Life does many things to an individual. There are things we overlook most of our waking moments until something happens to shake our sense of self. For me, I’ve found it and find it nearly every day. Maybe it is because I have become more self-aware, more sensitive or, maybe, I’m just old.
Suddenly, things that I looked over purposely or inadvertently to avoid causing someone or myself else embarrassment, now hang around the periphery of my mind and
threaten to spill over in rude and uncivilized behavior. Of course, I asked myself, "Why the hell should I care when everyone else seems to have no problem unloading their vitriol and gall upon whomever offends them.
I find myself asking, "Why should I give a rat's ass about doing the same thing, especially when I know that holding it in is one of the worst things I do to myself as far as my health and well-being are concerned." Internalized stress is a killer. It's been almost 10 years since I had a heart attack while working out at the gym. Part of it was caused by stress and the things I did to compensate for it.
Today, one remark sent me to my keyboard with a determination to lay my cards on the table and make myself look at them even if it's a losing hand. I feel the only way to do it, is to "jump naked" in front of everyone. I've written about suffering depression. In fact, writing about it was not only cathartic; it also made me some money. The book, "Say It Loud: I'm Black and I'm Depressed," did well for me and put me in touch with numerous mental health clinics to whom I donated PDF booklets.
I don't believe in astrology, soothsaying or prognostication, but some would say that since I was born in June that having two sides to myself reflects traits a Gemini might typically display. To that, I say bull. However, I do have two sides, maybe three, four or even five sides. One side that is very clear is my business behavior, which is significantly different from my behavior with friends.
As a leader, I ask a lot of myself and expect the same from others. I lead by example and believe in the "we" method of guidance. Any problem that affects business is a "we" problem and I believe in attacking it as such. In business, I tend to be neat, organized, proactive, aggressive, prescient and a coach. I am patient, fair and people oriented. However, if necessary I will punish swiftly just as I reward in the same fashion. The only difference being that I reward publicly while punishment is done behind closed doors.
At home, I am another person. Generally, I am relaxed to the point of laziness, unperturbed and just a half-inch from sleep. Having said that, I think now is a good time to reveal that side of me that I keep hidden in the interest of good relations, despite the hazards of held in anger and stress. So, here's my list of things that just drive me crazy, piss me off and generally keep me angry for hours at a time—not a healthy habit. Before reading this, remember it is my personal take on things and does not reflect the thinking of everyone although I am sure many think the same, but have not verbalized it. So, here are my 35 complaints:
- If I say I am going to do it, I am going to do it. Period, exclamation point and whatever punctuation you care to add. I may not do it right away, or, on the other hand, it might take me a couple of minutes. Depending on the task, it might take weeks, months or more. If the job has an early expiration date, my suggestion is to do it yourself, because if I say I will, I will. My exceptions to this are business and urgency. (Toilet overflowing, roof leaking, child in trouble etc.) Otherwise, as I mentioned before—do it yourself and don’t complain.
- If you have a way of doing things, that doesn't mean there is anything wrong with the way I do things. Don't ask me why I do things the way I do if it is a criticism. I am willing to take helpful suggestions, but don’t question my methods if I arrive at the correct point. Again, if you don’t like the way I respond—do it yourself and don’t complain.
- When it comes to organizational skills, I suggest that if you have a better way, do it and stay with it because I am obviously not doing it to your satisfaction. That is the easy fix. Anything I do that doesn't fit with your way, do it yourself and maintain the job. In addition, don't complain about being tired because of all the things you have to do. Remember, you took on the job because your idea of the “right way” did not fit mine.
- Do not interrupt me when it is obvious I am doing something. Because I am in the immediate vicinity, doesn't mean that I am paying attention or want to engage in conversation. I am unaware you are there much less that you said anything. If you do break through to me, I try hard to be neutral and upbeat even though inside I am steaming. Because I am in the same room, don’t assume that I want to talk. If I do stop whatever it is that I am doing and sit and listen to you, don’t complain when I have little to say.
- No, I don't always want to go with you. No particular reason other than I value my “me” time. Don’t complain, learn how to value yours.
- Please don't call me and ask me what I am doing. If I am at work, I’m “working!” If I'm at the movie, don't call to ask where I am. In fact, please let me tell you where I've been. I don't need another mother or father. If I fall out somewhere, they will call you. Otherwise, don’t complain.
- Please don't diagnose me. It pisses me off, but I will agree to your assessment just to shut you up. When you mention that I am just answering you to shut you up, you are probably right, but don’t complain—you started the conversation.
- Often, I go along just to get along. So, please don't keep asking me if that's how I really feel because if I answer truthfully I will eventually hear it again at some inopportune moment. If it is something that I really care about, you will definitely hear from me. Otherwise, don’t complain.
- Asking me where I want to go for anything is another go along to get along. I do not want to hear complaints about places I choose. This gives you free reign that you should enjoy rather than complain about the things I pick. I will keep my mouth shut and won’t complain even if it sucks to the nth degree.
