Peevish moods, bouts of irritability, my feathers ruffled more easily than usual… That about sums up my moods in recent weeks, alternating with a sunny disposition otherwise, naturally.
Why is it that some of the time, the same annoyances carry no impact at all?
Is it stress? Sleep deprivation? What about hunger? I suspect that all are factors, along with emotional or physical pain.
The guy in the theater who won’t pocket the cell? The driver weaving in and out of traffic, though no one is moving beyond 10 miles per hour? The toilet seat left up (or down), that you usually don’t mind?
I may have promised no twerking (in the title), but that doesn’t mean you aren’t in for a little taste of “fowl” play… Join me in another blast from the past (via the archives) on the subject of ruffled feathers, instances of Irrepressible Irkdom, and merry mentions of the inimitable Chicken Dance.
Irritation Is in the Eye (and Ear) of the Beholder
Narrow-minded is in the eye of the beholder, right? And there’s always a story behind the story, and the reality that for every irritating behavior, it’s likely that we don’t know what we don’t know. In other words, we patch together an interpretation of intention, action, and a variety of results.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about what ruffles my feathers, and it isn’t just the instances of cleaning up messes (created by others), much as I might occasionally stare into a bottomless heap of dirty towels or an equally appalling stack of unwashed dishes.
I know what gets on my nerves over time; I realize I may be quick to add interpretations that were not intended, and that leaves me to wonder if my own (annoying) habits don’t bother the people in my life, and like me, in general, they stay quiet on the subject.
What We Love, What Disturbs Us
Having lived in so many places (and milieus), I used to think I was extremely adaptable. As I get a little older, I wonder if it is still the case. But I have perfected my public face when required, I dress the part for the role I’m playing, but my preference is almost always for environments that are low-key, down-to-earth, and involve a relaxed personal style. Around this household, we’ve been open in our discussions and the rules have been few: learning, respect, honesty, and laughter.
Near-fossilized socks on the living room floor? Not my favorite thing, but until they accumulate into a permanent art installation, no big deal.
Dishes in the sink? Same story.
No costume when I’m in the mood for the Chicken Dance? Bad news.
I’m far from unflappable; like most of us I lose my cool when people or words push my buttons. Insensitivity will gnaw away at otherwise good relations, and likewise an signs that I’m being treated with disrespect. And that takes us to the short list of what really irks me.
Expletives Deleted – Not
Expletives? No need to drop them into the black hole. Frank discussion? That’s fine, too.
What offends me are intolerance and injustice, not to mention language that intentionally denigrates. I guess you could say I’m old-school in some ways, new-school in others, and no-school-at-all-thanks, when it comes to many aspects of life. Language and imagery that offend some, though unintentionally, are the norm around our household; we speak our minds, and we try not to take ourselves too seriously… at least, not all the time!
We choose our words carefully – except for when we don’t – in our own home. Because we all need to lighten up. And language, in my opinion, is just one area where we ought to be allowed to express our playfulness.
Despite what I just said, I’m a stickler for the right word, especially when the wrong word can do damage. But it seems to me that too often in our culture, we go overboard to the point of flat-lining our conversations.
Ever found yourself so tongue-tied in search of a diplomatic term that you lose your meaning? Or stifling yourself to the point of a personal gag order?
I’m all for political correctness, but I miss the days when I could indulge in wordplay with my co-workers, when I could speak plainly among friends, and when we all didn’t have to fret over the Propriety Police giving chase.
What else bugs me?
The short list: dusty stilettos (time to fill the dance card), never getting to the point (constructively of course), cowardice in dealing with tough issues, my own at times impossible moods, and living by (unwanted) convention (born of a lack of imagination). And, well, might I add — no offense intended — I’ve had just about enough of twerking!
Your List of Irritants?
Feather-rufflers? Baleful bitching? Irrepressible Irritants?
- What gets under your skin — and tends to stay there?
- Annoying habits? More significant behaviors? Whatever you call a “bad attitude?”
- How has what offends you changed as you’ve gotten older?
- Are you tolerant of intolerance in others?
- Do you consider yourself adaptable?
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