The Virtue of Waiting

“I have just undergone an ordeal,” I tell my roommate. Awestruck he stares at me, pondering tales of dragon-slaying or bar-fighting. Of course the truth is lame in comparison, but I’m what could only be described as a somewhat odd 20-year old yuppie, so what else could he expect. My ordeal was driving around for two hours in search of a movie that would “be good inspiration” for my upcoming thesis project. Now I had built this up to be something spectacular. One of my favorite directors, a solid recommendation from a respected film connoisseur, it was going to be good.

So off to the local store I go, and four stores and two and a half hours later I was holding a copy of both films I had been looking for that night. The long car ride around the city – spent alternately cursing bad traffic, belting out the Garden State Soundtrack, and talking on the phone – made holding these films even better. I was aggravated by this, but than I began to think about how my father must have felt, ripping the wrapper off an LP that he had spent the afternoon hunting for. I’m not even sure he did this, but I have a mental vision of him unwrapping Santana III. I’m watching him, he feels the feeling that I feel now about this movie that I’ve worked harder than I’m used to having to work to get.

We have become a culture unwilling to defer our pleasures. In the world of iTunes, I wonder if we can still benefit from the convenience of our era while still learning and valuing the pure ecstasy of the forced wait.

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