Patience is a virtue, right?

“I have about an hour-and-a-half of patience left.”
My brother, a.k.a. Mr. Smooth, uttered the statement last weekend after spending three-quarters of his two-day visit here from Thunder Bay trying to figure out why his old truck wouldn’t start.
“Wow,” I said to myself. “That’s impressive.”
The Sunday afternoon was teetering on 5 p.m.—one hour past the time he’d decided to head back to the big city.
If it had been me turning the ignition key over and over again, and staring at the engine until my head looked like a question mark, I’d have stomped up and down, lit a match with the lightning bolts shooting out of my eyes, and smoked the half-ton long before my patience had time to run out.
And I’d still have had enough tantrum energy left to clean my entire house in about 15 minutes.
As much as I’d like to boast that I, too, was born with the patience of Job, sadly, I think I was behind the door when the storks handed out that virtue. However, in my neck of the woods of late, matters of normal human tolerance are clouded by merry menopause.
In any given nanosecond, the hormonal roller-coaster forces of evil cause me to start on fire in the middle of a cold shower or morph into Cruella De Ville and send every living thing in the farmyard scurrying for cover.
A woman’s day-to-day agenda is a big test as it is without being drafted kicking and screaming by the war department into the Change of Life. I suppose I should be thankful for some things, though. At least, for the moment, it would appear I’m not on the list for symptomatic weight gain.
In fact, I’ve lost 15 pounds since January—a direct benefit of no alcohol, no breads, no sugar, and plenty of exercise scrubbing tubs.
On the other hand, there’s a downside.
My apple-bottom and piano legs have shrunk, but losing bulk from “the sisters” and from the skin above my eyelids has caused those parts of me to droop farther south.
While an 18-hour bra can improve what’s abreast, where’s the hope for the slinking skin above my eyes, short of a scalpel wielded by a plastic surgeon?
Come to think of it, I could do what my dear Ottawa-based cousin, Carol, humorously suggested. Gals with eyelids like us can self-rejuvenate our smoldering youth by maintaining a constant look of surprise on our faces.
I set a mirror on the kitchen table this morning and tried that pose at breakfast over coffee. I looked 15 years younger for about seven minutes, then my eye sockets dried out and my contact lenses bonded to my pupils.
Peter walked in from his morning rounds, took one look at my wide-eyed “deer in the headlights” expression, and checked his pants zipper and his hair to make sure everything was buttoned up and beautiful.
As if he hadn’t seen that look on my face before.
It’s the same one I use to showcase disbelief when the space junkie that I am is overrun by the unorganized territory that accompanies a man about the house after his three-week stint away at work in the far north.
And it’s the same face I confronted Pete with just the other day when he insisted that his new diet program, which he began just two days before his work medical, included of a jar of Nutella and a dozen corn muffins.
It’s also the same bug-eyed look Mr. Smooth did not see when he jumped into the front seat of my new truck and ripped open a big bag of corn chips and a runny jar of jalapeno cheese dip.
He has no idea how close I came to sending him back to 1972 in a sewing basket.
Lucky for him, I was starving—and had about an hour-and-a-half of patience left.

Posted in Uncategorized