It All Comes Too Fast

I know, I know: Too much hand-wringing and too much angst here lately. Should I have tipped him? This guy, that guy, the other guy?

Probably yes to all.

I tip all the time now, and have been tipping since my honorary kid from New York City came into my life. I wince at the memory of all those times ‘before’ when flowers were delivered me and I didn’t know enough to reach into my pocket for the dollar.

But “shoulda coulda woulda” huh? These days everyone uses that phrase, right before they say, “Don’t worry about it, What’s done is done, You did what you did” etc. It’s as though we no longer wish ever to look back and question our deeds or our motives. Kind of American of us if you’ll pardon my saying so.

Maybe we’re this way because we’ve been conditioned by years of listening to the newscasters, with their “And now this!”  “And now this!” Neil Postman called it the ‘the amputated presence tense of television’. There IS no past, and there’s very little future  – unless they’re trying to scare us to death with stories like “Is YOUR refrigerator emitting deadly fumes? Details at 11″ – in which case there is a future involving doom.

Mostly on TV it’s just that big wide sky of a Present Tense where this and this arrives like “incoming” in a war.

Sometimes you feel like Lucy on the assembly line, struggling every minute of the day to keep up with what’s coming at you.

And here’s that comic genius now, and above Laverne & Shirley, Lucy and Ethel’s heirs in a way, who were wised up enough to at least occasionally daydream at work. (And there’s one big fat generational division right there!)

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13 thoughts on “It All Comes Too Fast

  1. You have to run just to keep up, like Edith setting the table. It’s hurry, hurry all through the day. Why? So you won’t miss anything, even as time is imploding.

  2. I think running around trying to catch up with time is fruitless. The faster you run the farther away it gets. Time is a bit of tease that way. Plus you end up missing the time that surrounds you cuz all you’re doing is looking ahead.

    I used to be a runner. Now I’m a walker. When I ran, all I thought about was “being done running”. All I heard was my own breathing and flapping feet. All I saw was the world passing by in a blur. Now, since I started walking, I actually hear birds; see flowers, trees…even other people. So much better, no? Try slowing down. You might find that the things that you’re chasing will wait for you. And if they fall off the conveyor belt, then that’s one less thing for you to worry about. Besides, you’re giving all us freelance slackers a bad name with all your get up and go. At least this freelance slacker….

    1. Brian if you knew me! They called me the turtle in junior high as they watched me poking slowly home after school, my violin case bumping against my legs. Can you be slow on the outside and fizzing on the inside? That seems to be me…

  3. Tipping has always been a question for me I tip a dollar everytime I get a Peets coffee but who was supposed to teach that you leave money for a motel maid or do tip a hair cutter UNLESS its the owner then don’t tip?? Do you tip your mechanic? Seems to me more important to tip a mechanic than a flower deliverer who you will never see again.
    AHHHH LIFE!

    1. ah life is right. I didn’t know to tip folks who made up the room until I was helping run a weekend youth retreat with my church and Ginger the amazing youth minister on the last night said “: Listen up! $2 on the bureau from everyone tomorrow morning for the chambermaid who’ll be picking up after you!”
      I only met you once Becky but I am not at all surprised that you would tip a dollar for a two-dollar coffee.. 🙂

  4. Tipping cultures are the ones with the greatest social differences between the Haves and the Have-Nots, and with the greatest level of economic and psychological dependence of the poor on the rich. Every work is noble, and workers should be paid the full value of their work by their employer. Tip your doctor or your child’s teacher next time you meet with them, their reaction will be telling.

  5. Brian, I am a walker, but a very brisk walker. This is an everyday habit, one that I love, rain or shine. I have many routes, all walked with Angel, my . charming ShihTzu. Our favorite walk is the one on Fore River Avenue,running parallel to the seawall. The river extends into the open ocean, marked by a windmill in Hull. It is the pathway taken by the commuter boats, as well as the huge oil tankers being pushed by tugboats as they head toward the Quincy docks.. This is such a special walk, for it is different every day. The colors or sky and water are never the same, and even though we are fast walkers, we see and appreciate our surroundings – the many harbor islands, the pleasure boats on a sunny day, the children dipping toes into the water. On stormy days, the waves fly over the seawall,, bringing stones, seaweed and even jellyfish onto the street. Did you ever tiptoe through the jellyfish?

    1. Not even through the tulips. But I feel like I was with you and Angel every step of the way on that River walk….

      You’re styling on that new computer!

  6. The river walk is one of three throughout the day. We take to the hills sometimes, and stand on a clifftop where there is tarmac and a sign saying, “Private Property.” We stand there anyway and watch the planes leaving and returning to Logan Airport. There are always many going and coming, and at night they are like moving stars and comets traversing the sky. You can see the two Weymouth beaches, and Fort Point where the last hurricane decimated the houses there. Then there is Great Hill where Abigail Adams stood and watched the patriots of the American Revolution battling the Brits in Boston.

  7. Oh–I laughed throughout your essay on Walking. It deserves an award. I loved that about Florence and Abigail too. My Abby’s birthplace is an historic landmark in North Weymouth.

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