Agony in the Garden

Header image: detail from Andrea Mantegna “Agony in the Garden” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Today’s post comes from Renee in North Dakota

I really have very little to complain about. I have a job, a home, a wonderful husband, good friends, reasonable children, my health, etc. There are some times, however, when stupid, annoying things happen to take all the fun out of life, and leave me disgusted and crabby and preoccupied. I am a natural worrier, and these annoying occurrences just fuel that worry and I have a hard time managing it.

February was one of those months. Early in the month we got a new credit card with the security chip, preparatory to our trip to Europe this spring. We had it a week when we heard from the company that it had been breached and there had been all sorts of suspicious charges and the card was deactivated. This was just before daughter was going to Washington, DC for spring break and was going to use the card on her travels. We only have one credit card, so when it is out of action, we are all out of luck. There wasn’t enough time to get a replacement card before she left for DC, but she managed with her debit card. Still, it left me fuming and fussing since we never had this happen before.

Our next issue happened the day before we were to leave for Sioux Falls for the weekend. I noticed that the freezer in our fridge was dripping water inside and the ceiling in the freezer was hot. We emptied the freezer and phoned the repair person. He told us it was not a problem and that it was defrosting itself and we had it too full, so we just took half the things out and it was fine. I worried about it the whole time we were in South Dakota. It is still working fine, but I think the compressor sounds louder than before, so now I worry it is going to break down some time soon.

Lastly, last week, the actuarial experts at State Farm miscalculated  and decided that my husband was a great risk and cancelled his car insurance. It was a total error on their part, but it will take a week or two to get all the correct information into their calculators so husband still has insurance at the end of the month. Honestly, if you can’t trust a statistician, who can you trust.

This looks like real trouble.
This looks like real trouble.

I read my words and I think, “Renee, you have nothing to complain about and many people have more serious and deadly things to worry about, so get over yourself”.  I wonder if  too many of us in this country don’t have enough gratitude for what we have, and that perhaps we need to stop expecting life to be trouble free.

Maybe that attitude accounts for the rise of demagogues like The Donald who speaks to that inside ourselves that puts us first and others second, and makes is believe that we are owed something just because we are who we are.

I read once that a martyrdom of pinpricks is still a martyrdom. Well, I have a working credit card, the freezer that is loud, but works, and an insurance company that admitted it is wrong. I need to realize that pinpricks will happen and they are nothing to let ruin my day.

What pinpricks ruin your day? 



58 thoughts on “Agony in the Garden”

  1. my pinpricks are led by things exactly like this post.
    what do you not want to think about makes you do nothing other than think about it. my wife is a complainer. life is not perfect the glass is half empty the world is not perfect and if pointed out the problem at hand becomes a focus to be dealt with.
    I go the opposite way and it is good for me to work toward the opposite end of the equation and try to make it better rather than stating what is wrong.
    picking at scabs doesn’t fix it it makes it itch and is annoying
    credit card companies and insurance companies have to be in the top 10 most likely the top 5 of what’s wrong with the world to begin with but to watch their inner workings is enough to make me want to spew. appliance failure? my new house has a sove that work poorly a double oven where one works poorly and one not at all a dishwasher that broke last month a gas fireplace in a old basement at doesn’t work and all these hints would have gone on unchecked had it not been for this call to list what’s wrong in the world.
    enjoy the trip to Europe. I’m envious your freezer is too full and your husbands risk assessment might not be the item you want to have the insurance company looking at anytime soon. congrats on getting that put on the back burner. if they discover half his driving is to the Indian reservation they may want to reassess their reassessment.

    pinpricks in open wounds are torture
    stop it

    Liked by 1 person

      1. thats the best benefit ever. do indian officers set speed traps to produce income and the beginning and the end of the month like small towns elsewhere?


        1. Husband thinks they are pretty straight. He thanked the last officer who ticketed him since he was going 82 in a 65 mile per hour zone on a windy, snowy day and needed to slow down .


