First World Problems

First World Problems

Today I took a day off work and went in to the city to the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages to obtain an official marriage certificate (the one they give you at the actual wedding is not worth the paper it’s printed on apparently) so that we can apply for a divorce in a couple of weeks (when it will be twelve months since we separated).  Feeling kinda down about the whole thing, I trudged through the city in the rain, wanting to tell everybody I passed how life had done me wrong.  How I was suffering.  How everything just sucks and basically a whole lot of boohooing was going on in my head.  I actually DID boo-hoo at work yesterday – just felt really sad and that stuff is getting finalised and DONE. That I’m going to be a divorced forty year old.  Waaaah.

Then I spotted a homeless guy, sheltering in a stairwell, his belongings around him.  He looked so cold and miserable.  I often see him as I drive through the city on my way to work.  I feel bad for him but can’t help him usually as I’m in my car – I can’t just bung a load of coins out the window at him as I whizz past.  But today I had no excuse.  As I walked past him, I tried to ignore the feeling of wanting to help.  I told myself I didn’t have any cash on me (I didn’t) and that I had to get to the registry office.
I told myself I was too shy/timid/uncomfortable/busy to approach him.

But then I stopped.

I turned around and I headed to a coffee shop about a block away from the man .I ordered a hot chocolate and headed back .
My conversation with myself had changed from “You can’t do this” to “You have to do this”.
I couldn’t pass him by, not one day longer.

I offered him the hot chocolate, thinking he would be grateful and pleased.  He simply said “Oh I don’t drink coffee…”  I told him it was hot chocolate (I had purposely not bought coffee as I know some people don’t like it) and said “I just thought you could do with a warm drink – you look so cold…” To which he replied “I am cold”.  I wanted him to take the drink.  I wanted him to smile and say thank you and “That’s so nice of you!” but there was none of that.
He almost begrudgingly took the drink and I think I heard a mumbled “thanks”, although maybe I just wanted to hear one.

So what am I getting at?  For a while I was a little miffed and felt kinda stupid for even bothering to buy the drink.  I felt that my kind deed had gone unappreciated.
I was embarrassed and flustered. I’d walked quite a way to get him that hot chocolate.

But then I stopped.

That man sleeps on the street.  He has no home, no family, no car, no money.  He doesn’t know where his next meal is coming from.  He has been rejected by society, maybe his family, and can’t rely on friends to give him a bed to sleep in.  He has way bigger issues than I do.  And I’m the one who’s uncomfortable?  Geez, talk about first world problems!  I buy him a drink and I think that’s going to solve all his problems?  What about tomorrow?  Or the next day?

I had to remind myself that his reality is different to mine.  I was trying to stamp him with the same social etiquette and manners that I live by.  Me in my cosy home with my nice job, my loving family and my loyal friends.  Me with a full belly and clean clothes, a roof over my head and a feeling of safety and security in my little world.

Maybe I’m not quite up to the whole Good Samaritan act yet.  I wanted to be.  I wanted to do this good deed and not expect approval or gratitude in return.  But we live in a world where we all want reward for the things we do.  We want to be noticed and acknowledged.  I, for one, am sorry I gave in to that need today and didn’t allow kindness to be its own reward.

Next time I will do better.  Next time I will buy a sandwich – but I will ask first, and not be offended if they don’t want to accept my offer.

At the end of the day, I did a good thing and I guess that is better than standing by or walking past and doing nothing.
A good deed, even a slightly unsuccessful one, has to count for something, I hope so, anyway.

Hope you are all safe and warm today x

Things that make you go…nuts!

Things that make you go…nuts!

I should point out that I wrote this one day when I was in a very bad mood.  Mostly I am a very calm person, not prone to violent outbursts or any kind of anger towards people.  I am tolerant to the point of apathy and I generally live by the “live and let live” code of ethics.  But sometimes, just sometimes, I get a little bit cranky and there are some things that just drive me nuts.  For instance:

When people add a “k” to the end of the word “anything”.  So they say “anythink”.  It drives me mental.  If someone says it in conversation, I can’t concentrate on anything (anythink ha!) else they are saying.  I want to stop them in mid sentence and get them to repeat the word properly.  It drives me nutty.  If you’re over the age of five, please don’t do it.  It’s not cute and it makes you look like an idiot.  And if I’m thinking you look like more of an idiot than me, that’s pretty bad and you should do something about that.  Seriously.

