I’m Not Surly, It’s Just My Face

“Oi, you!”

You’d look like that if someone ‘oi’-ed you, too.

That’s how the conversation started this morning. Rude, right? Now, you should know that I’m not easily offended. What I am, is easily angered. And the interaction this morning, with a guy who works near me, raised my ire. This guy is in his early fifties perhaps, and has a tendency to strike up conversations on his way past my shop. This began a couple of months ago, when he greeted me as if we had known each other for years, despite me having never laid eyes on him before that day. I disliked him immediately. See, if there’s one thing I hate, it’s when complete strangers are too familiar too soon. You don’t know me, you are not my friend; you do not get to talk to me as if we have a long standing relationship. Some of you may argue that he was just being friendly, but there is a difference between polite affability, and a straight up invasive personality. Trust me when I say that this guy has a serious case of the latter.

Over the last few months, we have had a series of short conversations. Despite my dislike of this man, I have always been perfectly polite. But his habit of asking personal questions, and making assumptions has continued. On several occasions, and in a few different ways, he has asked me if I have a boyfriend; questions I have always dodged. First of all, none of his business. And second of all, none of his business. Another time, he made an assumption about me having children, which is something I did correct him on. That then followed with the typical “You’ll change your mind” response, which I didn’t deign to acknowledge. He has made comments about wanting to take me to the pub so he can see me when I’m drunk, and comments about how I must be my parent’s favourite child, with no context. Basically, he’s weird.

I could give you plenty of other examples when this guy’s familiarity has made me irritable, but then we’ll be here all day. Today’s comment, however, is where this post began. So, after he called out to me with the aforementioned “OI”, he approached the shop and said, completely apropos of nothing, “What’s the matter with you? I saw you the other day and you looked really surly so I thought I better not come over.”

Now, you might be wondering why that seemingly innocuous comment made me so angry. It’s due to a few things. Firstly, the condescending tone (which I can’t properly convey here, so you’ll have to take my word for it.) Secondly, the way he managed to make it sound as though his not approaching my shop for mundane conversation was a loss for me. I have any number of boring conversations in an 8.5 hour period, man. You are not the highlight of my workday. And thirdly, the assumption that just because I’m not cheery and chirpy every single second of the day, that there must be something the matter with me. Let me be perfectly clear. I do not exist to indulge his (or anyone’s) flawed, archaic ideas of what a woman is supposed to be. And I will not apologise for being a human, with an entire spectrum of human emotions. I am not some Stepford wife, and I am under no obligation to appear perpetually cheerful.

Sure, I could smile all the time, but there are a couple of problems with that. I mean, let’s be perfectly honest here; I would look like a legitimate maniac. The other problem is that after all that smiling, my face would ache. And working in customer service is painful enough as it is. Besides, maybe if I look surly enough, old mate across the way will stop talking to me altogether.

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People Are the F*cking Worst

You know, I really fucking hate people.

I was raised to be a decent human being. I offer petrol money if I get a lift somewhere. I help out my friends if and when they need it. I accept responsibility for the things I do wrong, admit my fault, and graciously accept the repercussions. But apparently not everyone has the same conscience that I do. And it’s those people; those inconsiderate, conscience-less individuals, that really make me angry.

I work at a shopping centre. There is no staff car park, and the parking bays themselves are not particularly wide. Nevertheless, I am constantly in disgusted awe of the people who simply cannot park properly. I’ve seen all manner of terrible parking, from crooked angles, to parking completely the wrong way across three bays. Trust me, I’ve seen it all. Today, I left work and went to my car, passing several bad parks on the walk. I got to my car, and there it was. A series of long, deep gauges across the front and back doors of the left side of my car.

My photography skills are shit, much like the person who did the damage

Some idiot, probably in a 4WD or large SVU judging by the height of the scratch marks, has tried to pull into the park beside mine, obviously misjudged the distance, and hit me. But then, instead of backing out and realigning the car, they’ve just kept going, scraping their car along the side of mine and leaving both doors noticeably scarred. This in itself is bad enough, but the bad driver clearly didn’t think anything of damaging my car, and then driving away. No note. No apology. No accepting of responsibility.

My car is not quite three years old. I managed to avoid any serious damage for two and a half years. But this damage today is the second time in as many months that someone else has hit my car, in a car park. The first woman didn’t put her handbrake on, and buckled my rear bumper when her car hit mine from behind. I got it fixed through my insurance, the first time I had ever made any kind of claim for anything. But she at least had the common decency to give me her details (even though she was driving unregistered and her plates belonged to a completely different vehicle). But this person today really grinds my gears, for the sheer fact that they didn’t give me the basic common courtesy of accepting their mistake.

Broken bumper.

It’s been hours and I’m still seething. Yes, the damage can be repaired, but it’s going to be at my own cost. And, since the fault isn’t mine, that really smarts.

Seriously. People fucking suck.

A Soundtrack for This Ragey Morning

There is a song on my iPod called A Soundtrack For This Rainy Morning. It is by The Ataris, one of those bands that made its way onto my iPod without any idea from me where or who it came from. I didn’t listen to it this morning. Instead, my playlist this rainy morning was filled with as much rage, and angry energy as I started the day with. The anger makes an almost pleasant change from the numbness, if it weren’t for, y’know, the hand shaking, teeth gritting rage part.

I haven’t been feeling myself at all lately, so last night I decided to actually feel myself, and rubbed one out to ease myself into sleep. Despite a powerful orgasm and an almost instant pass out, I woke up super early, after some unpleasant and fragmented dreams, because of the wretched possum. I ache all over – from the last couple of days of work, not the masturbation – and so once I was awake, I couldn’t get comfortable again. By the time I finally arose from bed to get ready for work, I was already on my way to a foul mood.

