My comment to Ashley in my previous post (regarding her post on irritability) struck a chord with Melissa. She intends to use the phrase “I was born irritated” from now on. (Edit: It seems I was mistaken, it was Rory who made the remark I was referring to. Comments from people who don’t use Blogger only come through as ‘anonymous’. Blogger and WP do not play well together. Apologies to both Melissa and Rory.)
What I said was “Hell, I was born irritated plus I’m a New Yawker – we are always irritated and make no bones about it.”
Now then the dictionary definition of irritated is “aroused to impatience or anger”. And the definition of irritability is “the quality or state of being irritable” And the definition of irritable is “capable of being irritated”.
Does that help you at all? So let’s stick with ‘aroused to impatience or anger’.
I haven’t lived in New York City since 2000, that’s a long time to be away but I’m pretty damn sure that the NYC sensibility hasn’t changed much – have you ever been to NYC? Impatience is a permanent state of being.
NYC is a place of too much. Too many people, too many cars, too many things to do, too many places to go. All that too-muchness means that rather than fast, everything moves slower than molasses going up a hill on a rainy day. At least it feels that way to those of us who have somewhere to go in a particular amount of time (as opposed to those who have nowhere to go and all day to get there).
New Yawkers are vocal in their irritability, for example – I would walk Lexington Avenue (going North) every night to get to the subway to go home. Just about every night, walking along the curb, going South, would be this disheveled old man waving his hands about and shouting “Walk on the right, walk on the right”.
Oh please yes, if you ever are a tourist in NYC – Walk On The Right! Funnily enough in the Washington DC metro system there are huge signs above the escalators and stairs that say “Stand on the right, Walk on the left” – tourists MUST be reminded to stay out of the way of the natives.
(Hey, I just thought of something – all this “stay to the right” business – is this what is affecting our political/social climate? If that’s the case I think I’ll start walking and standing on the left. Just sayin’)
Another Only in New York description that I do believe I coined is “All New Yorkers have a license to kvetch. It’s right there in the fine print on on your birth certificate.”
So there you have it, my kvetchiness is a birthright and my permanent state of irritation is due to me being a little Italian girl from Da Bronx.