COLUMN: The delicate dance of getting ready

It’s the festive time of year when folks are frequently out and about – company events, social occasions, family gatherings, etc.

On Point by Andrew Holota

It’s the festive time of year when folks are frequently out and about – company events, social occasions, family gatherings, etc.

I was sitting around the other day,

(not so) patiently waiting for my wife to get ready to go somewhere, and in quiet desperation, I mulled the complex synchronization process for a couple to “get ready.”

My learning curve in this respect could be judged as less than stellar. It took years. In fact, my wife might suggest I have not yet achieved full enlightenment.

Many of you, I’m sure, can relate.

Me: “Are you ready to go?”

Her: “In a few minutes.”

Me: “But a few minutes ago you said you were ready.”

Her: “I am, almost.”

Me: “Almost is not ready.”

Her: “Don’t pester me. I’m getting ready!”

As we can see, the interpretation of “ready” can vary dramatically between the genders, and I suspect, has for generations. If you and your partner have managed to switch these roles, or better yet, fully reconcile them, well, congratulations!

The first time I asked my eventual wife-to-be if she was ready, and she replied in the affirmative, I made the mistake of interpreting that to mean she was actually prepared to walk out to the car.

It is now more than two decades, but I have come to marginally appreciate that when she says, “I’m ready,” it actually means one of two things:

One: “I am now mentally prepared. I am satisfied that I have carefully considered what I need to do in order to get ready, and I am engaged in the process of doing them.”

Think of “Ready, Set, Go.” Note that Set is between Ready and Go, and that Ready is at the beginning of the sequence. It is a distance from Go. There is a transition through Set.

Translation Two: “I am saying I am ready because that is what you want to hear. If I tell you I’m ready, you go away for awhile and I can then continue to get ready. I am standing here not fully dressed because I have not yet fully confirmed what I am going to wear. Do I look ready?!”

She then offers if I really want to be helpful, I will help select an outfit. Eager to do so, I point at something.

“That.”

And that draws an immediate suspicious look.

“You did that too quickly. You’re just saying that to rush me.”

I now operate on the principle that we are ready when we are both in the vehicle and wheeling out of the driveway.

As in Go.

Now this next part I’ve known for years, but I still occasionally do it. I simply cannot resist the temptation.

“I’ve been ready for ages!”

That statement carries distinct circumstances.

The observation is painfully obvious. The past hour has been spent pacing, calling out the time, and making repeated tours to check on m’lady’s progress – and issue encouraging rhetoric.

Stating the painfully obvious can result in the “get ready” process becoming grievously delayed.

As well, when I utter the above statement, I must be absolutely and positively certain that I am indeed ready.

If I make this announcement, and then need to drive back home because I forgot something, she will be ready to throttle me.

Ready – as in now.

Andrew Holota is the editor of The Abbotsford News.