I know people who, on a daily basis, make out a ‘gratitude list’, in which they write down all the things for which they, on that day, are grateful. It’s a nice enough 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 isn’t there also a need for balance, for reality in our lives?. Sometimes I think we in contemporary society have too much of an 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, they can only make you stronger and firmer in your resolve to never let the bastards grind you down.
Here are some of my personal betes noire:
* Snoring bedmates; snoring people in the next room; the next house; in extreme cases, one street over.
* Accidentally blocking the toilet in somebody else’s house, with the anxiety level rising proportionately 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 is rising ominously. Ironically, this is always an ‘accidental’ happenstance. I don’t think anybody ever blocks a toilet on purpose. Oh, maybe Charlie Sheen, but that’s about it.
* Slopping coffee, tea or a drink directly onto your crotch area.
* Spilling a hot drink on somebody else. I once did that on a train in England. As I passed through from the vestibule the train suddenly lurched an my coffee went right to the most tender parts of a lady sitting there. She screeched, but was fairly understanding. I felt like crap. I still suffer from memories of that incident.
* 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. But, at least the pee specimen is easier to produce than the one that has to be mustered at a fertility clinic.
* 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.
* 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.
* 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 who still possesses a driver’s license.
* Being in unrequited love. This is almost as distressing as being the object of somebody else’s unrequited love. Or, maybe even worse or potentially more destructive, being in love with somebody you are not supposed to have those feelings about.
* Flashing red and blue lights in the rear-view mirror, or a cop car going in the opposite direction that makes a U-turn on the highway immediately after you pass by knowing well you were going at least 20-per over the posted speed.
* Arriving in Levis and sweatshirt and realizing everybody else is in formal.
* Motel bathrooms with walls so thin you can hear somebody tearing off toilet paper (or tending to functions) in the abutting bathroom in the next unit. Also, motel bedrooms with equally paper-thin walls that abut other bedrooms.
*And, as we’re being scatological, a lovesick 17-year-old boy on his first date with a huge crushee and is standing on her doorstep hoping for a kiss when he inadvertently breaks wind,
* 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.
*Lifestyle questionnaires that indicate you should have died five years ago.
What are some of yours? Everybody else is itching to know