I am always terrified to know that this is the season when I seem to reach out to the grumps I never knew existed. I have a knack for drawing them out of the shells that they dwell in. It is never my intent to cause them to surface from the depths of their anger, or depression, but here we are again.
Now I have every reason to be a genuine grump. I realize that there are those people I interact with (or near) on a regular basis that think I am moody, or just a grump. Sometime I use the grouchy face to keep my good feelings to myself. OK, I am selfish! Anyway…about why I have every reason to be a grouch right now. I dang near lost my opportunity to go see my family in Southern California due to unforeseen car trouble. A family I have not seen in over a year. I miss my mom’s homemade tamales, and my brothers’ company. I feel more distant from them each year I am away. It is these annual trips that keep the insanity from taking over. Well, my annual trip is saved, but I have to cut it short a couple of days. Two days I can’t spend learning to cook some of my mom’s favorite dishes. Two days I can’t spend listening to my brothers talk about our younger days. I have every right to be grouchy!!!
However, I am in a good mind space. I am a bundle of joy. I smile a lot, and I like to kid around when a good joke presents itself. Like my neighbor in the building. He spends quite a bit of time sitting in the hallway with his notebook PC. The bakery downstairs offers free wi-fi that is not password protected. This allows my neighbor to sit outside his door and surf the net whenever he wants, and boy does he take full advantage of it. He is studying for an exam to get his license in his chosen profession. In the meantime he can be found out in the hallway looking up news stories and such.
Well the other night a half-eaten cake was left by another neighbor’s door. It just happened to be the door next to our hall monitor. I made the joke a couple nights ago that people are starting to leave him food. Granted, this is not the first time I had joked about the time he spends in the hallway. He has no television, and does not appear to have many friends (judging by the lack of visitors he entertains). So perhaps I have been poking more fun at him than I thought. So tonight he took issue with me when I asked if he had eaten the now absent cake. He got serious, even though I was smiling and making it clear I was joking. I could tell after a few seconds that he was upset at my joke. He sternly asked me to stop teasing him.
I had a choice to make at this point. I could just walk away, or just go ahead and finish sinking the dagger into his now fragile psyche. I know he has no life, and if he had any motivation to get his license, and find a job then he would not still be in the same spot I found him in when I moved my very first box into my new home well over sixteen months ago. I gave him a look that I will define as “Pity you… and pity me for wasting my good humor on you.”
I walked away, and spared him my disapproving banter because I am smart enough to know it is not my business or place to judge him. If he is happy doing what he does, then I best leave it at that.