Stay positive, man!
Forgive and forget.
Turn the other cheek.
Let go and let God.
Nah…Not this week. Instead, I’m going to let loose my rant on just a few of the most common things I run into that IRK me. And while you may find this negative, in fact I find the written release quite cathartic and balancing.
Now that we are all done talking about our New Years’ resolution and plans for successful execution, let’s move into those things for which we will not allow for our absolution. I invite you to comment on those things that most frustrate or irk you.
Be mindful that I will delete any comments from amateur therapists who tell me that it’s wrong to vent or ‘sound negative’. So c’mon and send me your best!
#1 LOUD THUMPING MUSIC IN CARS
How many times have you pulled up to a stoplight and either heard the car next to you or behind cranking up the music to window shattering levels? You want to ignore it, but the thumping bass permeates through that quarter-inch of skull and stays in here. Damn…how long does a red light stay red anyway?
I think that deep down inside, some of us would want to roll down the window and yell, “Turn that crap down!” . Just the same, our eyes slyly drift to find the culprit, if only for a second. Instantly, we measure him or her up for their potential response. Would they open the door and walk over to your window? Give you the single-finger salute? Drive after you with road rage? Or perhaps honor your wishes?
Standing up for the goodness of your ears may be even more difficult with those musical offenders having tinted windows, tattoos or wearing the ‘flat-brimmed baseball cap and sunglasses’ tandem. Multiple passengers in the ‘rolling-jam-session-mobile’ always makes voicing your displeasure seem that much more impossible too.
However, I have taken a completely new approach. When I’m alone in my faithful SUV and run into such characters, I will start moving my head side-to-side, throwing up my shoulders and arms – performing the ‘seat dance of death’. Other times, if I am right next to the thumping, I have been known to put MY window down and turn up my music even louder than the next guys. I feel a little like George Costanza in Seinfeld when he says, “We’re gonna’ take it up another notch.”
The new response has generated zero fights or angry outbursts. Some thumbs up, several laughs from the young crowd for my new dance moves, a few look-aways too. God, how I wish I could invent a radio stun-gun to temporarily disable the electronics. Dammit Jim…I’m a blogger, not an advanced electronics engineer from DARPA or MIT.
#2 THE PERSON WHO STAYS PARKED IN THE SPOT YOU WANT
I don’t know about you, but when I go to my local Starbucks (aka ‘Four-Bucks’) for my morning tea, the parking spaces are always filled. Ah, I just found someone who has come to their car door, gets in, and…and…
Okay, give them a few seconds to get settled. Wait! Why aren’t they putting on their seatbelt? Why are they pulling out their cellphone? Why aren’t they starting up the car? They…they aren’t pulling out – they’re settling in! Breakfast in a parking spot?
And don’t even get me started on people who park improperly, filling up two spaces.
#3 PEOPLE WHO ALWAYS TALK ABOUT THEIR KIDS
I have no problem at all when our friends or acquaintances talk about their kids and accomplishments – for a short time. However, we have a group of friends that do nothing but tell us about their kids’ great accomplishments every time we have a conversation with them. Every single time!
Sometimes, my wife and I get lucky and they ask us about our kids. But when we answer, they get that look in their eye. You know the look – when they are working very hard to politely listen to your response. But really, they are not paying attention. Instead, they are just biting their lip to tell you all about their kids and one-up you.
Do you know someone like this? If you happen to mention your child was potty trained at two years old, they’ll reply that their child was potty trained before he or she could even walk. If your kid can read at a 4th grade level, their child already has a book deal.
Is it that these parents are looking to live vicariously through their children’s lives? Do they have an inferiority complex? Insecurity about their job as parents? Are they pushing their kids to be too perfect, risking the little ones having future depression or a failure complex?
You know, I don’t need to be reminded about how incredible your kids accomplishments have been, in order to define them as a child, or you as a parent. Instead of what school your son got into, how gifted he is, or how many touchdown passes he’s thrown for, perhaps these parents might try bragging about their kindness and good nature. For example, how they have chosen, on their own, to help the elderly neighbor with their lawn, or help dish out hot meals to the homeless.
I’d sure like to see that on Facebook more often than their SAT scores and perpetual honor roll announcements.