The Annoying Side of Good Things
A few days ago, while I was driving, I had an overwhelming urge for the piece of chocolate that I knew was in my purse. My mother had given me two Dove chocolates the day before, and I had eaten one immediately. But the second one was in my purse. And it was calling to me.
My bag was on the passenger seat, and as I drove, I rummaged with my right hand, trying to find the wondrous little foil square. But I couldn’t. I felt a lot of lipsticks, and a few stray falling-apart sheets of Kleenex, a nail file I had looked for previously and could have sworn was not in that bag, some loose change that felt like sticky pennies, and a ballpoint pen – that even though I could only feel it and not see it, I knew would never write, since none of the pens in my purse ever wrote. It’s like once they jump in there, they dry up in dark sorrow.
But no chocolate.
But I was not discouraged. I knew that when I came to the next red light, I could actually look in the purse, and find the chocolate.
And guess what? For the remainder of my 35-minute ride, I did not once have to stop at a light. Only green lights for more than half an hour.
And I was so annoyed. I wanted that stupid chocolate so much.
But it got me to thinking.
How lucky is it to drive that far and hit only green lights? I should have been delighted instead of annoyed. And how many lucky things have happened to me that I did not appreciate because I was distracted by being annoyed at something else.
Aggravation seems to be stronger than Appreciation.
I remember studying my ass off for an exam, only to wake up to a snow day. Sure, I was thrilled that I didn’t have to go to school, but I was really annoyed that I studied so hard, when I had a whole extra day to study a little more leisurely.
I felt exactly the same emotion when I prepared for an important business meeting like I was taking the entrance exam for heaven. I so badly wanted to make a great impression. But the executive I was trying to impress had a last-minute conflict, and the meeting was rescheduled for the following week. I had a whole extra week to be even better prepared, and that should have been wonderful. But I was disappointed beyond belief. (and did not do any extra prep in that whole week, by the way).
And there was the time, I fell down some steps and was sure I broke my leg. And the doctor in the emergency room said it was only a sprain, and I should just elevate it. He didn’t even give me crutches for God’s sake. I really wanted crutches AND a cast.
Or even when my sunscreen works TOO well, and I come up from a glorious beach day as white as when I left the house.
And I rehearsed the most excellent argument to force that horrible store to take back the item I bought and instantly regretted. And that horrible sales clerk said, “Of course, we’ll take it back. So sorry it didn’t work out for you.” And then what the hell am I supposed to do with all that hostile and perfect outrage?
And most of all, I am annoyed when someone I really dislike does something sweet. I hate having to change my opinion. Why do unpleasant people have to be so damn nice?