Things That Annoy Me As I Get Older (and Things That Don't)

In the song/speech/diatribe "I Can't Get Behind That" on the William Shatner album Has Been, two old guys basically yell at each other about stuff that annoys them. I know I'm getting older because I'm beginning to compile my own list:

1. People who pencil-correct grammar errors in library books.

2. People who incorrectly pencil-correct grammar errors in library books.

3. People who "nicely" wave you ahead of them into dangerous oncoming traffic. No, you are NOT doing me a favor.

4. Reviewers on Amazon.com who write things like, "This is my favorite character of all time, so everything I write about this book/movie is right and true, and everybody else has to be wrong" or "I hated this book/album/movie; everybody who wrote positive reviews was obviously paid off, plus the Amazon.com star system is obviously dysfunctional because it gave 4.5 stars to this book/album/movie based on all the 4 and 5 star reviews!" (Ohhkaay, explain to me mathematically why that shouldn't happen.)

5. Students text-messaging in class. (OHMYGOSH, YOU CAN SURVIVE WITHOUT MESSAGING YOUR BOYFRIEND EVERY TWO MINUTES!!)

6. Internet Explorer. I updated; it destroyed a bunch of stuff and then start self-destructing. I've moved over to Mozilla Firefox fairly permanently.

7. How, when you pull a piece of clothing from your closet, every single piece of cat hair in the entire apartment zooms through the air to rest on that piece of clothing (but I do love my cats).

8. Television episodes where the music editors have dubbed in music that (unintentionally) covers up the dialog. I don't mean montages of people doing stuff where the music is playing merrily away as a homage or whatever. I mean, atmospheric music that has been thrown in to emphasize a scene, and the music is way too overwhelming, and there's no way you can adjust it on your TV/DVD player directly (wouldn't that be great?)--makes you wonder how the director feels.

9. Trash collectors not picking up my trash. I put it out on time every week, and I haven't been on a vacation in over two years. It's always there! I never change my mind!

10. Market research people who call you up and put you through a spiel about whatever, and then find out you don't fit the correct demographic and hang up. I try to be nice to people on the phone--I know they're just trying to make a living. But listen up, telephone marketing people, (cue gospel music) consider the state of your soul!!!

On the up-side, I don't especially mind some things (I haven't reached the beat-them-with-a-cane stage yet):

1. I don't mind email spam all that much. I would probably mind if it flooded my mailbox (thank you, Yahoo filters), but in general, I don't mind deleting emails here and there. I'm rarely fooled, and I don't have to worry about missing an email because I filtered it by accident.

And I don't mind Google-advertised sites popping up first during a search--someone's got to pay for the perfection of Google.

On the other hand, I do loathe pop-ups that actually get in the way of reading text and can't be "X'd" out.

2. How kids dress today. I really don't notice all that much. (This piece of indifference is single-handedly keeping me from old-people-dom.)

3. Student drivers--at least, they have those big signs that say STUDENT DRIVER on their cars. I don't have (much) good to say about Massachusetts drivers though. I've lived in New York, Washington (State), Utah, and Maine. Washington drivers are terrible in the rain (ironic, huh?); New York drivers are scary but good; Maine drivers are excellent but completely random (they follow their own rules); Utah drivers are . . . don't remember. All I remember is that Provo, Utah streets never seem to be fixed. Whenever I visit, yup, 900 East is under construction again.

Massachusetts drivers, with one exception, are fairly horrible. They don't do random things, like Maine drivers; they do random, stupid things, like suddenly backing up on a busy, one-way boulevard in order to grab a parking space. (I start shouting, "I'm going to die!" as I slam on the brakes.)

However, I could be reacting more to "tourist drivers" (since most Massachusetts drivers here are "tourists"): that is, I may be reacting to general, stupid behavior by tourists rather than specific, stupid behavior by state. Probably, Mainers who are reckless enough to drive in Boston are totally annoying to Bostonites.

Sorry, back on the negative.

4. I don't mind commercials. I love them, even though I don't watch TV directly anymore. (In fact, I kind of miss them; running to the kitchen to get a drink during a commercial is FUN! Pausing the DVD to do it is boring.)

5. The price of gas. Seriously: it really doesn't bother me. Taking inflation into account, I'm spending the same proportion of my paycheck on gas now as I was fifteen years ago.

6. The news. I don't watch it; it doesn't bother me. Ditto, pundits. Can't get upset about stuff you don't listen to. (I do know basic stuff--like when Michael Jackson died.)

7. Cats biting me. I mention this because my cats are not especially friendly (although they don't bite or scratch me in the regular course of the day), and I try to keep them away from people when people come to visit. I understand someone getting upset if my cats bite him or her. What I don't get is vets getting all squeamish about it. It's their job! I've cleaned my cats' ears, held them down for a "dry bath," clipped their nails, and kept them from escaping when they got freaked about someone. So I get scratched. So what? That's how vets should feel.

However, I do have some sympathy for people who have been bitten by dogs. I never have, but everybody I know who has been is fairly traumatized and never feels the same about dogs again.

8. I wish I could say "smoking" doesn't bother me. Smokers don't bother me in an abstract sense. Smokers who huddle right outside the door to a building, blowing smoke in my face when I exit, yeeaah, that does.

9. Unmowed yards? Not sure--never lived anywhere where it applied.

10. People not opening doors for me. I try to remember to do it for others because I know some people mind, but I don't care usually.

I'm not sure the positives outweigh the negatives; I'll have to work more on the positives, so I don't get too "weird cat lady who screams at the neighbor kids" (yet).

5 comments:

  1. About negative #8 (TV/movie background music), this is one of several reasons my husband and I use closed captioning or subtitles when watching something (and neither of us is hearing-impaired).

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  2. Utah drivers are fairly average. They do tend to signal in the middle of changing lanes or turning. On the other hand, at least they try, unlike Californians.

    Interestingly, Utahns drive pretty good, by comparison to others, in the rain and snow.

    The worse drivers I've encountered in general are Nevadans. I never seen more traffic violations in a shorter period of time than when I drive in Nevada (and for all your complaints about 900 East, Las Vegas has been rebuilding I-15 for, it seems, thirty years.)

    The craziest drivers I've driven around are Israelis. I don't think they ever look in their rear view mirrors.

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  3. RE: Amazon reviews

    Don't forget the ones where there's one one star vote on some book and the comment is something like "I ordered a lawn mower from Amazon and it didn't arrive on time. I hate them."

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  4. The whole "worst drivers" claim is an interesting one since (a) the claim is based on anecdotal evidence and (b) there is no standard of what makes one a bad driver.

    Based on ability to drive in wet & wintry conditions Utahns rank near the top of the list. In Maryland the sight of snow seems to cause 20% of drivers to cut their speed in half even when the road surface is dry.

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  5. Dan, at least they slow down. Here in Sacramento, CA, the alleged drivers seem to think rain means SPEED UP. They also do not understand the concept of turning on their lights during the day in bad visibility conditions, nor do they understand what turn signals are for. Of course, given the local penchant for deliberately speeding up to cut off someone attempting to make a lane change....

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