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  • mariokiefer


I woke in the morning and was immediately annoyed. I don’t know why, but sometimes I just have those days — you know the ones. You have probably had them yourself; those days when people who talk to you wonder who pissed in your Post Toasties that morning.

I shuffled into the kitchen and turned on the plumbed Keurig. I washed some of the glasses that remained in the sink from the night before after friends left from a small get together. I grabbed my new Yeti coffee mug (it keeps the coffee nice and hot!) and started the brew. Meanwhile, I stepped outside to smoke my first (but certainly not last) cigarette of the day. I was almost out and I knew I would need to pick up another carton this week. (Another 65 misspent dollars, but hey — whatever.)

As I smoked, I noticed the piece of wood on the back of the house that I have been meaning to replace. I made a mental note to call the handyman. I looked across the yard and thought that we likely need to have the garden path refreshed again this year. While we are at it, we may as well have it extended a bit. I make another mental note to call the landscaper we used last year. I noticed the shrubbery that had died during the last freeze and hoped that they would come back when the weather warmed. It cost an arm and a leg to replace the ones that died last year. Once again, I was annoyed at the added expense.

I heard the pool equipment come on as it is timed to do and watched the water begin to pour over the fountain between the hot tub and the pool. There is a small gap on the hot tub cover. It needs to be replaced, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. I put my cigarette out then went inside to retrieve my coffee — still feeling full of piss and vinegar.

I took my cup into the office, where I sat in front of my desktop Mac to make sure that this week’s daily posts were properly scheduled and that this morning’s had run as they were intended. I only use the desktop at home. When I am traveling, I take my iPad or, if I need the full functionality of a computer, my MacAir.

I received an email telling me it was time to renew my domain name so I pulled out my credit card and paid the bill then perused my various social media accounts wondering what the hell is wrong with people. I did not have the stomach to read the “news” websites.

My bladder announced it was time to let out some of the coffee that I had imbibed, but as I rose to go to the bathroom, I heard Ric stirring in the bedroom.

“Naturally,” I thought. "He will be in the master bath and now I will have to use the guest bath down the hall.”

I felt my irritation continue to grow.

It was shopping day and Ric came out dressed and ready to go. We drove down to the grocery store where I complained about the increasing price of beef, but bought the two filet steaks for tonight’s dinner anyway. We went through our shopping list to make sure that we had gotten everything we needed, but I was not impressed with the quality of one item. I sighed. That meant that one of us would have to make another trip to a different store to get a better version.

We took our items and stood in the checkout line. There were a number of “self-check” stations available (seems there is a trend for businesses to move to a model wherein they turn their customers into unpaid employees), but I detest those things. For the price I am paying for the beef, checking me out (bagging the groceries, and taking them to car , for that matter) should be included in the price. Once upon a time, that was a standard part of the service, bt not so much any more. After paying, we pushed the cart out to the truck and placed the groceries into the tub that I keep strapped down in the back. This was actually a pretty good buy. It wasn’t too terribly expensive and it kept groceries from rolling around. It also made carrying everything into the house much easier.

I was low on gas so we stopped at the gas station to fill up the truck’s tank. It’s a large tank and with the price of gas going through the roof it cost almost $100 to fill it up — even when using the points we had saved from other purchases. From there we drove home where we hauled our stash into the house and unloaded. I reorganized and put the cold items into the new refrigerator and sent Ric out to the garage to store other cold items in the second fridge. The one in the garage was the old one that we had before we purchased this new one. There wasn’t anything wrong with the other one, but it was eight years old and we wanted more storage. It was quite nice to have that freezer space to house all of our extra items.

I put away the pantry items having, once again, to reorganize the stuff. I will never understand how it gets so crammed and disorganized. I had paid a lot of money to buy proper storage bins or dispensers for the canned goods, sodas, and other items that seemed to always overflow. I thought that I really need a larger pantry — a real walk-in one the size of a small room with proper shelving and what-not.

Meanwhile, I drove to the carwash. The Raptor has a wider wheel base than most vehicles and many carwashes cannot accommodate it because the tracks they use to pull the car through are narrower than that base and each time the truck needs washing, I must pay the extra charge for the hand wash. Sitting in the lobby of carwash, I stared at the screen of my iPhone and scrolled through mindless, senseless videos to entertain myself while I waited for the workers to finish. Patience has never been my strongpoint and I was feeling annoyed as it was already almost one p.m.

I was more irritated and annoyed than ever by the time I got home. I poured myself a drink and sat on the sofa. I turned on the 95-inch smart television then surfed the cable guide in search of a movie that we might watch this evening after the masseuse left. With some 300+ channels available through the cable service, one would think there would be something of interest. Not having found anything through the cable service, I turned to one of the many streaming services to which we subscribe. I found myself surprised (although I do not know why since this ritual is often repeated with the same result) by the surfeit of entertainment yet still dearth of quality contained therein. Nonetheless, I settled on two or three possibilities and wrote them down to discuss with Ric later. Then I returned to my office where I sat in front of my computer to pen a scene in my next book.

I slapped myself on the forehead. I had forgotten to make my weekly prayers this Sunday morning. I rose from my computer and went to the little altar we have set up. I lit the candle and placed on my hand on the antique family bible - published in the early 1800’s and fully restored to its original glory. I had purchased this for a pretty penny during a vacation in Romania a few years ago. That brought back memories of the trip and the many people we had met. I felt guilty for my complaints.

Rather than saying my usual prayers often made by rote, I paused. I thanked Him for His many blessings. I asked Him to help me be patient and to remember that these annoyances and irritations that I face on a daily basis are meaningless.

While I complain about a disorganized pantry and refrigerators that are too full, many out there have nothing to eat. While I complain about the price of gas, I remind myself that there are those who do not worry about the number of dollars to a gallon because they must take the bus or walk with whatever they can carry in their arms. While I complain of the cost to have my truck hand washed, many would be happy to have any vehicle to drive. While I complain of sore and achy muscles from the vigorous calf massage or moving luxury items up stairwells, I recall that there are those whose aches and pains come from real labor — not vanity induced exercise. While I worry over the lack of mindless teleplays to distract and entertain me, many are too busy trying to feed, shelter, and clothe their children to be concerned about entertainment. And I remind myself, that once upon a time, I was among them.

Then again I thank Him for the blessings of my life and ask His forgiveness for my ridiculous complaints.

My mood lightens.

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