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Patience Is a Virtue (I Do Not Possess)

November 8, 2023

I have never (ever) thought of myself as a patient person, and I assumed my husband was a kindred spirit. In some aspects of life, his fuse is quite short. But when it comes to life’s most important waiting, Stevo is a pro. He is willing to drive his loved ones anywhere, at anytime, even at midnight, or when there is bumper-to-bumper traffic. When I was working at church, he was my Right Hand Guy, ever-patiently loading and unloading, setting up, cleaning up—whatever needed to be done.   

So perhaps it shouldn’t be a shock to learn that Steve has no issue with the inordinate amount of waiting around involved in film work. When he returns home after a day-long shoot, I get so agitated hearing about the incessant delays and retakes on set that I need to walk out of the room to compose myself. OMG! I cannot fathom having the patience to make it to Take #20 of that beer commercial, or to stay calm and collected as filming stretches hours past the projected end point.   

No, hubby sees the glass as half-full (of coffee), and the plate as super-full (of the ridiculous breakfast/lunch spreads put out for cast and crew.) Indeed, it has been his habit to post pictures of the studio table piled high with bagels and hoagies, as if he’s at the buffet on a fun cruise, rather than fueling to endure the malfunctioning camera, the endlessly re-adjusted lighting, the actors’ flubbed lines. I would require oysters, caviar and champagne to soothe my soul in those situations (and even then!)   

I understand that tedium and perfectionism are the nature of making movies and TV. For example, David Lynch’s Eraserhead took almost six years to make. Animated features are even worse. Toy Story required 27 animators, five years and a staggering 25,000 story boards. My son-in-law has an animation studio in NYC, and I have no clue how Gil keeps his cool. I know I’d be slapping everything together in a couple of hours, muttering, “that’s good enough!”   

I always thought that Patience would kick in at some point in my life. I’m still waiting (impatiently). If I had to suffer through my children learning to tie their shoes (confession: I was still buying them Velcro sneakers for college, just to avoid this ordeal), why couldn’t I do so while serenely humming Mister Rogers’ classic “Let’s Think of Something to Do While We’re Waiting?” Why did I always have Khachaturian’s frantic “Sabre Dance” pounding in my brain instead? Surely the mellowing of age would help? Nope! At this rate I will go to my grave thinking, “Oh good grief! Let’s get this funeral OVER with!”  

Steve has taught me much over the 46 years of our marriage, and I’m still learning from The Master. But I fear he’s met his match in this department. So, no thank you, Greta Gerwig! Much as I’d love to star in the Barbie sequel, you’re just too darned slow!

 

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    I am an author (of four books, numerous plays, poetry and freelance articles,) a director (of Spiritual Formation at a Lutheran church,) and a producer (of five kids).

    I write about my hectic, funny, perfectly imperfect life.

    Please visit my website: www.eliseseyfried.com or email me at eliseseyf@gmail.com.

     

     

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