People who litter.  I don’t get it.  It’s lazy and stupid and selfish.  Just stop it.

People who smoke.  I’m sorry, but it’s insane.  The rest of us are desperately trying to stay alive and avoid anything that can kill or harm us, and you guys are basically laughing in the face of cancer and death.  I don’t get it.  Plus it’s selfish because you want everyone else to inhale your toxic fumes as well.  And don’t get me started on people who smoke around children.  I just want to smack you.

People who, when giving you their phone number over the phone, say it so quickly you have to get them to repeat it.  Repeatedly.  And then get cranky at you because you can’t get it right.  Say it slowly, at a gentle and polite pace and quit the attitude.

People who walk their dogs in the middle of the day in Summer.  Again, you are cruising for a bruising because I would like to beat you about the head with something.  Maybe your dead dog when it dies a horrible death from heat-stroke due to your negligence.  It’s cruel and horrible.  It’s hot, you idiot, and your dog cannot cool itself down the way you can.  Yes, Fido WANTS to go for a walk.  But he doesn’t quite grasp the concept that it is too warm for him.  That is where you, with your superior brain (supposedly) come in to the equation.  You need to make better decisions.   And if you leave your dog in a hot car, there is a special place reserved in Hell for you.  I’m not joking.

People who pick on vegetarians. People who try to get vegetarians to eat meat.  People who try to tell everyone that being vegetarian is unhealthy and blame every illness you have on the fact you don’t eat dead animals, even though you rarely get sick and are actually pretty healthy thank you very much.

People who walk around during concerts and theatre performances.  I went to see the Dalai Lama a couple of years ago.  The amount of people walking around during his speeches, eating hot chips and looking bored was horrendous.  It’s just so DISRESPECTFUL.  Plus, if I paid good money for my ticket, I don’t want to spend half the time trying to see past you as you get up and down and “excuse-me-excuse-me-so-sorry-excuse-me” your way down the row.  Unless you have a bladder infection or need to diffuse a bomb or are about to give birth, please sit down and stay down.

Justin Bieber.  I don’t need to explain that one.

Those “Biggest Loser” people.  Not the actual contestants, the hosts.  They are like every horrible P.E teacher I ever had, rolled in to one over-paid, over-hyped entity.  Their faces are everywhere.  Ugh.

Homophobes.  Really.  What the hell is wrong with you? Grow up.

People who bag celebrities who try and “do good”.  Like Bono, or Sting or whoever is supporting whatever cause/charity etc.  They are trying to give back to the community and the world.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a tax write-off or a way of gaining popularity – they’re helping someone.  Who cares what the motive really is?  They’re giving to charity and doing something with their time and money other than buying another Porsche.  Let’s just leave it at that.  Just because someone is famous and has lots of money, doesn’t mean they are incapable of being passionate about worthy causes.  If Sting wants to try and save a rainforest, I say let him!  He’s got more money than the rest of us,  let him use it for good.

Tights worn as pants.  They’re not pants – they are tights.  Try to remember that and keep yourself covered up.  It’s icky if you don’t and nobody wants to see it.

So that’s my rant for today.  I could think of lots of other things that annoy me, but, really, I would much rather talk about things that are pleasant and not annoying.  And, in reality, there are a lot more of those things than the cranky-making ones.  I was just having a bad day and really wanting a cookie (sigh…a cookie…).  Work was noisy and a bit stressy and aggravating today (copyright licence renewals? Ugh!  People having a go at you for things that aren’t your fault and you have no control over?  Double ugh!) and I was a bit tired and grumpy (duh!).  But it’s ok.  I’m home now from a long walk and about to make dinner and do some crafting, watch My Kitchen Rules and organise myself for tomorrow.  It’s all good.  I was even given a HUGE bag of beads and old jewellery to sort through and use today so I’m a lucky gal, despite the whinging and frowny face.

Hope your day was smile-worthy and annoyance-free.  Just please remember what I said about tights.