In search of “imprefection” | Choosing to be grateful – Times-Standard


I find myself very exasperated.

I assume, as you read this, you think what I’m saying is, “I find myself annoying, grumpy, and irritating.”

That’s NOT what I mean at all. I am NOT saying that I find myself infuriating. Well, truth be told, sometimes I do, but it takes us off track, and in that case, I – and probably you – would find myself infuriating indeed. Anyway, my intention is to use the verb form “to exasperate”. To be honest, I’m not sure there is a verb form for infuriate; I couldn’t find one, so maybe I made it up.

Nonetheless, as stated, I’ve been exasperated (verb) a lot lately.

Now that I’ve been crystal clear, a suitable follow-up question is, “What is said action that one associates with feeling exasperated?”

At least in my case, it’s a grumpy, exhausted exhale that escapes my lips loudly when I’m confronted with something annoying. The sound is accompanied by a general attitude of irritation, eye rolling – and often, a choice of swear words or three.

I now give an example of what in Scott’s world causes exasperation (verb tense).


Yes, laces. They seem innocuous, I get it, but what makes me cringe is that “when I was a kid…” (every curmudgeon starts with that phrase) shoelaces were cut to length to fit shoes with which they were associated. If the shoes had four eyelets, the shoelace length would be shorter than, say, hiking boots, with eight eyelets and a hook to wrap your laces around. Dress shoes? Short laces. Knee high boots? Long laces. Simple, right?

As they say, “Hold my beer”.

The shoe gods decreed that all shoelaces should be the same length. The implication of such a conclusion is that after tying my tennis shoes, what remains is a garden hose length of excess laces, causing a tripping hazard. I’ve tried stuffing it into my shoe, but it’s uncomfortable, so I double or triple tie the laces, leaving big knots, trying to use up as much of the excess as possible.

Is it infuriating (adjective tense)?

Well, sure, up to a point. But what infuriates me (verb) is that due to the extreme excess of “laces”, while walking, I repeatedly step on the loops and they come undone, forcing me to m stop, exasperate, lean over and tie the shoelaces. But wait! There is more! Taking the shoes off also introduces exasperation because of course when I pull on the shoelace it creates a knot, because of all the loops and unnecessary string wrapped around everything. This involves removing the shoe from my foot while it’s still attached, getting a fork (to insert into the knot to separate it) and undoing the mini Gordian knot that is now my shoe; all the while, exhaling forcefully, rolling his eyes, and cursing the manufacturer’s poor customer service.

The laces aren’t the only source of frustration. Passwords are another.

For example, I started this column on my iPad, but Microsoft asked me to sign in first. This dictates get my password manager, find the correct code, select all the images that look like a bus, enter the curvy (mostly unreadable) letters on the verification page and wait an email confirming that I am me. Of course, typing with stubby, aged fingers on a device’s flat screen is inaccurate at best; so, due to a typo of a letter in my password, I am informed: “Too many attempts. Try again later.”

Come on, you’re with me, right? It’s infuriating. I wanted to write, not pass an FBI security check. Sigh and roll your eyes with me. Blasphemy is elective.

At the point where this screed began, I get very exasperated. I exhale more than a pipe organ with broken bellows. I don’t like it in me. Dare I say it, I find that infuriating (adjective, not verb).

I realize that “irritators” are first world problems. I understand. I groan, cling, and groan for too much of my precious day about annoyances that, on a grand scale, cosmic karma, don’t even produce a ripple.

Therefore, from now on, I commit to focus on not exasperating so often. Too often it’s a sign of frustration or anger, emotions in direct contradiction to gratitude and acceptance, where I want to spend the most time. My new goal will be that even when something doesn’t happen the way I want or expect (which happens often but is inevitably minor), I will choose to be grateful to be alive to experience that discomfort. . No, really, I’m serious. I’m working on it.

The exhale I just did was NOT infuriating, but satisfying. (We’ll define that another time.)

Scott “Q” Marcus is the CRP (Chief Recovering Perfectionist) of and the founder of the inspirational Facebook group, Intentions Affirmations Manifestations. Join his free bi-monthly online motivational sessions by signing up for his free bi-monthly newsletter at


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