Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The mortality rate of Cheez-its.

I'm beginning to realize that when something like this happens, and people who purport to care about you say, "It's essential for you to eliminate some of the stress from your life," what they too often mean is, "You have to develop coping mechanisms and better ways of putting up with the fact that we're not going to lift a finger to avoid stressing you out."

I do not find that especially helpful. In fact, I find the realization to be a source of stress anew.

What I'm talking about here
can be (and frequently is) a simple, trivial thing. Like, let's say it has always irked or disgusted me when people eat things, especially crumbly things (e.g. chips or crackers), in the car. So, their prescription for my continued emotional well-being is for me to learn to live with (literally) the fact that there may be Doritos or Cheez-Its on the floor mats or dispersed across that impossible-to-clean carpeted area under the console. Because they're not going to stop eating the damned things. See, it's my problem to modify the stress; it's not their problem to modify the stress-inducing behavior.

I grant you, crackers on the floor is not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, certainly not worth dying over. But if that's the case, then, similarly, why is the need to have crackers in the mouth such a big deal, either? (Understand, we're not talking about diabetics or hypoglycemics who are sudddenly overcome by nerves or nausea. We're talking about people who just didn't feel it was necessary to get in the house before breaking open the box on the way home from the grocery. Or who thought waiting the 11 minutes till lunch-time was an unbearable sacrifice.) Is it so important for my tormentors to assert their right to munch crackers while in transit that they'd risk contributing to the already-too-high stress level of someone they love?

That is obviously a very minor example of a phenomenon that I have encountered in more significant settings (e.g financial matters) as well since My Event.

Tell me: Is it me? I want to know.


Dimension Skipper said...

For what it's worth, my opinion is "No, it's not just you." I have two relevant points...

1) Along similar lines, one of my pet peeves is if someone says or does something (often repeatedly or in different, but similar ways or circumstances) that ticks off someone else and when finally the offended party speaks up about it, the offender says something like, "Oh, it's no big deal, don't be so sensitive," or "You're overreacting." Really?

Like you, to me that translates as "It's YOUR problem, buddy, and I can't be bothered to make any concessions of my own just for YOUR benefit." Too often the offender simply won't stop, even for a second, to consider the possibility that maybe THEY'RE the one NOT being sensitive ENOUGH.

2) Regarding doctors citing stress as a factor... I don't say that stress (or one's personal temperament) is NEVER a factor, but I sometimes think when a doctor tells you it's "stress" it's just another way of admitting, "I don't know."

For years and years it was thought that stomach ulcers were primarily caused by stress and then "they" found a bacterial cause. Now, stress certainly doesn't HELP stomach ulcers, but we now know it doesn't cause them either.

Finally, on two short side notes...

• Still no word from or about Elizabeth. I'm quite concerned. Not that I was ever in communication with her very often—I haven't been—but I really thought/hoped there'd be some word by now.

• To finish on an upbeat note... Happy Holidays to you and your family, Steve, and of course I add my sincere best wishes—Prayers? Secret-like good vibes? Whatever—for a full and timely recovery.

Steve Salerno said...

Thanks, DimSkip. I feel my frazzled nerves calming...just a wee bit.

So, does anyone out there know what's going on with Eliz? And Eliz, if you're able to, please check in.

Rational Thinking said...

I think we all have our pet peeves, Steve, and if it really winds you up, then simply have a rule that nobody eats in the car. It may simply be that people don't realize how much this behaviour irritates you - in which case you can explain that's why you're instituting the rule. And once the rule is in place - voila! Problem solved.

Hope your health continues to improve.

Jenny said...

Steve, please accept my apology for inadvertently contributing to the kind of crumbs-in-the-car annoyance you describe. I sometimes am an insensitive dufus without ever meaning to be one of those. (Ask my long-suffering daughter; she'll tell you.) I can blame my lack of foresight in encouraging someone who I sensed might have a good sob story on my love of personal narrative. What I definitely didn't want to do is add more stress to your life. Please get better! We really do miss you. Hey, why else would we keep coming back?

Steve Salerno said...

Jenny...please! Are you kidding?? You can't imagine how grateful I am that you folks even stop by anymore.

Anonymous said...

What is this mysterious Event that was alluded to?

RevRon's Rants said...