  2. I could go on for a long time if I could remember all the annoying things that seem to always create problems these days. Items that are out of stock when I go to buy them, waiting on the phone to finally talk to someone who can help me, people going through traffic lights after they have turned from yellow to red, and the list goes on and on. The world today is filled with annoying things. You are right, Renee, these are really not big problems and should be ignored. I just wonder why so many people and services are so thoughtless and don’t seem to care about the way they treat people.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. what really annoys me is when i have to think about how to post and then how to find comments on my daily blog. its easy to screw up a thing and with so many things to diddle with watch out.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Just now had one. Micromanagement. A fellow worker telling me to sweep a floor before laying the material. Seriously?! Not only is this guy not running the job but I have decades more experience than he does in preparing floors. My irk quotient went from a low 1 to it’s highest level 10 instantly. Thanks for letting me vent. I’m down to 8 but…

    Liked by 5 people

    1. cant you put him in charge of that aspect of the job and then point out the missed particles after he does it. explain the rule about taking are f whatever comes out of your mouth as company policy. maybe he just wasn’t aware


      1. I topped out at 10 again. Just had a big battle over metric measurements. The material I’m working with is two meters wide. I use a metric tape but this IDIOT was trying to make the conversion to feet and inches. “All you need is a metric tape”, I said. “But the room size is in feet and inches”, he says. “It doesn’t matter. Just use a metric tape” I say. Around and around and around we went until I told my superior,” It’s either him or me” . He’s gone.

        Liked by 3 people

  5. I pride myself on controlling my petty emotions. I try to row smoothly and efficiently, even when the seas get choppy and I become disgusted by little things I notice in fellow crew members. But that, ultimately, is BS. Anyone who knows me knows there are little things that really burn my toast.

    One is computer trouble. I can be even-tempered and cheerful in the face of almost any disaster, but if my computer goes wonky my face darkens and I say all the words George Carlin told us we shouldn’t ever say.

    Another chink in my mood armor is customer service (or more accurately, the lack of it). I struggle to maintain composure when a corporation sells me something that won’t work and they won’t support the product or even answer their ferschlugginer phones. Last week I spent three straight hours trying to install software from Adobe, software that I had already paid for but which would not install (because they are so uptight about illegal copying that they sell products that bristle like a porcupine with features that prevent normal use or installation). They kept telling me to plug in 14-character passwords, but when I did I never saw the screens they promised would pop up. At the end of three hours I was sweaty, shaken and filled with a desire to bring evil down on Adobe.

    Cancer? It happens. Crime? We all suffer from that from time to time. Money anxiety? That is part of life. But computer trouble or lousy customer support? Don’t get me started! Just don’t get me started!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I was going to say the same thing, Steve. Computer trouble especially. Problems with mine can ruin my day in an instant. And customer service at Charter was so frustratingly horrid that I couldn’t run to the new local cable provider (Jaguar Communications) fast enough when they came to town. I call a local number and actually talk to a real live person within two or three rings!

      Amazing how ticked off we can get by a nitpicky thing such as a balky computer but then get equally boosted in spirit by a little thing like a CSR treating you like a real unique human.

      Chris in Owatonna
      (who’s working on a rant about Quicken that I may share here soon. 😉 )

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I had a fun time when I bought a macbook – my first Apple product – this past summer. Those of you familiar with apple stuff know that before you can start using it, you have to create an Apple ID. Well, I’ve created dozens and dozens of user IDs and passwords, so wasn’t scared.

      Problem 1: somebody who already has an apple ID used my email address as their ID (email address = apple ID) This means, says customer service, I have to create a new email account just so I can get an Apple ID for myself.
      Problem 2: Knowing from experience that it’s a Big Fat Pain to access more than one gmail account on the same device when you use a password manager (as I do), I decide to create a yahoo account. Yahoo requires a mobile number to set up an account. Fine. I enter my mobile number – and Yahoo informs me that it is not a valid number. I check the number I entered 15 times and it is correct. Yahoo refuses to accept that number. I don’t know how to convince them that this is my cell phone number, so I give up.
      Problem 3: I set up a new email account with comcast, our internet provider. I proceed to create my Apple ID, using this new email address. Whew, that worked. I think. So I get to the point of Creating a Computer Account. I’ve filled everything out and sit there for 35 minutes while the computer is “thinking.” It says it is “creating account,” but it sure is taking a long time…
      Problem 4: I find out later that somewhere in the process (probably in the Problem 3 process) the account didn’t actually get set up. So I have to go through the steps all over again (at least I have my new email set up already).

