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Sunday, September 26, 2010

I'll Tell You How I Came to Be a Judge

When my wife and I first started dating, my wife's sister was a mere teenager. It's hard to believe that she has since graduated college, has her own apartment, her own boyfriend, her own car (that she picked out herself, as opposed to some absurd shithunk thrust upon her by her parents) and holds a big-girl job in which she strives for the ideals of social justice.

Back when she was a mere teenager, she observed that, while she liked me very much and approved of my pursuit of her big sister, I was very judgmental.

Sharp, eh?

(Hahaha-- when you say "Sharp, eh" out loud, it sounds like Shar Pei-- those dogs with all the wrinkles that hot chicks are inexplicably programmed to think are cute. I'm sorry for that interruption. I think my brain is shrinking. It'll be like a raisin before I'm forty.)

Now, of course she's right. She's so right, in fact, that I've never once tried to oppose or argue this particular statement. Because, really, what would be the point? On this blog alone, there are approximately 550 examples of my animosity towards and unkind peering down my skislope nose at my fellow man. Guilty as charged. Just hand me the rope-- I'll tie it around my neck myself.

There's been a lot of talk about being judgmental in this house of late. My wife has recently been learning a lot about herself, and is discovering that she, too, is very judgmental. There is a misperception, I think, about judgmental people, and that misperception is that the judgments are always aimed outwards, at others. While it is certainly true that judgmental people judge others, the idea that their judgments are never turned inwards is simply not true.

We're particularly hard on ourselves, my wife and I. When she forgets to take a check to pay for a doctor's appointment, when I go east instead of west in my own backyard, when we forget to walk the dogs and an accident, um, ensues, well, let's just say the reactions from either of us are not always proportionate.

Holding yourself up to near-impossible standards is never a good idea. My wife and I have taken to jokingly remind each other that we are only human, but there's a lot of truth, even when we say it with a smile. Of course, when we learn to forgive ourselves for being human, maybe then we can learn to forgive everybody else. When so-and-so doesn't return a phone call promptly enough for our liking, when thus-and-such uses "your" when he meant to use "you're", when the asshole in the black Passat wagon parks facing the wrong way on our street.

Does this mean that I'll never fold my arms in front of my chest and thin my lips like Mother Superior when I see things that irk me, like:

* A Toyota Camry with a rear spoiler (I mean, come on-- who are you kidding?)

* A d-bag in madras shorts, sunglasses, loafers with no socks, slicked back hair, an unbuttoned shirt with the collar upturned saying, "Know what I mean, Bra?"

* An elderly waitress with too much blush, plastic pineapple earrings, and missing teeth

* People who don't leash their dogs

* People who have incredibly loud/athletic sex in the hotel room next to mine

* Construction zones where seven construction workers are standing around drinking coffee and one is actually digging a hole

* An attractive woman bending down to tie her shoe, catching me staring at her, and then giving me the stink-eye, like it's my fault that she's hot and I'm not Stevie Wonder

* People who insist on omitting the first "r" in the word "frustrated."

No-- it doesn't mean that. I'll still cringe. Because, let's face it: life is full of cringeworthy people and circumstances, and not reacting to at least some of them is impossible. But I don't want to stroke out from FUSStration any sooner than absolutely necessary. So I'll just sit back with my chill pills and wash them down with lashings of soothing acceptance juice.

And hope I don't choke, because you know that I'll be silently judging the dunderheaded dickweed on how he does the Heimlich Maneuver.

1 comment:

  1. If you're not reacting to that stuff, you're asleep. The key to getting through those days full of fusstration is remembering that all those people and their annoyances are part of your story. It's your world, Apron, and the rest of those motherfuckers are just living in it.


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