Saturday, October 11, 2014
I’m not a bitter person, and I’m actually pretty cool. Not in the Happy Days Fonzie kind of way, but in the nothing really bothers me much kind of way. Yet, lately I’ve been thinking of some of my pet peeves. Again, the thoughts I was having weren’t raising my blood pressure any. Instead, they were making me want to share, just to see who agrees with me. Seriously. Who agrees with me on some of these? I’d like to know. So, here is a list of pet peeves that are worth mentioning—in no particular order.
1. It bothers me when my family puts dirty dishes in the sink “to soak.” How about rinsing off your dishes before the leftovers harden on your plate and putting the dishes in the dishwasher so when I rinse things off, the sink doesn’t fill with disgusting water that I have to put my hand in so it’ll run down the drain like it’s supposed to?
2. It bothers me when my next door neighbor mows his yard and mows about 20 feet into my yard. I honestly think he somehow thinks he’s doing me a favor, but he’s not. Who wants to look out his or her window and see a yard that’s 20% mowed and 80% unmowed? Is he trying to get me to mow too? Why? I keep my yard looking nice. Is he trying to make it look like he has a great big yard and I have a little itty bitty one? I wish he’d stop.
3. It bugs me that ropes, cords, strings, jewelry, or any other stringy-shaped articles are alive and tie themselves in knots of their own volition. How can I untangle my extension cord, pump up my car tires, and throw my straightened cord next to the wall on my garage floor and then have it tangled in a jumbled mess the next time I pick it up? Why are my earphones for my iPod always in a knot, no matter how neatly I place them in my drawer? I have a whole blog about this topic it’s so frustrating. http://jefflaferney.blogspot.com/2013/06/strings-are-alive-and-other-obvious.html
4. Driving behind someone who is going well below the speed limit bugs me—almost as much as when someone pulls out in front of me and then immediately puts on a turn signal and brakes, so I have to wait for him to turn.
5. People who use the F-word numerous times in the same sentence. Now, I can deal with swearing. I read books and watch movies and live life out in public, but am I to be impressed when the speaker manages to use the F-word as a noun, verb, adverb, and adjective in the same sentence? I want to say, “Excuse me, there’s a book full of synonyms for your favorite word,” and then I want to present said person with the gift of a thesaurus.
6. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton bug me. Those two men have propagated far more racism than they’ve alleviated.
7. People who can’t do simple math bug me. For instance, I’ll give back a paper in class that says 8/10. Kids ask me what grade that is. Then they’ll say, “I had a zero for this assignment. Will this improve my grade?” I’m always tempted to say “No, 8 out of 10 is a negative number and your grade is worse now.” I made a $9.99 purchase this summer. The cash register was down, so the cashier had to figure the purchase by hand—using a calculator, of course. Michigan sales tax is 6%, so the tax is easy (60 cents). She wrote 9.99 down on paper, used the calculator to figure the tax at 60 cents and then wrote that under 9.99. Then she used the calculator to add the two numbers together. It told her 10.59. I waited patiently for this process, and then gave her $11.00. She got all flustered so I told her that my change was 41 cents. She said, “I know.” She then wrote 11.00 on her paper and put 10.59 under it, and she proceeded to punch the numbers into the calculator twice (I assume she was checking her answer out of amazement that I knew it before she did) and wrote .41 under the number—confirming what she claimed she already knew. Now the problem was adding the coins together. She took a quarter from the drawer, hesitated, and then put it back and took out four dimes and a penny. That was easier. The transaction took over five minutes.
8. I get a little nutty when people borrow my paperback books and return them with the binding all cracked and creased. Am I the only one who believes things should be returned in as good of condition as when they were borrowed? Books are not supposed to look like this when they’re returned.
9. Shouldn’t people say thank you when I hold a door for them or shouldn’t they wave when I let their car in front of me in traffic? Common politeness is gradually disappearing.
10. When your boss tells you that he/she has had “a couple” of complaints or “several” complaints, we all know that he or she got one, right? So in my case, one parent complained about something and 159 did not. So why must I change what I’m doing when 99.375% of my students’ parents are not complaining. (Yes, I used a calculator for that one).
11. Am I the only consumer that is irritated that every gas station in the county is selling gasoline for the same exact price?
12. Why do half-gallons of ice cream now come in containers far smaller than a half-gallon? Do the packagers and manufacturers think I’m too dumb to notice?
13. Daylight savings time. Need I say more? If I took a board and sawed off a foot from the top and attached it to the bottom, it would not be longer. I have a blog post about my atomic clock that will not reset for the new season. Uh, yes, six months of the year, my clock is wrong and there’s nothing I can do about it besides smash it to smithereens, which I’ve considered. I have a separate blog about this issue as well. http://jefflaferney.blogspot.com/2013/03/daylight-savings-and-atomic-clocks.html
14. People who call their newborn child “Baby” confuse me. Is this a new fad or does it just happen in Central Michigan? “It’s time to take Baby home…We can’t make it. Baby isn’t feeling well…Baby is sleeping six hours now.” Could it be “the” baby? Does Baby actually have a name?
15. I have to admit I’m not a drinker, so what I’m about to say might be totally ridiculous, but why, when people have a drink and a camera is pointed at them, do they have to raise their drink in the air to show it off? I don’t do that with a can of Mountain Dew. Coffee drinkers don’t do that. Can you see me holding up my glass of milk at breakfast?
16. Packaging sometimes is a pet peeve. Does anyone else hate that plastic sealed packaging that electronics comes in? Why should I need a knife, scissors, and a trip to emergency to get into a package?
17. Okay, I’ve waited long enough to admit this. I hate when people don’t know the difference between it’s and its; there, their, and they’re; are and our; your and you’re; who’s and whose; and to and too (among others). Sorry…I had to say it. But this picture makes me laugh.
18. Since I’m on the topic, when people say things like “I seen that movie” or “It don’t matter,” I cringe. Sorry, again, but I’m an English teacher. Should I include double negatives?
19. I roll my eyes when golfing with people who take three or four foot “gimmees” on the putting green and then brag about their scores at the end of the round.
20. It’s mind-boggling when people accuse someone else of being “selfish” simply because they didn’t get what they wanted.
As I’ve written this blog, I’ve come to realize I could go on and on and on. Maybe there’ll be another post in the future, but what are some of your pet peeves? I’d love to hear them. And if your pet peeve is an author pushing his/her books, let me just drive you crazy because mine are for sale at both Amazon and Barnes & Noble. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Jeff+LaFerney and http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Jeff-Laferney?keyword=Jeff+Laferney&store=book