...where none of the individual things would bug you, but the cumulative effect sort of wears you down? I had one last week.
My dear sweet wife has been taking Lydia to day care in the summer, as I do it during the regular school year. The goal is to get them on the 7 a.m. bus, but it was clear they were going to miss it, requiring Carol to drive Lydia - no big deal. But then dear wife says, "Well, since we have some extra time, do you want to do Lydia's hair?" I explained that *I* don't have extra time, that I've been postponing my stuff (brushing my teeth, picking out my music, etc.) so that THEY can get out of the house. SHE may have extra time, but I don't. But no big deal.
Then I'm out waiting for my 7:20 bus, with my bike that has its second flat in as many weeks. The 7:20 is late, so late (7:25) that the 7:30 is practically behind it. Does the 7:20 stop and pick us up? It does not, because it's too "crowded" - though it didn't look bad to me, and we got on the 7:30, which, of course, just sat there until 7:30. Five or 10 minutes in the morning can make a lot of difference in how much I can work out.
So, on the 7:30 bus, on the front of which I place my bike, there's a guy sitting across from me. He says, "How old are you? 55?" I'm 54, so I nod yes. He then says, "Can you believe I'M 55?" I reply, "Yes." He looks slightly crestfallen. I think I was SUPPOSED to comment on how young and vibrant he looked. He then rambled on about something, but I wasn't really listening.
After my abbreviated workout at the Y, I left my bike there and walked across the Henry Johnson land bridge. I wasn't quite sure what time it was, so I was periodically looking back to make sure I caught the next bus. On one of these checks, as young woman whizzed by me on the sidewalk on her bike. I didn't hear her at all. She could have hit me as I turned around. Worse, I came literally two inches from bumping her, which could have knocked her down, possibly into oncoming traffic. I'm sure she was oblivious.
I take a bus home after work, get my bike, and walk it through the park to the bike shop. I explain to the guy there - who I've seen several times before, though not last week - that I'd gotten a second flat in a week. He said, "I'll take your word for it," but in that way that suggested he didn't really believe me.
My wife wanted me to pick up pizza on the way home. So I rode to the pizza place, figuring I'd make the order, drop off my bike, then walk and get the pie. I stood at the counter while two guys stood there working on an order. No "I see you" head nod; nothing, for over five minutes. Finally, a third guy comes over and says, "So, are you all set?" "NO, I'm not ALL SET" - I tried to ratchet back my annoyance, which was not really with him but his colleagues. He took my order and said it'd be ready in 15 minutes. I took the bike home, waited 20 minutes, walked to the pizzeria and was told it'll be another 5 to 7 minutes, which turned out to be more like 10. Pizza shops are very hot places in the summer.
None of these on their own I'd probably even mention, but, as it says in one of my daughter's book, "I think I'll move to Australia."
G is for Dick Gregory: activist, comedian, writer
15 hours ago