I already know that if I am irritated with anyone for any behavior any time, I should look to myself for that behaviors worst exhibitions. Why this is? Do I feel as if my irritating behaviors have been infringed upon? Co-opted? Improved upon?
I just know it fills me with dread whenever I feel irritation growing. Self-examination coming up!
Okay, so it’s hard sometimes to purse my lips (where did that phrase originate?) and do a heart-rate level walk at the same time. But I can accomplish it when my friend corrects EVERYTHING I say. She will inform me that three years earlier I actually phrased my statement in a different way. She will tell me that I am wrongly remembering what I said. She even tells me how I felt about something two days before and insists that I must have misspoken myself if I don’t agree that I felt that way.
I’ve been known to react. I’ve been known to argue. And I’ve been known to reply scathingly, “I won’t argue with you because I know you need to be right.”
To this she smiles smugly and usually says something to the effect that it’s all because she IS right.
Even though I find her “rightness” irritating as all-billy-hell, I don’t have to go to deeply into the memory bank to find examples in which I have corrected someone else over some picayune detail that doesn’t make the smallest difference to the price of tea in China. And I know that other people have noticed it. Years ago a marriage counselor asked me if I would rather be right or be married.
Heavy stuff! It was a hard decision.
All this is old news. I’m a bit more worried about the future.
I notice a few of my friends can’t finish a thought because they can’t think of a word. They are missing dates with me because they put things on their calendar, don’t look at their calendar, and/or have marked it incorrectly in the first place. In the case of the forgotten word, I get it. The calendar? I’m not sure whether their brains aren’t translating to their fingers, they can’t remember long enough to find a pencil, or they can’t remember where they keep the calendar.
The worst thing I’m noticing is the dithering. Dithering can take many forms. It can manifest in beginning sentences, pausing, looking either vague or confused, adding a few more words, and after several more reprises of the former; finishing the sentence. Dithering can also rear it’s ugly head on the way out the door. Step toward the door. Look confused. Look about one’s person. Start back into the room looking for something. Picking up a purse. Starting for the door. Feeling one’s throat. Heading back into the room. Looking around. Finding one’s scarf on one’s own arm.
Or in the kitchen. Start for the oven. Stop suddenly. Turn to the refrigerator and open it. Gaze blankly in. Close the refrigerator. Walk to the sink. Pick up a glass. Drink water. Turn to counter. Pick up a hot pad and open the oven door.
You get the picture.
The trouble is, I get the picture, too. I’m trying to stay cool. I don’t want to acknowledge that any of this regularly happens to me. Most of all, I refuse to get irritated about any of it. That’s getting too close to home.