- I don’t spend much time thinking about food. I eat when I want and don't particularly care for schedules. I will not be insulted if you eat without me. No, I do not know what I want to eat tomorrow.
- When I turn down an offer, it is my way of politely saying, “I don't like it.” Try not to ask me again because it irritates me. Please don’t complain, just accept the answer and move along.
- I often get up at strange times of the night to do things because my mind is active. New ideas motivate me. I like to do them when it hits me unless it is inconvenient for others. Again, don’t complain. I’m hurting no one unless it is myself.
- Don't tell me what I said or did and then argue with me when I say I didn't. Rather than try to make it clear that my memory is not faulty, I'll clam up because I am pissed off. My mind works well.
- If you ask my advice, do not criticize it or pick it apart. Ignore it! I will quit volunteering soon enough or drop hints like "I don't know" or "I can't think of anything." Complaining about advice can be fixed easily—do not ask and do not complain when the answer does not suit you.
- Put down the seat your damn self. If I can lift it up, you can put it down.
- I do not give a damn about Judge Judy, Judge Mathis, Judge Alex or Judge Joe. Do not break into my thoughts to hear something from one of those shows. I do not give a shit about the Housewives of Atlanta, Orange County or anywhere else. It irritates me. Don’t complain when I don’t react. It’s my way of saying “I don’t give a damn.”
- I like drama, suspense and intrigue when I watch television. Some comedy is good, but after a while, it gets on my nerves. If you know that, do not complain when I start working on my computer while the show is playing.
- Don't ask for directions if you're not going to follow them or feel the need to question why. Either shut-up, don’t follow my directions and don’t complain—drive yourself and don’t ask me a damn thing.
- When I have on earphones, I am doing something. When I am at my computer, I'm doing something. When, I'm reading I'm doing something. When I’m doing nothing, I’m doing something. Don’t complain. I am at home and doing something.
- Yes, I like to talk, but not about everything that crosses my mind. Yes, I have secrets that will go to the grave with me. I will not discuss them. I will complain if you continue to ask me what they are because I am not going to tell you and I am not going to ask you if have any. I will complain if you continually bring it up.
- I'm not secretive; I'm private. There should be absolutely no complaint about that and if there is—get over it.
- If I have it with me, then I probably intend to take it “with me.” I hate answering questions about why I am taking a certain thing with me. Leave my strange habits alone. It is my way. It is not affecting you, so, don’t complain.
- When I want to do something, I don't want put if off until tomorrow. You don’t have to go along with it. Stay at home, don’t do it or comply, but don’t complain.
- I like to relax, do things when I want and not be bothered by someone who has a need or desire not enjoy the little bit of life we have. If you feel that you must be doing something that is labor related at all times, do it. But don’t complain about getting no help or being tired. You chose to do it.
- Don’t ask me bunch of questions. It pisses me off. This time it is my complaint. I do not like to complain, but I will and this is a sure way to get me started. Don’t complain when I won’t let it go when you started it.
- I don’t like backseat drivers. I know how fast I’m going. If you don’t like the way I’m driving. You know the solution—don’t complain or take the wheel.
- I sit on my hands often to avoid a fight. It is not because I don’t care about the subject, but because once I am engaged, I will complain if you want to drop out when the heat in the kitchen becomes oppressive.
- My memory is damn fine, but arguing about it useless. Don’t complain if I give an obvious agreement answer just so I don’t have to hear it.
- Hell, that ain’t nothing is a new thing. No matter what I say, there is always more to add. So, I just don’t say anything to avoid complaints.
- Timid driving gets on my nerves. It is a major concern of mine, but I say nothing. However, if you ask why I am pushing my feet through the floorboards or twerking in my seat, don’t complain about the answer you get.
- Listening to problems outside of the house takes a major effort when I am not expected to offer suggestions. I am an action man. If there is a problem of that type, I tend to fix it—immediately. That’s my complaint.
- If I am not moving fast enough for you for a routine outing or activity, leave me behind, but don’t complain when there is no schedule involved and I refuse to let your desire to start moving affect me. As I said, my feelings won’t be hurt if you leave me behind. I won’t complain and neither should you.
- Surprise. Shit stinks! Don’t come into the bathroom while I’m sitting on the throne and complain about how smelly it is. The bathroom is a source of solitude and privacy. When you enter, for whatever reason, more than likely it’s going to smell unless I have been eating roses. Don’t complain—you brought it on yourself.
- I am not the Great Karnack, Houdini or Kreskin. If you want something specific, tell me. I have guessed wrong before and have received the subtle and sometimes not so subtle complaints about what I bought you. If you want something for birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries or whatever—tell me. Complaining about it, guarantees that the activity will increasingly become one that I do not care about.
- I am not always to blame for things that go wrong. I do not mind taking the blame for things I have done or accidents I have had, but remember there is at least one other person living here.