get hold of yourself," said the good little angel on my right shoulder." "Rip her lips off," said the devil on my left shoulder.
"That's not the right answer," I said calmly. "Call someone and ask them where it is." I got my au jus that day, but at what cost? (I later - in calm mode - called the store and said, "When I shop at XXX store, checkout clerks smile at you, and ask you if you have found everything, and if you say you can't find an item, they send someone to find it for you. Therefore, I am switching entirely to XXX store, even though your store is only one-half block from my office."
Oh, but computers! I have crashed my tricycle so often on the information highway. Take these posts, for instance. When I type them, I add spaces between certain lines. I can SEE them there - the beautiful pure white space where no type is. When I post, the spaces are gone. Aaaarrrrgggghhh!
Not long ago, I called my daughter in desperation. Not, "Hi, honey, how are you? Just thought I'd call and see how you are." Oh, no. It was, "HELP! My icons and desktop picture are all turned sideways!" She helped me immediately. She told me to touch two keys in unison, and the problem was fixed. To younger people, using a computer is as natural as falling off a log (but when was the last time you or I fell off a log?)
Thank goodness I have my "Go-To Girl". I might have spent the rest of the evening craning my neck 90 degrees sideways to the left while I tried to navigate email and the Internet. Now I'm having problems with my printer. I may have screwed it up in a major way just because I didn't use it often enough. Who knew???? My daughter said I should have read the manual. Oh, come on now!
So I'm trying to do various things to clean the print heads, and the digital readout keeps saying the same thing: "Nozzle check. Press the color button," over and over, no matter which buttons I push. "Make it stop, Make it stop!!", I scream, as my husband wonders if his wife has truly become a lunatic.
I remember the first and only time I tried to downhill ski. I had no lessons, no training of any kind. I was with my husband to be, who had had only minimal experience skiing himself. Somehow I went up the tow rope and careened down the bunny slope, crashing ignominously at the bottom. As I sputtered in frustration, Dan said, "Go into the lodge, take off your boots, have a glass of wine and cool down."
No sooner than I had gotten into the lodge and taken my boots off (Okay, so it took a while), than the ski patrol was rescuing a skier. It turned out to be Dan - with a ghastly bloodied face and twisted ankle - who had tried to go down a more advanced slope.
No, I don't think that's poetic justice. I just think that when the demon computer is out to steal my soul, I should "Just go have a glass of wine and chill out, already." (30 years gives me the excuse to say "Chill Out" instead of "Cool Down")

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