Years after I was born I discovered that I suffer from a serious disorder. I was born with a condition known by its Latin name as Patientia Autem Minus Sufficientem.
Yes, sadly, I was born with insufficient patience.
For years, of course, I was too young to understand Patientia Autem Minus Sufficientem. I just thought everyone was too slow.
From the deep recesses of my memory I recall my first grade class’s portion of the 1954 school Christmas program. I have no idea what we sang or did but I was the first in line as my class marched onto the school gym stage. When I reached my assigned place on the stage I noticed that the tail end of the line was lagging. I irritably waved them onto the stage.
Though it was my intent to do my classmates a favor the audience began laughing. Years later I realized the parents and grandparents in the audience were laughing at me ̶ the impatient little fat kid. Patientia Autem Minus Sufficientem is not without pain.
Fast forward a few years. On the back of a box of Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes I saw a toy I wanted. Really bad. I completed the order form and mailed it with a hard-earned quarter to Battle Creek, Michigan.
A week or so later I began watching for my toy when I picked up the family’s mail from the local Post Office lock box. I suppose the order form carried the normal caveat, “Allow 4-6 weeks for delivery,” but why would it take that long?
Every Monday through Saturday for the next several weeks I rode my bike to the Post Office to get the mail from P.O. Box 371 but my toy did not arrive. It was exasperating. I stewed all the way home each day, my nerves shattered from this gross lack of customer service. The toy finally arrived about six weeks after I ordered it.
Years later I acknowledge that the stomach acid generated by this memorable experience was the result of Patientia Autem Minus Sufficientem.
Getting married and raising children served to temper the symptoms and age has helped me understand that patience is something that can be learned.
As a so-called Golden Ager, however, my Patientia Autem Minus Sufficientem affliction continues to flare up from time-to-time.
For instance, it’s lunchtime and I stop at a fast food joint. The lines are long but that’s life and I can handle it. What exasperates me is the individual ahead of me who has stood in line for 10 minutes and doesn’t look at the menu board until he gets to the counter. THEN he begins to contemplate on what he wants to eat and takes another five minutes to make the decision. It’s McDonald’s for pity sake, not P.F. Chang’s.
Another issue: there is a shopper ahead of me in a long line at the supermarket checkout. She chit-chats idly with other shoppers until her cart full of groceries has been completely scanned. THEN (and only then) she begins digging through purse or pocket for a checkbook. She could have written out most of the check while waiting in line.
Patientia Autem Minus Sufficientem often rears its ugly head in traffic. Just a week ago I was stopped (second in line) at a red light. While waiting for a green light, the driver ahead of me was messing around with something in her car (probably texting) and, as a result, was distracted when the light finally turned green. After about five seconds I tooted my horn and she jumped and looked in her rear view mirror, apparently to determine why the impatient fool behind her was honking.
The modern telephone; oh, the dastardly telephone. To do business on the telephone with many companies today one must visit Voice Mail Hell. About the 12th time I hear a recording say, “Thank you for holding; you are very important to us,” my lifelong affliction with impatience begins putting bad words in my mind. I try, sometimes in vain, to keep them out of my mouth.
Living a successful life with insufficient patience has been a challenge. Please give generously when a Wipe Out Patientia Autem Minus Sufficientem volunteer calls on you!