Easily irritated or justified annoyance? You decide.

By Melodee

Last night, while I rode my exercise bike and concentrated on the tiny print of Henry James’ Portrait of a Lady (which is taking forever to read) I may have been a little snippy when I asked my husband to, “TURN DOWN THE VOLUME!” of the television. He pointed out that I am easily irritated, which, hey, so sue me. Perhaps it’s true. I just want whoever is nearest the remote control to be responsible enough to monitor the volume, turning it down during the commercials and up during vital dialogue. Is that too much to ask?

Here’s the thing. If everyone I live with would just do things my way (ie. The Right Way), I would not be so annoyed.

For instance, here is the kind of thing I encounter.

Last night, 9:30ish. I’m reclining in the old green chair, afghan covering my lap, channel surfing, eating fat-free popcorn. I hear a crash. I do not even wince.

Moments later, a 13-year old emerges with the remnants of a Mary Engelbreit mug and a half-baked story about its accidental smashing. Whatever. I scarcely look up, but tell the boy to get a broom and clean up the mess. After all, if a busted artery were gushing, he’d be covered in blood already, right?

This morning, while passing through their room on the way to the laundry room, I notice the broom on their floor which irritates me. Why can’t these children put things away? Have I done this to them? Have I taught them to disregard my need for order? Did I neglect to teach them The Right Way? I also note that someone has ripped open a microwave popcorn bag, licked it clean and discarded it in bits in a pile on the floor. This, not surprisingly, irritates me and I make a mental note to rebuke the offender and make him clean up that mess.

A bit later, I’m in the kitchen putting away cooking spray on the top shelf and as I push it in, the bread crumbs container commits suicide, flinging itself onto the kitchen floor where it crumbs burst forth in a vast expanse.

The mug-crusher notices this and retrieves the broom. I say in a dead voice, “Great, now get the dustpan.” He disappears into his room, never to return. I start yelling for the dishpan and the other 13-year old wanders out, claiming he can’t find it. I say, irrationally, “I don’t care if you can’t find it! BRING IT TO ME NOW!”

We never did find the dustpan. This irritates me greatly and causes me to mutter under my breath, stuff about putting things away and, well, things I ought not to say. BUT HOW IRRITATING IS IT THAT MY DUSTPAN IS GONE?

I fashioned a piece of cardboard into a makeshift dustpan and cleaned up the mess, but not before one of my boys stepped in the pile of crumbs while peering into the kitchen and probably drinking the last drop of milk and leaving an empty container on the shelf.

My husband thinks I could fill a whole blog up with all the things that irritate me, which is probably true. (For instance, at a movie last week, a guy was talking into a lit up, walkie-talkie style cell phone during the movie. If I hadn’t been concerned about him having a concealed weapon, I might have hollered, “HEY, BUDDY! PUT AWAY YOUR PHONE, YOU THOUGHTLESS IDIOT!” What is wrong with people?)

I must note that my sensitivity to irritation is greatly enhanced one week out of every month and frankly, I find that irritating.

Originally published at Actual Unretouched Photo.

13 Responses to Easily irritated or justified annoyance? You decide.
  1. Dana
    March 15, 2009 | 2:54 am

    I’m too scared to comment. But then I just did. So now I’ve irritated y

  2. Dana
    March 15, 2009 | 2:56 am

    Uh-oh. I irriated you again because my computer had a glitch and sent that message before I was ready. Right. *bites fingernails nervously*

  3. Carrie of Ceaseless Praises
    March 15, 2009 | 9:20 am

    Yeah, I’m always good at recognizing when it’s going to be THAT time of the month soon…because EVERYTHING irritates me. And, yes, that IS irritating. 🙂

  4. AmyG
    March 15, 2009 | 9:47 am

    I feel your irritation! And had to giggle about everyone doing it “the right way”, which is your way. I say that all the time. There is only one way to do things around here…. MY WAY! I can’t help it. I’m a control freak. *sigh*

  5. Laura
    March 15, 2009 | 12:02 pm

    Maybe because I’m in the throes of being justifiably annoyed myself right now, but I think you’re absolutely justified in your annoyance. I was annoyed and irritated just reading all that happened to you!!