Oh, boy! Finally a validation of sorts; a place to air pet peeves without being accused of whining! :-)

A few of mine:

Any apology that is followed by "but..." The word "but" effectively negates the apology, and is generally a declaration that the offending action was justified and will likely be repeated.

Smoking scenes in movies. Bruce Willis is the worst example, in the "Die Hard" series. Only a smoker (or ex-smoker) can appreciate the agony of watching someone on-screen get such deep satisfaction from a cigarette, in a place where the observer isn't allowed to smoke.

The relegation of all foodstuffs to the category of "finger foods." French fries are finger food, gravy is not. There are generally multiple eating utensils at one's place setting, effectively eliminating the necessity of using one's fingers to get those veggies on your fork. And butter belongs on bread, not smeared all over one's fingertips.

People who intentionally misconstrue the meaning or intent behind others' words or actions. Not just in politics, this is a self-help staple.

People who blindly and openly accept the above misconstruction because it fits within their preferred social narrative.

Realizing that there will likely always be people who stand ready, willing, and even eager to commit the above offenses, the only response I can justify is to either call every one of them on their behavior, or strive to ignore it when possible and appropriate.

Perhaps we both need more of those bran muffins, eh Steve? I promise never to eat one in your car. :-)

Jenny said...

Steve, this is one of the few places on the Internet I can rely on to provide a potent dose of reality, which is like fresh air and clean water. Are things improving a little bit for you? I hope so.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Steve, I've got the shivers from Ron's excellent piece on the Bonus Army which is sadly languishing in an ignored corner of the web but which deserves a wide audience.


Dimension Skipper said...

Some pre-holiday pleasure reading in case anyone missed it...

Phil Plait on Kevin Trudeau losing his appeal

Cosmic Connie said...

That True-dough article was good, although whoever wrote the headline was obviously stretching in order to work True-dough's "forbidden info" meme. In truth, KT wants EVERYONE to know about that fine. He is playing the First-Amendment martyr role to the hilt. He says he will continue to fight the fine. That's the main reason he has his Stand With KT web site (http://standwithkt.com/home), so anyone can contribute to his legal defense fund. If you contribute $1,000 or more to the cause, you get a chance to have dinner with the Great One himself! Of course he spins it as if he’s really fighting for all of our rights, not just his.

And as I've mentioned on some threads on Facebook about this matter, the big fine in question doesn't even begin to address his massive Global Information Network (GIN) pyramid scheme. GIN is “located” offshore (Nevis/St. Kitts). Gee, I wonder why.

People are crowing about this latest development as if it marks the end of KT's unusually long career. But I certainly would not count him out of the game by any means. Remember, he's already served prison time for fraud, and he didn't even wait to get out of prison before he started cooking up more schemes. Until I see evidence to the contrary, I’d say that this recent news marks just another little bump in the road for KT. After all, he has a huge audience of loyalists who are willing to believe just about anything, and who gladly give him money to pay those clever and expensive lawyers who have kept him out of the slammer for many years.

Anonymous said...

Dear Steve,

I let you know that in my world, that is, in france, someone who eats in a car without prior authorization is a rude, uncivilized person.
The only exception is, children under age 7 or so.
Of course, if you have been driving for hours and people in the car need to eat something, the driver will not forbid to do so if he can't stop the car and let people eat outside. No one has eaten in ly car without previous authorization which has been seldom granted. And we don't even eat Cheez-it-like-crackers?


Steve Salerno said...

Sounds like I need to live in France...except, when I visited there in 1973, I had a fistfight (literally) every day. I won't deny, I was the classic Ugly American at the time. Perhaps I've mellowed. And I'm sure my left hook would be less potent nowadays.

Anonymous said...

Not much help in the cheezy department, but the French have always appeared to me to be well up for a strike, riot, tractor blockade, what have you, whenever they felt that their plebian rights were being trampled. (I lived there for a few years myself in the 70/80's)

Of course now that they have another little squirt (Sarkozy--who sounds to me like a side effect of AIDS) in charge--shades of Napolean and the short man syndrome-- there is carnage of a different sort altogether.

Elections coming up there soon, j'attendrai for the results.

For the cheezy wotzits and the stress thus incurred you could try this gem, from the Hot Club of Paris--jazz that even I can stomach with pleasure:


Anonymous said...

Wrong link there but right cartoon--for a three fingered typist.

Try this, sublime: