Thursday, August 02, 2007


Four days ago, I quit drinking soda. Four days. Four whole days. Ninety-six hours. For some of you, this might not seem too long. "Four days is nothing," you think, smugly sitting back and sipping at your Corona.

Well, for me, it's a nightmare. For a long time, I drank soda like it was water. I finally switched to diet about 10 years ago when I discovered that drinking a case of regular soda a week was a bad idea. Perhaps diet soda is as well, but in any case, I drink too damn much of the stuff. So I let it go.

And after the shakes passed on Monday, things weren't too bad. I apologized to one of the women I work with after I threw a stapler at her when she said good morning, and she seemed okay with it. (I'm not too worried - I'm so totally in with HR these days. After our fourth "discussion" about my temper, we're tight.)

Okay. I didn't throw a stapler. But I gave her a dirty look. And boy, it was a mean one.

But you know what makes a cranky mood really take off? Another crank. Fortunately, I met one today.

I was sitting around the Honda dealer, waiting for my car to be fixed. (Apparently, you have to actually CHANGE the oil in those things . . . who knew?) There were five of us sitting in the waiting room, all reading, as Judge Judy fumigated her wisdom upon several unsuspecting plaintiffs and defendants. And again, I'd like to point out for the record that everyone in the room was reading a book, magazine or newspaper. (I was also glancing at the soda machine, wondering if I could somehow reach inside it and get a Diet Pepsi out).

A young guy walked in, sat down and started reading himself. He glanced at the TV, then asked if anyone was watching it. Most everyone either nodded no or said so. The young guy stood up and turned off the television. As he sat down, he said "Now we can all read in peace."

"What's this all about?" piped up the older man sitting next to me.

The young guy said "I just figured since everyone was reading, I'd turn off the television. It was distracting."

"So you just decided this for all of us," the old man kind of growled, kind of sneered.

Already thinking of running up to the soda machine and shaking it until a sweet, sweet Diet Pepsi came out, I realized this horse's ass was annoying me. He'd been reading his paper. He wasn't watching television. Besides that, he should be thanking the kid for turning Judge Judy off. I could actually feeling the room growing smarter. On top of this, I was already jonesing for a soda, and his "speaking up" for my rights pissed me off.

"He asked if anyone was watching it. No one said they were. If you have such a big problem with it, then turn it back on. Otherwise, shut up." I said. The woman across from me nodded emphatically.

The old man kind of harumphed and growled then went back to his paper. A few minutes later, he finished the story he was reading and started pacing the room like an old, toothless caged lion, since I guess he figured we literary types weren't down with his "TV".

He left when his car was finished, with a final glare at the rest of us.

I guess someone else being cranky brings out my competitive nature. I'm not sure I would have said anything otherwise. Perhaps I would have been nicer. All I know is that I wasn't going to let someone out-crank me today.


Rebecca said...

I have a list of four personal goals I am currently trying to work on. Ok, thinking about trying to work on. Giving up my beloved Diet Dr. Pepper is on the list. It may be the goal I think about tackling last.

Anonymous said...

What is wrong with you! It's not even lent! Come off the wagon and enjoy the cool refreshing diet cola. Of course if I drank Diet Pepsi I would give it up as well. Aaron