Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Thou Shalt Not Be Irritable

"Sex appeal is fifty per cent what you’ve got and fifty per cent what people think you’ve got."

I told my friend Mary via text that I felt irritable this afternoon.

I'm tired of Blank Blank and Blank.

Actually I told her that I was tired of it all.

When Oliver was little, he used to say, I hate everything and everybody. He said that despite looking like this:

A face like an angel and a tongue like a scythe.

I wonder where he got that tongue?


A boy I loved a long time ago told me that his old grandmother, a southern lady said, You mustn't hate anyone but the Devil.

Thou shalt not hate.

I read an article this afternoon about a study showing that children brought up in non-religious homes were more giving and altruistic than those brought up in Christian and Muslim homes. This difference held true in adulthood as well.

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

A friend from whom I'm estranged told me, just before he disappeared from my life, that he needed a break from me. That was two years ago. It took me by surprise, and it hurt. We'd been friends since we worked as waiters at a fancy restaurant in Chapel Hill. I read Eudora Welty's Why I Live at the P.O.* aloud to him one night while we hung out in "the back," waiting for the host to seat customers in our sections. I really loved this friend and think about him periodically, especially these days. We would have had so much fun talking about the clusterfuck that is Amerikkka right now. Or maybe not. He might be all filled with gratitude that my complaining ass isn't around to bring him down.  The reason why I'm telling you this is because sometimes I feel a twinge of admiration that he basically does what he wants, even if that means cutting people out of his life if they get on his nerves.

There's freedom in that, speaking of liberty and the fourth of July.

Was I speaking of the fourth of July? I think it set me off on the irritability train, to tell you the truth. Here are the things that irritate me:

  1. the Fourth of July
  2. pictures of fireworks
  3. patriotism
  4. statements like "the ultimate sacrifice"
  5. people who believe so fervently in the 2nd Amendment and go to such great lengths to equate it with patriotism and American "values" that they drive around in a huge gas-guzzler in a parade. My sister took this picture somewhere in the Amerikkkan hinterlands:

I have no idea why these things bug me and why they've pretty much always bugged me. I think the fireworks thing this year is because it felt weird to be celebrating Amerikkka. It was a strain.

My friend is right that I complain too much. 


Except of course, you, Dear Reader.

Please, Dear Reader, tell me what irritates you.

*You can listen to Eudora Welty herself read the short story here.


  1. What irritates me? My new stylist (since we moved) can't seem to get my hair right. Trump. Our friends keep asking my husband to complain to their congress people about the high cost of medicine because he knows a lot about that. Trump. The one hundred shootings and twelve deaths in Chicago yesterday. Trump. We have an idiot in the White House. Trump. The fact that no one can see that the answer to health care is Medicare for all. Trump. Trump! Trump! Trump! Trump! Thanks for asking.


  2. I feel as irritable as you for all the reasons above. I am so glad to know there is someone else that feels the same about exactly the reasons you wrote.

  3. Right now, in Florida it's the fucking HEAT that irritates me. I mean, there are a lot of other things but the heat is just so overwhelming and brutal and...oh wait. It rained and now the heat isn't so bad.
    I love you to pieces. And you know it.

  4. We all have things that inspire or irritate... we don't really have to justify any of it with a valid reason, it just is what it is for each of us. Like your estranged Friend, I have on occasion had to cut people out of my life that just were not a healthy fit for me because I would never expect someone to change FOR me. It is always hard tho' since if you have been Friends, or are Related, you don't want to be hurtful about it. On the receiving end I've had people Move On too and it was for the best in the long run since anyone that CAN leave, well, they're not tied to your destiny anyway. I'm not sure I place much value in studies since I never know how they come up with such things anyway and the demographic they 'study' to use as factual data. I Believe a Giving and Altruistic person usually comes from a Family that is Giving and Altruistic so they've Witnessed those admirable traits, whether or not the Family was Spiritual or not. Not every Religious person has those traits, nor is any non-religious person lacking in them IMO. Right now Trump irritates me, but I suppose he's irritating a lot of America right now... and the World.

  5. I get this. And I can feel how much you miss your friend. i wonder what would happen if you reached out now. You're in a very different place than before. You never know. Love.

  6. IHEAE - my daily mantra.
    Regarding #3, Oscar Wilde said it best: "Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious." (Oscar is exempt from hating)

  7. I had a friend, we had been friends since we were fourteen, who dumped me because she said I was too angry. And the night before I left the home I raised my children in, as I furiously swept the floor that my soon to be ex husband was supposed to have cleaned, I realized that I had not been angry my whole life, I had been sad.

    Anyway. Things that irritate me.

    Condescending people
    Arrogant people
    Stupid people
    Racist people
    Mean people
    Loud, angry people, actually these scare me more than irritate me.

    Hope you're feeling better soon.

  8. I hate ostentatious displays of being religious or patriotic. Those people with flags in the backs of their pickup trucks make me want to howl with anger.

  9. I was just thinking that before the new school year begins I need to get a tattoo that says (in a gentle but sturdy font): STOP COMPLAINING. But then I couldn't figure out where I would put it so that I would read it often enough for it to actually help me to STOP COMPLAINING. I was discussing this with my daughter and she said she feels complaining is okay if you are also working to BE THE CHANGE. So I guess I need two tattoos.

  10. Omg. Everything. Everything and everybody :)

    Getting dumped by friends is so hard. It kind of makes me feel better that it happens to peopel like you, too - awful as that sounds, but I hope you know what I mean. Maybe it wasn't just you they were leaving, but the special needs struggle of your life too? That's something other people get to leave.

  11. "I realized that I had not been angry my whole life, I had been sad." Yes, Ms. Cedar, I have only recently realized that as well. That made me cry.

  12. 1. The Asshole in charge
    2. Men writers poets musicians politicians etc who believe they deserve to be on top simply because they were born with penises
    3. The fake pioneer woman who referred to her brother as the R word on four separate occasions on her blog then had it wiped clean but whomever did the wiping left the URL which still reads I have a R word brother she wrote that she can call him that because he's her brother so she's allowed. My brother and his son my nephew (who has Down Syndrome) disagree. I was sitting here on my bed on my do nothing but watch the butterflies day when her show came on the air and there she was parading her brother around like she was Jesus. I want to slap her.

    Thank you for letting me vent.

  13. So I am at Rachel's. She is buried in the south of the ultra Christian Right Trumpers. So I ride on a beautiful day a few miles down the road to her in-laws. A beautiful southern hosing development with trees, grew manicured lawns, flowers beauty all around. Then I see flags everywhere. Yeah I figured 4th of July.
    Flags never bothered me before. Put one out front on these holidays. This time these flags pissed the shot out of me. They screamed Trump
    And our Amerikka now. So false. Hiding such meanest behind all of that. Wanted to drive over all of their lawns. Flags have taken on a new meaning. Ugh.

  14. Ugh IPhone misspelled and changed words. Hope you get it anyway.

  15. I have lost friends because of my anger and my anxiety which acts like anger. It sucks and I always want someone to tell me no no you are not too angry. But I am. What irritates me? Cyclists yelling at me when I am on a bicycle. And 80 million other things
    It ain't pretty.

  16. We have a similar expression around our house, "I hate everyone and everything about everyone." I get that way too often to count.

  17. IHEAE = next tattoo
    Let's get matching ones . . . Or should we wait for Olivers 18 birthday so he can match too?



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