lessons in poise

I’m part of a group lesson in how to lower our shoulders—the charming woman at the front of the room says, ladies, you could even shimmy a little bit and, who knows, maybe you’ll get yourself a date, and smiles and demonstrates most delicately, and the group breaks into delighted laughter.

I’m driving with laura, and she starts to give me a hard time about how darn slow I am, how because I’ve taken a wrong turn I’ve basically wasted her valuable time that could be better spent elsewhere—and I start to stew and finally say to her, well, what’s the big hurry anyway? getting more and more steamed—but she won’t back down, she feels entirely justified in her position—and then suddenly we’re at a border crossing in Israel where the authorities are shutting down the road and telling the traffic from both directions to turn back—and a spoiled housewife in a camper is complaining loudly and asking just what she’s supposed to do now—and we all feel for the poor guys in uniforms who are dealing very patiently and professionally with a much bigger problem than this silly woman’s spoiled vacation plans.

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