Who Has That Kind of Time?
Those of us fortunate enough to live near Chesapeake Bay should appreciate the calming effect it has
by Lois Nutwell
A number of years ago, the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes made this observation. Calvin was lamenting how people were always in a hurry, didn’t take time to smell the roses, all the clichés. He looks at a box that he is about to put in the microwave, then shouts, Three minutes, who has that kind of time!
Not that I am nostalgic for the good old days; heck, I’m just kinda nostalgic for last week. You can’t watch television or open a newspaper without seeing the newest and smallest device to replace the newest and smallest one you bought two months ago.
It used to be that making a doctor’s appointment was simple. You called the office, a person picked up the phone and in five minutes or less you had an appointment. Now, after pressing 1, 6, 3 and 5, you will get to a voice telling you how important your call is, and oh yes, someone will get to you in less than 20 minutes. Who has that kind of time?
If only my computer had a hand that came out of the side and reassuringly patted my arm while it stared unblinking and shouted warning every couple of seconds after I accidentally hit the wrong button. Speaking of computers, when you have trouble with your Internet connector and you hunt through all the paperwork and find the toll-free number, the first thing they ask is if you checked their web site.
My latest experience with that oxymoron customer service was a recorded message at 6pm, telling me an item would be delivered tomorrow at such and such a time. It continued to tell me that I could change the date, but not the time, and gave me a number so I could do that. Had a real person been there, I could have done it in the same phone call in two minutes.
We are all so stressed. We have so many gadgets and devices, most of which have at least two remotes with 97 buttons. We spend time searching for them, since they tend to migrate into areas they don’t belong. We spend time programming them, only to have to do it all again when the battery dies.
We get upset when a little bump in the road threatens to slow us down. We’re always so busy, but sometimes it still seems that nothing ever gets finished. But do we ever notice when it’s spring. We all need that kind of time.
I’d like to think that those of us fortunate enough to live near Chesapeake Bay appreciate the calming effect it has. We can observe the change of seasons by the honking of geese, pick up fresh corn and tomatoes on the roadside, visit a pumpkin patch and cut our own Christmas trees. So when our traffic jams finally give way to old-fashioned narrow roads to our lanes, we are more than just miles away from stress. We begin to feel different, breathe easier. For we have entered a place where that kind of time is a way of life.
Nutwell, of Deale, is the author of A Ripple on the Wind, reviewed by Bill Burton on April 14. This is her first writing for Bay Weekly.