T: West, can you spare a few Patience Cards™?
Me: Sure, what’s up?
T: My mom called and they’re having issues with their router. She asked if I could come help my dad sort it out.
Me: *sympathetic silence* Please take what you need.
T: I wouldn’t ask, but I just loaned my sister my last two PCs™ because our cousin needs help with her resume.
Me: What’s mine is yours. I have nothing in the foreseeable future that necessitates any, so take ’em. Godspeed.
Patience Cards™ were born out of a desire to be patient with people you love.
Most of us don’t want to set up our own WiFi or tend to our own faulty sprinkler head, let alone someone else’s; but, since we love our family and our close circle, we suck it up and do it. And by suck it up, I mean, we utilize Patience Cards™.
For anyone sitting there thinking, “Huh? I’ve never seen a card like this,” fear not. They’re never seen. But trust me when I say you use one at every family get-together or holiday when Uncle Dwayne says, “What’s this Twitter thing? Why do I care if you’re eatin’ a damn scone?” Or when Aunt Nell says, “I don’t text and I won’t text. I pick up the phone or show up with a bundt cake.”
Oh, you use them. If you care about your sanity and preserving your loving relations, you use them a lot.
I wonder if any of you have had a conversation similar to the one I had recently with my mom:
Moma: I saw that filthy thing you posted about Pink.
Moma: That thing you put on Facebook about Pink that was so raunchy?
Me: I have no idea what you’re talking about; I haven’t posted anything in probably two weeks and nothing about P!nk.
Moma: Yeah, what she wrote to her fans after being sick and it had the F-word all through it?
Me: *deep breath, reaches for Patience Card™* OK, first of all, I didn’t “post” that, I “liked” her post. Second of all, it wasn’t even remotely filthy or raunchy—if what you’re referring to is her using the F-word twice, I didn’t even really notice because I just liked what she was saying about a being human.
Moma: Liked it, posted it—what’s the difference?
Me: The difference is huge. It’s like the difference in waving to someone or trying to seduce them with Marvin Gaye. It’s like the difference in saying hello and saying I love you.
Moma: OK, well, it came up on my Facebook page like it was from you.
Me: Moma, it didn’t come up on YOUR Facebook wall, it came up in your newsfeed—they’re totally different things.
Moma: *sigh* I guess I don’t see how they’re very different.
Me: Your Facebook wall is YOURS … it’s where your very own status updates go and things you physically share … it’s all YOUR STUFF. Your newsfeed tells you what OTHERS are posting and liking and sharing. So yes, everything I do on Facebook is going to come across your newsfeed, but that doesn’t mean I’m placing it on YOUR page or even on MY page, necessarily.
Moma: *shakes her head in a too-much-info way* Anyway, what made Pink so mad she had to cuss like that?
OK, but wait. Before you get too high and mighty about your technology-savvy place in this world, let’s get real. Don’t get it twisted; your parents used Patience Cards™ before they had a name—they used up every card in their arsenal while raising you. They were deep breathing, heavy-sighing, skyward-looking and mentally hashtagging #Jesustakethewheel long before you even had a smartphone or Facebook profile.
You think your mom didn’t go patting herself down for a Patience Card™ when you asked for a snack right after she sat down? Do you think your dad was able to hang on to his PCs™ every time you asked, “Are we there yet?”
How about that stage you went through when you wanted to tell jokes? You sucked up every Patience Card™ the extended family had at their disposal and probably forced them to call up their friends like, “Hey, ssshhh, got any extra PCs™? Olivia’s moved into a joke telling phase. She just took 29 minutes to tell a knock-knock joke—WRONG—and I wanted to fall on a sword. I owe you Dude—thanks, man.”
Side Note: Olivia: OK, I have the funniest story EVER! OK, everyone, OK, y’all have to listen, OK, so like, OK, so we went to the mall, oh my gosh, you’re going to die, this is SO FUNNY. OK, so we go in and like, so there’s like … Mom! Stop! I’m telling this story! So there’s like a gazillion trillion million people and like … Oh-Em-Gee, Mom! Seriously! Let me tell it!
