Ah, back to work after a long, productive weekend. Sometimes you just need those weekends to clean and organize, do laundry, make returns, and more or less get on top of the to-do list. Thankfully, I was also able to take advantage of the warmer weather and hang out with friends, as well.
However, one thing DID sort of bother me this weekend. Everywhere I went, it seems like I encountered angry people! Where is all this anger coming from? And where do folks get the idea that they should be incensed about anything and everything?
It all started Friday when I was talking to a friend of mine. She was extremely upset. Bordering on furious. "What are you so upset about?" I asked. "Talk to me."
It seems that one of her friends had gone to lunch with another, mutual friend. "It's too bad you couldn't meet us for lunch last Saturday" the mutual friend told her later, on the phone.
"What are you talking about?" she asked.
"Oh, friend said she asked you but you said you couldn't come to lunch with us."
"Friend never asked me." she said, "I wonder why she would lie like that?"
Later, when she asked friend about it, friend replied that earlier, she had asked what she was doing on Saturday, and she said that she was working Saturday. "So I knew that you couldn't go to lunch. Otherwise, I would have asked you."
Seems simple enough to me. But, apparently, it wasn't. My friend spent the better part of an hour fuming on the phone with me, debating whether she should just terminate the friendship.
"Sleep on it." I finally said. "It seems like a little misunderstanding. Certainly not something to end a friendship over."
On Saturday, I had dinner with a couple local friends and their husbands. Their husbands had taken advantage of the nice weather to go dirt bike riding in the afternoon. We were all sitting down to some pizza when the topic of the earthquake in Haiti came up.
"Well, I think it's ridiculous that we have to send money to those people when we are all struggling so much here" one of the husbands said and then started to rant.
"Wait a minute" his wife retorted. "You just spent money on gas to go on a completely unnecessary (fun, but unnecessary) ride on a motorcycle. Now, we are eating food that was prepared by somebody else and delivered -- piping hot -- to our door so we don't have to lift a finger. And later, we are all going to sit down on the sofa and watch a movie that also was delivered right to our door from netflix. So tell me exactly how we are struggling like the people in Haiti?"
I, of course, tend to agree with that point of view. But this erupted in a lively, almost heated debate about whether or not we are somehow unfortunate living the way we do.
Finally, on Sunday, I mentioned in an off hand way "Oh, I gotta set my alarm early tomorrow so I can vote before work"
Another friend proceeded to tell me that I was stupid to vote and did I think I could really make any kind of difference and how all elections are fixed anyway and how just stupid and disillusioned I was to vote.
"Ok" I said. "I'm gonna go vote before work anyway."
It just made me wonder: are we SO fortunate here that we actually have to invent things to complain about? Have we become SO accustomed to getting everything we want that if something doesn't go exactly the way we want it, we get angry enough to end a friendship? Or we feel inconvenienced enough to compare ourselves to people who have just lived through a natural disaster? Do we have SO much that we have to belittle the our own privileges to somehow feel victimized?
I admit that sometimes I do go down the melodramatic road in my own head, as well. But after last weekend, I'm starting to think about it a little more. I'm trying to be a little more grateful and a little less angry. Maybe we all need to be.