It’s the season of dance and piano recitals, of high school and college graduations, of award ceremonies, of endless summer little league games. We are busy with celebrations, installations, lectures, plays, meetings, seminars, dinners. There is so much to do, so much to be happy about, so much to entertain us, so much to learn!
But why, for goodness sakes, does everything have to be so long? What happened to short and sweet? Am I the only one who feels that there should be an abridged version of everything? I may be a mid-lifer, but when it comes to patience, I’m still a novice.
I’m good for 90 minutes, that’s it. I must say I am generally really good at listening intently for an hour and a half. But when the clock ticks to ninety, I’m done. That’s me in the seat behind you- crossing and uncrossing my legs, cricking my neck, stretching my back, sighing silently, trying really hard not to look miserable.
After 90 minutes, I literally have to sit on my hands so I don’t give in to the urge to pretend to shoot the speaker with my pointer finger and upright thumb. I know it is so not PC to even think these thoughts, especially at your own child’s college graduation.
After 90 minutes, I tune out and start to make mental “to do” lists: 1. call husband from car and complain about torture of long program; 2. shorten introduction for tomorrow night; 3. get some sleep so not so cranky.
After 90 minutes, I admit it- I have fallen to the temptation of sitting in the back playing Solitaire on my iPhone (come on–I’ve seen you do it.)
Am I alone in thinking that a grade school play, dance or flute recital that starts at 7:00 and ends at 10:30 is a few too many hours of overkill? Would it be so terrible to cut one or two of those solos (just not my niece’s)?
Am I alone in thinking baseball would be better if it were just six innings?
Am I alone in thinking they should cut out that raw, cutting edge piece at the symphony?
Am I alone in thinking it might be ok to have some kind of electric shock therapy for the blowhard at the microphone who goes over his alloted time limit? I volunteer to be in charge of the zapper. Don’t test me. I’m a bit impatient.
After an hour and a half, I don’t want to stay for Q and A. I don’t want to meet after to discuss the ramifications. I don’t want to have a decaf or a pastry. I don’t want a night cap. I want to check my email. I want to hang on the couch and watch TV. I want to read a book. I don’t want to be with other people. I don’t want to listen to you. I want to go to bed.
“How was the play?” my mother asked me a few months ago as I drove home from a one-act play about two dysfunctional couples. “Fantastic,” I said, “It was an hour and a half. No intermission. It’s 9:30, and I’m almost home.” She told me she felt cheated when she saw the play, because it cost her $80 and she wasn’t there very long. I told her I’d pay extra to have every play be an hour and a half.
It should be a rule, shouldn’t it? Please, tell me (in two minutes or less) that I am not alone here.