Side Note 2: I just used a PC™ while reliving this story.
Your mom had to stash them away for six months leading up to school clothes and prom dress shopping. Please know this.
So yeah, when you hear, “Honey, we’re having trouble with the DVR and can’t get any of the remotes to control the volume or change the channel,” go ahead and forage for a Patience Card™, but know it was exactly the same for your parents when you wanted to major in Humanities.
The good news: Everyone has a supply of Patience Cards™ to use as they deem appropriate. It’s not a good idea to pull them out willy nilly for minor annoyances or inconveniences, though. You need to save them for the big things, like when your dad says, “We’re trying to book some tickets with our airline miles, but your mother can’t find our password and thinks it’s linked to her old Hotmail account that expired in 2008.” Don’t even deliberate—this is Patience Card™ worthy.
So is, “Sweetie, would you mind helping your Aunt Lou get her Kindle going? Be sweet—she’s still using dial-up, doesn’t have an email account and doesn’t think the rainforest in Brazil should have anything to do with reading a book. Good luck.”
One of the greatest blessings in all of this is that PCs™ can be given away. If you know your brother is walking into the lion’s den of setting up Apple IDs for a family of six, do the right thing and offer up a stack of Patience Cards™. You’re dang sure going to need him to return the favor when your dad says, “What would you think about helping Uncle Kenny move next weekend? He never missed one of your games growing up—might be nice to lend him a hand.”
Think ahead and use them sparingly. With a little planning, you’ll never be without. Pause before you blow a Patience Card on driving your sister to the airport. You need to hoard them for the times when your sister-in-law says your niece needs help organizing over 10,000 digital photos, because she’s had her camera set to start the photo numbers back at zero after each download, creating thousands of duplicates … spanning five years.
Ever been on a trip with your family, and all your plans for a particular day, revolve around a big, fun dinner at a place you’re all excited about? What do you do when certain members, who shun the gift of forethought, get hungry and want to eat an in-between meal at an hour that threatens to wreck their appetites for the feature meal?
That’s right—you grab a Patience Card™ and you hold on for dear life.
Is your son’s wife a vegan? Do you love her convictions? Sure you do; but don’t let that cloud your good judgment when it comes to bringing along a healthy stash of PCs™ to cope with her order.
“I’d really like to start off with your sweet and spicy chickpeas, but is your cane sugar filtered through bone char?” *Patience Card™ #1
“If so, I’ll just have the red pepper hummus—providing you don’t adulterate your hummus with yogurt.” *Patience Card™ #2
“For my salad, I’d like to try the spring corn asparagus one with golden balsamic, as long as you leave out the anchovy-laden Worcestershire.” *Patience Card™ #3
“For my entrée, I think I’ll go with the veggie burrito, if your tortillas aren’t cooked with lard and your rice isn’t cooked in chicken stock and you have a cheese alternative that doesn’t contain casein and the veggies aren’t near any Kafir or clarified butter. *Patience Cards™ #4, #5, #6 and #7
“To drink? I’d like a beer, but does your bartender know if your beers include isinglass, which as you all know comes from the dead skin bladders of fish?”
*Patience Card #8
“For dessert, I’ve heard your s’mores are fabulous, but I also know marshmellows contain gelatin, so I’ll just have a glass of coconut milk.” *Patience Card #9
So whether your mom is yelling over the phone while using her new car’s bluetooth feature or your aunt is FaceTiming with her device held at just the perfect angle to see nothing but nostrils—just breathe in, breathe out and reach for a fresh a PC™.
Final Sidenote: I want to go on record as saying relatively few of these are examples of my own wonderful parents. They are the BEST when it comes to staying current with ways to stay connected, in touch and a huge part of their kids and grandkids lives. I’m thankful daily for their willingness to text, email, send pics/videos and engage with us on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter—oh, and in person!