You all recognize this precious little angel, right?
She is most famously remembered for this quote, in which she shrieks at the top of her lungs:
“I WANT IT NOW!!!!“
And if you didn’t give it to her . . . oooo, boy, did you have it coming.
And really, can we blame sweet, dear Veruca Salt? Transported into the magical kingdom of Wonka Land, bedazzled and blown away by the sights, sounds, tastes, and smells, well . . . I can’t imagine I would be in much control of my wants. And truly, my own candy dish — does it still count as a “dish” if it’s an entire drawer? — has been known to send me into a saccharine induced tizzy. Maybe a sugar-high is to blame for Ms. Salt’s lack of decorum and self-restraint.
Or, perhaps not.
In my 29 and 9/10 years on earth, I have never experienced anything more difficult than . . . wait for it . . . it’s coming . . . a few more seconds . . . any minute now . . .
I hate to wait.
Did that drive you berserk a moment ago? Well, sorry to say, my friend, but you hate waiting as much as I do. Now, depending on where you rank on the scale — yes, there is most certainly a scale — of “hate to wait,” that will determine how prominent your impatience balloon is. Let me explain: I like to think of our bodies as giant balloon werehouses, wherein a colorful array of balloons both large and small, take up residence inside us. And let me tell you . . . my impatience balloon is pretty darn big — takes up an entire calf.
So, let’s take a census: do you, when approaching the checkout lane at a grocery store, search out the shortest line? Well, sure, I think anyone, whether their impatience ballon is marble or watermelon would do that, don’t you? Alright. Do you go so far as to make judgement calls? What I mean by this is, if there is an elderly person to the right and a kid with his jeans drooping past his crack to the left, will you choose the kid because you know he is likely to move quicker? Do you go even further and initiate a little reconnaissance? Spying the amount of groceries in each of the carts? Do you see who has their credit-card in hand, or *gasp* clutches a leather bound check book? And after making your selection, do you start to hyperventilate when the person in front of you suddenly remembers they’ve forgotten the last thing on their list, some abstruse ingredient that may or may not be found before the turn of the century?
See what I mean about the scale?
So, taking into consideration all of the above, where do you feel you rank? Are you pretty confident that, as far as patience goes, you are a nice, solid five or below? Or, like myself, are you aware that you might benefit from a red rubber stress-ball and counting techniques?
I believe age is a key factor in shrinking one’s impatience balloon. But not always. The child with cancer learns an awful lot about waiting. Anyone on a donor list could tell you that waiting, much like breathing, is an inextricable part of their life.
Right now, I am waiting. And it’s gnawing on me. I have an inordinately awful case of the “I WANT IT NOW!“s. Candy has very little to do with what I want, and the only eccentric cane-toting-purple-velour-jacket-wearing man in my life is a grandfather with excellent taste in vintage clothing.
All that said, I strive to subvert my inner Veruca Salt. I do not want her to be the boss of me. That little girl could not see past her own spoiled, rapacious nose, and thus was feared or loathed by every single person who knew her; a rotten child if I ever saw one. While waiting certainly has it’s challenges, it also comes with many benefits that, unfortunately, lack tangibility. That doesn’t mean they aren’t valuable, however.
While I wait, a few things are happening.
One: when the time should come, having acquired what I want after being forced to wait for it, the value will have quadrupled and gained interest, making it far more precious to me than it ever could have been should I have received it immediately.
Two: character. Above all others, our character should be the attribute we hold in high regard. You may have lovely brown eyes, or an amazing sense of humor, but if at your core, your character is selfish, impatient, judgmental, narcissistic, and on and on and so forth, then really, you will have missed the whole point of what it means to live.
There are four words I must remind myself daily. Not because I possess — or, at least I hope not — an abnormal amount of said negative attributes, but simply because I am human. Those words are as follows: It’s not about me.
In life, whether or I go on to accomplish great things, or many little things that mean much to the people who are blessed by them, I will never stop working toward this goal. It is not, nor will it ever be, all about me. It is about what can be done through me.
And so I wait.
Happy Waiting Wednesday, everyone.
And simply because it’s awesome, and the movie remains to be one of the world’s most cinematically brilliant masterpieces — here’s something to make you smile.