|There are times when kvetching just feels good. Little annoyances seem to add up and eventually I find myself having conversations with the air about the things that rankle. That happened last Saturday when I found myself on a busy street and behind drivers who did not start to move when the light changed. I don’t know what caused their delay and traffic was stopped until they got their act in gear, so to speak.|
That got me thinking about pet peeves of mine which usually don’t register consciously until they seem to occur with enough frequency that I reach a point where the voice deep inside me finally says, “Enough, already!”
So here are my pet peeves in no particular order and sort of grouped together.
- People who eat and make a lot of noise when they chew [usually with their mouths open]. I mean, savour your food but it’s your experience and not mine.
- People who pick their teeth or use toothpicks at the table or make annoying noises as they try to suck the food out from between their teeth [Yeah, Sheldon!]. Is this part of their dining experience? Am I expected to share it?
- People who sit at the table and try to subtly lift a butt cheek to fart [Yeah, Ed!]. Who do they think they’re kidding?
- Better yet, people who fart [and this includes SBD’s] and then look at you like you did it and should apologize for the air pollution. [Hello, Gerry! – but he was a Boston Terrier.]
- People who get into the check out line in any store and, once everything has been rung in, then try to find enough money or their plastic in order to pay. Whatever happened to the old Boy Scout motto “Be prepared?”
- People who, when they shop [especially in grocery stores], saunter down the middle of the aisle or walk in tandem or turn corners without looking or [and this one really gripes] stop and have a conversation with someone all the while blocking the aisle for others.
- People who, when they shop, reach around you or over you to get what they want without acknowledging you and then, when you comment on that, cuss you out. Like you were in their way on purpose. The best come back I ever heard to this was a line my best friend said [and I wish that I had said it]: “And you eat out of that mouth?”
- People who don’t follow the rules of line ups. They barge in front of others and justify it by loudly telling everyone else that they had to wait in a line up that morning and so they believe they no longer have to do that. Their convenience is their be all and end all.
- People who wait till the last minute to do anything [Christmas shopping comes to mind] and then barge in and around like they’re more important than anyone else. [See also line ups and check out preparedness.]
- People who come to the end of the escalator and then stop and block the egress while they look around trying to decide which direction to move in. And no else can get off and we all stack up like cord wood.
- People on elevators who don’t move so I can’t get off if my floor is before theirs. Like they’re afraid that if they step off to let someone else leave, then the elevator will take off without them.
- People who see you coming to a door or an elevator and you may be encumbered and loaded down with bags or a cane or a walker and they don’t help open the door or hold the elevator for you. In fact, they ostentatiously ignore you. Personally, I think that they’re praying that they can get on the elevator and that it will take off before anyone else comes along.
- People who get on street cars or buses or subway cars and enter and stand there and don’t move back, or they move back and then block the exit doorway others need to get off and never move out of the way, or don’t get ready the stop ahead to get off and so push others out of their way in a mad dash to get off at the last moment.
- And while I’m at it, bus drivers and street car drivers who do not let you off at your stop even if you have pulled the ‘I want off’ cord to indicate that you want off and given them sufficient notice like just after they drove away from the stop before yours.
- Common respect for elderly and those who need help. Why can’t people offer their seats or to help others on or off public transit or hold open doors or offer to help carry things if they have the time and yet they expect others to help them?
- Pedestrians in the parking areas of shopping malls who walk in tandem, often in conversation, down the middle of the driving lane and without paying a lick of attention to drivers who are in the process of backing up or who are driving toward them. Do these pedestrians really believe that they are impervious to being hurt by any car?
- And, while I’m on the subject, why is it that drivers park in shopping malls and know about the issues regarding pedestrians and, once they leave their cars, become pedestrians who totally disregard cars? Do they change bodies somehow? What’s with that?
- Drivers who hog parking spots in shopping malls. In some shopping malls, the parking spaces seem to be designed for small compact cars. Now if car beside me has been parked close to my side, then I have to try to get out and fit into a very small space [and I’m not very compressible] all the while trying not to have my car door touch the car beside me. And if it does touch it, then, no, I did not ‘hit’ your car! Park with more common sense!
- Drivers who don’t signal lane changes or speed up so I can’t change lanes or, [Yeah Ed!], straddle lanes so they can move and make changes easily. What about the rest of us?
- While I’m at it, drivers who do signal lane changes and then proceed to move into their desired lane without making sure that there is enough road room to do so. In threading-a-needle on the highway, they are really counting on my observation skills, response time, and that I have good brakes if I need them.
- Drivers who have issues regarding road speed. Either they’re like my grandfather who white-knuckled it on the 401 at 80 km/hr and not in the outside right hand land or they speed up to pass you and then have to immediately slow down because the rest of the traffic is not moving at their accelerated speed. Like they put the pedal to the metal to gain three seconds.
- Why do people have cell phones always in their hands or Blue Tooth apparatus on their ears? I once thought that a woman coming up behind me on the street was talking to me and I started to reply until I noticed the Blue Tooth thing in her ear. What did we do before these technological marvels? Use land lines? Actually talk face to face?
- And while I’m on the subject, no, you don’t have to take that call. If I’m in conversation with you, I expect you to stay in that conversation with me and let anything coming through on your cell go to voice mail. That’s what I’d do for you.
- Technology – the joys of the blue nowhere. ‘Techno speak’ is a foreign language to me and I have no desire to take the time to try and learn it. So why is it that salespeople in computer stores use that language at me? And they look at me like I’m from Mars because I’ve chosen not to live in the blue nowhere.
- Kids – especially in grocery stores. When I went shopping with my mother, I was expected to stay with her and close to the shopping cart and pay attention to others in the store and not get in their way. I know that kids get bored and fractious and that parents do not have eyes in the back of their heads and that it’s often not possible to find someone to mind the kids while the parent has to go out to get groceries. Yet now, if the kids get in the way of other shoppers, then the shoppers are expected to be on the lookout. The rights of shoppers are superseded by letting the kids work off some excess energy.
And finally …
- People who display affection extravagantly and overtly in public places. Kissing is fine but loud French kissing is just plain rude. Someone should have the chutzpah to say, “Get a room!” I know that I might think it but would most likely not say it because that would be impolite and I’ve been told too many times that, if I don’t like it, then I shouldn’t watch. Sometimes there’s just no other place to look – know what I mean?
I guess it all comes down to people using common sense and having a bit of patience and displaying basic common courtesy. What ever happened to talking to each other face to face and asking for what we need and treating others as we would like to be treated? I guess I’m tired of the fast-paced world in which I now live where everything has to be done now or, better yet, yesterday. We do not live in a sound byte world. And I’m at odds with the world where people operate their lives with a sense of entitlement. What ever happened to simple common sense and humanity?