Pet Peeves

I don’t know about you but I certainly have a lot of pet peeves. Little things that just bug me. One particularly annoying one is people who don’t know the difference between yield and merge. This is a big one for me. Half the time people blast right through a yield which is annoying and dangerous sometimes but what is worse is the fellow who is merging who slows down in the merge lane. I understand that there are timid drivers and some are quite fearful but the reality is these are the people causing accidents. Lots of my pet peeves revolve around driving. I tend to be quite assertive when I drive and I do tend to speed so I am the guy others are mad at who passes on the right because you have been in the passing lane for 5 minutes staying even with the traffic. The passing lane is for passing. Thus the name. Now you will notice that lots of experienced motorcycle enthusiasts will always ride in the passing lane because it is actually easier for us to stay safe. We don’t have to be hyper vigilant about cars on our left and right, only those on our right. I also don’t understand people who speed up when the road is straight and slow down on the curves. I love cruise control and I hate having to take it off and put it on again. So driving behind these people is annoying. They are also the ones who drive 90kmh until they reach the passing lane and all of a sudden they can blast up to 120. I understand it all has to do with how much comfort a driver feels but I think deep down inside there might a little bit of passive aggression going on. Remember that infomercial years ago by Ronco? They had a countertop electric rotisserie. Their catch phrase was “set it and forget it.” Well I feel the same way about cruise control. Pick a speed and stick to it. Geez…

Another thing that bugs me is people who tell you their address and then proceed to tell you how to “get there”. If they would just stop talking I could get off the phone, put the address into my GPS or even my phone and I am on my way. I am not an idiot! Frankly my short term memory doesn’t allow for that much info and since I probably didn’t write the address down, now I have to ask for it again. Find a pen and paper. Write it down. And then listen to the directions all over again. Frankly by that time ten minutes have passed and now I just want to go home and not drive to wherever I was going. Part of this annoyance may also have something to do with another pet peeve. People who treat me like I am stupid. Over explain the instructions as I am too simple to figure out what is going on. I am impulsive and I jump into many things without much forethought. So yes, I screw up lots. But, most importantly I learn from that. As well I am pretty quick to adapt or change direction on the fly. My mind quickly jumps to a new plan even though it isn’t fully formulated. It has worked for years.

This leads into another peeve. Where people like to point out my flaws. Not only that, they are very excited to help me with said flaws. Now this could be a two-parter. Sometimes you may tell a friend or acquaintance about a thought or an idea and they shut it down. Point out all the reasons why it won’t work or isn’t feasible or why you are wrong. Now my reactions depend on who they are, what I am looking for in feedback, how strongly I feel about the idea, whether I have had enough coffee and sometimes there is absolutely no reasonable explanation for my reactions. Other than just instant emotional response based seemingly on nothing! Bet you can guess how that goes. People who give unsolicited suggestions about me, my life or how I live it are interesting. Usually I would describe them as passive aggressive. Like the mother of my daughters boyfriend. Once before the invention of cell phones, I called their home looking for my daughter. Reasonable since he lived there and my daughter was with him all the time. After responding in the negative to my queries the conversation should have ended fairly quickly. I was surprised when the boyfriends mother told me, out of the blue, that it was irresponsible of me to allow them to date as their age difference was too great. I was more surprised than shocked. They had initially lied to everyone about both of their ages but they had been dating for four years. Britt was legally an adult. The age difference was less than four years. I mean really… Had this woman been waiting that long to tell me this? Or did she just not care for my daughter. Well, the next Christmas the mother and her daughter, along with the boyfriend were invited to my home for Christmas Eve. She brought a bottle of wine and a gift for me. Thoughtful right? It was a book on raising teenagers. I still have it. Unopened. As a reminder of perfect people I have met in my life! In the same line are the people who tell you what you should have done. I wrote a whole blog on that though as they are particularly annoying.

