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Norb’s Corner: Being 70

As I hit my seventies and I realize the number of years I have left here on planet Earth is probably in the single digits, I have discovered a number of things. One of those is that fewer and fewer things irritate me.

I used to hate mimes. Now I couldn’t care less. I don’t see a big call for mimes nowadays so personally I don’t think it is a very good career choice. If mimes want to waste their time pretending they can’t talk or hear and are locked in an invisible box, it is their choice. I can name all the mimes I know on just one finger, Marcel Marceau. The only way mimes can irritate me is if they block where I am trying to go, but that has less about them being mimes and more about them just being in my way.

Spending six bucks for a cup of coffee doesn’t bother me anymore, I just don’t buy it. When I think back, I can’t believe how much money I wasted on this hot, brown liquid. Surely there had to be better things I could have spent my hard earned money on. I figure there must be a lot of money to be made selling coffee in this day and age as evidenced by the number of Starbucks, Tim Hortons, and Dunkin’ Donuts around.

People don’t annoy me as much anymore. They used to, but now I have learned to turn and walk away. There is no reason to allow someone else to raise my blood pressure. I realize that arguing with someone is senseless. As long as I know I am right, I don’t have to prove it to anyone else. Sometimes silence is often the best rebuttal.

Internet trolls used to irk me but now they don’t. If they have the time to read an article like this one in its entirety and then spend the time composing a comment telling me that reading my post was a big waste of their time, that my opinion was wrong and that I am an idiot for posting it, I feel sorry for them. I now actually find humor in their derogatory responses and I admit I will sometimes post a passive/aggressive response to their comments just to fan the flames. I know this is just the opposite of walking away but I am entitled to have some fun.

People telling me to have a nice day used to bug me. Actually having someone tell me to have a nice day is acceptable but I don’t need it regurgitated at me due to a company policy. It is much better if it is heartfelt sentiment. Now I try to get ahead of every clerk, cashier, server, et al by telling them to have a nice day before they say this plastic sentiment to me. I have gotten quite good at reading when someone is going to say this to me and have made it my own personal game of verbal one-upmanship to beat them to the draw.

It used to irritate me when someone would stay angry with me. I finally figured out this was the way they would try to maintain control over me. Now I will take responsibility for my actions and will apologize if I have wronged or hurt someone. I will offer to make it right but if they hold a grudge past that, I no longer have the time to worry about it. I’ve had a lifetime of drama already. It will probably eat at them for longer than I will be around. In my mind, the problem has been resolved and the kerfuffle associated with it will have taken off like an arsonist from a fire.

Aggressive drivers are no longer an annoyance. If I have someone sitting on my rear bumper, I will purposely slow down and let them pass, obviously their time is more important than mine. During the winter, I would tell thruway drivers “See you in the ditch…” as they sped by me. On more than one occasion I was right. I never realized I was doing this until I was driving with my daughter in the winter one day when someone flew by us. She said “See you in the ditch…” and my jaw hit the floor. She said she had learned this from me. Oh well, there are several worse things she could have learned from me.

Telemarketers who “spoof” their phone numbers used to rub me the wrong way but I have learned how to have fun with them too. I sometimes tell them they are “On the air.” And ask if they know the radio KRZY word of the day. Occasionally, I will ask them if they are calling about my lost dog. I seldom get this all out before I hear a dial tone.

Once I even told a spammer I had to put them on hold and put the phone down on my end table. I then went to my kitchen and had lunch. When I got back they had hung up. I think this is more effective than asking them to put me on their “Do Not Call” list because they seldom call back.

I no longer sweat the small things. This has made my life a whole lot easier. But as I look at it now, most things are just small things.

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Written by Norbert Rug

Norbert Rug

Norb is an independent journalist and blogger from Lockport. His work has been published in over 50 periodicals and websites including the Buffalo News, Lockport Union Sun and Journal, Niagara Falls Gazette, the East Niagara Post, The Lockport Star, The North Tonawanda Extra, the Niagara Reporter, and Artvoice. His work has been published on Press Reader, Good Cookery, the National association for Home Care and Hospice, and Konitono. , in over 7 countries and has been translated in at least 5 languages.

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