As people age, some become happier and more care free, choosing to look at each day as a blessing, and not to sweat small inconveniences.
Others seem to focus more on pointing out any inconvenience to those who they think caused it — or anyone within earshot.
I’d been told that during my search for my next love I’d encounter more of the latter than the former. Grumps who were set in their ways, and are quick to point out anything that didn’t match their view of how the world should be.
However, I can say the majority of men with whom I’ve had more than a quick conversation or two have fallen into the positive camp. So I was surprised when my normally chipper suitor-de-jour was argumentative during our thrice-weekly phone call (we have yet to meet).
I’d noticed a voice mail from him on my cell phone, which is unreliable in it’s notification of messages. I deleted his message after listening, then realized I hadn’t noticed the date he’d sent it. We’d just talked the day before so I was unsure if his message was before or after that. So I called and left him a message stating this.
He called back. “You called and didn’t leave your phone number.”
“I knew you had my number since you’ve called me numerous times. Can’t you just hit ‘Call back’ on your cell?”
“It would have been more convenient if you’d left your number.”
“More convenient than hitting ‘Call back’?”
“I hate it when people don’t leave their number.”
“Even if you have their number?”
“And you were lying saying you didn’t know when I’d left the message. You just wanted to hear my voice.”
To which I thought, but didn’t say, “Now I don’t.”
“I was not lying. I told the truth. You seem a bit grumpy today.”
“I was just kidding.” (His voice tone did not sound like kidding.)
I don’t like to be accused of lying, even if kidding. I also don’t like to be told I did something wrong when the other person just doesn’t know how to use their tools (like the Call Back button) or easily look up my number in his phone. He can even ask Siri to call me (he has an iPhone) but he refuses to learn how to use Siri.
So instead I got a grump.
It made me look at my own triggers to crotchetiness. When do I get crabby and how do I express it to those around me? I saw how unappealing it is to be on the receiving end, and how this can be a detriment to someone who’s interest you’re trying to arouse.
How do you handle your own testiness when you’re in a budding dating relationship? Have you learned how to express your displeasure in a non-cantankerous way? How do you react when someone you’re beginning to date is churlish with you?