I Wish I Could Be Like That

  1. Have you ever been in line when someone cuts in front of you to complain?
  2. Have you ever heard someone calling someone else’s name and you had to jar that someone else so they’d hear it?
  3. Have you ever been on a website forum where someone is outraged on behalf of a community that they’re not part of?

Me too.  You’d think I’d be mad at these people, but every time I see it, I get jealous.  I wish I could be so angry that I’d cut in a line of people just to bitch.  I wish I could think about something so intensely that I couldn’t even hear my own name.  I wish I could be so empathetic that I could be outraged on behalf of someone else.

I notice this all the time and I’d like to share my observations in a non-regular blog series.  The first entry:

AngerBeing outraged that other people aren’t more lenient about your incompetence

My Ex-Sister-in-Law was always outraged.  She was mad that she had to drive so far to Panera, she was mad that she couldn’t bring her dogs into the movie theater, and she was mad that radio stations played songs other than the ones she liked.  But what I remember most about our conversations was how mad she got when other people weren’t as lenient with her behavior as she was.

She was a teacher at an elementary school; it was a crappy school, but it was still a public school that started and ended the same time everyday.  Apparently, she had a hard time understanding that because a lot of our conversations during the year she worked there revolved around her being late for one reason or another: the dog was sick, it was raining really hard, she went to a concert the night before and got a “late start” (these are all actual reasons she gave me, by the way).  Each time she was late, she got in trouble.  Why?  Because school starts at 8:00 and if teacher isn’t there, the kids have no where to go and nothing to do; I imagine being an elementary school, the kids would start crying and shitting themselves right after they pulled each others’ hair and rubbed boogers on the walls.

badteacherEach time she was late she gave a different reason.  Each time she got in trouble for it, she was outraged.  “What was I supposed to do?  Let the dog die?  Die in a car accident?  Fall asleep at the wheel in die?” (most of her “Option B” scenarios ended with someone dying)  Needless to say, eventually she had one big conversation with the principal: come in on time or you’re fired.

Or at least that was the plan.  She was late to the meeting where the ultimatum was going to take place.  “Two minutes!?  Come on!” she said.  She got fired because she was tardy to the meeting about her tardiness.  And she was livid.  That’s all I heard about for months on end.  Even my brother – a level-headed guy by most measures – was complaining about how awful this injustice was.  Everyone kept saying that they wanted to tell her off, they wanted to tell her that the principal was right and she was wrong and they were angry at her anger at the ironic situation.

But not me.  I was jealous.  I wish I could be like that.  I wish I couldn’t see how this situation was entirely her fault.  I wish I could go to work late practically every day and get angry at people who pointed out that I would go to work late practically every day.  Life would be so much simpler.

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2 Responses

  1. […] is the latest in a series where I explain that I’m not mad at you for acting how you’re acting; I’m jealous […]

  2. […] trait, I am not annoyed by you.  It’s quite the opposite; I wish I was like you (see part 1, part 2, part […]

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