I'm allowed to be annoyed today because I was up three hours past my bedtime yesterday because of the yippy yappy dog, who started wailing around 6 pm when I came home and continued to bark -- hoarse-throatedly, I might add -- until past midnight. At one point, I called the main office to complain, but they told me that the courtesy officer has gone bye-bye and I'd have to call the police. Calling the police seemed a bit harsh, but it was midnight, I was tired, and that dog was barking on the other side of my bedroom wall. So, I wrote the owner an anonymous note letting her know that her dog barks incessantly and it would be much appreciated if she could do something to, y'know, make it stop. You'll be proud of me: I didn't threaten to call the police if she didn't, but believe me, I was thinking about it. Funny, about 10 minutes after I taped the note to the door, the dog stopped barking.
Thanks to less than 7 hours beauty sleep, I'm cranky, cranky, cranky. Which means ordinary things that don't bother me rank high on the irrit-a-meter. One thing, however, that always, always gets me going are the "I would have done X just like you but I was too busy" excuses. I get them often at during the holiday season. "Oh I would have sent you a Christmas card but I was too busy" or "I don't do cards anymore because they stress me out, but thanks for yours." There's also the pre-emptive e-card -- "I'm too busy to send you a card this year but here's an e-card for you." Gee, thanks.
I sent out about 30 cards this year. I don't get 30 in return, nowhere near it. And I'm not whining. I choose to send cards every year because I like doing it and it's a tradition and it's the one time of the year when I go through my address book and get in touch with everyone I've ever said hello to. I don't mind I don't get 30 cards in return. Would it be nice to be on someone's mailing list? Sure. But none of this stuff ought to be an obligation; do it if you want to and if you don't, a simple 'thank you', if anything, suffices -- there is absolutely no reason for an excuse, especially one which claims a) stress or b) busy-ness. It makes those of us who tried to do something nice for you feel like crap, as if we weren't worth 37 cents and the few minutes it takes to scrawl "Happy Holidays and all the best for 2005."
I bet you all wish that dog doesn't bark again, huh?