    Then again, it’s that “one week” for me right now so who knows how rational I’m really being. I may not help your case. Sorry.

  6. Brenda
    March 17, 2009 | 9:01 am

    I outgrew the “one week” and am irritable most of the time, but my family is learning to clean up after themselves FINALLY! Just awhile ago, my youngest daughter scolded her older brother for leaving a mess on the counter, he apologized and immediately dropped what he was doing on the computer to clean it up! *faint* They also have been after their dad when he forgets things! I was about to give up and think I never taught them right, but having to quit buying paper plates because we can’t afford frills seems to have done the job!
    How can I be irritable when they seem to be trying harder? Except for the TV volume, which is another story!

  7. All Rileyed Up
    March 17, 2009 | 3:30 pm

    All of those things irritate me, and I always feel guilty about the yelling. I’m glad to know I’m not alone. I’m feeling less guilty already. In other words, I vote for “justified annoyance” for purely selfish reasons.

  8. dev
    April 8, 2009 | 1:47 pm

    “If everyone I live with would just do things my way (ie. The Right Way), I would not be so annoyed.”

    Do you have any idea how incredibly arrogant that sounds?

    I understand its easy to get annoyed at these things, but that kind of attitude is going to manifest you nothing but more annoyances and people you see day to day will begin to think you more and more unpleasant the more you prove this attitude to them.

    Don’t let the little things get in the way imo.

  9. Amy
    July 28, 2009 | 10:12 pm

    I think I can be your best friend:-) Somehow it’s refreshing to know someone else feels the same way I do! I know it’s my problem that I get so annoyed, but seriously, people are annoying! Now, how do we stop reacting the way we do in order to be happier every day?!

  10. Anum
    August 9, 2009 | 8:17 am

    Well u can isolate things which irritate u the most so u can intentionally try to control ur anger and annoyance when those things happen, for example most of the instances uv mentioned are related when ur kids didnt pick up after themselves or when there was a mess around u…
    and second is when ur disturbed with noises when ur trying to concentrate…
    to be honest i feel the same way… and like brenda i too have outgrown the one week and im irritated almost all the time… sometimes i think id just be way more calm if i lived alone…
    messy surroundings irritate me… slow people annoy me, who talk stupid and keep asking questions and making u repeat the same thing uv mentioned twice already… i hate it when ppl dont do their jobs and keep forgetting things they were supposed to do and im always on time and everything gets upset cuz they were too irresponsible to do carry out their responsibilities on time…
    in short… 95% of the ppl around me at any given time do something or the other that pisses me off!
    but at the same time, i think… am i above all these ppl… dont i do the same things every now and then if not often?
    well i dont know, frankly most of the things that annoy me… im usually careful not to do those myself… which is why it makes me angry when other ppl dont make the effort to be more careful…
    i know im wrong, impatient…
    more often than not i dont express my anger or annoyance at all, but that doesnt change the fact that it makes feel very very irritated inside at the fact that same ppl with their same mistakes just refuse to change and improve themselves…
    whats weird is i havent always been this way… i was considered to be more laid back than most ppl about things, maybe thats why i dont always show when i get angry, tryin to uphold that previous repo… but since iv become more responsible i expect other ppl to do so too and the continous disappointment and repitition of things not changing and improving just ticks me off…
    i guess things wont change themselves… we just have to make a conscious effort of controlling our behavious and being patient and persistent with people around us… remembering that everyone has their own faults and though these may not be ours… we sure as hell have a lot of others, and if ppl put up with that, we need to put up with ppl… and if something does annoy us… its best that we mention it instead of just bursting up about it everytime….
    i sound like a person nobody wud ever wanna hang around with…lol…

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