Day 434: The Doritos Cure

I think it’s safe to say my post titles sometimes give readers the “wrong idea,” inviting them to assume a direction never taken.

This may be one of those posts, people.

In previous posts, I’ve written about

  1. Particular phobias/fears I have known (here and here), and
  2. Anxiety about keeping other people waiting.

I would now like to take the opportunity to dub #2, above, with an official phobia name:


Hmmmmm. I don’t like that title. It implies I’m afraid of waiting, in general. Now, I’m not denying that, but I need to be more precise, for the purposes of this post.

If this post weren’t muddled enough already, here comes a digression: I had to pause, right there, to wake up my son, for the first school day after the weekend’s time change, which reminds me of another fear of mine:


which is a too-general name for fears about having to wake people up.

Geeesh.  At this point, I am so far away from a hint of any cure — Doritos or otherwise —  I’m feeling a little phobic about that.  Are you?

So, where were we?  Oh, yes. Trying to come up with a good-enough name for the fears related to making people wait.

Maybe, what would help, at this point, would be to imagine a picture, related to this phobia of mine.


Whenever I can’t respond immediately — to a phone call or another request at work — I imagine somebody waiting, in pain. As a result, I can feel frantic.

A few weeks ago, I was talking to my supervisor at work about this issue.  She asked about my own associations with waiting and pain. And a personal picture came up, for me, of a little girl, in a hospital bed, waiting for pain medication, after surgery.

My supervisor and I talked about how pictures stick in the mind. We also discussed how a cure for old pictures can be … new ones.

We still seem to be light-years away from Doritos, don’t we?  I really don’t want to make YOU wait, in pain, either. So I will get there ASAP, I promise.

In this meeting with my supervisor, she asked me what pictures I imagined, regarding people waiting for me to respond back to them.  And the pictures were similar to the one I’ve included in this post, above.

She then invited me to replace that picture with something different, which might help reduce my Making-people-in-pain-wait-o-phobia.***

We talked about how — whenever somebody waits for a response for somebody else — they are rarely in just one state of mind for the whole time.  People have lives. They are distracted by other things.  She suggested that I replace the pictures of people in pain with an image of somebody doing something else, besides just waiting for my phone call.

She said, “Why don’t you … imagine the person eating Doritos?”

I don’t know how she came up with Doritos. I didn’t ask her. But since she and I have had that conversation, I’ve used that suggestion.

Now, whenever somebody is waiting for a phone call back from me, I can choose to imagine them like this:


instead of only imagining them in pain. I can remember that most people, waiting for a response from me, are not in pain, every single moment.

Okay!  I’m looking at the clocks around me. I see that some of them indicate I have plenty of time, and others are saying, “Not so much.”

Time to go to work!

Thanks to Rodale News and Confetti Drop (for the images), to those who wait, to those who keep others waiting, and to everybody else — including you!

* I found this image in response to “people in pain” in Google Images.

** I found this image in response to “person eating Doritos” in Google Images.

*** That’s the best phobia name I could come up, for now.  I am open to better suggestions, for sure. Take your time.  I can wait.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , | 20 Comments

Post navigation

20 thoughts on “Day 434: The Doritos Cure

  1. Doritos-anackting patients make your heart grow fonder, Ann.

  2. If I’m waiting for someone to ‘get back to me’, that tends to make me agitated. Can’t say that I munch on Doritos. But, I am reluctant to start doing something because they contact me at the wrong time.

    The worst case scenario is for them to completely forget. That poses a whole new set of problems.

  3. What you are describing is I think symptomatic of a general stress that many of us experience in a society that is very time conscious. I teach a special topics course every once in awhile on the history of time, but we also explore psychological perspectives on time and different cultural perspectives on time. The U.S. is one of the most time conscious society living by the clock. We are never far from a clock and further more the expectation is that the clock will be right because we often even count the minutes we use, have free, waste, etc. As a result numerous studies indicate that we are a society that doesn’t get enough leisure time and also feel additional stress by time. We are even relatively punctual when making plans for dinner, going to parties etc, We live in a world of deadlines, hourly wages, where time and money are equivalent. Perhaps you are somebody who feels stressed by time itself and as a result you project that stress on to others whose time you feel you are wasting as they wait for a response. And I realize how ridiculous it is for me to psychoanalyze you, but it’s only a suggestion. I have found that you can learn a lot about someone’s stress levels by trying learning about their perspectives on time. 🙂

    • What a great comment! I am grateful for all these insights about perspectives on time, which I find fascinating, also.

  4. Peggy

    Whenever I’m waiting I use the time to do something that I really like to do – like read the paper. I’m usually grateful for the time 🙂

    • You’ve helped me here, Peggy, expand my options, whether I am waiting for somebody or somebody is waiting for me.

  5. Ann, wait-o-phobia is a perfect word. You should start a twelve step program for us, for I, too, am afraid to keep people waiting. Step One: Admit your weakness, Step Two: The Dorito picture! Guess there’s no need for the other then steps.
    Great post.

  6. Great post. I had some sage advice once from a loving friend who said in response to a similar fear ” do you think every person’s world revolves around you?” Humbly taken.

    • This reminds me of something I’ve written here before: We are neither as important OR as unimportant as we fear. Thank you, Sue!

  7. As a person with long standing, er sitting, bowel problems, I always end up making people wait. Personally I would rather be healthy. (All puns intended because what good is bowel disease if you can’t make poop jokes?)

  8. I like this solution, Ann! I will try it out more often, while waiting with LESS patience than most would imagine my ‘cheerful’ self does!

    • I’m so glad you liked this, Robin. I must confess that I have my impatient side, too. Thanks so much for this comment!

  9. Well this is, as usual, an amazing post.The kind of post that makes me wish I could leave a bag of Doritos on your desk. The kind of post that makes me wish I liked Doritos.

    But the truth is, I like your cat. I like your missing gloves, too. I like your affection for parrots. I like your ten thousand anxieties and your commitment to gifting us with a post every day. I like your meltdowns and the way you pick yourself up afterwards. I really, really like Dr. Salem and I wish he would come to my birthday party (if I ever had a birthday party).

    But mostly, I like your cat.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: