The neverending joy of the determinedly moody person.
There can be no doubt that for the average British citizen modern-day life is tough. Everyday challenges – a slower-than-usual internet connection, a coagulation of rotten milk on your cornflakes, a misplaced remote control – can stretch an already vexed nervous system to the very limits of tolerance. No surprise then that most of us spend our lives teetering on the brink of an emotional breakdown, valiantly struggling to mask our internal agonies with a reasonably cheerful, courteous veneer. A selfless act for the benefit of our fellow human beings. However, the moody person does not have to bother with such fake conviviality or suffer the physical and mental strains that come from suppressing anxiety and despair. For whatever reason, they have given themselves special permission to, emotionally-speaking, let it all hang out. If they’ve fallen foul of the dreaded rancid milk / cereal syndrome, you will know it. Your cheery “good morning” greeting will be met with a mumbled grunt or barely audible sigh and absolutely no eye contact whatsoever. You will walk to your workstation silently wondering what you’ve said or done to upset them, your paranoia accentuated when, ten minutes later, you notice them chatting joyfully to another colleague about last night’s Embarrassing Vaginas. You see, a moody person doesn’t have to play by the same social rules as the rest of us. After all, their lives are so much more difficult than everyone else’s and politeness is for suckers.
But if you are feeling like shit, why should you pretend otherwise?
OK. Try this. The moody person’s woes are most likely not the fault of those who play a peripheral role in their day whether that be a colleague, a customer, or a shop assistant. Expressing those feelings in the form of rudeness to others is grossly unfair and, ultimately, the behaviour of an unruly toddler. Living and working together successfully in the adult world depends on civility and controlling our emotions. Why should anyone consider themselves exempt from this? It’s not about personality or even traumatic life events – far too many excuses are made for the moody person’s behaviour – it’s about effort and consideration for the people around you. You know, those guys who actually have zero responsibility for your husband’s infidelity or your Uncle Reg’s recent terminal prognosis.
Ironically, the most aggravating kind of moody person is the one you’ll encounter when you’re flying high on feel-good holiday vibes, having saved all year for a hedonistic binge at some all-inclusive paradise only to be treated with irrational, entirely undeserved disdain by staff who are paid to ensure you have a good time. Let it be said that the moody person simply should not be permitted to work within the leisure industry. And shouldn’t the miserable wretches who do currently spend their working day spoiling people’s holidays be weeded-out by ‘secret-shoppers’? During my recent holiday in France, the contemptuous grumpiness of the staff – seemingly a family of inbreds – most certainly played a part in ruining the atmosphere in the campsite bar. When I politely asked the bar manager – a sullen, unkempt middle-aged ogre – if he could retrieve my son’s coin from a faulty vending machine, I may as well have confessed to exhuming his mother’s remains for a spot of l’amour avec les morts! His accusatory sneer and the way he aggressively alerted me to the broken status of the machine by pointing to a French-language sign on a different (!) machine will haunt my nightmares for years to come.
You see, when you pay for an extortionately overpriced drink or meal at any tourist trap, at home or abroad, you are also paying for a service and basic courtesy shouldn’t be a pleasant bonus, it’s a mandatory part of the transaction. Refusing to make the effort to at least feign friendliness is lazy and inconsiderate. Furthermore, if the person who serves you is too socially immature to repress their inner misery for just a few seconds, they are definitely in the wrong job. In fact, they should consider whether they’re fit to work with other human beings at all.
Having said all that, moodiness in the home environment is not only acceptable but inevitable and possibly healthy. It’s normally the case that low spirits or even severe depression are entirely the fault of your spouse, children, and/or close friends. It therefore follows that they must be made to pay by suffering through your spells of unexplained morbid silence, disproportionate reactions to their minor misdemeanours, and general hostility.
Now where did you put that fucking remote?