I don’t like big trucks with back seats. You know the ones I mean. There is a full front and back seat and the box is regular sized which is to say, big. They are miles longer than everything and when they park in parking lots they just don’t fit into the short spaces. I wouldn’t mind if they just parked farther away from the doors as they often take up a lot of room. Not usually the case so… I get annoyed. Do an eye roll and walk away. I am also annoyed that these vehicle always seem to need to back into parking spaces. I have asked peole about this and received lots of explanations. One is actually a pretty good reason. The rest are frankly, ridiculous. In my opinion. First off I was I was told it is easier to leave. Obviously but you just spent 10 minutes backing in so… Then it seems, it is easier to back in than to back out. Maybe for you but I see that narrow space, with two lines. Perhaps a car on either side. Its tough to back in. Backing out is basically a main aisle in a parking lot that is oodles bigger. So I don’t buy that. If you are that great at backing in, backing out is a no brainer! There is also the argument that it is a company vehicle and policy dictates that all must be backed in. I can only assume these companies think this a way of hiding the license plate. For ticketing purposes. Too bad that parking patrol guy can get out of the vehicle. Walk around it and see the plate. The most plausible explanation was that because of the wheel base, the longer trucks are able to pull farther into the space when backing in. That is a good one. But only if you aren’t backing up to other vehicles. Then the argument fails because there is a car behind you. Even if there isn’t you still infringe on the next spot. Once when I mentioned this dislike for these vehicles my daughter Britt said, “Well lots of people like them.” Hell of an argument! Let me end this one with one more example. The one way angled parking garage. When I see a truck backed into one of these stalls I just want to wait and see who drove it. Just so I can see them leave the garage driving the wrong way. Making an odd 7 point turn to get going the right way. Probably not annoying anyone coming from the opposite direction. It would just be amusing.

I don’t care much for underwear. Be it socks, underpants, bras, they are all uncomfortable. There are times when they are a must but usually I just hate them. The pet peeve is that this is somehow a dirty little secret I need to hide. Be ashamed of. When I was young and very slender I had small breasts. There really was no reason to wear a bra. Plus young girls have perky breasts. Time has not yet allowed gravity to do its dirty work. Yeah! Since breasts are mainly fat, now that I am older and heavier, the girls are much bigger. I am still comfortable going braless but I know putting on a bra will actually make me look like I have lost 30 pounds. They get pulled up and in, which is slimming. Under wear is binding, never fits right and shifts funny. It leaves weird lines. I hate it. Of course wearing a dress makes it a necessity but what are you gonna do. And socks. I mainly wear them in the summer. I am barefoot a lot so my feet get cracked and dry so in the evenings I slather them with vaseline and put on socks. Keeps my feet nice and soft. But admitting you don’t like to wear undergarments makes people look at you funny. I know even as you read this you’re feeling a little judgy. That’s ok. I get judged for soooo much stuff. I’m good. I know my daughters are more cringy about the things I share.

Since my daughter had twins I have noticed they are quite the attraction. People love to ask questions. The problem is… some questions are just stupid. Number one… Are they twins? Really? As newborns it made no sense when they were in a double stroller. Who spends oodles of money on a double stroller to drive their baby and a friends similar age baby around. No one. They are three now and are very hard to tell apart. When the “are they twins question” is asked, I feel the sarcasm coming out. Nope two boys who are the same size and look exactly the same but one is my grandson and the other just started following us. My daughter gets asked if they are natural. I didn’t even know what that meant. It is a nice way of asking did you have trouble getting pregnant and if so what is the story behind conception. Again sarcasm finds its way to my mouth and I bit my tongue and smile. Way too personal if you ask me.

