Dawdle: (v) to waste time; idle; trifle; loiter
I don’t know whether to apologize to the word “dawdle” because it’s so old-fashioned that it’s already up in the attic with dust all over it, or to feel sorry for folks who never had a grandparent speak to them tersely, “Come on! Don’t dawdle!”
You see, I didn’t know what “dawdle” meant when I was a kid, but I did know the sound of my grandparents when they were pissed off.
That was an era when grandparents were very dignified and would never think of saying “fuck you,” but with the same intensity of voice would call you a “pernicious dawdler.”
“Pernicious” meaning constant and unchanging.
And “dawdler”—a lazy mofo.
We call these words “old English.” Sometimes I wonder if they’re still spoken in England or just bandied about the royal palace by aging monarchs.
I think “dawdle” would suffer anyway—even if it weren’t so stuffy-sounding.
People, in general, do not like to be hurried.
Matter of fact, one of the worst things you can do if you’re waiting in line behind someone is suggest they speed up—or dare to act upset because they’re taking too long. (This usually causes them to slow down.)
But writing this essay makes me think about when I dawdle.
I now dawdle a little bit about going to pee. It’s not a big deal—and when I get there, I really enjoy myself.
And sometimes I delay by watching another television show—putting off getting my butt up to go to bed.
I dawdle over doing chores (although I never call them chores). Chores are things you would never do yourself, but somebody has suggested you address them. Yes, I have dawdled over things that people want me to do that I don’t necessarily want to do myself.
So I am grateful you can join me here, on the final day of “dawdle’s” life on Earth.
From now on, young children, when asked what the word means, will look with a perplexed face and say, “Dawdle? Isn’t that one of Donald Duck’s nephews?”