I am struggling with an old roll of scotch tape. The end has been lost, so I am trying to dig out the thin membrane of tape to allow me to get it working again. I get a small bit and then, instead of a large useable piece, I find myself with a narrow strip that diminishes into nothing.
Yes, it is one of those rolls that came with a dispenser, but someone used it and didn’t put it back right. Was it me or someone else? In any case, thoughtless. Very annoying. Waste of time.
And then – because the news is of nothing else – I think of all those people in Israel and Gaza who have lost their lives over recent days. Never mind the ones who are wounded or without their essential medicine. And probably homeless.
Do I have a right to get cross over a recalcitrant scotch tape?
There are always crises elsewhere – some we know about and some we don’t. We know of the dreadful fighting in the Ukraine that has been going on for more months than I care to remember.
And it hasn’t been in the news much, but there was a major earthquake in Afghanistan very recently, resulting in the loss of 2400 lives at last count. In fact, it looks like there was a second one.
Or the dreadful wildfires in Canada.
And much else besides. Things we don’t ever hear about, but terrible.
It gave me pause for a few minutes. Of course, the scotch tape was definitely in the very, very unimportant category.
Until my earphones got hopelessly tangled and it took me some minutes to sort them out. Irritated again.
I think there are always small irritations in life.
The bus is late, and you will not be on time for your dentist appointment.
The avocados that looked so nice in the supermarket are too hard to give to your guests tonight. Do you have any suitable substitute?
You discover that your phone is not charged just when you wanted to contact a friend on a sensitive matter.
The potential examples go on and on. On every front. Just living your everyday normal life. It used to be called Murphy’s Law. (“Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”)
And we will continue to be irritated, whatever is going on in the rest of the world. I don’t think we can help it.
Were you brought up with the starving Armenians? I was. When I didn’t eat every bit of food on my plate, my mother would remind me how much these distant souls would want everything that was there.
As I was brought up in the years immediately after World War II, I am not sure how the starving Armenians got involved. There must have been plenty of other hungry people at that time, but not these. I suspect the Armenians dated from my mother’s parents, and she was simply repeating what she had been told as a child.
I could never figure out what these starving Armenians had to do with the food on my plate. ‘Send it to them’ was my mental response, but never actually aired. Not the time to be difficult.
The point being that whether or not I ate my food at that meal, people would be hungry elsewhere, and there was nothing I could do about it.
And, in case you are wondering whether I have lost the plot, it is the same with my Scotch tape and the wounded and dying in the Middle East.
They won’t be helped or hindered by my immediate annoyance.
And yet there is something that gives some pause. Perhaps for a few days, I will dampen down my irritation with small things.
Those of us who live relatively normal lives outside of a war zone do have something to be grateful for.
Do you get annoyed at small things? What has annoyed you recently? Do you sometimes stop and think that you really should be grateful – not annoyed?