Small Irritations

There are always irritants in life. Some may come in the form of flying insects such as a mosquito whining in your ear at bedtime, while others may be larger and involve government policies, potholes or perhaps the absence of a clean spoon in the cutlery drawer. We all have ‘em. Here are a few of mine you might also find relatable.

Photos thanks to Unsplash

Every spring I fight with Barn Swallows. I mean this in the truest sense of the word as I can be seen (with a decent pair of binoculars) shaking an angry fist at them, and rushing from one end of my covered deck to the other, most often brandishing a broom in pursuit of the silly birds. Why, oh why, do they choose to build their nest right where we sit to have a morning coffee on our veranda? In order to prevent it, I stand guard, broom in hand, yelling at them.

 “Get the heck away from here!” I holler menacingly. “There’s a perfectly good barn just over there.” I point dramatically toward the cattle shed not 50 paces away. “You are Barn Swallows are you not? So go to the BARN.” But do they listen? No.

I hate flies. If I previously offended any swallow lovers, perhaps we can all agree on this? A lazy fly buzzing past the patio as you sit sipping drinks in the shade, paints a heartwarming picture, but when there’s 3,246 of the bloody things, all trying desperately to get inside your house, or swarming into clusters on that same, highly-sought-after deck, it becomes another matter altogether. Unbeknownst to me, last year my husband hung several, super sticky fly traps outside to deal with them. There’s nothing quite like lunging out the door on your way to work and running flat into one of those suckers.

“HELP!” I screamed as the sticky tape and 456 dead flies immediately attached themselves to my head.

Along this theme, I recently prepared myself a lovely cup of green tea and bore it with a pleased smile to my desk. Everything was great until the very last gulp, when I felt some unknown object enter my mouth. I even swilled it around experimentally for a few seconds before spitting it into the bathroom sink. There, on his back, lay an enormous, blue-bottle fly. ACK!

One could speculate that maybe if I did the dishes more often, or had examined the aforementioned teacup prior to the preparation of tea, none of this would have happened. I prefer to think the fly died there on purpose to torment me.

Lastly, I would like to formally lodge a complaint against annoying sounds. I take issue with repetitive tapping of foot or pencil during quiet time, vehicles or doors with squeaky parts that no amount of oil will cure, and the open-mouthed and loud smacking of lips during meals. (Also, of husbands who have the lifelong habit of sucking air through a gap in their teeth. Not naming any names).

However, and I must repeat this word—however, small annoyances are just that—small. In the long run, does it really matter if a bird poops on my deck, from a point just over my head? Can I deal with a big bluebottle in my beverage, or fly glue that gums up my hair for the next five months? How about a few irritating sounds? Can I cope with them, year after flippin’ year? Sure I can. And maybe I’ll somehow be the better for it if I do.

Although I doubt it.

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