Along with twins is just the general attitude people have regarding child rearing. Unsolicited advice. My mother in law and I did not share parenting styles. One particularly funny incident was Christmas dinner when I gave my younger two kids milk at the kids table. She came and picked up the glasses. Apparently they didn’t need milk with their meal. She put the glasses on the counter and I picked them up and returned them to my children. This happened a couple of times with comments going back and forth. Her picking up – “They don’t need a drink.” Me putting down -“Well they’re having one.” Her – “It’s not good for their digestion.” Me – “That’s ridiculous.” Her – “They won’t finish their dinner.” Me – “Who cares. Its Christmas.” Her – “It’s not fair to the other kids. They don’t have drinks.” Me – “So give them drinks.” There was a couple second stand off until she finally walked away disgusted. I stayed there for a few more minutes. I didn’t trust her. She was a wiley old lady! The worst advice givers are people who never had children. My husbands sister was that person. She was a teacher and had no children of her own but she was free with her opinions on what we all were doing wrong with our own kids. But you know what they say… Those who can do and those who can’t coach. Or teach for that matter.

I eat mainly organic and I prefer as local as possible although I love berries. So that is a problem. I’m not keen on most meats and I don’t tend to like beef. I love tofu and I drink various non dairy milks but my yogurt is dairy and I eat butter. I like what I like. I try to think sustainable and I also am concerned with animal treatment. At the end of the day this means my grocery bill is quite a bit higher than it could be. My choice. So I don’t need to hear that organic is stupid. I am a hypocrite because I eat foods that are out of season or travel far. I’m not that healthy because I eat a fast food burger (always Harvey’s veggie burgers). Grass finished beef doesn’t taste good. Coconut oil and butter is bad. I should use canola as it is “Canadian”. I should try Keto to lose weight. But I have kidney disease so that might destroy my kidneys. Or intermittent fasting. That is the way to go. But is it? Really? I eat when I am hungry. My tummy doesn’t own a watch. I could go on and on but.. You get it. I am going to eat as I eat and y’all can piss off. I am an adult, I am responsible for me. I am pretty in tune with my body and when I eat a salty restaurant meal I am in pain for a few days as my poor kidneys let me know how stupid I am. Instant feedback helps even if the lesson sometimes doesn’t stick.

I like some people and I don’t really care for others. When I find myself in a situation where I need to decide how I am going to deal with individuals who hurt me or disrespect me , I will do what is best for me. My decisions will be based on what is good for my life. I don’t need your point of view. I don’t need to hear how you feel about that person. I don’t need you to justify their actions or even berate me for what you think I did wrong in the relationship. I certainly don’t need to compromise myself so you like me more. Mind your own business. There are almost 8 billion people in the world I only need a few to like me and see me through to the end of this life. I am good. And when I tell you someone has removed themselves from my life… Don’t tell me it will be okay. Don’t say they might come back in the future. What makes you assume I want them back?

When I tell you I am ADD, I don’t need to hear that we are all a little ADD at times. I understand that you may think this diagnoses is overdone and perhaps a little boring by now. So many people justifying bad behaviour under the umbrella term of ADHD. But as someone who lived with it for years I can say I have cried more tears than I needed to because people thought I was disrespectful or stupid or lazy or just didn’t care to try and fit in or be on time. After years of learning coping skills to fit into a world that doesn’t see any of my good points and all of my negative ones… I am thankful to be retired. No more clocks. No more stress. No more pressure to be different. No need to explain why I am what I am or do what I do. I am inefficient, a poor time manager, messy, late and confused. Alternatively I am happy, content, walking to a great beat and just don’t care. I take each moment as it comes and try not to plan too much of my life. Impromptu is my go to these days. I am ADHD and you wouldn’t last a day in my brain.

Don’t talk down to me. Don’t be condescending. Do not dismiss me as inconsequential. I am not stupid. I am actually quite intelligent. You don’t know what goes on in my mind. You don’t know what I have lived. What has brought me to this point in my life. Even if you have known me for sixty years, you don’t know me. We all live our lives privately in our minds. What we chose to show the world is very much a polished and edited version. I want to show the real me. I don’t want to pretend anymore. It is too hard. Let me be me without the judgment. Or at least try to be kind. But if you can’t perhaps just toss me aside. It’ll be better for both of us. If you don’t agree with me lets discuss. Exchange ideas in a respectful and kind manner. Maybe we will both learn something.

