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  • I am always behind the shopper at the grocery store who has stitched her coupons in the lining of her coat and wants to talk about a 'strong' chicken she bought two weeks ago. The register tape also runs out just before her sub-total. In the public restroom, I always stand behind the teen-ager who is changing into her band uniform for a parade and doesn't emerge until she has combed the tassels on her boots, shaved her legs, and recovered her contact lens from the commode.

  • Rhoda is the kind of woman who digs up the mint outside her kitchen door two days after she has planted it, to find out if it has started to grow.

  • Mayo was anxious to leave and like so many enthusiasts seemed liable to turn a social escape into a jail break if anything threatened to hinder him.

  • What is destructive is impatience, haste, expecting too much too fast.

  • There is no sin nor wrong that gives a man such a foretaste of hell in this life as anger and impatience.

    • Catherine of Siena,
    • 1374, in Vida D. Scudder, ed., St. Catherine of Siena As Seen in Her Letters ()
  • People tend to become cynical about even the most appalling crisis if it seems to be dragging on, failing to come to term.

    • Susan Sontag,
    • "Approaching Artaud," in The New Yorker ()
  • ... impatience is the mark of independence, / not of bondage.

  • ... people feel so strongly in this country that you ought to be able to fix at once anything that goes wrong. Press a button and something happens. Then they try to manage our political system or our economic system in the same way.

    • Margaret Mead,
    • in Margaret Mead and James Baldwin, A Rap on Race ()
  • Everything comes to the man who won't wait.

  • 'No hurry, no hurry,' said Sir James, with that air of self-denial that conveys the urgent necessity of intense speed.

  • If I could really paint! A month ago I was so sure of what I wanted. Inside me I saw it out there, walked around with it like a queen, and was blissful. Now the veils have fallen again, gray veils, hiding the whole idea from me. I stand like a beggar at the door, shivering in the cold, pleading to be let in. It is hard to move patiently, step by step, when one is young and demanding. ... I walk along the boulevards and crowds of people pass by and something inside me cries out, 'I still have such beautiful things before me. None of you, not one, has such things.' And then it cries, 'When will it come. Soon?' And then up speaks art, insisting on two more serious, undivided years of work. Life is serious, and full, and beautiful.

    • Paula Modersohn-Becker,
    • in Günter Busch and Liselotte von Reinken, eds., Paula Modersohn: The Letters and Journals ()
  • I have been devoured all my life by an incurable and burning impatience: and to this day find all oratory, biography, operas, films, plays, books, and persons, too long.