Friday, June 26, 2009 | Categories: Episodes |
Welcome to...wait for it...the DNTO website. I'm...wait for it... Sook-Yin Lee!
This week we are exploring the many, varied emotional and physical states of waiting. You may think it's just dead time, unproductive, and boring...but there's a lot going on in the wait. Look at it this way:
"Life is what happens.....while you're waiting."
Now did you know, that the average person in their lifetime spends five years waiting in lines? Yikes. Bank line ups, airports, bus stops...that's a lot of waiting!
When I was a kid the most vexing form of waiting was the impatience I felt waiting to grow up. Back then, I was always getting ditched by my older sister and her friends who didn't want to hang out with a runt. And when my family and cousins went to the PNE, I was left with the babysitter. So, I could hardly wait for my growth spurt to kick in. The year cowboy boots were in style, I bought a pair four sizes too big in eager anticipation of the day I'd grow into them, which never came. Those boots are still too big for me!
The only person who seemed to want to hang around with me was my best friend Julie. We created the most intricate imaginary worlds where we'd fantasize about being grown ups. Our favourite make-believe world was pretending we were 17 year old girls living in our own apartment. It was a lot of fun, but I was aware Julie
really didn't have to play with me, because she had way more friends to choose from than me. I had one friend. Her. That's when I made the mistake of putting all my eggs into one basket.
I always wanted to be around Julie and I'd get anxious when we weren't together. And there was nothing worse than phoning her up and having her Mom answer, "No. Julie can't come out to play. She's in the middle of piano lessons."
It's a recurring memory from my childhood. Waiting outside Julie's house for her piano lessons to end. I'd wait for hours, listening to her tireless fingers repeat piano scales and play the theme song from The Sting. For me, it was an anxious state of limbo when life, piano lessons and adults stood in the way of my being reunited with my best friend, who I wasn't sure I'd ever see again.
One afternoon, while I was waiting for Julie's piano lesson to end, I nervously picked the tiny white and black decorative pebbles off the side of her house. Pretty soon the stucco wall was pock-marked and when her Dad came out and saw, he blew up at me, and boy did he have a bad temper! I think it was compounded by the fact that I had accidentally left my boot print in his newly-poured concrete pathway.
I hurried back home, with a looming fear that I'd blown it. Now even Julie's parents hated me! I'd never see her again. I returned to the basement rec room, doomed to watch TV for the next six hours until dinner. That's when there was a knock on the door. When I opened it, there was Julie, wondering if I could come out to play.
This week on Definitely Not the opera, get ready to wait.