After catching every red light from my house to the slip road, I nearly got sideswiped by a dumb, ignorant jerk who apparently doesn’t know the rules when it comes to merging traffic. The free lane beside him stayed free, as I pulled some Fast and Furious shit to avoid both him, and the car ahead of me that was also trying to merge into the same lane. Jerk Driver just kept on driving, in the far left lane, ignorant to the fact that he could have caused an accident. I flipped him off, and skipped the He Is We song that came on as I was merging. What came next was Cataclysm Children, by Dimmu Borgir, and I turned it up. Loud. Dimmu is one of those bands that I really like, but I don’t listen to all the time, because their music suits a certain kind of…mood. This morning, I was in exactly the right mood. Sometimes, you just need a good, heavy dose of Symphonic Black Metal (best friend confirmed) to start your day.

Reveal the infantile wound and regain strength
Free your spirit from those who lead in praise
Recollect the anger and the hate
For not shall your morals dissolve in pity 

As I continued down the highway, I was in the far right lane. Which is a lane universally acknowledged as the fast lane. I found myself stuck behind a driver who wanted to sit ten kms below the speed limit of 100. I was stuck behind him for a solid ten minutes, as other cars actually doing the speed limit whizzed past me. I skipped past AFI, Something For Kate, and Hot Water Music. None of them felt right. I stopped skipping when my iPod played Sampo, by Amorphis, a band which falls under the category of Folk Metal (best friend knowledge strikes again), and happens to be a personal favourite of mine. There’s something about their songs that just…gets me, and I cannot get over how much I dig Tomi’s vocals.

From roaring flames the shapes emerge
Come forth they do with vile charms
Their poisoned core hides in beauty
But I see and perceive their deceit, I see

Now by this point you can imagine just how angry I had become. Everything seemed to be conspiring to make me so, and I was in no mood to deny the universe its want. Just when I thought people couldn’t get any more stupid, I encountered Ignorant Diver #3. Yet another oblivious jerk who tried to merge into my lane, with no room, no indicator, and nowhere for me to go to avoid his car as it got closer to mine, way too quickly. I gave him a sharp blast of my horn and only then did he seem to actually notice that he was attempting to merge straight into my car. I drove forward as he continued in his lane. Then a minute or so later, he tried to turn right from a non turning lane, once again nearly hitting my car and me, in the actual turning lane, trying to turn into a side street. This time it wasn’t sufficient to just give him my horn. I sent both windows down, let the rain into my car, turned my volume down for long enough to shout “PAY SOME FUCKING ATTENTION!” and then turned it back up, the powerful stereo in my little car blasting Australian alternative rock legends, Karnivool, right out my open windows and into the gloomy morning. The song was Lifelike.

Say it’s alright
When I’m coming down
Not again it’s so lifelike
Come make it alright
When I’m coming down
Not again I’m fragile

I got to work. I have been working in another shop for the last four days, and when I came back to this shop, I have discovered that essential tools have been misplaced/stolen. Nothing is in order. Customers are assholes. But at least I have 3275 songs to play to make me feel better and suit my mood. I’ve been furious for most of the day today, but music is there. Music is good that way; it just gets me.

Angry Amy and the Rotten Bin Thief

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I have a new neighbour. The previous one moved out about a month ago. I spoke to him once, otherwise I never really saw or heard from him. The perfect kind of neighbour, in my opinion. But then he moved out, the house went up for lease and then since the weekend I’ve had a new neighbour next door. She has been there a week, I’ve seen her twice, never spoken to her and already I’m having issues with her.

Let me explain why. Today, when I went to work, my bins were in their normal spot out the front of my house. When I returned on my lunch break, they were still there. When I got home after work, the recycle bin from next door, which had previously been on the road outside that house, was now on my front yard, next to the letter box. At first, I thought someone had mistakenly put it there, thinking it was mine. But then I noticed that only one bin was in front of my house. Either someone had moved my bin down to the letterbox, or it had been replaced.

Suffice to say, when I opened the lid, the bin in my yard was full to the brim…with recycling that wasn’t mine. On top was a paper bank statement, addressed to a Georgia Sawyer of 103. Not surprisingly, this recycling belonged to my new neighbour. My suspicions were confirmed. The inconsiderate, assuming, intolerably rude woman had gone freely on to my property, taken my bin and replaced it with her full one. Now I realise this may seem like a petty thing to get angry about, but it’s the principle of the thing. You don’t just casually stroll into someone else’s yard without permission or invitation. And you especially don’t steal from them. The fact that it was a council owned bin, and that she exchanged rather than outright stole is not the point. It’s the brazen cheek of the woman that I find offensive.

I’ve been in the house seven months, and I am the only house on my side of the street without a proper garage, or a fence. But up until today, I have never had cause to be concerned by that. And now I don’t know how to tackle it. I have half a mind to go over there tomorrow and demand my bin back, or tell her I will be dumping my recycling in her (my) bin for the next two weeks, until they get emptied again. Because there is certainly no room to empty my own rubbish in her overstuffed bin. Maybe leave a friendly note telling her to stay the fuck away from my house. Or perhaps I will just be really passive aggressive and play the heaviest music I have on full noise, with the windows open on the direction of her house. You know, mess with the bull and get the (metal) horns kind of deal.

Even now, hours after I noticed, I’m still stewing on it. I was absolutely livid when I got home, now it’s just a slow simmering anger. I am going to run away from all rotten bin stealing civilisation and become a recluse. Like I’ve said before, shotgun, typewriter, dog, solitude. Fuck the neighbours, I quit.