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What Bugs Me

I am getting older. I can tell this not because of what my mirror tells me; I don’t spend much time with my mirror. I can tell this not because of what my aches and pains tell me; they are still petty annoyances for the most part. I can tell this not because of the color of my hair; Clariol started taking care of that long before I had gray to cover.

I can tell I am getting old because of my attitudes.

I disapprove of the neighbor children throwing rocks into the tree to get the mangoes down, yet once I was a child who might have done such a thing (although it is more likely I would have climbed the tree).

I disapprove of cars that pass me when I am driving 65 miles an hour in the 55 mile an hour zone. They’re going to get somebody killed. It might be me. Yet once in my youth I leaned out of a car going 80 miles an hour to knock on the window of another car and tell them that blinkers were invented for a reason (perhaps I have always been cranky).

I disapprove of the neighbor’s music in my home. If he can’t keep it in his own home, he shouldn’t be allowed to have it. Yet once, when I was a teen, my friends mother cut the plug off the stereo cord because we would not keep the music at a level she deemed reasonable.

I disapprove of children pushing and shoving and splashing and dunking one another in the pool when I am also subject to these happenings; yet once I was a child who relished just that type of play.

I disapprove of the kid doing back flips from the edge of the pool into the water. He could have slipped and cracked his head open. Yet for many, many summers of my childhood I did those same kind of backflips and never once hit my head.

I disapprove of just about anything that I don’t care to be bothered with, which means I disapprove of my own disapproval. Yet I don’t want to be known as ThatCrankyLadyinApartmentC. I need to relax a bit and lighten up. My body has to grow older, (I disapprove of the other option), but my attitudes don’t. I need to do less disapproving and more enjoying. The next time the neighbor kids are outside throwing rocks, I am going to join them …..

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. sister!

    i find myself disapproving
    as well

    it only takes a split second of deliberation…

    “for something to be done about this
    i must get up and do it”

    once i think this thought
    i jump right on board
    with whatever behaviour
    has recently pissed me off

  2. Kids throwing rocks, yes. Ladies in the prime of life, no. You can not disaprove without joining in. There is in the end something to be said for growing older and wiser.

  3. Ha! I’m 28, my friend, and feel the same way. Perhaps I’m old too? Or maybe I’m just growing into a bitter old man a little early?

    Either way, I’m with you!

    (I’d be happy to grow into Frank from Everybody Loves Raymond, except that my wife would beat me if I treated her like he treated his wife in that show.)

  4. You write so well, Quilly.
    I think that because you are recognizing those cranky ways creeping up on you that you will never turn out to be Mean, Old, Grouchy Quilly.
    You will instead be Fun, Friendly Quilly Who Occasionally Gets Bugged.

  5. So funny and unfortunately, so true. As for driving, anyone going slower than you is a moron and anyone passing you is a maniac. And if we let kids annoy us, boy did we pick the wrong line of work! You made me smile here today. 🙂

  6. Well… I think while you’re joining them, you might TEACH them how to climb the bloomin’ tree! Climbing is MUCH safer than throwing rocks! I never had a mango tree… but I certainly climed a ton of apple and cherry trees in my time!

  7. This is the number one lesson I must learn right now. So often, I get cross with the kids because they are making too much noise. Somehow, the little voice inside my head forgot just how loud I was when I was a kid, and it REALLY forgot how indulgent my mom was with me when I was. Or I find myself irritated that their rooms are not in order, and forget that my own room in high school was hip deep, needles on the floor, with a path to the bed. I need to remember that contrary to what my kids believe, I was once young, noisy, messy, and had fun. And it’s preferable to being old, sedate, orderly, and cranky.

  8. i just told somebody recently that i used to think i was both compassionate and forgiving and how i find it increasingly difficult to feel that way as i get older… or have i just become less idealistic… (sorry, off topic)

    anyweay, were the mangos good?

  9. Right On — yes, I always swore I would never grow up.

    Brian — stay tuned

    Dr. John — yes, we learn that anything we do which is fun, someone disapproves of!

    JF — good for your wife!

    JD — my “occasions” have been coming too close together lately! (And thanks!)

    Robert — I have been wondering lately about my line of work …. of course, I do that every summer.

    Melli — it is against the rules to climb the trees and subject to heavy fines. I saw nothing in my lease that forbid throwing rocks.

    Brig — play more, correct less.

    Juliana — not off-topic, my whole rant was about growing older — and crankier! As to the mangoes stay tuned ….

  10. I am laughing and shaking my head. Oh how I can relate. I have found myself in those very same thoughts and positions.

  11. oh yay! i’ll join you! cuz i’m bugged by most of those things too. and KEEP THE MUSIC IN YOUR OWN CAR!!! is my biggest thing. i was on beretania once, at the intersection of (oh frick – what’s the one that has jack in the box on the corner?) and the dude next to me was totally giving a concert. i pushed the “up” button on my window. he saw me, and his response was to make the music LOUDER. oh i would so have punched him if the light had stayed.

    and if i were actually braver. . .

  12. Jules — I think I am a “tween”. I am ‘tween teen and adult.

    Jen — that could have been almost any adult on the plant. That’s what bums me!

    Holly — Ward? Punching strangers is a highly dangerous past time. For some reason once punched, they feel they have the right to reciprocate.

    Nessa — I’ll have you know, I haven’t crocheted in years!

  13. I’ve been so “bugged” lately it’s making me think I need a little therapy. Parents that don’t parent, kids that think rules are for other kids, young adults with no respect for authority or the law for that matter – ayyyyeee! It made me feel better to read your blog and all of the great comments, I’m not alone in my bugged state – thank goodness. Coming here was like a mini-therapy session, I feel so much better.

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