      Time invested in this fiasco: a good 6 hours.


        1. it sounds impossible, but it really happened. I talked to a live person on the phone a couple times and they confirmed that this is true. But of course they couldn’t – or wouldn’t – contact this person to tell them to quit using my email address.


        2. If someone enters your e-mail address as theirs by mistake, it’s usually possible to take it back from them. You just go to the site in question and bring up their sign-in page. Click the link that says “forgot password”. They send a password reset to your e-mail address. You change the password, and you now control the account.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. My pinpricks lately have involved my having signed up for too many responsibilities… secretary in choir; secretary of marketing committee; promising Mom I’ll organize her photos; hosting book club tomorrow night… None of these are unmanageable, but sometimes they all need attention at once. I keep a pad and paper by the bed, so when the I can’t get back to sleep form thinking about it in mid of night, I get the stuff down on paper and out of my head. Usually works, but now we’ve added house hunting in Winona and clearing out this one – downsizing. Want to let go of something.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Here is one not me: just got a call from “the IRS” saying they have started a suit against me and I must call a number.


    1. I know it’s a scam. Still irritates me that such people exist. I can imagine if the IRS wants me they will be at my door and or my mail. I do no think the IRS sues anyone.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. We get recorded calls for “legal action” against one person in the household. One of the calls said the person was being charged with a felony. Yeah, right (sarcasm font here). 6 months later, we still get these calls. You would think if it is so urgent that they would send a police officer to make an arrest or something instead of waiting for us to make a return call.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Computer issues – though since switching from PC to Apple several years ago this isn’t as big a pinprick.
    Car troubles – especially since I live alone, have only one car, bus service inconvenient, close family and friends don’t live nearby.
    Drivers who think the freeway = Autobahn.
    Poor customer service – automated phone menus are very annoying.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Okay, Renee. Sometimes things that can be annoying go smoothly and aren’t annoying. I just finished fixing a window that was not opening as it should because the ropes holding the window weights were broken. What makes a job like this annoying isn’t something another person has done. It’s just that I frequently find that jobs like this are frustrating due to unexpected problems that appear when doing fix ups on an older house. Today there were no complications and the problem is solved.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. I waited comment until several had been posted…wondering if anyone reacted as did I. My comments are not as lighthearted.

    “Agony in the Garden”…article title and illustration title. Second illustration title? “This looks like real trouble.” Is this this illustration for pinpricks? = the arrows?

    I can not find reference of the title or the illustrations within your article. Agony? Myrterdom is inferred in the paintings…you write of it as pinpricks. Agony, myrterdom and pinpricks…not sure I follow any line of reasoning…pain?
    Agony…pain, suffering, torture, trauma…illustrated
    Myrterdom…suffering unto death…illustrated
    Pinpricks…tiny, albeit painful, pokes of the skin…irritants, annoyances?

    You have used religious art as title and illustration for an article on daily pinpricks. Your chosen paintings are sacred in Christian faith. Religious art…whatever religion…should be used appropriately with understanding and respect. I believe in religious humor, but this is not such.

    I do believe you illustrated pinpricks, figuratively, in your writing which made your question appropriate.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi sliyss–
      I don’t see any disrespect intended toward either of the paintings.
      In my case, since my ‘Art Appreciation’ class just talked about Renaissance and Baroque paintings, the use of the Andrea Mantegna paintings caused me to look him up and learn something about a painter I had not heard of before.
      You are right, this was never intended as religious humor. Can a more suitable image of ‘martyrdom by pinpricks’ be found? I don’t know…

      I’m glad you shared your thoughts in such a calm, rational way. That’s what we pride ourselves on in this blog.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Please see Ben’s comment below. I am very sorry, however, that I offended you. I certainly didn’t mean to make light of the sacred.Thanks for letting me know how you feel about it.

