In many ways I am a cool, calm and collected gal. Unlike Paris Hilton I don't need to make a dull as dishwater TV show to find my new BFF, I've already found her and her name is 'Meh'. I'm happy to leave the dishes to get crusty in the sink. I am happy with my ever increasing colony of dust bunnies which appear to be multiplying like, well, bunnies. They'll still be there next week and will probably have morphed into one super bunny which I can then dispose of in one quick motion. I can wait one week to increase my ease of cleaning. I'm willing to wait for the lint in my clothes drier to felt up, so you can just peel it off in one quick motion. I love lay-bys where you can convince yourself that it's okay to buy that expensive pair of shoes because you are paying them off at a measly $10 a week. See patience. Well patience and a dash of lazy. But I like to think it's mostly patience.
But I have a confession to make. Underneath my well practised cover of nonchalance and ease I have another, less patient and perhaps more psychotic, level. There are just certain things that get under my skin and turn me into a raging, irrational, lunatic. I'm not talking the big issues like racism, homophobia, sexism, religious intolerance, and people who are mean to waiters, all of which make my patience evaporate like water on my overheated car engine. I have no patience for ignorance and hate, they always make me want to hit the offensive person in question with an oversized Looney Tunes mallet, repeatedly. Instead I'm talking about those small, everyday issues, that normal people ignore, but just seem to flick a switch in my brain, and leave me frothing at the mouth like Cujo.
The Sunday drivers who have now decided to drive on the other 6 days of the week. The people who insist on giving the checkout chick their life story and inappropriate medical information, whist 10 other people are waiting in line. Or, conversely, the check out guy who decided to tell me his life story when all I wanted was to buy my milk and bananas and go home. No check out guy, I don't want to know that you are lactose intolerant and had to see a gastro doc, that's way more information than I want to know about the guy handling my produce. Please just give me my change so I can leave. When I go to Maccas and it takes them 20 minutes for them to make new fries. That is not fast food people. The toxic hair cream that promises to dissolve your leg hair in three minutes but always needs six, unless you want your legs look like those of a gorilla with the mange. The list is long. But all my petty lack of patience can be summed up by one device that never fails to bring out the worst in me. The Microwave.
(Doesn't she look happy? Note the Xanax glazed eyes.)
I remember as a kid being so excited when my folks brought home our first microwave (yes I realise how old that makes me sound). The miracle of heating a cup of water in 1 minute. The childish delight of putting pieces of tin foil in to watch them spark. Or watching eggs explode. I was living on the technological edge, my friends, and it was good. The microwave was a magical machine of mystery. The world was filled with exciting cooking possibilities. Special plastic cook wear. Cakes cooked in five minutes. Rubbery yes, but this was George Jetson food, and we convinced ourselves it was delicious. Those first few weeks of wonder when we sat around as a family to watch the miracle of space age technology. Halcyon days my friends, halcyon days.
Then reality hit and I realised we'd all been duped. Some grand microwave conspiracy was undertaken in the 80s. But the shine is gone and the bleakness of reality has set in. Who knew 30 seconds could take so long? I didn't. Not until that stupid 10kg of plastic and metal showed me. I was in blissful ignorance as to just how slow time really moved. Next it'll be telling me that chocolate causes haemorrhoids and that cake is not the cure for what ails you. Bastard! I want my innocence back. If medical science can re-virginate the most promiscuous of hussies, there must be some way to reinstall my blissful temporal innocence.
Now I stand there, waiting and waiting, tapping my feet, and apparently irradiating my ovaries. Willing the microwave to hurry up and defrost a slab of meat or heat my coffee. I find myself getting down to 5 seconds and compulsively pushing the stop button and retrieving my mug or plate. And every time I am disappointed. The butter isn't melted, my coffee is still tepid, the soup still has large frozen pieces in the centre, the chicken is only defrosted in two rubbery grey spots. What the hell microwave? You were sold to me with promises of convenience and time saving. But in reality you are an instrument of mental torture, sent to turn me into a rabid loon or fan of Kortney and Khloe Take Miami (giving each other Brazilians in the kitchen, yep that's quality TV). "People on the go will welcome an oven that makes cooking chores a pleasure", you lied International Microwave Ad man.
I know I wont be happy with my microwave until it works like the food replicator from Star Trek: Next Generation. When I can go up to it and say "coffee strong, white with two" and shazaam, it's there. Now that's my kind of technology. That's what I expect from my microwave. I'm sure I can be patient enough to wait the three nanoseconds for it to arrive. Though really I'd prefer it to arrive in two nanoseconds, or even better, one. Instead I am left with a device that doubles as a miscellaneous paper and dust depository, and kitchen bench space waster, that makes 30 seconds feel like an hour and a half, and lots of tepid, half defrosted food.
I know it's ridiculous, and really somewhere deep inside I'm sure I'm very ashamed of my petty lack of patience. But they do say admitting you have a problem is the first step.
I leave you with the words of wisdom from beloved Australian childhood character Blackboard from Mr Squiggle:
"Humph. Hurry Up. Hurry Up".
Patience is over-rated unless it's related to Guns and Roses.