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Sudie Crouch: Small things can be larger than they appear
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Sinitta Leunen, unsplash

Life can be full of so many irritations and annoyances. 

If we think about it, we can probably find five things to get upset about before 9 a.m. most days. 

Those aggravations may seem minor, but they can feel quite big.

Sudie Crouch
“It’s getting on my nerves,” I’d declare when I was younger. The “it” was questionable, yet justified, I’m sure.

“You’re too young to have nerves,” Granny would reply. 

I don’t know where she came up with that. There’s not an age requirement for being irritated. 

But it wasn’t big things that were working my nerves. 

Not at all. 

It was the little things – those small annoyances that needled at me and that I turned over and over in my mind, examining from every angle. 

I did it as a child, and I really do it now. Boy, do I do it now.

I can think of those small slights and oversights that make me wonder if someone meant to say or do what they did. 

The improprieties. The lack of personal boundaries. 

All the tiny, little things that probably most people would think nothing of but to me, add up to being a big deal.

“You can’t let every little, bitty thing get to you,” Granny said. “You’re overreacting.”

That was something, coming from the reigning Queen of Blowing Things Out of Proportion herself.

Granny could take the proverbial molehill and turn it into a Mt. Everest sized mountain in about two seconds flat. 

Someone didn’t praise her biscuits. 

Her cake wasn’t the first one to vanish at the church potluck. 

Those little things got to her in many ways. 

It’s not just those moments where we feel like we’ve been slighted either. 

There can be instances where things have intentionally done that add up. 

The failure to reach out to someone when you know they’ve had something happen. 

Neglecting to say thank you when it’s needed — and it’s always needed. 

Even those moments where we’re ignored may seem like not a big deal and maybe it’s not; unless you’re the one being ignored.

People typically think those small things don’t matter, but they do. Think of how annoying a gnat can be, flying around your face. It may seem small, but it’s still a nuisance. 

Sure you can ignore it, but it makes it hard, especially when it’s diving for your eyes and nose. It may be small, but the annoyance factor can be big. 

A mosquito is pretty small too, but it can create a huge annoyance, especially if it bites you.

Or, a hangnail. That’s something you may not even notice until you’re in the shower, washing your hair and it pulls the hair through it and you feel every nerve in your finger scream in revolt. 



All of those things are small in size, but when something has riled it up, it can make a big aggravation. 

On a bigger scale, we let interactions with someone build up with us until they say one thing jokingly and it either cuts us to the quick or makes us angry. 

Maybe it’s a matter of what we’re able to tolerate, too. Some things may not bother us at all, but other things can set our teeth on edge. 

Things that really work my nerves roll off my husband’s back, and vice versa. 

It’s just a matter of what one finds annoying, upsetting, and unnerving.

Mama says that I don’t take people picking on me very well. 

I think she was saying in a roundabout way that I am too sensitive. 

There’s something about those elder women in my family; they tend to be the proverbial pots calling out this kettle for the things they do. 

“I’m sure they were just going on with you,” Mama said recently when I mentioned an exchange I had with someone. “You tend to take everything so personally.”

It’s not that I take things personally, it’s just that those little things after a while can feel calculated after a while. 

Eventually, you start to realize there’s a little bit of hidden intent in each little jab, and after a while, it starts to find its mark. 

And it’s typically those little things that become those big things, too, building up until we feel like we’re in a pressure cooker and explode. 

There’s a familiar saying that it’s the little things that matter; I think that can also be interpreted as meaning those little things can also be far more significant than what we think. 

Just as those small things can bring bigger joy and happiness than we realize, they can conversely add up and bring a bit more irritation than we ever thought possible, too.


Sudie Crouch is an award-winning humor columnist residing in the North Georgia Mountains among the bears, deer, and possibly Sasquatch. You can connect with her on Facebook at Mama Said: A Collection of Wit, Humor, and Deep-Fried Wisdom. Her recently published book, ‘Mama Said: A Collection of Wit, Wisdom, and Deep-Fried Humor’ is available in paperback and Kindle download on Amazon.