Pool Rage.

Wednesday September 12, 2018

You know, some people can really annoy you!

It started the moment she walked in.

This time of morning, the pool is quiet. When I had entered, there was only one other swimmer – over on the far side, in the most coveted lane; the one where nobody gets in your way.

So, I choose the near side, set out my length counters and water bottle, and began to swim.

Five lengths in, she came in. She was wearing perfume – a heavy perfume which combined with the chlorine to create a miasma which stuck like acrid smog in the back of my throat. Honestly, perfume at 7.30 in the morning! Who does that?

Then she started swimming between me and the near side. For goodness sake – there was the whole width of the whole pool between me and the only other swimmer! She could have easily gone in the middle.

I gritted my teeth, and at the end of my next length, moved my length counters along a meter or so, to give her room.

At the end of the next length I moved them again. And again, as she edged me out still further – and then kept brushing me as she swam by.

It was sheer, arrogant, rudeness!

I fumed. Single-handedly this woman had ruined my morning's swim. I use that time to pray, to meditate, to write. Instead of doing any of those things, I was using up emotional energy in annoyance.

I took a moment at the end of the next length to drink water and to glare as she swam slowly up and down in my lane!

"Either say something or let it go," I told myself. But I shrank from the confrontation. "Excuse me, but your perfume makes me choke and you were inconsiderate in your choice of lane: you forced me to move over when there was more than enough room on the other side." It seemed petty when I rehearsed it in my mind. She would be upset, and I would be more uncomfortable than if I had said nothing.

With grim determination I set off again. I wanted to splash her, but that would have just been passive aggression and, as such, beneath me. But – oh, I was still really annoyed!

"Let it go," I told myself. "Don't let her actions spoil your swim." But it was easier said than done.

Then I had a brainwave. There is a saying; don't offend a writer: they will kill you in their next book!

So – this unfortunate woman has died in several very creative ways, some of them quite gruesome. It afforded me great amusement and I ended up enjoying my swim very much as I killed her again and again.

My favourite weapon was the elephant which catapulted into the pool, straight on top of her. The elephant looked most surprised...

Call me petty, if you like, but it worked for me.

What methods work for you when dealing with annoying people?

A Moodscope member.

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