Sometimes I get so annoyed at myself for how annoyed I get… at everything. It’s like I don’t have the ability to ignore things that piss me off. When they were handing out tolerance certificates at school, I didn’t get one.
The trouble is I can’t not focus on little niggly things; a rattling in the dashboard of the car, someone tapping their foot constantly at the table next to me at the restaurant, a whistle someone has in their nose when they breathe, a part of the couch that smells like there’s some off food there, somewhere. A TV on at the same time as the radio (that one kills me!!), cupboard doors always being left open, a loose branch scraping against the fence outside my window when it’s windy outside, a ticking clock, they all drive me nuts.
Once I become aware of these annoying things, I have to put a stop to them. I just can’t ignore. I become fixated on putting things right with the world again. Hubby is the opposite. The complete and utter opposite. How can a person, a living breathing person, just not notice or ignore these things? How can he not hear the neighbours dog that has been yapping for four hours straight, or the blind banging in the lounge room? How does he switch off? I’m both jealous and angry at his skill at doing this.
My most recent “attack of the irrates”, as I like to call it, was when we were camping this Easter.
We set up the pop up camper, happy with our little site arrangement, all calm and tranquil until the campers right next to us decided to erect their fire pit a few metres away from where we sleep. I watched them set it up, watched them light it, watched the westerly wind blow the smoke into the direction of my bed end. For those of you who don’t know what a pop-up camper is, it’s where you extend the roof and pull the sides out, the ends and middle are made of canvas, just like a tent.
At 8pm we popped the girls into bed, the camper’s next door having a lovely time by the fire, as they should be, me just trying to pretend like the whole camper didn’t smell like smoked salmon. Annabelle, whose just like her mother, noticed the smell first and said she couldn’t breathe and her eyes stung. Of course I knew this was an overreaction, because these were the things that I, as a hypochondriac was already thinking.
At 9pm we decided to go to bed but sleep I did not. All I could think about was the smoke smell and whether or not it would harm the baby, harm the kids, stink out the caravan for the entire trip or forever. Naturally I started googling the effects of campfire smoke in the lungs. Not good. Hubby was sound asleep five seconds after he decided to go to bed.
I tossed and turned for a good two hours, coughed a few times too loudly so that the people would hear, said to Annabelle, rather too loudly; “I know you can’t breathe honey the smoke is really strong isn’t it, just try to go to sleep,” as though we were in the middle of a war torn country in the worst possible conditions instead of snuggled up in a camper that just smelt a little like campfire smoke.
Then I couldn’t hear the voices anymore. It sounded like they’d gone to bed but the smoke remained. I unzipped a window a little and looked out, they weren’t there. But the fire was still going strong. I couldn’t take it anymore. I got out of bed in my jarmies and went outside. I looked for some kind of bucket to fill with water. I tiptoed around in the dark, in my jarmies, wondering what to do. I found a cup. I filled it with water and threw it on. Wow, that wasn’t going to do it! Besides making a bit of steam the fire seemed to ignite further! Did I just fill the cup up with water or fuel? So, I thought, stuff it. I knocked on their caravan door. Their lights were still on, they were awake.
“Hi sorry to bother you, but are you going to put the fire out?” He said; “no, we were going to just let it burn out, why?”.
Um… because I am pregnant and I can’t breathe and the smoke is blowing right into my bed and my unborn child will probably come out addicted to cigarettes.
So, he put it out for me, trying to hide the look on his face that said; “what a weirdo, we are camping, you have a camp fire when you camp”.
Well for that second I felt satisfied, I had gotten what I wanted and I would now be able to sleep. But the smell didn’t go away. And then I heard snoring. The man with the fire, was snoring so loud I could hear him from my bed. I searched around for my ear plugs but they were missing from my pocket. They must have fallen out when I was searching around for the bloody bucket.
That night I dreamt of my earplugs burning in the fire…