For someone who considers myself an open-minded liberal, I am ripe with pet peeves. There is a fantastically long list of human behaviors that drive me to distraction. These are not things that are dangerous or prejudice, but instead acts that are ridiculously annoying. Just whittling down the list was an epic undertaking, but I have managed to do so, presenting my Top Pet Peeves:
- People who say “eXspecially” or “eXscape.” Those words do not have Xes in them. There is not an implied X. Stop. Freaking. Saying. It.
- Small dog owners who insist on bringing their dogs everywhere with them. Dog park or pet store? Fine. But your teacup lhasapoodoodle does not need to go any of the following places: The Grocery Store, The Movie Theater, The Mall, Disney World, Church, Any Store or Eating Establishment that is Not Specifically for Dogs. Just because the dogs fits in a bag does not make it a roll of breath mints that can go everywhere. My pit bull mix fits in a rolling duffel bag. How would you react if I brought her to Target with me to pick up the latest mass market designer fashions? (She does have excellent taste.)
- People who use the phrases “I deserve” or “It’s not fair.” It may not be fair, but very few things are. And very few people deserve anything. Those that do, don’t need to say it. They earn it.
- People who claim they like to write but don’t like to read. You can’t do one without the other. The same thing goes for actors who don’t watch television/movies, etc.
- People who take things out of the microwave early and don’t clear the time. The microwave then remains suspended at :15. Just push clear. Really. Your food is too hot to eat right this second anyway.
- Gum chewing. I was scarred as a child by Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory in so many ways (that boat scene is just plain messed up). One of those was the fear that gum chewing would turn me into a blueberry or some other amorphous blob. Now I just find gun chewing gross. Particularly if you are going to speak to people or be interviewed, it’s just nasty to watch that wad bob around inside your jaw.
- Slip on shower shoes and socks. Maybe it’s because I teach a number of athletes that this bothers me so much. It’s not even the aesthetic of it–fine, you can’t be bothered with real shoes, I get it. But pick up your feet when you walk so I do not have to listen to that infernal sliding and slapping on the floor.
- People who talk on cell phones in public bathrooms. Is this really what society is coming to?
- Women who elect to start photography businesses after they have kids even though they have no photography training or experience aside from taking a billion ‘artsy’ snapshots of their kids with the only setting they know how to use on their overpriced automatic camera (and then forcing me to Like their businesses on Facebook). To be clear, not all photographers are this way–I know a number of talented, trained, and experienced photographers who happen to be moms. But charging $175 an hour to take 50 shots of a baby in butterfly wings looking off camera and getting 2 that are in focus does not a photographer make. Neither does the sole skill of turning eyes blue in a black and white picture. As my real photographer friends will tell you, it takes a great deal more than that. Take some classes, work with a real photographer. Stop ordering cutesy props on Etsy until you have a better grasp of composition and lighting.
- Blogs, emails, essays, Tweets, Status Updates, Basically Any Form of Writing that does not use capitalization. In professional correspondence, it’s rude (you aren’t important enough for me to hit shift). In academic writing it’s inappropriate. As a stylistic choice, unless you are e.e. cummings, it’s trite. We are gifted with an alphabet and grammatical rules for the purpose of making communication easier. Let’s not give those things, or our readers, the middle finger.