I consider myself a pretty amicable person. That said, I’ll be the first to admit that there is a longer-than-average dirty laundry list of things that can make me irritable. There are the standards that many find perturbing, such as the ever-prevalent cell yell, then there are some that are a bit . . . unusual. Meaning, I’ve asked for opinions to see if I am being unreasonable. While some people, when pressed, will concede my pet peeves could be annoying under certain circumstances, those non-committal responses tend to be delivered askance. It doesn’t change my stance (rhyme unintended); peculiarity is subjective, I say. So here they are.
Keep your saliva to yourself
I’ll venture lightly into this diatribe with the pet peeve that is easiest to understand, if not embraced by all. Spit is gross. I think that is a universal constant. If we discover intelligent life on other planets and spat on the ground in front of them, they would probably be pretty insulted and repulsed. However, I extend my revulsion to saliva in any quantity. Unless it is shared under appropriate circumstances, and you know what those are, I don’t want any near me—nary a speck. I just don’t like casual spit. There, I said it.
I can’t help but focus on the tiny spittle that sometimes flies out of a mouth accidentally. When it happens to me, I pray those who might witness it don’t have the eagle eye to spot it. Why? Because when it happens to other people, I notice. I notice hard. My eyes roll to follow the arching trajectory of the droplet to its eventual destination. If it lands on something of mine or my person, I have to channel my energy to not react lest the shooter be just as embarrassed as if I were in the same position. I also time the casual wipe—not with my bare skin, mind you—of the spittle if it has landed near me. It is probably close to evaporating at the point it is safe to do that without garnering notice, but it calms my mind so that I can move on.
Oh, I’m not quite finished with this one.
I don’t know which is worse, licking your finger to handle paper, or doing it to remove a spot from someone else’s body. Both set my teeth on edge. Why, why would anyone force their own fluids onto an unwilling participant? It’s rape, dare I say, of the sputum variety. Also, I trust the culprit’s mouth is not minty fresh, so that spit is skunking up whatever it is drying on.
I made the mistake of writing this in the middle of my lunch hour. I don’t feel so good, now.
I love shopping and bringing home my spoils. But Christ on a stick, I hate the price and other identifying tags that are adhered to them. When they come off cleanly with one peel, I’m okay. But when goop and torn paper remain, I shudder at the filth that is left. I feel my jaw jut out and clench as the gooey paper accumulates under my fingernail while I attempt to remove the residual muck. When that fails, out comes the rubbing alchohol. More times than not, it mars the surface of the once pristine product. That is bad enough, but I can’t even fathom why anyone would just adopt a devil-may-care attitude and not even try to remove the sticker in the first place. Have you ever drunk out of a mug that still had the UPC sticker on the bottom? The coffee tasted more bitter to me, I confess.
In conclusion, this world would be a cleaner and more peaceful place if sticky labels were eradicated completely.
Don’t over-ick the pudding
If I had to choose between Heaven and Hell, it would be the place with chocolate pudding. It is my absolute favorite dessert of all times. While I don’t expect everyone to carry the same level of obsession with the food of the gods, I am within reason to ask that the majority acknowledge that it is the superior flavor of pudding. When people think of pudding, they should automatically think of chocolate. Is that so wrong?
Then why do most restaurants, if they serve pudding, default to rice or tapioca? Who informed them that it was the most popular choice of puddings? Is there some elaborate, sick joke to which I am not privvy? I’ve tasted both and it is a pointless, and even painful, exercise of consuming something just because it is there. I’d rather savor the calories that I must burn off at the gym later. When I set to enjoying a bowl of pudding, I do not want to chew it. For all I know, those lumps could be curdled, spoiled chunks of milk. I trust it wouldn’t taste any different. If I want maggots in my food, I’ll put maggots in my food. Otherwise, give me the pristine, creamy goodness of cocoa. Thank you.
Don’t get me started on bread pudding. It isn’t pudding, it’s a glorified, mashed-up danish.
While I have referred to myself as a Luddite, of sorts, I embrace the evolution of the paperless environment. Why? It means less paper, of course. Full sheets that are kept neat and flat are fine. I must brush many aside to confirm the color wood of my desk. But when they curl up on the ends, become frayed, discolored, or the gods forbid—tear off into messy little pieces, my mood changes quicker than Enron can shred an incriminating document.
