My husband and I were having an interesting conversation the other day about pet peeves. We weren't talking about stupid shit like which way the toilet paper rolls, but more like the peeves that turn you off from people. That person that, if you find out this thing about them, you may not continue to be friends with them because it is something that drives you bonkers. My husband says his three are willful ignorance, entitlement, and aggressive drivers. I'm afraid my list is a bit longer. Most of the time I keep my issues (which are really non-issues) to myself. I know that these things only bother me and they don't matter in the grand scheme of things, but I find them to be annoyances none the less, like a fly buzzing in a room.
Gym Rats - I am not against people who like to work out. My husband and I go to the gym several times a week. I have issues with people who take videos of themselves working out, show it off to other people at the gym, and then upload to YouTube. I loathe those Cross Fit videos of people doing burpees or jumping really high onto things. Nothing turned me off faster when I was dating then a guy who took selfies of his muscles. I have nicknamed the group of guys at my gym who do it, The Showoff Brigade.
Extreme Selfishness That Affects Many People - Blaring music in the middle of the night because your music is more important than everyone else's sleep in the neighborhood. Walking down the middle of the street and not moving aside or faster when a car comes by. Standing in the middle of the road. Parking in the middle of the road or parking lot because parking in the parking space three feet away would be too much of a hassle. These people don't think about other people. Ever. In fact, it almost feels like they go out of their way to make other people's lives miserable. It's entitlement to the extreme. I'll walk in the middle of this road because it's my road and fuck you for trying to drive on it. I'll blast my music in the middle of the night because my music and machismo is more important than your insomnia or sleeping children.
Aggressive Drivers who brag about it. No, it is not a badge of honor to get eight speeding tickets in a year. That's called stupidity and a giant waste of money, especially if you are a grown ass adult. I know who you are. You are the guy who almost caused a 10 car pileup (and will eventually) because you decided that the cars going 75 mph weren't going fast enough for you so you whipped around them, squeezing in between to semis in order to get where you are going 30 seconds faster. You are the woman who is shouting in her car and riding someone's bumper because they are slowing down in a school zone. Look, I have looked at my GPS. Do you know how much time you shave off of your drive when you drive fast and fierce? Usually a minute. Maybe two is you are exceptionally speedy. Where do you need to be in that minute that you are willing to risk your life and that of everyone on the road? Is it worth it? Is going fast worth a life?
Essential Oils. If lavender oil really cures snoring, I am sure that every Somnologist in the world would be handing it out. The idea that every doctor is crooked and in the pocket of BigPharma is ridiculous. You know what holistic medicine is called when it works? Medicine. Your cuts are not healing faster, your son's bellyache is not cured by oregano oil, and it isn't disease prevention. It's a snake oil placebo that only works because you want it to.
Stay-at-home-Moms and pyramid scheme home businesses. You are being scammed. You will not make money selling tupperware or nail polish or diet shakes. Ever. The least you can hope for is a bunch of free samples. To be successful at these business, you will have to treat it like a real 40 hour a week job. Which kind of defeats the whole "I'm a stay-at-home mom thing" in my mind. And it will alienate your friends. Seriously, if one more person tries to sell me fucking Jamberry nail wraps I'm going to unfriend them, online and in real life.
People who anthropomorphize their pets. "Dear Mom, I see birds outside, can I go outside?" accompanied by a picture of their dog staring out the window. They aren't funny like 'I Can Haz Cheeseburger'. They aren't even mildly entertaining. Never mind that no matter how many ways you take a picture of your dog, they pretty much always look the same with varying backgrounds. These people also will whip out photos of their animals whenever someone is talking about a pet and/or their children. Frankly, there is a point where it crosses over into the weird. I know you love your pet, I adore my cat, but she is an animal. She doesn't understand English as far as I can tell and I don't believe she is capable of love in the way that humans understand the word.
Insiders Only Club. There's this new guy in my office who is obsessed with Jazz. He is a jazz musician, loves Jazz bands, and has a rather deep knowledge of the subject. He and another co-worker hit it off immediately. During a work party, I (mistakenly) sat down at their table, interested in getting to know this new guy. These two sat there talking about Jazz for 30 minutes and barely acknowledge my existence. (I would have moved but all the tables were full) Didn't even ask my name. And here's the real kicker, I am a classically trained musician with an extensive knowledge of Jazz, musical theory, and the history of music. These guys were so into the thing they were talking about though, that they refused to let anyone else into their conversation. We all have our obsessions, but with these kind of people, it seems like they are rudely assuming that no one else but them can know about a particular subject. Caveat: I work for an academic publishing company so intellectual elitism is a disease here.
Religion bashing by people who don't understand religion. I grew up in an Assemblies of God Pentecostal Charismatic Evangelical background. I was homeschooled. We didn't own a television. At one point my mother grew her hair long and only wore dresses. They have since slacked up a bit, but it is still common for me to call my mother, tell her I have a headache, and the next thing I know she is praying for my healing. Even though I am no longer religious, as someone who grew up around this, I completely understand their mindset. Sure, there are things that drive me nuts about religion too. What is not cool is when you overhear your coworker going on a diatribe about how weird all homeschoolers are and how they just know (based on pure instinct) when a person has been homeschooled because they grow up to be religious nutjobs. (I have no idea how I made it back to my desk without exploding.) Or the person who makes a blanket statement about Evangelicals, but has never actually met anyone who is an Evangelical, let alone bothered to try and understand where they are coming from, whether they agree or not. I don't make blanket statements about Muslims or Hindus because my knowledge is limited and I know it. It is better to learn than to act like I know so much about something I do not. This does not mean you cannot criticize, only that you must realize and acknowledge your limitations. Also, be willing to learn. And no, my co-worker still has no clue that I was homeschooled, despite her supposed perfect radar.
Judging something based on public opinion. We all read that news article, watched that video, heard that interview. Yet somehow, no one can agree. Did they or didn't they? Once the "official" story comes out, the opinions shatter further. Some people become conspiracy theorists, others believe the official report, while others use their own personal experiences to color the story. After all, because they have experienced an anecdotal moment that could be vaguely seen in this light, this situation was probably the same. And although they have never worked in the particular field that is in question, they know an awful lot about it based on armchair reading. In this Age of Opinion, the masses have become the judge and jury before all the facts are laid out and once they have made up their minds, nothing will change it. Guilty until proven innocent. It makes it just that much harder for the professionals to get to the truth. You may be right, you may be wrong, but none of that matters because your personal feelings and experiences are more important than the truth of any given situation.
Believe it or not, despite these daily annoyances, I manage to lead a fairly drama-free life. When the fly buzzes by, I acknowledge that it is there, that it does in fact bother me, and then move on. Deep breath. Don't take it personally. Your co-worker does not know that you were homeschooled for seven years. Don't get too upset. Moving on. But I also admit that I will probably not be developing any deep friendships with these people either. And here's the thing, I know that there are other people out there who would never be friends with me based on their own pet peeves. Perhaps they can't stand people who interrupt when they talk (I don't mean to, I've just got so much to say) or they don't like talkative people. Maybe opinionated people bother them. Or they feel uncomfortable around meat eaters. Whatever it is, we all have things that bother us and people we wouldn't be friends with. For some people that list is very short. I'm okay with my little group of friends.
This is a personal, but secret, blog archiving my deconversion from a Christian to a non-believer.