Saturday, August 23, 2014

Time Warp

All of us have experienced the sensation that hours have gone by, only to check our watches to see that we've only been waiting impatiently for that friend or phone call or event for half an hour. We quickly realize our mistake, perhaps chuckle at ourselves and our impatience, and move on to more productive thoughts. For instance, forgiving that friend for making us wait so long.

At first, I thought my husband was just being impatient like that. He would say something like, "Where have you been? I've been sitting here waiting for you for an hour and a half!" In actuality, it had been more like fifteen minutes. I've been realizing lately that he isn't simply exaggerating. He really does think it's been that long.

His concept of time is becoming warped. How frustrating is this? Very. When I tell him ahead of time that we have an event coming up later in the day (in response to his query, "So, what's happening today?"), he really does think I've asked him to hurry up and get ready for that event, even though it doesn't start until 5 o'clock, it will take ten minutes to get there, and it's currently 11 a.m. Then he's upset and irritated because I'm not ready to go. And then he's frustrated and irritated because he thought it was time to go, and it isn't, and now he's going to have to wait.

And you're thinking to yourself, "Well, so, big deal. He's going to have to wait." For most of us, it wouldn't be important at all. We would find something else to occupy our time for a couple of hours. But for him, in this case, ten minutes elapsed equals an hour imagined. He'll be frustrated and irritated again as the conversation happens again. And again. And again. And, naturally, this is frustrating and irritating for me, too.

"Okay," you say to yourself, "Just don't tell him what's coming up." I know this because I've thought of employing the method myself. In fact, I remember saying that very thing to my Mom in reference to my Dad.

But here's what I'm wondering:  How would you answer his question, then, when he asks you what's going to be happening, and you answer him with enthusiasm because you think it'll be an exciting change of pace, something to look forward to (which it is)? I'm all ears.


  1. I wish I had something to help you but I don't. I think you play it by ear and whatever works, works. What a wonderful wife and caregiver you are. Hugs to you my friend.

  2. Thank you, Shelley! Hugs right back at you and Karl.