I have always had a Type A personality. Actually, make that a AAA personality. In my case, the triple A doesn’t refer to road assistance, and is not necessarily a good thing. Type A personality people are often stereotyped by certain characteristics, such as impatience. I have prayed for patience. Every day, I ask God to give me patience and give it to me NOW. Then He has to go and test my patience with slow drivers, people who are late for appointments, long lines at a cashier who is moving so slowly they could be declared legally dead, people who won’t get to the point of a story, or teenagers who won’t “zip it” with their ongoing drama. I could be a patient person if other people would just cooperate and not set out to “try” my patience. I find myself relating to the saying, “I had my patience tested. I’m negative.”
Type A people are also classified as highly competitive and critical of themselves when they don’t win. I prefer to think of myself as ambitious or driven, which sounds nicer than competitive. To me, “competitive” implies you will do anything to get ahead, including climbing over your grandmother’s body on the ladder to success when she falls and breaks her hip. I wouldn’t go quite that far. I would at least move her out of the way and call 911 first. But I will admit to a certain degree of verbal exasperation when Hubby goes out in rummy and leaves me with a ton of cards in my hand. It’s okay, he does the same thing when I do it to him. However, I don’t criticize myself when I don’t win at something. I criticize the winner. No sense in risking lowering my self-esteem.
Another trait of Type A people is they feel uneasy when they are not doing something productive. I’m not sure that attribute totally applies to me, as I can easily binge watch re-runs of Castle or play endless games of Solitaire on the computer—although I do admit to a certain degree of guilt for doing so. Not enough, mind you, to stop, but enough to prick my conscience for not being productive. But I am great at multi-tasking. I can talk on the phone, do the crossword puzzle in the paper, and watch the news at the same time. The only problem I have is when I try to write and multitask. I have written some pretty strange things when people are talking to me.
One peculiarity I have is my excessive time consciousness, which I blame on my AAA wiring. I often time every task, sometimes competing against myself to beat my time—especially with chores I find boring or unpleasant. For example, I can unload the dishwasher in five minutes. I can fold and put away laundry in fifteen minutes, sometimes less depending on what is in the laundry basket and if Younger Son has turned his socks and T-shirts inside out. If I’m in a more relaxed mood, I may take the time to turn them right-side out. Other times, I say, “to heck with it.” He’ll wear his clothes inside out and never notice (or care). I can dry my hair and put on makeup in fifteen minutes, sometimes less depending on whether my mascara cooperates or causes globs on my eyelashes. Making sack lunches for the family takes me ten to fifteen minutes, depending on whether or not I take the time to wash and prepare fruit. If I cheat and toss a Little Debbie snack cake in the bag, I can get done faster, although I feel guilty for not preparing a healthier lunch.
Hostility is a characteristic often seen in Type A people. I am happy to report that this is not a trait common to me—unless someone cuts me off in traffic and then goes ten miles below the speed limit. Then I wish I had a “smite” button. Or parks their grocery cart in the middle of the aisle while spending ten minutes searching for something, oblivious to the fact they are blocking the aisle. Still, because I am generally a nice person, despite my AAA personality, I don’t take my occasional bouts of inner hostility out on other people. I usually try to view these situations as God testing the patience I asked for. I save my hostility for computers, cell phones, and other satanic inventions that never work right for me the way they do for other people. Or robo calls. Surely God didn’t expect my patience to extend THAT far.