I had no idea what he meant, so I asked him to explain.
He said that when I got irritated, I didn't raise my voice or grow frustrated. Instead, he said, I talked normally and explained the situation clearly to the other person. However, I made it very clear to everyone else around me that the other person was, in fact, a complete dumbkopf and wasting my time.
My roommate said he was impressed by my ability to be simultaneously polite and exasperated. I said I didn't realized I was doing anything like this. I asked him what I did to give him this impression. He said he wasn't quite sure, but it was mainly the way I rolled my eyes.
Fast forward to the present. I'm starting to accept the fact that I'm very good at expressing indignation.
A few months ago, I wrote a lengthy e-mail to a source whom I consider an expert on the slings and arrows that Generation X'ers suffer in the work place. I had written several other e-mails on the same topic. She wrote back:
hey, dave. these are fun. thanks for sending them. i love reading your
emails of indignation. you write indignation so well!
I have received few compliments that made me smile more.
A few days ago, my pal Sue wrote:
I looked up irascible in the dictionary and found your picture. I think you may be working your way up to curmudgeon.
I have always wanted to be a curmudgeon. I think it would look good on a business card. I'm still not sure which dictionary carries my picture, though. I hope it's the Oxford English Dictionary — that's the really prestigious one!