The only thing standing between me and a great nights sleep is this stupid four elastic cornered sheet. In a small apartment there is no placement choice for a bed other than slammed into a corner. It’s certainly not feng shui, but at least you can walk through the room. This decorating decision, although practical, makes putting clean sheets on my bed extremely frustrating. I crawl across my Overstock.com Tempurpedic knock off foam pad in an attempt to secure the far corner one more time. A bead of sweat forms on my forehead.
I have been making my bed the same way, with the exact same technology, for the majority of my life. Somehow, I am no better at it now than I was at 8. Actually I was probably better at that age because I had tiny fitted sheet crevasse jamming hands.
An angry growl comes from deep inside me and the noise that pours out of my mouth sounds just like my dad. I am legitimately angry with a mundane task, and unfortunately this feeling is not unfamiliar.
For the most part, I am extremely even keeled. I have fits, sure, but it takes a lot to get me truly upset. However, there are certain things that make me lose my shit in a shocking and oftentimes entertaining way.
Some of them have developed later in life, and some seemingly simple tasks have upset me since birth. These are the activities I have decided I am genetically predispositioned to despise:
-Pumping Bike Tires- How is this upsetting? I don’t know. Really. Maybe it is because I have to postpone my bike ride until this chore is finished. But if anything goes wrong, like the seal is not tight and air starts hissing out, I get irrationally upset.
-Folding Laundry- Folding anything really. Dirty clothes into the washer, fine, washer to dryer, fine, dryer to closet….no, thank you. I don’t even bother turning my clothes right side out. I just fold them with the skill of an infant and shove my crappy clothing items into their respective drawers.
-Putting Together IKEA Furniture- Yes, everyone hates this, but there was a day about 6 months ago when I was constructing a small set of metal drawers with legitimate murder in my eyes. Ironically I like to build furniture on my own.
-Shaving- I also can’t handle a beard. It’s a lose-lose.
-Looking for Parking- I’m at my home, but I won’t actually be in my home for another 40 minutes because there is nowhere to put my stupid automobile. The only reason I still have a car is because I wind up parking so far away from my destination that I literally “walk it off”. “It” being my state of fury intention to make a Craigslist “for sale” posting.
-Tying My Shoes- It’s not the initial tie. It’s when I am out and have to stop and tie a shoe that has come undone. I will generally look at it for a block before conceding. At this point the lace is filthy, and since I am a bit of a germaphobe, I have to wash my hands afterwards.
I know, nothing on this list is actually worth getting upset about. This is why I think frustration is hereditary. You see, my dad does the same thing. A house rattling “DAMMITTT!!!” echoes through the hall, followed by complete serenity. The batteries must have come out of the remote. My brother and I would make fun of our dad’s obvious loss of perspective, and now we both do the same thing.
So as I stand calmly sweating with a shredded fitted sheet on the floor in front of me, I am reminded of an anti-drug campaign ad from the early 90’s.
“I learned it from you dad, OK? I learned it from watching you.”
That shiny new object catches your attention. Whether it is an actual object, place, person, or piece of knowledge, the realization of it’s existence is exciting. You explore, inquire and test, and then, quite possibly, you lose interest.
I moved to LA for no other reason than I wanted a change, and it was magic when I first got here. I live 4 blocks from the beach, and 5 miles from the mountains. The cost of living is high, but so is the quality of life. Two years ago I parked a UHaul, walked to the sand, ate tacos, and didn’t wait 30 minutes before I dove into the ocean. The world’s biggest swimming pool is 3 minutes from my house, and there are few things I love more than being submerged in water.
The exciting becomes the norm, and while I still love it here, my twice a week dip in the Pacific has become more like twice a month. I am lucky. Extremely lucky. Lucky to be here and partake in the activities that I do, and it’s not fair to this city or myself to not realize that daily.
Something put you where you are today. You made a choice, and hopefully arrived at your city/relationship/job/etc. with a sense of excitement and energy that kept you from sleeping at night. Remember that as you walk out your door. Take out your jaded eyes and observe. It’s not the same mundane place, it’s the same great place, and even in your tiny microcosm there is constant change. Soak it in bitches, this is your life. Live it, love it, but don’t let the amazing not amaze you, even if it is the norm.
Their duties are lesser, badges smaller, pants shorter, and their cars are suitable for a golf course. These are the people responsible for maintaining order in the potentially chaotic world of street parking. If you are not in a big-ish city, you might not see these three wheeled vehicular peacekeepers rolling around your neighborhood, but as any city dweller knows, these bike helmeted drivers make it rain….tickets.
To a certain degree, I support these fines. In the city of Los Angeles parking tickets brought $150 million in revenue during 2012. In theory this money helps the city, and it is a taxation on people that are either selfish parkers, forgetful, or simply can’t read a sign. However, some of the prices attached to these fines are absurd. Such as a $75 ticket for parking in a street cleaning zone. I mean, we all know those machines do nothing, and $75 is a good sum of money to prevent nothing from happening. Aside from outrageous pricing, there are some extremely overzealous parking enforcement officers, which is truly shocking to me.
While there is certainly a sense of authority to this position, I would think there would be a little more empathy. No one likes to waste money, not even the drivers of these little machines. Yet, from my experience, these traffic officers just love to make you throw away your hard earned funds.
Personal example #1:
In front of my house there is no parking from 10am-12pm for the purpose of street cleaning. I was pulling up to my house at 1130am as the street cleaner drove by and fulfilled it’s duty of spreading trash around. I pulled in and parked in it’s wake. I made a sandwich and walked onto my front stoop to see a ticket pressed to my windshield. Seeing as how there was no parking for the event that is street cleaning, and street cleaning had been completed, I felt that parking was now available. I realize now how this logic is flawed in the eyes of a city desperate to bring in revenue. In a upset state of disbelief, I went and removed the ticket from my windshield and walked back to my stoop 15 feet away. I was reading the citation when a youngish gentleman walks up to my car and starts writing a second ticket.
“I have a ticket in my hand for street cleaning.” I stated.
“I wrote it. But there isn’t one currently on your car and you are still parked in a no parking zone.” He replied as he applied a second ticket to my windshield.
Worst $150 sandwich ever.
I appealed and lost.
Personal example #2:
I was in a red zone picking up a friend. Let me restate. I was sitting in my running vehicle, with the emergency lights on in a red zone picking up a friend. It was a narrow street with no driveway and putting my car into a red zone was the best way to avoid blocking traffic. This was a 3 minute event. During these 180 seconds, one of these adorable little 3 wheelers pulls up behind me and honks.
I think to myself “really?”, but having had a terrible previous experience I pull out, circle around, and come back to grab my buddy. Flash forward 2 weeks and I have a $93 ticket in the mail. The ticket states that I was warned 3 times, I observed the warnings, but didn’t move. Yet, somehow the ticket was still unable to be placed on my windshield?
I have contested, but don’t feel very optimistic.
What ever happened to the “beat cop”? If my local officer Dennis (who doesn’t exist) would have asked me to move, I would have happily done so and respected the word of my neighborhood protector. But when the eagerness to hand out tickets outweighs the want to say two words to another person, these “officers” become nameless faceless robots, and robots generally don’t earn respect.