Friday, May 6, 2011

Prince Charming WILL Get on Your Nerves

Annoying got its own book.

While reading the whole review, a few points jumped out at me. 

Firstly, the concept how one-sided cell conversations are more annoying then overhearing two people chat. Apparently the brain has difficulty tuning out half of a conversation, meaning my nearly violent frustrations with fellow train or elevator riders (scroll down to "Wait for the Doors to Open") is warranted. 

Secondly, and this is for the lovely ladies and germs on the singles market, the idea that the very quality that drew two people together will become unbearably irritating, given time:
What about your own personal irritant, the spouse who was so enchanting during courtship and is exactly the opposite now? Studies show that precisely those traits that once attracted often begin to repel. Once he was cool; now he is cold. Once she was adoring; now she smothers. Here the problem seems to be a matter of dose.
I was reminded of something Joy Behar said a while back (sometimes "The View" is watchable). She was saying how at the beginning, the wife gushes, "Oh, he's the strong, silent type." A few years later, she's shrieking, "What's wrong with you? Are you mute?"

As a word of warning, keep your eyes open and use your imagination of how a quirk that seems adorable now can become like nails on a chalkboard with too much familiarity. Then draw up a cost/benefit analysis to see if the other person, as whole, is worth it (very often I am sure they are). But then you cannot throw that irritation in the significant other's face ten years later; after all, you knew what you were getting into.
And don't talk on the cell phone around people. They all want to kill you. (An aside: cell phones use while traveling should be avoided; every time it hits a new tower, the phone gives off a fresh burst of radiation.)

But also, the review mentions how perpetually annoyed people are annoying in themselves. Kvetching all the time is a no-no.   

The Shvil HaZahav must have a balance for annoying as well.


Sefardi Gal said...

Great post!
I had a seminary teacher whose class I usually didn't like, but if there's anything I learned from her throughout the year, it was precisely what you've mentioned:
every midda has a "negative" side. The girls who want outgoing, vivacious husbands can later complain that he's always out with others and not home enough. The ones who want shy, sensitive types later complain that they're too quiet and often don't want to go out into town.

We can't have it all, can we?

Princess Lea said...

A friend of my brother's was complaining how he can't stand it when his wife does such-and-such. It was Luke's intention to make me sympathetic with the husband, but I responded: "I would bet that it was because of that he married her to begin with."

At least we should be real. I hope I can see a person, and his qualities, and see ahead how this can affect my life, whether for the good or the bad.

That's why I look for basics. "He's employed? I'll go out with him!" I ask nothing about his personality.

Anonymous said...

Sefardi, I wonder if I was your teacher! I say exactly that to girls all the time. Nah, couldn't have been me, you for sure would love my class were I to teach one... :)

Anyway, I see it especially with Type A girls who want a "relaxed, chilled" guy to balance them out, who then complain that he doesn't care enough about the way he looks, and is a slob etc.

Hey, Princess - Just wondering if the "ladies and germs" terminology was intentional, a spell check error, or a Freudian slip.

Princess Lea said...

It was an intro Milton Berle invented. I didn't mean to be disparaging to the male population - just wondering if anyone was paying attention.

Something along the lines of Eddie Izzard's "Ladies and jellyspoons."

Sefardi Gal said...

Princess Lea - yup, sticking to the basics is a good idea!
In my opinion, it's a horrible idea to reject a shidduch just because of 2nd/3rd hand information about his personality. (There's a difference between personality and middot.)

He can act differently around a friend/shadchan than how he'll act around his date.

Leftylogic - this teacher would most likely never be reading blogger. I doubt that she even had internet.
But if your class was full of good advice, then of course I'd love it! :D

Ish Yehudi said...

I think this is relatively common, but I believe it's a function of how you feel about the person.

If you feel really great about him/her, then all their attributes may be fantastic in your eyes. If you don't like him/her, all those same attributes are more often seen in a negative light.

Funny thing is, that can change in a heartbeat. As often as our moods or feelings change.

The good thing about that is... we have a degree of choice in how we feel or look at a person.

Princess Lea said...

Familiarity breeds contempt.

It's just that we should be aware of that, and take those qualities in stride, and not have the luxury of complaining about them after ten years of marriage.