We are here to complain and are taking this directly to our readers. We’re referring to pet peeves, you know, those little things in life that get under our skin. They slip in and can join us any time of day. There is no warning and nothing dangerous about them. However, they are as annoying as an itch that can’t be scratched.
To wit, consider these.
-Listening to people get competitive about grief. Scenario: Three women having lunch who prattle on about losing their husbands. Conversation: My husband left me. Well mine died. Mine died in a flash. Mine died after a protracted illness. Mine is worse, he committed suicide. Does it really matter? In each case, loss is loss. Now, we hope everyone can go get and enjoy their life.
-People who walk dogs on a leash and stretch out the leash, so they take up the entire sidewalk. And we like and love dogs, too. Half the time the owner is on the phone and oblivious to his/her encroachment. We see the stretched-out leash and are reminded of a long jump rope. Are we supposed to hop, skip and jump for fun while reciting jump rope rhymes like we did as kids? Jump the sidewalk is not a game that we care to play and can be the set up for someone to trip and fall, including us!
-People who hit all in reply to an email when they don’t know any of the people they’re replying to except the original email sender. Is this so everyone can see their response and like it? We guess it makes some folks feel popular. We say, if you want to be popular, gain recognition by joining groups and getting involved in certain activities. Put yourself out there but not on email. That will not make you popular but probably do the opposite.
-People who schmooze at a counter when a line behind is long and getting longer. Barbara had this happen at her post office when a woman held up the line telling the clerk about her house and a meal she had. Margaret experienced this at the bank. Here was the conversation. (Think New York accent). Hi doll, did you know this is guacamole day? Bank clerk: What does that mean? Woman: I don't know who invents these things, but I resent it. I am not going to spend the money to bring guac to all the members of my team. Coming up is doughnut day and cake day. Bank clerk: Oh, I love doughnuts. Woman: What kind? My faves are the little glazed ones. This damn doughnut dialogue continues for 10 minutes as the two tick off all the flavors of doughnuts they prefer. After some nasty grunts, tut-tuts from the crowd and looks that could bore a doughnut hole through the woman, the conversation ends, and the woman moves on. So does the line.
-People who don’t pick up their dog’s poop. Then, some unsuspecting victim who is looking up steps right in it. A stream of curse words erupts. Some owners even let their dogs poop in a grate. Where does it go when they do that? Into our drinking water? Yuck!
-People who slam doors in our face because they have no manners. Most don’t do so on purpose but because they’re too busy doing something else. Instead, we suggest: Might you hold the door, please. Being a victim of this slam is painful like ripping off a bandage too quickly. It stings for a second but the memory sticks with us.
-People on scooters who come whizzing past us on the sidewalk. Usually, it’s children who are excited with their new toy. We’re happy for them but where are their parents, trailing several feet behind? When it happens, it feels like a mini tornado and can cause a “person-to-scooter” crash. We finally understand why dogs hate people on scooters.
-People who sneeze into their hands, especially if they’re wearing rubber gloves. They think because they have on gloves it’s okay to continue to prepare your food—and maybe theirs. To add insult to possible illness, they often make a loud obnoxious noise when they sneeze, drawing even more attention to themselves and their unhealthy habits. Might we suggest a tissue and a new pair of rubber gloves.
-Parents who bring their sick children to the grocery store, movie theater or other public place. That way everyone else can share their germs and possibly get sick. It’s fine to share snacks, stories and more but we think germs should be off limits.
-People who are always late and feel there is no late. They typically say, Oh, am I late? Hell, yes. Their excuses can be wonderful long stories, sometimes true and sometimes not. How about an apology and effort not to do it again, except in emergencies?
-Subway workers and bus drivers who make passengers feel bad about themselves. They treat us with distain when we ask about a senior card. And have you noticed, they often talk louder if you’re a senior. As if we can’t hear! (Some of us can’t so thanks to those.) Or, they pretend they cannot hear us. They make us feel like we should be grateful to them that we even have a subway or bus system. After all, many cities do not. La-de-da.
-People who talk loud on their cell phones in a public space and everyone can hear their conversation. Example: Yeah, Mable, I broke up with the bastard. He was cheating on me with my best friend. I’ve had it. Well, lady, so have we.
What can we do to avoid these scenarios? We can always stay home and wait for those obnoxious robo calls to come in on a regular basis. Yes, those bother us, too. Now, we’d love to hear your pet peeves for a future post.