I am going to list these things in no particular order. Yes, some aggravate me more than others, but my level of pissy-ness is subject to change depending upon the weather, the smell coming from the litterboxes, the number of hairballs to be cleaned up, any changes in my medications, the onslaught of a migraine, my husband being a douche, the clicking of my neighbor's heels against the ceiling, which contestants get tossed off American Idol, or the number of Gin and Tonics I've consumed. And that's just a partial list. Have I mentioned hormones?
1. People (like my father's third wife and actually, even a few RAers) who have the attitude "If God puts you to it, God will pull you through it." I call bull. In the first place, I'm not Job. I no more believe that God has afflicted me with RA than I believe God gives a damn about who wins American Idol or who makes a touchdown in the Superbowl. I think God has more important things to worry about, like world hunger and clean drinking water and global warming. So, God didn't bring this crap upon me. Of course, neither did I bring this crap upon myself. Simply put, in this world, crap just happens. And when really bad crap happens, I believe that God's heart breaks. The best thing that I can do when crap happens to me is to try to bear it. With laughter and anger and tears. And with some faith. By faith, I mean raw, honest faith -- not the kind that results in the uttering of saccharine and unrealistic platitudes.
2. People who say that they are thankful that they have gotten RA. Again, I call bull. Sure, RA might have helped to make me a more patient and empathetic person. But did I really have a choice about that? I'd like to think that I could have improved without the "benefit" of RA. In fact, I think age pretty much brings with it that kind of warmth and wisdom. It's not like I would have been smacking my head with my hand and saying, "Gee, I wish I could have had RA so that I could be a nicer person!" And honestly, even if age didn't bring with it a certain kind of amount softening, would it have been so very terrible to have one more healthy jerk in the world?
3. Avocados. No guac for me!
4. SmartCar owners who somehow manage to take up two parking spaces. Douchenozzles.
5. People who are consistently and unrealistically upbeat and smarmy about RA. These kinds of attitudes actually can be witnessed in a few online RA communities. Look, I "get" wanting to be hopeful about the disease and the course it may take in your life. In fact, I'm all for hope -- but the realistic kind of hope that attempts to encourage you to act, to gain knowledge, to be more responsive to what is happening with your RA. While a few of us may be fortunate enough to experience a miraculous cure of our disease, most of us one million plus poor schlubs will deal with it every day of the rest of our lives. We need education and knowledge -- things that give us the opportunity to take at least some control of our disease. We don't need smarmy and unrealistic expectations.
6. RAers who cannot disagree with one another in an adult fashion. Look -- there are tons of different RA medical approaches, homeopathic approaches, physical regimens, and psychological therapies out there -- as well as a host of interpretations regarding them. And we are all individuals. What works for me may not work for you and vice versa. Isn't it reasonable that we will disagree with each other occasionally about all kinds of things -- even RA? For example, you may happen to love Rituxan and guacamole, even though they make me shudder. So what? And isn't conversation how we learn new things? I can say that I have never refused to post any comment to my blog, regardless of my agreement or disagreement with the author of a comment. (Of course, spam and sales pitches are exceptions.) I think the RA community would be much better off if we were able to dialogue and disagree with each other honestly, without the pretense of sham or faux homogeneity.
7. White chocolate. It is an oxymoron. There is NO COCOA in white chocolate. It is merely white wax. Ugh.