I know we all try to be sweet and kind to people the majority of the time. But let's face it....we also know that sometimes we can be a big jerk. It could be that you experience road rage from time to time. Perhaps you empty the coffee pot at work some mornings and don't feel like taking the time to start a new pot for the next person. Or maybe you don't return phone calls on a timely basis when you know someone needs a response from you. Have you ever "accidentally" ruined a favorite shirt of your spouse just because you didn't care for it? Come on - it's confession time! List the small things you do that make you a jerk and elaborate just a bit on each one. Please tell me I'm not the only jerk around here!
Yes. I can be a jerk. I try not to be, but every now and then, I get the bit in my teeth and won't let go. Mostly over things that don't really matter, like how my son ties his shoes (if he's not tripping over them, who cares?). Or how the dishes get stacked in the drying rack or dishwasher. Over the difference between clean and neat. It doesn't really matter to most people, but it matters to me.
My inner jerk tends to come out as a control freak. I have been called that by my husband, my son, and someone at work (who doesn't work there anymore). I'm sure there are plenty of other people who have whispered it to themselves or to each other behind my back. I'm aware of it, don't worry. I try to control it too because I realize that in the greater scheme of things, how I want things doesn't really matter a whole lot.
But it seems to be getting worse. I guess I believe that I can tame the inner chaos by trying to control the outer chaos. I like my house clean and neat. I hate towels on the floor or on the bed. I dislike finding a sink full of dirty water and dishes sitting in it. That means I have to stick MY hand in there to clean it up because if I just left it, it would be there for days. And for all my efforts? I still have a messy house and a messy life. It's like pushing that boulder up the mountain in hell over and over again.
I have asked myself why I'm like this. I grew up in a mess. That's just the way it is when you're one of six children. If my mom worried about this the way I do, she'd be insane by now. When I lived with my first husband, he hated messes. Our house was always neat and clean - and in a weird way, I thought I'd found my soul mate. Unfortunately, the condition of the house was the only thing we came close to agreeing on. The rest of our life together was a mess. When I lived with a roomate, we were nominally messy people. She spent every Saturday morning cleaning house (I joined her), and because it was just us girls, it was enough until the next Saturday. Then her boyfriend moved in and life got a bit messier. Finally, I moved out on my own and was able to control the mess around me. My home was marvelously neat. I could relax when I was home and not feel like I had to be doing something. Now I'm married again. I have a kid. I have a dog - and four cats and a fish and life is... messy.
I try not to be too big a jerk about it, but I don't feel like I can ever relax. With the chaos all around me, my brain never seems to stop. I'm afraid it will burn out someday from constant irritation. Until that day, though... I'm trying not to be a jerk.