Waiting for Godot

Laura K. Silver is a trustee of the Jewish Light who writes a blog for the paper’s website (stljewishlight.com/laura).  She owns The Paper Trail of St. Louis, a financial and legal concierge service. Laura is married and the mother of two middle school age children.

By Laura K. Silver

Back in college, I read the play “Waiting for Godot” by Samuel Beckett.  If you haven’t read it, here is the Cliff’s Notes version:  Vladimir and Estragon spend the entire play waiting for Godot, who never shows.  There, I’ve saved you an hour.

Lately, I too have been spending a lot of time waiting for Godot.  This past week, Godot has taken the form of the lawn care guy. 

“When will he be here?” I asked his wife the day before, “I won’t be home until 4:30.” 

“He will be there tomorrow between 4:30 and 5:30,” I was told. 

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I got home promptly at 4:30 and waited.  I ate dinner and waited.  I sent my husband off to his 7:30 soccer game and waited.  At 8:30, I tucked my kids into bed.  It was dark and time to admit that I’d been officially stood up.  At least my pride wasn’t wounded.

I may be going out on a limb here, but it seems to me that in the age of cell phones, texts and email, there’s rarely a reason for Godot not to show without some form of notice.  He can pick up the phone, tell me he won’t be able to make it and that’s that.  He can send me an email or text and not even have to talk to me.  Life, for the Godot who wants to stand you up, has become easy.  Trust me, Godot is not too busy to call.  He just doesn’t feel like it.

But what’s the problem?  Is it the embarrassment of pathetically bad time management that makes Godot not call?  Is he afraid of what I will say?  If he intends to call or work for me at some point, wouldn’t it be better to try to get me to understand his circumstances earlier than to stand me up without an explanation?  Is Godot afraid that if he calls, I will fire him?  Wouldn’t I be more likely to fire him if he didn’t call at all?  Is he hoping that I forget? (I won’t.)  I simply don’t get it.

What I do get is the fact that I am finished being Vladimir or Estragon.  I’m picking up the phone and calling someone else. 

Godot can wait for me for a change.