Tuesday, August 16, 2016

On Wasting Time

Brilliant engineers at top companies are working on perfecting driverless cars, freeing us up to play Candy Crush Saga instead of watching the boring traffic. I think an even better gadget would be an internal monitor installed under our skin somehow -- not sure how, but then I'm no engineer -- that would alert us when we are engaged in an activity that is a total waste of time. It could be called the Time-Waster Monitor.

For example, a while back, in a last-ditch effort to find friends in this heartless, rocky, cold state of Maine, I joined a group online called MeetUps. After scrolling through the many different choices offering a wide variety of activities I found one for the following Saturday that seemed appealing and signed up. There were just two other people there, but one was a woman roughly my age (let's call her Nancy since that's her name) and we seemed to click. After that morning's MeetUp activity we made a date to have lunch sometime soon.

A week later I went to Nancy's house and spent more than three hours with her. I ate the mediocre food she had generously prepared, looked at photos of her grandchildren, and toured her house filled with knick-knacks and souvenirs of her travels. Although tempted I never checked my watch once because I actually liked Nancy! Finally I took my leave, the two of us promising to get together again, possibly to go kayaking or hiking.

Later that day I wrote Nancy an email thanking her for lunch and saying, "Let's make a plan!" I attached the manuscript of my latest novel that she had insisted she would love to read, promising to give me honest feedback. Nancy replied, saying she was going out of town for a few days and would call as soon as she got back, but would start reading the book right away and let me know her thoughts.

She did neither of those two things. That was months ago, and I'm still annoyed about those more than three hours I wasted with her, and especially about the horrid little dessert I ate comprised of Jell-O instant butterscotch pudding in a graham cracker crust out of a box topped with a mound of mostly-plastic Cool Whip and a raspberry. Had I been wearing it, my Time-Waster Monitor would have beeped halfway through the afternoon, maybe sooner, and I could have left and done something of actual value, like go home and wash my car or pet my cat for a couple of hours.

1 comment:

  1. great cartoon. And I love the "let's call her Nancy since that's her name" hahahaa