In years past, it used to be ASAP. Now in the day of instant gratification, ASAP has turned into IWWIWWIWI. I want what I want when I want it.
I Want What I Want When I Want It is actually the name of a song written back in – believe it or not – 1905. The song’s author – Victor Herbert – couldn’t possibly have imagined just what wanting something when you wanted it would mean in the 21st century.
Both Bill and I practically live with our IPads or our Smart Phones next to us or in our purse or pocket. Via one of these devices or the other, we can –and do – access information at the touch of a button. It’s hard to even envision a day when you had to look at an encyclopedia or dictionary to glean information.
It wasn’t that long ago that if you decided to purchase something, you had to wait until the stores opened. Life without Amazon is almost unimaginable. These days, when I want to buy something, I pick up my IPad, click on Amazon, find what I want, put it in my shopping cart, select Amazon Prime’s two-day free shipping, and the package is sitting at my doorstep in 48 hours. Soon it will be delivered by a drone. Someday I might only have to use the chip in my brain to place my order.
I occasionally forget to grab my cell phone when I leave the house. I remember it in a panic. What if someone is trying to reach me? What if I need to talk to someone right away? What if I need directions? I have to talk myself off the ledge and remind myself that there was a time – and not that long ago – when you had to talk on the telephone at your house. Sometimes the telephone receiver was even attached to the phone itself by a cord. And if I needed directions, I would look at a map. Or make a phone call before I left the house to get directions.
I remember fighting with my sisters when I was young for use of our one telephone, attached to the wall in our red linoleum-tiled kitchen. Heck. I remember having to wait until the neighbor lady was finished with her phone call because we were on a party line. (Look up party line on Wikipedia, Kids.)
And speaking of Wikipedia, I am perhaps Wikipedia’s best customer. I probably click on Wikipedia 10 to 15 times a day for one thing or another. And inevitably, while reading about whatever it is I felt I needed to know immediately, I get distracted and click on to a related topic, which leads me to another related matter. Before you know it, an hour has passed, and I can’t even remember what I was originally looking up.
I want what I want when I want it.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to go back to the days of party lines and reference librarians. I am all about FaceTime and Amazon and Google Maps. I like knowing that if my car breaks down I can call AAA using my cell phone. It just struck me funny that way back in 1905, there was discussion of any kind about wanting what I wanted when I wanted it.
Of course, upon looking into the lyrics, I learned that the song was all about the benefits of being a bachelor. Still and all…..
Believe it or not, I learned about the song from Sunday’s homily. Father Larry used I Want What I Want When I Want It as a launching point to talk about prayer. Remember last week when I talked about how difficult it is to reference God’s will when asking for his blessing? That’s because we want what we want when we want it.
Jesus told his disciples he was the vine and we are his branches. But Jesus went on to say, “IF you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.” The if is very important. In other words, ask for what you want and know that you can trust that God will do what’s best for you.
Excuse me. I want to go look up Victor Herbert on Wikipedia.