Do I really need to explain myself on this one? It just makes the world look like shit.
Sticky notes are a necessary evil. But make no mistake, they are evil. I strike a deal with the Devil every time I feel compelled to use one. I breach that contract if the adhesive gets hair and dirt on it or otherwise gunkified. That’s right, I made that word up. SUCK IT, Satan!
Another thing that drives me to the parking lot of the nearest insane asylum is when someone turns a piece of paper into a bookmark. There is a reason that book and stationary stores have a display dedicated to bookmarks to suit any and every interest, personality, etc. It makes it inviting to show books the proper respect with a pretty, tidy companion. I am shocked, shocked I say, at the amount of lazy slobs who use a register receipt, a straw wrapper, and even a [shudder] ripped piece of paper. Not to mention, dog ears look cute only on dogs and children. Despite my desire otherwise, I fear the aforementioned paperless environment is extending to books. There is nothing like holding one in my hands and turning the (immaculate) pages. However, I consider the sacrifice of that to be a noble one if it would remove the madness that is atrociously makeshift bookmarks.
Platitudes give me an attitude
This is a multi-faceted one. Where to start?
Let’s be straight with each other. When you ask me how I am doing and I respond with other than an “Oh pretty good, and you?” chances are high that you will not want to hear it. If I were to go off on a rant about my recurring herpes flare-up (hypothetical, of course) you will instantly regret pissing me off with this platitudinal inquiry. You don’t care how I am doing, you just want to make yourself known to as many people before tumbling off your dumb-ass mortal coil. Admit it.
While we are on the subject, don’t ask me how my weekend was, nor lead my response by asking if I had a nice one. Chances are high, again, that if it wasn’t horrible, it fell short of expectations, and you won’t want to know that. Once it is over with, I generally want to forget it happened lest it remind me how I am not spending my free time, i.e., away from the den of revulsion that is the typical 9-5 office, the way I should, much less to my enjoyment. While no one’s fault but my own, it is also no one’s business but my own. Still, it is Monday and my life is like a dehydrated vampire bleeding me dry, thanks.
I extend platitudes to small talk, if for no other reason than it is just an oxygen-wasting endeavor. Yes, it is quite hot outside. I think most would agree with that observation. Why must it be reiterated, again and again? Let’s discuss something of more import, like the nuances of expelling my dog’s anal glands. How’s that?
Please oh please think up a better response than “I’m sorry” or “My thoughts and prayers are with you blah blah blah.” Be creative. Tell me that the world can blow me, or something like that. That would make me smile.
Just because I am reading a book while in an elevator, doesn’t necessarily mean it is such an engaging story. I just don’t like twiddling my thumbs, and am interested in reading as many books as possible until I go blind or lose my ability to comprehend the written word. Why must you interrupt me by stating that it must be a good book? If it is or isn’t really doesn’t change the fact that this claustrophobic individual doesn’t want to talk to anyone when confined in a 6′ x 6′ box.
I don’t want to touch it, nor do I want it touching me, especially if I don’t know the person. Hair, that is. I can’t explain it, but it creeps me the fuck out. Keep it away. Inhabiting many a crowded public transportation vehicle has made me painfully aware of this . . . I’d call it an issue, but I feel fully justified in my . . . okay, it’s an issue. Really, though, hair can get seriously funky and carry contagions. Why do you think there are places—such as Hair Fairies—dedicated to removing bugs and other foreign matter from human hair? If the Bible said that animals were put on this earth to serve man, then we should be putting monkeys to work picking out all the nasties and other debris from our disease-ridden heads. Don’t put me in the position of contemplating what leapt from your scalp onto my nubile flesh.
No matter how clean the person, dreads smell funky. I’m not talking about the neatly kept braided variety—I’m referring to natty blobs, or shit-dreads, as they are so eloquently named. At minimum, a stale dishrag odor wafts from them. At worst, they smell like something crawled on the person’s head and expelled its gaseous death rattle into the air around it. Not to mention, it looks like a big glob of prehistoric feces. Did someone step in a pile of dinosaur dung and wipe his shoe on the closest unsuspecting victim’s head? And why are these considered hip?
I toss my luxurious, perfumed locks in indignation. Harumph!
What? All right, maybe I over-stated that a touch. But I wouldn’t expect you to touch my hair to debunk that claim, now would I?