Sunday, September 24, 2006

Hair Trigger

We went hiking yesterday. Up in the mountains the blueberry bushes are turning red, the blueberries are ripe and they make a truly lovely hillside of color. The blueberries are so sweet. We returned home with blue toungues and tired feet. A glorious day.

Remember my irritation diary? As luck would have it, i have not been irritated by the Mister since i wrote that. Except once. I wonder if the writing of it was helpful to me.

And about the once, it was my fault. I misheard what he said and assumed that it was something snarky, when in fact, after a few minutes of talking at puzzled cross purposes, it was all straightened out. Which brings me to my point.

I have known some people whom it seems are looking to be offended. I used to work with a woman who had this quality. She was in my office (ok, we had to go find a conference room because i had "rug space" not an office) at least once a week in tears over some insult, real or imagined. I felt both sorry for and exasperated by her.

Exasperated because it seemed as if she could take ANYTHING and find a way to perceive it as a slight.

Sorry because it must be so exhausing to live in a world where "Good morning" can be an insult. (Once i said "Hi" to the person sitting next to her and then "Good morning" to her. She was in my rug space within 10 minutes in tears wondering if i was mad at her because my greeting to her hadn't been as friendly as the "Hi".)

I quit going to a woman who had cut my hair for a long time because she kept acting miffed by every little thing i said. I do not want a miffed person near my hair while weilding sharp impliments. I'd say something like "My bangs are really getting long" and she would say "well, i'm sorry, i'll try and get them right this time." I had this at work, i didn't need it elsewhere.

I don't want to be one of those people. I don't want to be even close to being one of those people. So it was humbling to realize i had taken offense where none was intended.


Marshamlow said...

Those pictures are lovely, I am extremely envious of your hike and your introspection. I can be incredibly sensitive and at the same time very frustrated by others over-sensitivity. We are all only human, we do the best we can and when we know better we do better.

Anonymous said...

Waah. I want to live where there are pointy mountains.

Did you include those pictures just to make us flat-landers feel bad?

For whatever reason, it's nice that you haven't been irritated with Mr.

Yesterday, everything I said to my husband he took the wrong way. I thanked him for doing a lot of cooking and he thought I was suggesting that he should have been watching the kids, and on and on. (Very needy is he, but even when I try I still can't get it right. Annoying!)

Mignon said...

You know, I never looked to see where you lived, even though I've read your profile several times, and when I saw those pictures I thought "Hmm, looks very much like the Pacific Northwest coast," but somehow I just assumed you lived in Minnesota and I spent a considerable amount of time wondering how the flora in Minnesota could resemble Oregon/Washington so much...

But, honest, I really did READ the post too. And I agree completely that the constantly-insulted are a terrible burden and are soul-draining in any location: work, coffee shop, family reunion, whatever. Perhaps you were feeling sensitive for another reason at the time and just let the fragile-psyche leak over its tiny little mug in your mind?

Lynnea said...

Having read your blog for some time now - like right about when you started - I would have to say that at least online, you have never come across as "one of those people". Otherwise, I think your blog would be riddled with whiny complaining. Its got attitude, but not of that kind. :-)

I like the diary idea though, I'm thinking I may just give it a try. Truly smart idea.

Bob said...

Funny you should write about this, I had this very problem yesterday. My wife made a comment about a robe I had given her as a present last Christmas. She was tired and was having trouble getting it on. She said that it was pretty and soft and impractical and stupid. I was offended. Instead of learning something (not to buy that kind of robe again) I took umbrage and this morning I made a snide remark about it. Which, predictably, she did not like and we both left for work in a bad mood. I believe that the reason I overreacted was that I am going through a depressive cycle and am not on my best emotional footing. I also have issues with self worth and the two make for a combination where almost anything said can be construed as negative. Maybe your coworker and hair stylist have similar issues?

I am now thinking of ways to apologize to my wife and make up for being a jerk this morning. I don't think it will be with a gift of a bathrobe.

Anonymous said...

Meno, I've become a regular. Your writing and wisdom warrant that.

Regarding the perpetually offended, frustrated, and frustrating folks, I have a couple in my family. Their sickness is dining out, where they're pirates, plundering an occasion of happiness, and their captive waitresses are forver being pushed off planks: at the tips of their forks and tongues. It's so bloody awful.

I wish they were banned from all restaurants and doomed to microwave all their meals.

BTW, watching someone interact with a server is the quickest way to gauge their assholery quotient.

Anonymous said...

Bob, I love what you just wrote.

You're a wise and loving man.

Andrea Frazer said...

Are you referring to me in this post? Because, um... I have a rug... and I sometimes have people say "hi" to me... not in the most friendly tones... real or imagined. I'm offended. Not offended enough to stop reading, but righteously miffed.

Andrea Frazer said...

And for those pussies out there that really ARE offended easily, I'm KIDDING. (Funny post, Meno)

Imez said...

Those people are exhausting, aren't they? They make you feel all walled-up and stressed inside. I figure you can either be so gentle and kind with them that they're guard goes down, or you can remove yourself from them. If possible, do the latter. Life is short.

Princess in Galoshes said...

I do think there's a difference between just misunderstanding someone, though, and intentionally searching for the unkindness in the word "hi." Misunderstandings happen to everyone. And your response, to talk it all out, was much stronger and optomistic than the sulky, surly, pout-about-it-indefinitely option!

meno said...

marsha, so true, just trying to do better and know better over here in my little corner of the world.

hi de, yep, i put those pictures up just to make you feel bad! I'm glad my evil plan worked. :) When i am walking on eggshells with the Mister, it's usually time to take him somewhere quiet and ask him what the fuck his problem is, in a much nicer way than that of course.

mignon, i'm glad we got that straightened out! I'd be a lot colder this winter if i was in Minnesota. Perhaps you are right, because i could have just calmly asked him to repeat himself. Maybe i just needed some attention, who knows?

maggie, thanks for that, i don't believe that i am easily insulted. Actually, sometimes when someone is trying to subtly insult me, i just laugh. The frustrating thing about the diary is that i don't have anything to write in it yet. Damn it, the Mister WILL not be annoying. Although i know that will change, eventually.

bob, thanks for that great comment. I find it admirable that you recognize the real source of your feelings. It's also more important to know how to apologize than to be right in any relationship. In our house, usually a sincere "I'm sorry" and a hug work very well.

hi holly, welcome to the fun house, you can even have your own room! God, i HATE going to restaurants with people who feel that it's acceptable to treat the wait staff like shit. It gives me anxiety and ruins the meal. I say we create a blacklist.

mamap, ha ha ha ha. Great response! And if you are miffed, stay away from my hair with those scissors.

esereth, they ARE exhausting. I probably spent 20% of my managerial time with this woman, when i had a group of 19. Ugh. I think it's partly because she needed the attention. I wanted to call her husband and say, "would you PLEASE take care of this woman?"

hi princess, thanks for the support! I would like to learn to pause at the point where i become annoyed, and clear up the situation rather than getting annoyed and then embarrassed because i took offense needlessly. Maybe by the time i'm 80.