I think I may have an attitude problem. This isn’t an easy thing to admit but lately I’ve noticed I’m a little more irritable than usual. For instance when I went to the grocery store yesterday I became extremely upset over the fact they were out of a certain, much needed, item. Of course I demanded to speak to the manager at once. He proceeded to tell me they were out of this item and, in spite of what I thought, were not hoarding them in the back of the store. I threatened, in no uncertain terms, to write a long, stern letter to the home office. I’m ashamed to admit I was upset because they were out of sugar free Oreos, which in my opinion is no less than a capital offense. When I first saw a box of sugar free Oreos I could almost hear the angels sing. Maybe you have to be a diabetic, like me, to understand. For years we’ve been subjected to no flavor, gas inducing, sugar free products. A great man, Dave Barry, once said to never take a laxative and a sleeping pill on the same night. I would like to add you shouldn’t eat more than two pieces of sugar free chocolate on the same night you take a sleeping pill either, if you know what I mean. So to find out that the Nabisco Company thought enough of us diabetics to create Oreos that we could eat without a Kaopectate chaser or doubling our insulin dosage was no less than a miracle. They were also out of my brand of milk and bread but I didn’t care. I wanted my sugar free Oreos and I wanted them now! I didn’t have this strong of a reaction at the pharmacy when I found out they were out of my insulin. Actually I blame my irritability yesterday on the Ford Motor Company. On my way to the store I got behind a slow Ford in the passing lane on the highway. They were going forty-five in a sixty-five mph zone. The worst part is they were driving a Mustang. I know from personal experience that Mustangs go a lot faster than that. In fact I was caught, several years ago, going a hundred in a fifty-five mph zone, while driving my Mustang Cobra to work. At least that’s what the nice highway patrolman told me at dinner later that night. Fortunately he didn’t give me a ticket however he did suggest I slow it down. Especially on the nights he wasn’t working. We had dinner together a lot when I had that car. In my defense a Mustang Cobra will stall if you go any slower than sixty mph , so it really wasn’t my fault. Because of my experiences with my Mustang, I just knew the person moseying along in front of me could go faster if they really wanted to. Obviously they were also blind and deaf since they didn’t respond to my helpful hand gestures or vocal suggestions to try pressing down on the skinny pedal on the right. I frequently offer suggestions to other drivers. For instance, if someone hesitates at a green light I like to remind them it doesn’t get any greener. Surprisingly, not everyone appreciates these suggestions.
I think my attitude problem may be genetic. I was visiting my favorite aunt in Georgia one day when the phone rang. She picked it up, said hello, and then said loudly, “ I guess you do have the wrong number. What’s wrong with you? Don’t you know how to dial a damn telephone? Maybe you should learn!” Then she slammed the receiver down with a bang. I doubt the person on the other end has ever had the courage to make another telephone call. I come from a long line of stubborn Scots. I can’t remember ever having a family reunion where there wasn’t shouting, arguing, and threats. And we liked each other! So you can imagine how we act towards people who are, in our opinion, stupid. My own dad once sat at an intersection arguing with my mom about how stupid it was for a stop sign to be placed there and how he was going to write a strongly worded letter to the highway department to let them know how he felt about it. My mom accused him of arguing with a stop sign. We are big letter writers. In fact we think nothing of dashing off a letter to a major company when we think we’ve been wronged. I started at an early age. When I was seven years old I wrote a letter to McCall’s Magazine because I had not received the Betsy McCall paper dolls I had ordered a few weeks earlier. Twenty-five cents is a lot of money to a seven year old and I was not about to let them get away with robbery like this. Unfortunately I put the letter in an envelope without addressing it and left it on my dad’s desk. About a week later he got a letter from his bank saying they were sorry I hadn’t received my paper dolls but they really couldn’t do anything about it. Evidently he thought the envelope was empty when he mailed a check in to the bank. I never did get my paper dolls and my dad still shakes envelopes before he uses them to mail anything. I have another aunt who is proud of the fact that she’s sent letters to every utility company in Georgia with suggestions on how they can improve their service. I’m sure they appreciate her concern.
So, even though this may be a genetic problem that is totally not my fault, I’m going to try and change my attitude. So what if someone is going a little slow in the passing lane? I’ll get where I’m going eventually. Same goes for the sugar free Oreos. If one store doesn’t have them I’m sure another one will which of course means I’ll get stuck behind another slow poke who obviously hasn’t seen daylight in ten or twenty years and have decided to go slow to savor it as much as they can. So what if I have a series of mini-strokes because my blood pressure has gotten so high that my ears are popping? It all works out in the end doesn’t it? I said, DOESN’T IT? Now, if you’ll excuse me I have some letters to write. Oh yeah, have a nice day.