      Liked by 3 people

    3. Sorry, slilyss, if you were confused or offended by this blog. As a relative newcomer to the trail, I think you may be making some erroneous assumptions about what you’ll find here. Sometimes the title of the blog will leave you scratching your head, the illustrations will be more or less far fetched, and oftentimes the question at the end of the blog will be a complete surprise, not one you’d logically expect as it relates to the topic of the blog. To be looking for an “appropriate” question based on the blog is bound to lead to a pinprick, if you will.

      Seriously, if I read your comment correctly, your unhappiness has to do with an item you consider “sacred” having been used in vain. Very few things on this blog are considered “sacred,” except possibly courtesy and understanding of each other. We’re a remarkably tolerant and liberal group that recognizes that others may have opinions and beliefs that are quite different from our own. Even though we have had the occasional kerfuffle between baboons, as a rule we’re able to work things out. Stay with us long enough and you’ll discover that we’re quite capable offending each other, laughing at our differences as well as ourselves. But I applaud you for speaking up. How else would we get to know you?

      Liked by 4 people

  10. Worse than pinpricks…when the septic backs up, the water runs dry, the furnace quits during the oldest week of the year, the water heater burst a leak, the pump in the barn freezes in January….so medicare got my records a bit messed up and it took several days and weeks to unravel it…eh, at least I didn’t have to put an animal down.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. My pinpricks currently include my oldest granddaughter unfriending me on Facebook because her mother chose to share some of my concerns about the girl with her. These kids have a dozen social media sites; I have only this one. I told her that the only other person in my life who’s unfriended me was my ex daughter in law. Which is true.

    There is also another unfortunate but predictable pinprick. Mary, my 50 year old daughter, lives in a perpetual state of REAL crises about which I can do nothing. On a fairly regular basis, when I’m dumb enough to ask her how she’s doing, I get the full download, then hang up with her crap on my mind.

    Yesterday’s load: water main burst flooding the basement; six horses are leaving (out of 90); a horse went psycho crashing through a wall and had to be put down; said horse’s body couldn’t be dragged out of his stall because the tractor’s stuck in mud; carpel tunnel pain kept her awake all night; there’s no heat in her car or the house because both broke down; her ranch manager (who does half the work each day) announced a 12 day vacation right at the time she’s studying for the nursing exam.

    OK – get the picture? This is a typical day in her life. In the meantime, any pricks in my own life are so swamped by hers that I don’t dare mention them (just caught that word without “pin” included).

    And then, there will always be my cancer as a baseline for “What do I have to complain about?” It’s ironic that today’s question just happens to occur on the grumpiest, whiniest day in my last month! And, no, I don’t have my period.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My current FWP is that the DMV gave me new license plates and I can’t get the old ones off. WHY? DMV, why are you doing this to me? There’s nothing wrong with the old license plates! Must you force this change on me?

      Tomorrow I am taking the car in, ostensibly for an oil change, and will ask them to please switch out the plates. I feel like such a wuss.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. thanks for reminding me. i went to take my mom plates off and the screws were rusted in. i need to finish it up. front ones on not the back im a wuss too


        1. I hear that coca-cola is good for dissolving the eroded, crusted on screws. The day’s helpful hint from Eloise or whatever the name of the household goddess is.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. thanks i will see if she has a can around. im going over Friday to see about fixing her front end her damage estimate comes in at 2500.00 for hitting s pot hole


      2. And what’s wrong with being a wuss? Those of us who feel hell bent on doing everything for ourselves are missing out on some serious benefits built into the system. Sit down, Linda, relax and pretend to be a lady. That’s what I do in my dotage, and it works. To think of all the years that I’ve insisted on doing crap myself that make men feel like gentlemen. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

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