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February 23, 2010

I woke up this morning feeling like I needed to give kudos to Ali.  Yes, you read that right.  Kudos.  To Ali.  The thing is, I rarely give Ali any credit, not because he doesn’t deserve it, but more because I have issues conceding anything.  To him or to really anyone for that matter.  I’d like to thank my father for this wonderful trait.  Trying to get a compliment or a “you were right” from my dad is more impossible than justifying $7.99 for overrated almond butter.  As you can see I also have issues letting things go.  So as I add both of these unpleasant characteristics to my mile long list of things I need to work on, allow me to take a minute to give Ali some much deserved recognition.

Yesterday around lunchtime Ali called to tell me he would be working late and wouldn’t be home for dinner.  I didn’t hear from him again until after dinner when he called to tell me that his 1 day old car wouldn’t start and thus he was stuck at his office.  A few seconds after that our call dropped so I didn’t get the rest of the story until later, but luckily he found someone to drop him to his dad’s place (another 30-40 minutes in the wrong direction) so he could once again borrow a car.  Then Ali had to drive another 30 miles back home and when he finally got home it was after 9pm.

So here is the amazing thing:  despite  a long day at work, an unexpected work dinner, and a brand new car that wouldn’t start, I never once heard Ali curse, get frustrated or upset, or even raise his voice.  Instead, he came home and thanked me for being understanding and “saying the right things” to make him feel better.  Then he proceeded to make himself a cup of tea, became re-acquainted with his second wife (laptop), and started checking emails as if it were just another day in the neighborhood.

This morning was no different.  Ali avoided the gym like the plague, got dressed for work, patiently waited on hold with Roadside Assistance, and then with no mention of his predicament, he jumped in his borrowed car and drove off like it was any other normal day. 

I tried to imagine how I would have reacted if my new car stopped working after one day.  Considering that I dropped a few F-Bombs last night when our call got disconnected, and I ranted and raved to absolutely nobody about how much I detest AT&T, their service, their customer service, and their billing methods, you can imagine how much worse things would have been if I found myself in Ali’s shoes.  I imagine that in five seconds flat I would be on a 5-way-call with the salesperson that sold me the car, his manager, the fleet manager, the owner of the dealership, and my attorney.   I’d also have AAA on the other line and I’d be typing the words “lemon law” into Google.  I’d be cursing up a storm and then I’d come home and take it out on Ali and Maya.  Because as wrong as it is, that is how I operate.

I really want to learn a lesson from this.  I want to be calm and cool.  I want to stop being demanding and angry with people.  I want to roll with the punches.  I want to stop cursing like a sailor.  I want to do all these things, and more.  But it’s never going to happen.  Why?  Because as I write this my blood pressure is shooting through the roof as I imagine all the things I want to say to AT&T about our dropped call yesterday.  Yes, I am still annoyed about a dropped call!  I want to tell them how my calls have been dropping for years on the same stretch of the 405.  I want to demand answers for why they haven’t addressed this problem.  I want heads to roll and responsible parties to take accountability.  I want revenge.

Clearly I’ve learned nothing from this experience.  But kudos to you Ali for having the patience of a saint and for making the world a better place, one dead battery at a time.

34 Comments leave one →
  1. February 23, 2010 10:10 pm

    ali has the patience of a saint. or i have the patience of a 2 year old wanting a lollipop. either way, we can all learn from people who are more laid back. they probably live longer, not having all the minor heart attacks we self induce and all 🙂

  2. nadia khan permalink
    February 23, 2010 10:38 pm

    hey girl, don’t be so hard on yourself… i think i can attest, after 15 yrs of friendship, that you are way more calm than all that. and, do not have the mouth of a sailor. i can also attest that ali is super mellow and i would love to see his blood pressure rise over something. like most relationships i know, you two def balance each other, which is how it should be. as shaz always reminds me, take it back to your yoga breath. i’m totally with you though…one day at a time:)

  3. February 23, 2010 11:52 pm

    what an amazing post! dont be too hard on yourself, I consider myself to be pretty yogi-like in many aspects, but in certain aspects, i am a type a ball buster and dont take crap from anyone. And sometimes there is a time and place to be firm, or even a little beeotchy, my .02 of course 🙂
    Ali sounds amazing…what a blessing to have that presence in your life!

    And moving back to So Cal? Yes..we need to sell this house in Phx though. Sigh. But yes, we will be back to san diego and then, you and i can meetup!!!!

  4. February 24, 2010 3:49 am

    I’m working on patience also. I too am blessed with a patient and understanding husband. Thank God for that!!

  5. February 24, 2010 4:12 am

    Oh my gosh, I am always so IMPRESSED with people like Ali who stay calm in frustrating situations, because I GO CRAZY!!! I am the least patient person!

