Owning my own business means dealing with people every day. However, I’m usually able to accommodate my frailties by limiting my exposure to sixty minutes at a time. This does not include dogs—for them, my patience is never-ending.
My dearest friends are folks that know they’re on the clock and will tone it down when I've reached my limit, while my family members often intensify just to watch my head explode. They can do that; they’re family.
When I re-read a novel I’ve written, I can see exactly where I started and stopped—after an hour I usually kill off a character, just because my time (and his) is up.
This quirk did not affect my child-rearing, except at night: if either baby woke up, I was good for cuddling for a limited time. After that, back you go, little angel—see you in the morning!
Once in a while I’m forced to stretch my limit, but only if I have a cold beer or a Snickers to see me through.
I’ve had a few gentlemen friends make note of my limitations and ask why I’m suddenly aloof. I usually make something up so their feelings aren’t hurt but if they’d clock in on arrival and clock out on departure they would notice a trend.
If I’m at home and company stops by, I adapt by excusing myself to sit in my car and scream; when I come back, I’m much calmer. Hoarse, but calm. And when folks call 911, the local authorities usually respond by saying, “It’s okay. She’ll be finished in a few minutes.” Small towns are like that.
My patience has lessened over the years. When I was in my teens, four or five hours spent with friends was okay, but by the time I hit thirty, it was two hours, tops. If I hit eighty, don’t even start.
I’m fortunate to have friends that accept me, flaws and all. Those that don’t, quickly fall by the wayside and eventually block me on Facebook.
If ever I’m in your company, please know that my limited patience has nothing to do with you—it’s just the way I’m made, nothing more. And if I excuse myself to sit in my car, don’t take it personally. I’m fine. But your hour is up.