Sprezzatura

Because neurotic is the new black....

Ann Nichols

Ann Nichols
Location
East Lansing, Michigan,
Birthday
December 31
Bio
I write, I read, I clean up after people and I worry about things. I have a chronic insufficiency of ironic detachment. My birthday isn't really December 31; it's March 22 but it won't let me change it.

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Salon.com
MAY 8, 2012 7:53PM

Id Wins Again

Rate: 21 Flag

So I started to write this as a Facebook status, and then I thought about all the people who might read it and judge me for it. I had wanted to say that I was uncharacteristically angry today, that little things that I could usually ignore or forget are growing like those tiny foam animals that expand in a glass of water. I had wanted to say that I don’t like being angry, I’m usually not, and that in this particular moment it is making me sad that I’m so cross about everything. I wanted to say that it is totally unjust that I am sad because I’m angry because I can’t direct my anger outward at the appropriate targets. Who would, on top of everything else, judge me.

However

My Super Ego (and it is, by the way, magnificent) would like you all to know that there are no “appropriate targets,” that everything that is making me homicidal and bent and icky is really just a matter of my own interpretation. Everyone has a right to their own actions and opinions, it’s a free country, and if I don’t like what someone does that’s kind of my problem unless they are, perhaps, making a neat incision across my jugular vein with a box cutter. Otherwise, I can choose to react, not to react, and be totally responsible for my own state of mind without blaming other people. To do other than walk away with a sane, compassionate smile is to create drama for myself and those unfortunate enough to live in my Vortex of Doom.

However

When other people do certain things, it seems to me very much as if they are making a neat incision across my jugular vein with a box cutter. It really does. It feels as if they are tiny stones between my heel and my shoe on a long walk. It seems that perhaps, since I am the center of the universe, they are working together at a laboratory hidden in the hills of New Mexico on a formula that pushes every one of my buttons. They pour the green stuff, possibly “anxiety” into a big beaker with red stuff, possibly “judgment” and there is a POOF before the resulting brown sludge is pronounced ready. I think they drip it into my veins, they hide under my bed at night and whisper subliminal messages as they wait for the bag to empty through a stealthily inserted IV.

And

On a day like today, I feel all day that I am in the wrong. I am disappointing everyone, failing to entertain, failing to charm, failing to score so much as a point. I want to be cosseted, comforted, fixed, cajoled, heard, felt, loved, enjoyed, admired, attended, needed, and did I say fixed? I want a new drug, one that will break this spell and let me enjoy the coolness of the air against the warmth of the sun on this objectively beautiful day. I do not want to be adult, bucked up, reminded, schooled, responsible, polite, civil, rational, or mature. I just want everyone who is annoying me to fall into a dark hole where they will be forced to listen to Celine Dion 24-7 and eat nothing but gas station candy with that fake, waxy chocolate.

But

Maybe a good cry will help. Maybe a primal scream, a brisk walk, or a little ventilatory writing.  Until then, I’m focused on that hole full of annoying people, imagining the moment when they smack their assorted heads and realize that they have Done Wrong to torment me. They will forswear their box cutters and their secret laboratory. Their collective agony will be delicious, they will burn with desire to atone, apologize, and buy me a drink. It will be just like when I was seven and I knew how sorry my parents would be when they discovered that I had DIED because they sent me to my room without dinner.

Or maybe just a good cry.

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Comments

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I hate to say this...but it's not you. It really is them.
I so get this. Got it on FB, get it now. I think it might be called being a woman. I cried at the hairdresser. And I love the shout out to Maurice Sendak. Well done, as always.
Eeewwwww. Gas station candy. Do not want. I'll be good. See? I just rated this.
Although I make my share of mistakes, when I feel that someone's done me wrong, I've learned to count to ten and sometimes to twenty... shake my head and walk away... there are, however, pathological assholes and the best way I've found to deal with them is not only to walk away but never, ever return... some people just aren't worth the trouble. Will it make any difference tomorrow? Next week? Will you even remember it happened in a month? A year from now? Life's too damn short to get pissed, much less feel guilty about it.
This is great. I thought I was the only one that felt like this...
r./
Crying is good....or as Sheldon from The Big Bang would say...."There, there...here's a hot beverage...." My mantra -- embrace the pissy...
Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! (sorry, fingers jammed on the Hey! keys) Gas station candy tastes pretty darned good when you're desperate for a sugar fix - with fiber (ruling out sodas and such), and you happen to have just the right number and type of coins to get that sucker out of the machine and into your hand. If it's on a shelf behind the cashier, well, that's a whooole 'nother bar of wax.

Cry. It's good to do now and again. Fun, even, if nobody's around, for no reason at all. I just may let go with a good one right now...
Hey, direct that anger outward, the only ones who might judge you are the exact asshats who deserve a slap upside the head. Life has been doing me wrong for a while, especially some of the very people who are supposed to be helping me. So. I. Get. It. Then I let a few people have it, face to face, unleashing righteous anger. And got results. It can happen. Hope you know who loves you and has your back.. I'm in that line.
This is sublime, Ann. I have many, many people I'd like to consign to that circle of hell with Celine Dion and gas station candy. Oh, so many. Thanks for giving me their appropriate punishment.
I get it....boy...do I get it!

I still have sand in my toes... :)
When I get into my "vortex of doom" I go for a run, a bike ride, or a long, long swim. Never fails to help.
glad it's not just me. pfffft on days like that, annie.
Eating sugar and then getting the sugar blues makes me cry and then I feel better. Or you could just withdraw from society like I seem to have done. That works too. No annoying people to bug me anymore.
That POOF is always a WHOOSH as it washes over you like backdraft.

I love your writing and I understand exactly how you feel and that is why I love your writing!

Screw them!
A) why doesn't this site ever remember my ID?
B.) why does the iPad insist on correcting my spelling... Incorrectly?
C.) why not face it: Facebook is not for readers, and only for gawkers
D.) why not take comfort that The Scream sold at auction last week for... Got to google it... Something like $120 million.
I'm just saying...sounds like you need to take a mental day...stay away from sharp objects too, missy! Theeeeee sun will come out...Tomorrow.
I have been feeling this a lot lately too - great post Ann!
Hoped it helped to get that all out...and I can totally relate