I struggle with common place platitudes. When I say I had a baby who died, people often respond that they are sorry. I know they mean well but I have heard it thousands of time. And you know what? I am pretty fucking sorry about it too. I am not sure what the right response is but when we say things automatically because it has been drilled into us, the meaningful and heartfelt emotion you wish to express isn’t there. When tragedy strikes and the world is feeling sorrow, everyone posts that their thoughts and prayers are with those affected. But are they really? How many times have you heard about something horrific and spent a few weeks offering up to three or four prayers a day specifically on the thing that happened? Maybe it’s just me but my mind moves onto other things fairly quickly. The closer the event to your own reality the bigger the impact and the time you spend thinking about it. That is just reality. So let’s be real. Say what is in your heart. Don’t say what you think is expected or what you have practiced your whole life. Don’t be a rote person. Be real.

This is huge. Don’t ask what you can do for me. I was talking with a young gal I know and after a serious health diagnoses she mentioned that people always asked what they could do. She was very vocal. “Come and make me supper. Clean my house” It pissed her off. And worse than that is when people say “Let me know if you need anything.” “Let me know what I can do to help.” So something bad happens. Our lives suck and now you want me to call everyone and say I really need some help. Please drive my kids to school for a week. Please bring my family supper tonight because I am in pain and just can’t do it. You want me to beg for help? Platitudes. Just stop. They are meaningless. Either help me or don’t. But don’t do the bare minimum and expect a pat on the back. Like my husband used to say when I was pleased with something I had done that was really not that great. “Take an extra atta boy out of petty cash.”

Okay, this is petty… I walk while I golf. Sometimes there is quite a distance between holes. I am often asked if I want a ride from someone in a cart. Here’s the thing. I am walking for over four hours. That’s how long it takes for a game of golf. I’m pretty sure I can handle the 5 minutes it takes to get to the next tee box. I have a lot of golf pet peeves. I am not keen on people playing music while golfing with me. I don’t say anything, but I don’t like it. Unless they play country. Then all bets are off. Either turn it off or we will never golf together again. Oh, and little cute games people play while golfing? I hate that. Golf is the game. Just play that.

And you know what? When I tell you I never got along with my mother in law, don’t tell me your mother in law is one of your best friends. I not only don’t care, I then like you a little less because of your smug attitude or my perception of your attitude. Not sure which one it is but I know either way it bugs me. Frankly, I’d like to see you do battle with the woman who gave birth to my husband. No one, not even you is good enough for the golden boy. I’m just saying, perhaps you lucked out and your mother in law is just nice.

The bottom line is there are many things in our day to day lives that bug us. Just because they don’t bug someone else doesn’t make us wrong. Or crazy. Or petty. It just means we are human and more often than not we let shit get us down. We know it’s silly. Even if it has absolutely no impact on our personal life we have opinions about pretty much everything that we see in our every day lives. You know why that is? Because as children when we became upset over the actions of others we often had no way to sort out our feelings. We didn’t have control over our environments. We had to trust others to make things right. Then as we grew up and became adults we had a voice and we were gonna use it. Or… perhaps we hung around negative people too much and we adopted their mannerisms which were negative. Frankly I have no idea why we do this. Why we have pet peeves. But I do know that it is a habit for me. A bad habit. No one is bothered by my anger at these pet peeves. Just me. So why don’t I just stop it? Because I am in reality just a small child in an old lady body. I like to be right and sometimes my anger brings me comfort, That is what a five year old does and sometimes when I try to connect with my inner child, it isn’t the sweet version. So I have finally learned I am my own worst friend. My own personal mean girl. I am a bully to just me. Until I learn to detach from the little annoyances, I will just be hurting myself. Growing old is not the same as growing up. But I am trying…

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