Monday, February 28, 2011

Lunch with ex Shell buddies (Reminiscing Patience)

Had lunch at the NUSS Guild House @ Kent Ridge this afternoon with two old pals from Shell. As usual one of them was late - very late! Almost an hour. The last time I met him a few years ago at Vivocity,  he had kept me waiting for an hour too.

I am always the one waiting for people because I am usually early. It is a trait I picked up from my mom. As for patience, I had intensive training as a teenager. Sunday school and the Pulpit often had messages on the fruit of the Spirit. There was this girl who had asked my help to tutor her in math and often didn't show up. If the church office happened to be open, I called her from there. Mostly, I had to call her from home after I had given up in frustration. There were no mobile phones unless you have walkie talkies. I used to stand at the church's porch wondering when she would make a sudden appearance out of the apartment block and onto the pedestrian crossing. Years afterward, each time I drive past that crossing, I never fail to be reminded of all these. I even remember the meeting time: 7.30pm. Almost twenty five years later, she couldn't remember that she had regularly stood me up. What did she remember? The walks with her back to Forfar House afterward for those times she turned up.

And there was this school mate a year my junior. I had brought him to Christ and lost contact with with him after I went on to JC. Almost thirty years later, we reconnected through a mutual friend. We have tried countless times to arrange a makan or tea but never succeeded. Twice I waited for him for more than two hours. The first time we couldn't find each other at Tiong Bahru Plaza and I couldn't reach him as he had forgotten to take his mobile with him. The next time, also at Tiong Bahru Plaza he kept messaging me that he would be delayed. After two hours, I gave up.

I am fortunate that wifey is almost always punctual but I often get impatient when she is late even by a little bit because you can't stop and wait even for a few minutes on some of the busy streets at Raffles Place.

Why am I blogging about these? It is a time marker for the next time three of us meet up for lunch again. I wonder if we would again have finished lunch and still he hasn't shown up. I hopeful for a better outcome. I badgered him hard this afternoon. I had to; he had no recollection that he kept me waiting at Vivocity the last time.

I have matured from passive to active patience. I need it to cope with our schools and my children.

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