When I was little and scared of the unfairness in the world, one of my sisters – I can’t remember which one – relayed the following Buddhist principle to me: “You cannot control what happens to you. The only thing you can control is how you react to it.”
While this made a massive impression on me, and still does, every single time I think about it, I am terribly useless at implementing it in my life.
Because while I’m not necessarily quick to anger – despite what people would have you believe about us redheads – I do get fire-breathing angry over the most irrational things…
An able-bodied person takes the lift to travel only one floor? My temperature rises a notch.
Someone neglects to use their indicators in traffic and stubbornly ignores your helpfully flashing hand. You know, the universally accepted signal for “switch on your indicator, you dangerous fool!”? My teeth start grinding.
People who leave the tap running because they’re too lazy to turn their weak little hands clockwise for three turns? My blood starts boiling.
That special soul who takes a phone call in a crowded space where no one can escape and then proceeds to make everyone listen to their long, boring, and inappropriately LOUD conversation? Steam starts escaping my ears.
I see people littering? Bring on the volcano, I am ready to MURDERDEATHKILL.
And this is only people doing stupid things. Don’t get me started on the perversity of inanimate objects. I have actually picked my TV up once in order to throw it out of the window because the channels kept on changing by themselves.
Okay, I’ve just reread this letter and I realise that I sound like a dangerous psychopath.
I’m not. Really. Everyone has these small, irrational things that make them angry. Really. I’ve just asked around the office, and unless I’m also surrounded by a bunch of dangerous psychopaths, these feelings of random, irrational rage are perfectly normal.
Tessa cannot deal with people who don’t rinse their plates, leaving globs of egg and tomato sauce all over the place. Marisa loses her shizz when people meander all over the place in crowded spaces instead of walking in straight lines. Annzra actually throws stuff at people who talk in movies. Carmen can’t stand it when people get your and you’re wrong. Tammy sees red when partygoers leave a bring and braai with more food than they brought in the first place, and Jess hates it when people use five paper towels to dry their hands when two will suffice.
So there you have it. Everyone has something that ticks them off. Here's hoping we can all keep our shit together.