Take a Number


I remember going to the meat market when I was a little girl. We would walk up to the counter, take a number and make our way to the back of the line. One by one, numbers would flash across the board in red and customers would purchase their meat and move on. We’d stand and wait until it was our turn.

When I took Kayleigh to get her license, we grabbed another number and sat down on a chair to wait. The anticipation was building and as her number got closer, I could see the excitement on her face.

There is also a number in life. You don’t physically walk up to a counter and take one in your hand but you wait just the same. You wait for your husband to finish up his work so maybe you can have a conversation before its time to go to bed. You wait for your daughter to get home from practice so you can feed her dinner and clean up the plates. You wait for your son to finish his homework so you can finally sit down and take time for yourself. You wait and wait and then it’s time to go to bed. Maybe tomorrow you say to yourself as you lay awake hoping to fall asleep. Then you wake up and do it again and again. Everywhere you go, it’s the same thing. Take a number please, I will be with you as soon as I can. Days turn into weeks and weeks into years and one day you run out of numbers to take.

Time is so precious. Why is life filled with the wrong things? Endless hours of work, homework, chores, bills but when is it time for the living part? When will there be time to sit down and have a conversation without being mentally pulled to finish those “important” things on your list? When did family stop being a priority? When did couples stop spending time together? When did families and relationships start to fall apart so easily?

Take a number. You are right after folding clothes and starting the dishwasher. Almost time, you are up after helping with homework and checking email. Just a few more minutes after doing bills and watching tv. After many hours the sign goes up, sorry we’re closed. Come back tomorrow. Maybe one day you won’t come back. There will be no more waiting. You are not a number.

8 thoughts on “Take a Number

  1. koppieop

    I like these musings. Have had them myself many years ago, when I was a dime-a-dozen office worker in a big city, living in a suburb, one hour by train. I then had much fun imagining a short story. My character took a train in the opposite direction, got out at the last station, a small peaceful rural village, had a copious breakfast, a stroll to the small square, read yesterday’s newspaper, and had a great peaceful rest of the day. When he went to the office the following morning, everybody greeted him cordially, congratulating him on his retirement. The manager handed him a gold watch and flowers for his wife. But wait a minute, what was this all about, he was only 58, had still seven years to go! Then he realized that he was indeed 65 years old; the seven hours he had passed in the village, had turned out to be the equivalent of seven years of his real life. – It was fun making up the confusion. Now that I’m retired, I think I will actually make that train trip one day…

    Liked by 1 person

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