Blue Sky Writing

Waiting for Godot…

Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot is one of my favorite plays from the theatre of the absurd. I seem to spend so much of my waking life in that pleasant pursuit. Waiting. And waiting. And waiting some more.

I did some grocery shopping for my mother on Friday. Not a favorite pastime but a necessary one. Her idea of grocery shopping is to zig and zag in no particular order like a predator that has lost the scent of its prey. She arrives with a disorganized list or no list at all to wander up and down aisles, sometimes retracing her steps, sometimes stopping to let her gaze linger on glistening produce while the ice cream melts, occasionally relinquishing her place in line to go back to get something she forgot on the first, second and third trip past the display.

So I’m happier doing her grocery shopping for her than accompanying her on her unscheduled rounds. Left to her own devices, she could take three hours browsing through a thirty thousand square foot store, clueless, planless, list-less.

Me? Different story. I want that list ORGANIZED! I want items on it grouped by category. In sequence by department! And, of course, common sense dictates that perishables and frozen foods should appear last on the list.

I don’t want to spend a second more than absolutely necessary in the store. It should take 45 minutes tops to get a week’s worth of groceries. To shave even more time from the task, I push the shopping cart along with alacrity. Sometimes I skateboard. I sprint, hop on the bottom rung of the cart and careen down the aisles in search of whatever is next on the list. One way, no turning back, no impulse purchases. Everything must be done with dispatch.

Until, that is, I get to checkout. That’s where everything comes to a screeching halt. I can never seem to get it right. Never manage to choose the quicker checker outer. Always wind up in the slow lane, the lane with PROBLEMS.

Like Friday. There were only two checkouts to choose from, and I picked the one proceeding at a glacial pace. The person at the head of the queue obviously had issues, hunting through her zillion coupons, misspelling the store’s name on her check which, of course, was written johnny on the spot. Never do early what you can do while 10 people are waiting in line behind you!

The woman just ahead of me rolled her eyes. I rolled mine in response. We sighed in synch. Our angst became a dance, and we two-stepped in time to our shared impatience. Conversation was struck. Bets made. We bonded. Then the powers that be, in this case management, opened a third checkout.

Glory days! My new sister and I swung our carts toward the promised lane, eventual freedom and release from harsh fluorescent lighting. When we finally made our separate ways through the doors and out into the mist and the mud, we nodded our adieus and looked about in wonder. We’d shared a moment and, while we had, winter’s fist had unclenched briefly, turning the world outside into a soggy mess.

I checked the time on my iphone. What should have taken me 45 minutes or less had taken an hour.

And now I’m waiting for, not a “God-get-me-out-of-here” release exactly, but for someone to get back to me with news. Promises were made. Dates were given. Pleasantries exchanged…

And still I wait! That’s one of the frustrations of writing. You find yourself waiting for inspiration, waiting for feedback, waiting for someone, anyone, to come and kick you in the keister and remind you that deadlines delay for no one, not even your muse.

Guess it’s time to stop blogging and get back to business.


January 18, 2010 - Posted by | Life's little frustrations, Writing


  1. Waiting for Pointot

    Damvlad: It will come.
    Estrogen: Yes, I know. When it does, we move.
    Damvlad: Right arm.
    Estrogen: You mean right on?
    Damvlad: That’s right.
    Estrogen: On.
    Damvlad: Arm.
    Estrogen: But the point!
    Damvlad: It will come.
    Estrogen: Perhaps.
    Damvlad: Yes, perhaps, but why wait?
    Estrogen: Maybe that’s the point.
    Damvlad: It could be. Either way, we are waiting.
    Estrogen: True.
    Damvlad: Lots of people think there’s a point.
    Estrogen: Some don’t.
    Damvlad: Some do, some don’t, but either way, we must wait.
    Estrogen: That doesn’t mean there’s a point.
    Damvlad: What other point could there be?
    Estrogen: Do we even need a point?
    Damvlad: Some people might.
    Estrogen: Even if there’s no point?
    Damvlad: Perhaps.
    Estrogen: Maybe we should go.
    Damvlad: No, I still think that we should wait.
    Estrogen: Maybe that’s the point.
    Damvlad: Right arm.

    Comment by notesofasexiststayathomefather | January 20, 2010 | Reply

  2. Clever adaptation.

    Comment by Sammi Soutar | January 22, 2010 | Reply

  3. Loved it! Never realized a trip to the grocery store could be so entertaining and deftly described. Lady, you are talented! I will fling mashed potatoes on you any day!

    Comment by Dawn W. | April 24, 2010 | Reply

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