My (Almost) Encounter with Mr. Annoyed

Something happened today that made me think about where we are as a society, yes, but it also really made me take a look at myself. It made me think of who I used to be and who I am now. So, here goes, I was at one of my favorite stores, the Family Dollar. It’s close to my house, it’s cheap and it’s convenient. Obviously, because I go there a lot, I chat with the employees. I’m at the cash register and I asked the cashier for $10 over in quarters because I have to go to the laundry mat. He said yes, so while he was ringing up my stuff I started telling him a work story. I mean, it’s not like he stopped working as we were just chatting. He had to ring me up, I had to pay and then he counted out $10 worth of quarters for me. Not a problem, right? Wrong! It seems our chatting while he was working was too much for some dude standing in line. There was only one woman in front of him and like I said, we were chatting while he was working, the line was not slowing down or stopped because of me. I’ve been in those lines that have been stopped by someone that waited until the last minute to pull out their money or coupons or want to complain about the price of gum. I’ve been in lines that have come to a complete standstill for something stupid when I was in a hurry. I’ve been in those lines, so I make it a point to never be that person.

So, Mr., I’m in a bad mood or in a hurry, did the obnoxious sighing thing before he made some comment to the woman behind me, then he started mumbling things loud enough for me and the cashier to hear. The cashier and I being of the same mind, ignored Mr. Obnoxious like we couldn’t hear him complaining. Just to be clear though, I heard him and I got annoyed myself. I really had to stop myself from asking Mr. Rude what the problem was and did he really think, that his attitude was going to make us go faster because I can assure you, I will get chattier and friendly and go much slower, just to make Mr. Annoyed even madder, and that is the problem.

Years ago, I probably would have still ignored Mr. Rude, but I also think that it wouldn’t have bothered me. What I mean is, I wouldn’t have gotten annoyed myself. I would have just blown it off as being funny. Where did that girl go, that didn’t let annoying things like some idiot in line get to her? And why are people these days so quick to anger? Do we really have to express our annoyance at every little thing? Why are people these days so quick to verbalize their irritation to a complete stranger? What is that? Seriously, I would like to know. But what really concerns me, is my response then as opposed to now.

Joel Osteen says that you have to be careful what you place inside your mind. Careful of what you read and watch. I think he is right about that. I have always been very careful about not watching reality shows that seem negative to me. I mean it’s not as if I never watch reality shows, it’s just that I can’t watch the ones that seem overly mean-spirited. I don’t know if these things are real or not, but I don’t think it does anyone any good to watch people argue about the dumbest things. Why are they even around each other? They obviously don’t like each other and they never actually listen to each other, so why air their dirty laundry in public? I will never understand that. That was something my mother instilled in me. Do not argue in public, I think that is great advice to live by. If you argue in public, you are not only making something that should be private and making it everyone else’s business. I also think it’s just embarrassing and it makes you look like you have no class. I could be wrong but I don’t argue in public, I refuse to engage, it just looks bad and it makes the people around you uncomfortable. Wow! Sorry I went off on another tangent. I hate when I do that.

Anyway, the point I was going to make was that I really have to be more responsible with what I watch on television or read. What do I feed my brain with, because that affects my heart and how I feel, and how I respond. I don’t want to be Debbie Downer, so instead of watching reality TV that concentrates on toxic relationships and friendships or soap operas that are fraught with fake drama, but have a way of pulling me in, I’m going to make a conscious effort to read, watch and listen to things that are uplifting and positive. Like today, I discovered a podcast called Broadway Backstory that I loved and made my time in the laundry mat go by quickly. I love Oprah’s super soul sessions and there are plenty of positive and fun things to watch on television, like the Hallmark Mystery Channel. I don’t mean that I am going to stop watching the news or CNN, although I have stopped the CNN weekends (that’s a story for another day). I am just going to try to make it a priority to wean myself of the soaps and only watch one entertainment news show as opposed to all of them. I also really like talk shows but I think I will also narrow that down to The Talk and Larry King Now.

I feel better now, I have a plan. I am going to go back to that girl that was carefree and not easily perturbed. I don’t want to be that easily annoyed complaining person. I want to be happy, positive and optimistic. I want to be expectant and hopeful.