These are a few of my unfavorite things

I know people who, on a daily basis, make out a ‘gratitude list’ upon which they write down all the things for which they, on that day, are grateful. It’s a nice idea, you know, positive-thinking and all that. And there is no question that I have many things in my life for which I am immensely grateful, and the mere fact they are part of me makes me feel blessed.

But, there is also a need for balance of our life’s realiteis. Sometimes I think we just might have an excessive impulse to seek only “happy endings” to everything, rather than preparing ourselves to go face-on with those other realities — the crappy ones. Life is, after all, a trade-off. There must be a ‘yang’ to our ‘yin’ or we wouldn’t be strong enough to cope.

Bearing that in mind I, in a spirit of public blogger service, am about to help those who don’t seek to be wrapped up in puffy cotton, some of the things we must contend with — things that demand we expand our coping resolve. Don’t worry, the elements I mention can only make you stronger and firmer in your resolve to never let the bastards grind you down.

I have my ‘things’, you have yours, so it behooves you to create your own list. But, as follows are the irritants that for me make life seem just a little bit less blessed on my cranky days, but confronting them or enduring them can only make me stronger rather than just merely pissed-off. No, these are not things that are so bad that they would tempt me to ‘go postal’, just little, less than charming things and circumstances: (these are in no particular order):

– We all hate fingernails scraping on a blackboard. This is a universal, primal detestation, so I thought I would include it as the kickoff item.

– Snoring bedmates; snoring people in the next room; the next house; in extreme cases, one street over.

–         Staying in hotel/motel room with paper-thin walls in which you can hear from your room the inhabitants thereof arguing, copulating, doing unspeakable things in the bathroom

– Speaking of bathrooms and the activities therein, accidentally blocking the toilet in somebody else’s house.  Your anxiety level will rise exponentially if it is the toilet of a new love, your boss, prospective parents-in-law, or if the toilet just will not stop running and the water level rises ominously. I mean, you can’t just walk away and pretend somebody else was using it.

– Being unable to remember the events of the “night before.” Or worse, wishing you didn’t remember the events of the night before.

– Slopping coffee, tea or a any potable directly onto your crotch area. “No, really, it’s just tea – ha-ha-ha!”

– Having to provide a ‘specimen’. Having to produce one in the doctor’s office because you forgot to bring one with you. Having to hand that specimen to a nurse who turns out to be someone you had a huge crush on in high school or college.

– Stubbing your toe, biting your tongue or cheek, bumping your head. No dignity here, just excruciating pain.

– Waiting up for someone who should have been home hours earlier. Try to do it minus that sick feeling in the pit of your tummy. Bet you can’t.

– Responding to the smile or wave of somebody fantastic looking on the street only to find, to your mortification, their wave was directed at the person behind you.

– Parking your car in a rough neighborhood, returning to it at 2 a.m. to find a tire has gone flat, then being offered assistance by an individual who looks like he was rejected by the Hell’s Angels for appearing too morally depraved.

– Being caught in traffic gridlock and really, really having to pee.

– Nearing the end of a four lane highway stretch only to find you are stuck behind an oil-burning ’57 Rambler or the largest RV ever manufactured, that is being driven by the oldest guy on record to still possess a driver’s license.

Being in unrequited love. This is almost as distressing as being the object of somebody else’s unrequited love.

– Flashing red and blue lights in the rear-view mirror. Either that or a cop car going in the opposite direction that suddenly makes a squealing U-turn on the highway immediately after you pass by knowing well you were going at least 30-per over the posted speed.

– Arriving in Levis and sweatshirt and realizing everybody else is in formal.

– The sounds of sirens at any time, but especially at 3 a.m. They can only mean something bad has happened to someone.

– Virtually all governments, at any level in any place on the planet. Slight comfort in knowing yours is just a little more benevolent and a little more honest than the ones in other places.

– Airport security personnel. I know everybody wants a job, but most of those I’ve ever dealt with in any country would be happier working in an abbatoir.

– High school reunions. Nothing good comes from such things, unless you have a masochistic desire to revisit all your insecurities at the age of 17. Spending time with your parents if they’re still living can have a similar impact.

-Lifestyle questionnaires that indicate you should have died five years ago and that if you are still around, you shouldn’t make it past the end of next week.

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10 responses to “These are a few of my unfavorite things

  1. I have to agree with most of those, except for high school reunions. I’ve been to two of mine, and had a blast at both – probably because a surprising number of guys told me how great I looked and how they had really wanted to date me back then. That was quite the ego boost – until I realized that I only had about three dates in high school, so what the hell had stopped them?!? So I drank some more and felt better.

  2. Well, I’d like to have dated you in HS, too, but then I remembered your sister connection so it would have caused tongues to wag. Actually I think part of my problem was that I so hated my high school that I never wanted any connection with it after graduation. However, I have been to a few reunions at the HS I taught at and had a great time at it, including revelations from now very grown up women how they had teenage crushes on me. Probably a good thing I didn’t know at the time.

  3. Re blocking the toilet…
    Uffa Fox related how this happened to him on board the King of Sweden’s Royal Yacht.
    Even smart work with a poker would not dislodge the evidence.

    Mark you, it was a marine toilet and they always fill me with anxiety with all the valves and the horrifying results of getting the sequence wrong…so I suppose he was lucky not to be responsible for sinking the yacht.

  4. Well, I too hated high school and after a dismal tenth reunion, vowed never to return…As for the rest of your list, I remember having friends visit. One used the loo and emerged chagrined because of a blockage. This person had even tried to correct the situation with a plunger only to flood the bathroom. A second friend, waiting her turn, decided to visit the nearest McDonalds and use its facilities instead. I now warn everyone about old pipes…

  5. I didn’t find this to be negative at all, just really funny because there are so many things to relate to. I am blushing about the times I thought someone was waving at me and I waved back only to find it wasn’t intended for me. I wasn’t invited to any of my high school reunions but wouldn’t have gone if I was.

  6. I think the relative discomforts of being in unrequited love and being the object of someone else’s should be a post all its own.

  7. – Waiting up for someone who should have been home hours earlier. Try to do it minus that sick feeling in the pit of your tummy. Bet you can’t.

    No, I can’t especially if it involves my children!

  8. Reunions. Bleh. I’ve never been to any reunion and wouldn’t want to. If I’d wanted to keep up with those people, I would’ve. End of story.

  9. The thing that I really hate is when you bump into someone you KNOW (maybe not well but you should recognize them) and you totally forget who they are, their name, their context in your life. So you have an awkward conversation with them. Then you walk away and REMEMBER who they are. Embarrassing! Heh, I did it once to you! *blushes*

  10. Totally forgiven, Jennye. After all, we’d only met once and I don’t think I’d actually made the familial connection between Heather and you. Actually, I do remember that moment, but not in a negative way. And believe me, I have done the same thing with people.

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