  6. February 24, 2010 4:51 am

    Such a beautiful, inspiring post! The whole world can learn from Ali’s incredible example – I am in awe of such calm and poise! He’s also a very lucky guy to have you encouraging him and writing such beautiful words for him… 🙂

  7. February 24, 2010 5:57 am

    That’s awesome that he was able to keep his cool. It’s the best when husbands complement our own personalities 🙂 (aka, calm us down!!)

  8. fitandfortysomething permalink
    February 24, 2010 6:09 am

    Love this! I agree I would have wanted to act like you described. Sometimes I wonder how people can stay so calm…..i will try too.
    Have a good day!
    Hope the car gets resolved.

  9. February 24, 2010 6:11 am

    Oh, to be calm and patient… what’s that mean? I dodged the AT&T bullet by about an inch… I was thisclose to using them, but then decided that I couldn’t live w/ being annoyed by my cell every day! (I’m much like you…)

    Umm I feel like the car people should have had a loaner waiting out front for Ali… at the very second that the battery died. But good for Ali, for being a nice, patient, functioning human being throughout the whole ordeal!

  10. February 24, 2010 6:36 am

    I’m always envious of people who manage to keep their cool through frustrating situations… but the envy quickly wears off and I find myself trying to convince them that they should be pissed off. It’s like… how can they not be!? The fact that they’re not just furthers my annoyance most of the time. Clearly, I could take some lessons from your husband’s zen-like attitude as well.

  11. February 24, 2010 6:41 am

    I am working on Patience too… I got my dad’s great genes of getting overheated and frustrated over nothing… and unlike me Raymond is calm and collected. I finally realized that all of this stress over silly things are making my hair go gray (don’t tell anyone about this) and are not good for my health.. so I became a bit more relax… now the only time you hear me cursing is when I talk about my boss I just can’t help it.. when I think of him I immediatly put the f** word in front of his name. I guess I am still working on patience :/

    • February 24, 2010 8:22 am

      Please don’t tell anyone that I have to color my gray hair too! 🙂

      Sorry your boss is such a jerk. Unfortunately that is usually the case!!

  12. February 24, 2010 6:59 am

    i sooo need to work on patience too. i think i’m getting better at it but it’s so easy to just get overly frustrated!

  13. Danielle permalink
    February 24, 2010 7:08 am

    I’m going to try to learn from this too. I’m the same way- I curse, yell, get angry, annoyed (I’m glad all of this doesn’t manifest itself through my blog lol). I really admire people who are so calm and collected.

  14. February 24, 2010 7:13 am

    Pertinence is a virtue… I guess its a virtue that I don’t have either! I get called out on my impatience constantly. I have a very short fuse and I let so MANY things get my blood pressure up. It is so bad that my boyfriend has nicknamed me his “little FIREBALL”!!

    I constantly catch myself telling people ” I am going to work on becoming more patient” but I have yet to do anything to actively work on it. I think I just feel better saying that I’m working on correcting one of my biggest flaws. Although I know “it’s never going to happen”!

  15. February 24, 2010 7:52 am

    • I think hotheads need patient men like that. My husband is extremely patient and it’s a good thing. I get angry quickly and if he did two we’d both be in jail. Good thing is that he keeps his cool, tells me not to make angry phone calls to AT&T (yep, we drop daily in DC), Comcast, or the neighbors next door who smoke like chimneys and blow it right into our apartment. I don’t understand how to have things just roll of your shoulders, but I agree that it’s a super trait to have. I envy my husband and Ali that!

  16. louisianagrown permalink
    February 24, 2010 8:21 am

    Ali sounds just like my dad! And (haha) you sound just like my mom. I like to think I ended up somewhere in between their personalities, but I always find myself in awe of his ability to roll with the punches. It’s on my list of requirements for a future husband. Something about guys freaking out is a turn off to me.

  17. February 24, 2010 9:15 am

    I love that you wrote this because it seems (hmm, since I had another baby and mother bear showed up) I, yes ME, am the hot head and f bomber in the house.

    hubs can get riled up but he’s the mellow one now. haha

    again, makes for fun stories! good for Ali. car troubles freak me OUT!

    hate em.

    have a happy day chica! I get to be home today! woo hoo!

  18. February 24, 2010 9:30 am

    There’s always a cool, collective one in a relatioship and a…well I’ll just call it “not so calm and collective” one. Just like how there’s always a messy one and a neat freak. Funny how we balance out in a relationship isn’t it? I’m definitely the “not so calm and collective” half as well. And these days with my daughter learning to repeat stuff we say I’m quickly learning that even F-bombs have an off switch. So hard being a mom sometimes lol.

