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Stats & Data

September 08, 2009


Take your time.  Stop and smell the roses.  Why do I find it so hard to follow this advice?  More often than not, I find myself rushing through most of my daily activities.  And to what end? 


Take eating, for example.  Whenever I sit down to eat, everyone else is only beginning to contemplate the repast laid out before them, while I am already half-finished.  Do I even taste my food?  And yet, I consider myself a culinary connoisseur.  I love getting the latest copy of Gourmet, imagining myself enjoying all of the creations spelled out in its pages.  But now I begin to wonder:  Am I a gourmand, or just a pretentious glutton? 


Anyhow, it can hardly be said that I am an impatient person.  I could be stuck in an express grocery line for an hour, while everyone in front of me has heedlessly ignored the “No more than 10 items” rule, and insisting on paying with a check (and from the length of time it takes them to write the check, you would think it was the first one they had ever attempted); yet you would never hear a complaint from me.  I could be caught behind someone at a traffic light, who hasn’t noticed that the light has turned green.  And I will wait patiently until the dumbass finally notices the change, pulling away just in time before it turns red again.  And even though I find myself sitting through another red light, never a cross word escapes my mouth.


So why do I find myself rushing through life?  I believe it is due to the society in which we find ourselves now.  People have lost the ability to do things at a leisurely pace.  And it can all be blamed on technology and the internet.  We want instant satisfaction.  Waiting for something or taking the time to do the legwork ourselves is no longer an option.  It used to be that if you had a question about something, you would have to take the time to find someone knowledgeable in that area, and pending finding such a person, put forth your inquiry to them.  Failing that, it was off to the library to look up your answer.


But now, all it takes is a couple of minutes consulting Wikipedia, and bam, there’s your answer.  How many inches are there in a mile?  I just googled it, and the answer is 63,360.  As I look at the word “googled” I just typed, there’s a squiggly little red line under it, telling me that it is not a word recognized in my word processor’s dictionary.  No, I didn’t mean to type “goggled” or “ogled.”  Don’t push off your “recommendations” on me.  I know what I wanted to type.  Give me a break!  But no problem, I’ll just add it to the dictionary, and now, like magic, it’s a bona fide word.  Now, really, I shouldn’t have needed to google “how many inches in a mile.”  Add “google” to the dictionary, so that damn squiggly little line goes away again.  Goddamn, you stupid dictionary, if I added “googled,” wouldn’t it follow that “google” is also a word?  Can’t you tell the difference between present and past tense?  If I didn’t have the grammar-check turned off, you’d be more than happy to point out all of my grammar mistakes.  Now, as I was saying, I should’ve been able to take the number of feet in a mile and multiply by 12.  I knew that it was 5280.  Or did I?  Actually, I don’t think I knew it was 5280.  I can never remember if it’s 5280 or 5820.  I believe that I even thought it was 2580 at one time.  But still, it proves my point.  Stuff that we probably do know (or, in my case, should know) we still have to look it up.  So not only are we impatient for the answer, but we suffer from lack of confidence in our own knowledge, always having to consult a higher power, just in case Alzheimer’s is kicking in a little early.  I just noticed I’m saying “we” here; but come to think of it, maybe it’s just me?