Alright everyone, get ready for a little game of 'Name that TV Theme Song.'
What show are these lyrics from? "They're a modern stone age family." How about "No, I know, I'm no Superman." Try "See the money wanna stay" or "Making your way in the world today takes everything you've got." One more? "Your job's a joke, you're broke." I'll give you the answers, just not yet.
The opening credits to a TV show, backed by its theme song, can go a long way to establishing the setting, introducing the characters, and giving a sense of tone. Sometimes the song provides a decent synopsis of the show itself, like the lyrics from Gilligan's Island, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air or The Brady Bunch.
Some don't need lyrics to tell a story. Piano players were pretty eager to learn the beautiful theme from Hill Street Blues, or tackle the tune to Mr. Dressup, which I didn't know until much later was actually called "Casey and Finnigan's Polka." Right away we're back to that fabulous tree house, Mr. Dressup's amazing drawing skills, and of course that magical Tickle Trunk.
Opening credits are much shorter than they used to be, so now the viewer gets into the episode more quickly. Maybe we'll be less likely to search for something else. With some streaming options we can even skip the intro all together. The opening is seen as unnecessary—unneeded. Just cut to the main event.
Bypassing a theme song may not be a big deal, except that it points to a larger situation we are noticing—an increasing amount of impatience. We have become so restless we won't sit through 30 seconds of opening credits. Just extend that a bit and look at how our impatience is affecting us.
We don't want to wait for anything. We expect same-day delivery, instant service and immediate satisfaction. Fast food lines don't move fast enough. Stores have to promise more open check-outs to eliminate line-ups. We don't have time for friends so instead we'll just check out their highlight reel on whatever platform they are on—and promptly move on to whatever catches our attention next.
Impatience exacts a cost. Frustration and irritation affect how our bodies function and the American Medical Association points to impatience as a risk factor for hypertension. Put that impatience behind the wheel and unnecessary risks are taken. Then there's the impact on our financial well-being. Impatience is a factor in impulse spending and those who won't wait to save up money often carry increased debt.
What we aren't willing to wait for hurts others, particularly if we don't take time to listen or if we say things without thinking because we've become too impatient. Annoyance shows in our body language and it makes others feel rushed or unheard. What about the elderly, or those who might do something at a different pace than us? Our impatience says our time is more valuable than theirs—that what we need now is more important than their best efforts. It can make others feel less important—less valued. What a harsh consequence for those who simply do something a little differently than others.
Impatience leads us to make impulsive, poorly thought-out choices. Let's ease up so that we limit the damage to our health, our finances, and more importantly our relationships. Maybe a small step would be to take a moment and relax, perhaps even catch that TV theme song and watch some opening credits.
If you were patient enough to make it to the end of this column, the theme songs mentioned in the opening paragraph were The Flintstones, Scrubs, Suits, Cheers, and Friends. You also may have noticed that the title of this column "I Don't Want to Wait" is also the theme song from the 1998-2003 hit Dawson's Creek. Thank you for your patience. That's my outlook.