  19. February 24, 2010 9:38 am

    You know, I think people like you and me end up with this type (calm, cool, collected) because we have a tendency to be a little…frazzled. I’m a control freak, self-proclaimed. When minor things go wrong, I am in a tizzy. When major things go wrong (and I consider unexpected meetings and car problems to be “major”), I am virtually inconsolable. I will rant and rave and curse and throw things. My husband is exceedingly patient. Not much rattles him. He’s like a little Buddha. He does have his moments, when something gets under his skin, but, mostly, he’s just very even-keel. I think my antsy-ness amuses him more than anything. He’s just very relaxed about life. I always think I need to learn from him. The thing is that he says he can learn from me too (what? I don’t know). I’m sure Ali is so appreciative of you for things that you don’t even realize. That’s the good stuff about marriage 🙂

  20. February 24, 2010 10:09 am

    Wow, big kudos to Ali for sure. We all could learn a LOT from him I think. I’m like you… one slight thing and I go berserk. I would be hysterical and in tears if I was Ali. I’m not one to rant and rave AT people but I get really pissed off and bite anyone’s head off who just happens to look at me the wrong way. Ah patience… I don’t have it and I’ve accepted that I probably never will.

  21. whydeprive permalink
    February 24, 2010 10:21 am

    Wow – I never understand how people can be so calm in these situations. Good for Ali.
    Ive had more than my share of car problems, actually, my car caught fire once on the way to Seattle. Yah, actually caught fire.
    I dont handle these things well at all. Im super impressed he stayed so calm!

  22. February 24, 2010 2:20 pm

    I should definitely take a hint from Ali… I probably would have cursed, gotten frustrated, and complained the whole way through.

  23. February 24, 2010 4:07 pm

    Ali should write a guest post and tell us his tips and secrets!

    I would totally be acting the same way as you. I sometimes cannot let things go, and want what is due to me. Yikes. I need to CALM down!

  24. February 24, 2010 4:10 pm

    Hahah…Ali, too cute!!

    I stew about things until I realize it is making it worse for me. I mean I really stew….not good!

    I am glad to hear you have a new car!!! Do you love it?


  25. February 24, 2010 4:50 pm

    Oh my god…I would have lost my mind. Honest to god, the littlest things make me nuts…its not good for my guts 😦

  26. February 24, 2010 5:39 pm

    I definitely need to learn from Ali too! My hubby is like yours — he always (or usually 😉 ) manages to stay cool as a cucumber no matter what…while I flip out.

  27. February 24, 2010 8:12 pm

    It’s hard to stay cool and detached – but since my personal experiences had taught me I made major mistakes when I didn’t calm down and think things over – I am trying. Oh well so many lessons learned the hard way! Good for you to have Ali to keep things calm. Kudos indeed.

  28. Kyle permalink
    February 24, 2010 8:23 pm

    Ameena, I have concluded that we must be long-lost sisters. I behave the same way, my co-workers tease me relentlessly and call me “the angry one”. I call it having high standards and a type-A personality. We want everyone and everything to be as perfect as we are and are annoyed when that is not the case and feel the need to fix it, immediately! I’ve tried to change it but have recently decided to embrace it 🙂 Although finding a partner as patient as your husband is a whole ‘nother can of worms! Where are they??! Thanks for the great post, I will try my darndest to think of Ali when I’m tempted to drop some f-bombs…probably tomorrow…heheh

  29. February 25, 2010 9:31 am

    Cute! This Ozarks farm chick will have to check this one out for the grandkiddos! I enjoyed your review.

    God bless ya’ll from the hills and hollers of the Missouri Ponderosa!!!

  30. February 27, 2010 1:23 pm

    What a GREAT POST!!!

    Everyone knows that person who is so calm, so lovely to be around. And everyone wants to be that person. What’s the secret, Ali? How can we be super chill and content and pleased with life, no matter what happens?

    My daddy always tells me that we can’t change who we are. That’s true, and comforting. But like you – I want to transcend and be better than who I am.

    Yoga, meditation, classical music, vegetables, and chocolate all help. None are the magic wand though. Maybe we need to just slow down?

    To totally change the subject – what kind of almond butter was overrated? I tend to think the roasted tastes just like peanut butter. But the raw? YUMMMMMMMMMM… anyway I hope that suggestion wasn’t mine! If so, I’m sorry 🙂

  31. February 27, 2010 4:01 pm

    So I’ve been completely MIA from the blogworld for two weeks now… exams and taking “healing leave” over ankle (;

    I have to say that this post especially resonated with me. I am just like you. And The Beast is so similar to Ali in temperament. I rarely see him lose his cool. Last week, I locked myself out of my car on the same day that I had my math exam. Needless to say, I was dropping the F-bombs left and right, and The Beast was trying to work his magic.
    You’re not alone sister.

  32. Jan permalink
    August 30, 2013 7:55 am

    Loved this.

    • August 30, 2013 11:06 am

      Thank you Jan. 🙂 And thanks for reading!

      I’m not sure I’m any more patient, years later, but I’m still trying to be…

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