May 10th, 2007


I really enjoy the term “pet peeve.” It implies that, while the human race essentially agrees on what sucks, each person can only live with extreme awareness of a limited number of irritations. It makes annoyance with trivia seem less morally unsound–we know war is worse than splinters, but sometimes we have to focus on the little, amusing irritants to get through the day. Or maybe I’m just looking for excuses.

People occasionally start to vent to me and then stop and say, “Oh, I really can’t complain.” But one certainly *can* and–judiciously, conscientiously, with consideration for one’s audience–one should. Once it’s out, perhaps it won’t bother you so much. Thereby I am posting below my up-to-the-minute top ten (they are actually not ranked, despite my need to number things) pet peeves, things that don’t matter but bother me anyway. Please feel free and encouraged to post yours, too–I’ll sympathize, if not empathize.

10. Accidentally tapping fork tines against any of the many hard surfaces in my mouth.

9. Days when I don’t get any mail.

8. When people don’t “walk left, stand right” on escalators.

7. Itchy tags, especially on hats and bras.

6. Papercuts.

5. Air-conditioning.

4. Stickiness.

3. People talking on cell phones in public bathrooms.

2. All manner of TTC malfeasance: standing in front of doors, not moving to the back of the bus, letting your dog lick the allergic who are trapped on the bus with you, etc.

1. When people say, “I’m the sort of person that…” This is, in my opinion, the worst tautological idiocy; if you do it/buy it/like it/eat it, you define the sort of person that does so, don’t you? I guess you could be making some counter-to-type point, ie. “I’m the sort of girl who likes to wear a button-down blouse under a pullover, but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying the slackwater stylings of Fall Out Boy and their ilk.” But even then, doesn’t “I like to wear a button-down…but…” sound just as good?

I wasn’t ranking these peeves, but maybe I hate this one the most, for no good reason. Just…why do people say that? Is it pretentiousness? What could they be pretending to? I think it’s just silly rhetorical padding, but it makes me insane. There is no “sort” of person who throws pasta at the wall to see if it is done, people just do it! It’s unextrapolatable!

Ahem. If you were thinking of listing this rant as one of *your* peeves, I’m way ahead of you. Shutting up now.

We do it in the dark / with smiles on our faces

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So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum

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