I come from a family of “Rushers.”
This is not some ethnic inside slang for a relatively unknown Slavic country, but rather a perpetual state of physical being. One we have practiced, but not perfected.
We rush. A lot.
we’re always LATE.
It’s a weird club to belong to. Most folk don’t want to admit they’re a member and in fact deny any connection. Of course, we’re not quite organized enough to formally meet yet —to create some sort of support group that gathers in the basement of the Moose Lodge on Sunday nights and comes clean about the somewhat sordid high we all feel when we make it to any destination with thirty seconds to spare.
The sound of a door clicking shut behind you while you pull the tail of your raincoat out of the way in the nick of time brings a zing of euphoria to anyone living in this category.
I don’t want to be in this category.
I want to be a measured planner.
I want to arrive places with my hair done, my shirt buttoned, everyone fed and no shortage of breath.
I want to eat breakfast, brush ALL of my teeth, walk, not race out to my car, and avoid running over that squirrel because he realized there was enough time to make a lovely nut loaf for dinner and chat with a neighbor just over the yellow line and finally scamper off to safety before my car came upon him.
Instead, I am buried so deeply beneath my duvet that I sleep through my alarm clock. I wake only because the cat has tightrope walked along the ridge of my body and has started kneading my head to remind my brain where I have buried her breakfast.
When I squint at the time, I catapult out of bed, tweaking my back, limp to the shower, wash my hair with someone’s Super Juicy Cherry Bubble bath by accident, race wet-headed into my closet to filter through old laundry to find a pair of yoga pants with the least amount of sheep slobber on it and leap out the front door minus coat, the correct car keys and usually still sporting my highland cow slippers.
And if you’re a rusher, then you’ll know exactly what happens next.
I zoom down the driveway in my getaway guzzler, pop that puppy into a gear its manufacturers didn’t even know existed and race past herds of befuddled bovine, allowing the wind to dry my hair into what I imagine will be something convertible commercial sexy, but will end up hairdresser’s horror.
And that’s when it happens.
I believe this word was birthed from the term intractable, because these guys are simply buildings with wheels.
Where I live, the roads are built like coiling, slithering snakes. No straight lines, no sharply cut angles. Just curves, bends, hills and loops. You must go around, up and down mountains. There is no “as the crow flies” here. Even crows don’t get to do that. And any flat land found between those prodigious heaps of rubble is covered with crops or cattle.
We love our farmers.
Except when we’re behind them in their John Deeres.
After working up a lathered frenzy and recalculating just how fast I will have to go to make up for lost time, taking into account all the usual lawmen lairs hiding troopers who are waiting to protect and serve, I blow a kiss to the harvester as he turns down another dirt road for work.
And I wonder why the inside of the car smells like a giant bag of Starbursts.
Moments later, I am jammed in morning traffic.
I find myself tapping my fingers on the wheel, drumming a frenzied beat and talking to the red light I wait beneath, pleading with it to change its mind.
I press on the gas, slam on the break, switch lanes, give a wave, shout a sorry, press on the gas. Rinse and repeat.
I find a parking spot. Grab my phone. Run from the car. Run back to the car. Grab my purse. Run from the car. Zip through the door. Scan in my keycard. Race to the bathroom. Recoil in the mirror. Bolt from the bathroom. Return to the bathroom. Snatch my damn purse. Sprint to my classroom.
I roll out my yoga mat.
Detach. Escape. Focus. Breathe. Relax. Loosen. Release.
(sound of pistol)
And we’re off!
Don’t forget to check out what was cookin’ in the Scullery (here) and what we all talked about down in the pub (here). And to see more of Robin Gott’s humor–all from the only pen carved from a human funny bone, click here.
11 thoughts on “Hurry up and slow down!”
Hoo-ra! Hurry up and wait! Sounds like the U.S. Marine Corps. The picture or rather rapid moving movie you had running in my head was complete and quite vivid. I’ve seen it in action, I know the roads, missed the tractors by inches and yes, even slammed on my breaks (ok, Mom’s) slowing down 20 mph in seconds just prior passing that good’ol boys cop’er waiting just around the bend to give even his wrong lane driving grandmother a ticket. (You know, Mom’s minivan really handles like it’s on rails around your road at 70mph. Probably shouldn’t tell her that).
One would think that after nine years of training with the typical morning school bus/morning work routine, we too would have it down as to be able to wake up in a relaxed and refreshed George Winston calmness looking forward to slooowly and gracefully stroll amongst the day’s routine. But, no… not here, either.
No matter even if all the book bags are ready by the door, clothes for the day are laid out the night before, breakfast is ready and we have enough time for any surgeon to perform a typical kidney transplant, things would go smoothly and all would be done in time and enjoyed as if opening Christmas presents.
School day mornings are, well, rather like opening the gates of a feed lot angus beef bull ranch. It’s not for the meek. Sometimes it’s often easier just to stay out of the way and wait for everyone in the truck with my tea. Oh, and if I have to listen to ONE MORE MF DISNEY song on level 11, I’m gonna rip the speakers out of the wall. (I should probably go drink more tea, eh?).
I feel your pain Shell… minus the yoga part. I leave that to Crusty and the girls. (I did mention to you that a few weeks ago all three of them did Yoga with their mother in her bathroom, right? Comical but well worth my quiet corner of our house on that particular Sunday.
Gota go, there’s trouble on the front of who’s turn it is first for Monopoly-Twister-Life board game. Maybe I’ll just let their Mom make that decision and stay in my quiet closet, until they find me.
Lot’s of love and my best to the heard,
You know, it’s pretty much a given round here that if you get pulled over by one of Virginia’s finest and you roll down your window to reveal Barney blaring from your speakers and they see the glazed expression in your eyes, you basically get a free pass and one of their jelly donuts. They can feel your pain and you needn’t say a word. Learn to love the dino, buddy.
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Same brain, different body, Saryl. 😉 Thanks for reading.
Tractors are magical beasts that only appear when you are so late it hurts! They have distant cousins (tankers, little old ladies who can barely see over the steering wheels etc) but it’s the tractors who are the most consistent. Once in a while, when the stars are aligned, the tractor may pull over and let you pass just so you can guilty at swearing so much!
You hit it on the nose, PJ. And I’m fairly certain anyone sitting in the passenger seat beside me would have new-found respect for the delicate language of sailors after a ride with me at the wheel. Oops.
A good yoga class can almost make one forget about the tractor. There’s really something to it.
I’m going to guess that maybe it’s the corpse pose (savasana), yes? Because any activity that allows you to take a nap at the end of it is purely award winning in my book. 😉
love your writing Shell!! (ps – i’m the complete opposite, i’m obsessively organized and on time for everything. how boring).
Hardly boring. I’m guessing most folks would give their left lung to have a little of that “character flaw.” You go, girl! Lead the way. I’ll be somewhere about fifty paces behind you. There … pant, pant … but red-faced. 😉 Thanks for reading. xx