Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Time Keeps on Slipping . . .

I’m feeling the passage of time pretty keenly today. Not sure why. Could be the lack of sleep over the last couple of months. Could be the fact that my youngest will be 8 years old before too long. And then 9 and 10 and 13 and 15, and before you know it, he’ll be more wrapped up in his music and his girlfriend and his favorite sports teams than in my arms. It’s all as it should be, of course, but that doesn’t mean I don’t recognize the years slipping by. 

Or it could just be the hole in the sleeve of my favorite long-sleeved tee, and the realization that the company doesn’t make this style anymore.

I was at the grocery store this morning, and the woman working the register next to the one where I was checking out my $190 worth that fit into 5 small bags said that her register wasn’t working right. It was telling her the price of an item, but was not ringing the item up. Earlier this morning, a customer had complained, because she was in a hurry and the whole process was slowing her down.

As an editor, I come across sentences like that last one all of the time: a “because” that needs a comma in front of it, which is something I grew up believing was never necessary—commas before “because.” But without the comma, the woman was complaining because she was in a hurry. She wasn’t complaining about how slow the process was.

But, really, I think the woman was complaining because she was in a hurry. It’s one of our biggest complaints, and we take it out on others around us: other drivers, other family members, other customers in line before us. We’re in a hurry to get to wherever we absolutely needed to be 10 minutes ago. 

I commented that the inconvenience of waiting for a cash register glitch to get straightened out is still more convenient than growing your own food or milking your own cows. Thank heavens for grocery stores and broken-down registers and for everyone who does the work before me so I can get on with all the very important work of my own day.

Like figuring out how to replace this shirt of mine. The company may not make this style anymore, but that doesn’t make it out of style. It just makes it more valuable to me. Like patience and time and my 7-year-old hugging me before he gets on the school bus. 

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