In thanks for minorly annoying people

I’m human, I tell myself, with my head hanging after leaving a message on someone’s phone – in response to a question which shouldn’t have had to be asked, by an annoying person.

I like some people better than others, and other people not at all.

But it is seriously good for me to be reminded that good-hearted, though annoying, people share the Earth with the rest of us (they probably find me horrid), and they are NOTHING like bad people.

I can’t fully control myself – but I can keep it to my thoughts, instead of my words and my actions.

I can even try harder, and, when I have the energy, give the annoying people (at least the ones likely to stick around) a lot more slack, and see if I can’t find something to make it possible to enjoy their company, since I’m not going to have any choice about the matter.

I can keep to my grumpy and misogynistic self when I’m low on fool-tolerance, and stay home when I can’t control myself.

And surround myself with like-minded friends.

But I’m not going to say that it is easy. Just that it is my Christian duty, and I take that seriously, if possible.

I know I get a pass on many things because I’ve been ill so long no one expects much of me.

But I expect it of myself.

I fear Alzheimer’s – and other dementias – greatly because there is a phase during them in which people lose their inhibitions, and say what they think. The phase passes, but I have until that hits me to root out some of these attitudes, or my children are going to be going around and apologizing to people “because, you know, Mother is losing her mind – she doesn’t really think of you that way.” And the people, mollified, will accept the formal apologies of my well-intentioned offspring (I do hope I brought them up right), and attribute it to senility.

Or possibly, those people will not be around. I hope not. I am not very good at this, and time is passing. I am running out of time for self-improvement.

It is already difficult to keep my mouth shut. I blame CFS for the lack of energy, and the loss of the ability to exert effort after the energy is used up. My brain doesn’t work. Really.

Meanwhile, guys, cut me some slack? I’m trying.

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10 thoughts on “In thanks for minorly annoying people

  1. Rachel6

    My major difficulty with annoying people is that it’s easy to talk about their flaws and annoying quirks, it’s easy to crack jokes about them. (In certain cases, all I have to do is quote them.) But and however, this is gossip and uncharitable and therefore a sin.

    And why brag? Out of pride! There’s something to keep me humble. 😛

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    1. ABE Post author

      As a writer (and a human being), it is far more important to observe the why. The reaction stems from our built-in desire to distance ourselves from odd people, so we won’t be assumed to be like them. That’s the first reaction. It shouldn’t be the last.

      I catch myself in prejudices all the time. So, I’m human. But I don’t have to act on them: I’m also a grownup.

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  2. Jim Self

    I had a thought some years ago that certain people were clearly stupid, and that there wasn’t much they could do to rise above that. I didn’t like thinking it, but it was hard to argue with the evidence of spending a good bit of time around one such person. However, I also realized that being stupid influences a person in a certain way. Stupid people are often humble, quick to praise, and very loyal friends. Perhaps I’m wrong, but that has been my observation. When I realized that, I found myself to be a great deal more tolerant of them. It seems that all our characteristics balance out over the long term, so that we are really all of the same worth, excluding bad-hearted people as you said already.

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    1. ABE Post author

      When you start bright, and then brain fog takes some of it away most of the time, if you don’t learn something from it, who’s the stupid one now?

      IQ only measure the ability to take IQ tests. But even if you are far superior to someone in current development (parent to child is a classic example), you have plenty to learn from the other person.

      I find out I’m wrong about things often enough to keep me humble – and I don’t mind it at all.

      And thanks for pointing out things – like loyalty – about someone who might be stupid in some ways. You are SO right. Lovely observation.

      I think it is the worst thing you can do to put someone else down to make yourself feel better – and that kind of self-esteem is very false.

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  3. Circe

    According to my boys, I am (at times) the single most annoying human on earth. This is especially true when I want something ridiculous like a glass of water, or God forbid!, food in a restaurant. My special “excuse me” also makes my other male relatives cringe. I confess: I talk during movies. Not loudly, but while I understand books, movies are challenging. “Who Is that the guy….?” In general, I ask too many questions. So dear ABE, be forewarned! Oh, and (blaming it on the ADD) I don’t have much of a filter. This can be useful, but also dangerous…mostly to me 🙂

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    1. ABE Post author

      I’m with you – I have special requirements. ESPECIALLY in restaurants – where I am paying. I ask with a smile, thank effusively when things come just right, and overtip – this is service, people!

      It drives my kids crazy. I will get my revenge when they are old and need a special diet, though I may not be around to enjoy it. The alternative is to sit there in a restaurant knowing you are going to pay for something that you are not enjoying. It is my special burden to have been gifted with a husband and three children who eat anything (thank God they didn’t acquire my pickiness).

      First I scour the menu for the thing I can have the most unedited – and order that. If they say ‘no changes,’ they won’t get a peep from me – but it has to be printed on the menu.

      Maybe they just envy us our ability to ask for – and get – what we want? I’m going with that.

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