I actually started this post about a year and a half ago. I thought it was an interesting topic, but apparently very few things annoy me. (Pause for uncontrollable laughter to that ridiculous idea). OK, so let’s get to it.
You know that moment when you come across something that you find annoying, and a moment later it’s behind you and forgotten. Not too long thereafter, or perhaps many moons later, that same annoyance appears before you once more. Sometimes, this happens again and again, and you start to wonder, why does this happen? Who decided this irritation was a good idea, or suitable, or just merely acceptable?
This is what I call a pet peeve. I did not the coin the phrase and I do not know for a fact if this is an actual definition of the phrase. That’s what I think of when these thinks keep popping up, and every time they do I am struck again by the obvious fact that it should not exist, nor be tolerated.
So I typed a brief list of some of these pet peeves of mine, irritations that I encounter again and again. I’m pretty sure this is not a definitive list by any account, and these thoughts are not listed in any particular order, it’s just some stuff I find annoying.
- Furniture for decorative purposes only.
The designer William Morris famously said
“If you want a golden rule that will fit everybody, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”
My decorating ideal is that furniture selections, while perceived to be a lovely fit for you decor, should always be utilitarian too. When I was a kid, we had an antique chair in our living room, and I cannot remember how many times we had to stop someone from sitting on it, because its frail stems would likely break under the normal weight of a human being. Chairs are for sitting on, not looking at.
- Over-tweezed eyebrows.
I have my father’s eyebrows. When I was younger I thought how horrible that my eyebrows are so handsome, not feminine. I started tweezing, removing hair from the top in order to create a smooth curve and taking hair out from the bottom to create an arch. By the time I was in college I had eyebrows so thin they resembled Faye Dunaway, but of course I lacked all her other gorgeous facial features. I’ve been trying to grow them back ever since. I am now obsessed with my eyebrow pencil to fill in those long departed hairs that out of spite won’t grow back. Eyebrows are beautiful. They define your entire face. Over-tweezing makes anyone look older. Why would you do something that purposely makes you look older?
- Dog people.
They constantly feel the need to declare themselves as such, because they either hate cats (which makes them sad), think that liking dogs is superior to liking cats (which makes them bad), or think an affinity for the two animals are mutually exclusive, such as loving the Beatles AND The Rolling Stones (which makes them mad in the insane use of the word). I love all animals, but living in an apartment means I share it only with felines (and my husband). Besides, I don’t have to walk them or bathe them, but I am still not going to diss on your dog just because I love my cats.
- Forgetting evil when someone dies.
I’ll keep quiet for the family in mourning, but I won’t pretend that a former president was a great person just because he died. Everyone dies, but we all of us should not be eulogized as if we were Mother Theresa when it happens.
Check out the always provocative exposition of the late Christopher Hitchens following the death of Ronald Regan, Not Even a Hedgehog: The stupidity of Ronald Reagan, which was followed a few months later after Hitchens’ death by a piece by Glenn Greenwald called Christopher Hitchens and the protocal of public figure deaths in which he opines
“To exploit the sentiments of sympathy produced by death to enshrine a political figure as Great and Noble is to sanction, or at best minimize, their sins. Misapplying private death etiquette to public figures creates false history and glorifies the ignoble.”
There are people who did harm to our world and there is not reason to gloss over that when they die.
- Websites without “Back to top” links.
Don’t make me work for it. If I made it to the bottom of the page on your website, you should be proud. But give me easy access to whatever comes next, whether it is the next page, or returning to where I started. And on the same subject…
- Infinity scrolling on websites.
Who thought this was a good idea and why is it catching on? I want to read the damn footer.
- Mean people.
Human nature gives us judgement and opinions. No one will ever like everything nor everyone, and we should not pretend this is not a universal truth. But keep your negativity to yourself. Don’t share it with me in conversation because you either assume I agree with you (which I might) or ignorantly don’t care. I have a husband (and a blog) with whom I can share the (many) evil thoughts that lurk in my head, but I make an effort to be overtly positive in an overly negative world. It’s not always easy, so don’t make it harder for me than it already is.
I believe that the root of so many problems are caused by faulty assumptions. People are entitled to their judgements, it’s just, well, isn’t the world a more interesting place when you observe before you speak, ask before you declare, learn about those around you rather than thinking everyone is just like you. What’s good for you may not work for others. Your goals and desires may not be the same as mine just because yours are more common. There is no inside the box, outside the box, I do what’s right for me.
Give yourself more credit to believe in your own uniqueness and don’t believe that everyone one around you is a carbon copy. That’s just not interesting at all.
- Online shopping, e-commerce websites, or email marketing that does not provide a direct link to the product I click on.
Like emails that link to the homepage of the website rather than the item I want. Or that pretty dress that was in the lovely photograph in the email you sent me, but when I click that dress is not on sale at all. Worse still, it’s not because the product sold out: it was never there in the first place. Someone thought it would be a great idea to use this image to lore me in even though the it does not represent anything that is available.
- Setting a “Reserve” price on your eBay auction.
I am not going to guess what you think is the value of this item. Just tell me what the minimum price is and then I’ll decide if I should bid.
Think about the declarations you make and really ask yourself if you mean it. Self observation is a wonderful tool for personal growth.
- Not dressing your age.
This could sound hypocritical of me, after all, I like pink and bows and polka dots, but I *try* to keep my choices to be age appropriate. I might not always succeed, but it is a conscious thought with every selection.
I realize that this may be something some people are just born with. I don’t know, but I still don’t like them. What can I say, I like ankles. I was born with bunions and I don’t like them either.
This is because I have them and like shoes. I bought these absolutely adorable See by Chloe flat sandals and the toe strap could not work for me because of my awful bunions. I also have back issues that are exacerbated by the fact that my big toe points in the wrong direction. Your feet are roots of the stems that support your body, so if they grow wrong, well, everything else is going to be off balance.
- Absolute attestations.
Never say never, flexibility in life is a good thing.