I have a lot of 'situational' pet peeves - as in, pet peeves that come and go, depending on what I'm doing, and where I'm doing it. I mean, one of my pet peeves used to be pushed-in-library-books-on-shelves. It's no longer my pet peeve. Why? Because I am no longer a library book shelver.
I'm not really one of those people who have long standing pet peeves that span all of time and space - like finger nails on a chalk board, or something. First of all, who uses chalkboards anymore? (Oh, I do - that's right - while working for a school district whose mission statement is something like 'training globally competitive graduates for the 21st century' I'm still using chalkboards like it's 1802.)
Here are a few of my current pet peeves:
1. People who write congratulatory statements on Facebook or other social media with no punctuation, or even the appropriate capital letters.
Ordinarily, I caution against excessive exclamation point usage - I never let my students use exclamation points in formal writing (never, ever, ever!) (yes, I see what I did there - it was on purpose). I let them use one or two in creative writing pieces, and even then, I generally tried to steer them away from using exclamation points, except for occasionally in dialogue.
However: If you are going to tell someone "Happy Birthday" on Facebook, why, oh why, oh why would you tell them:
Come on, people! It's their birthday!
Or, there's the people who are actually writing congratulations. My brother just got engaged. (Side note: yay!) (yes, I see what did there, too.) I had to laugh as I looked at the comments appearing under his announcement:
Hello! He just got engaged! Surely you can take your right pinky finger, press down the shift key while simultaneously holding down the one key with your left ring finger.
Surely it's not that hard?
Punctuation seems to be a problem for the general population, but something as overused as an exclamation point getting so under used in exactly the situation that a exclamation point is called for.
2. The people behind me who honk at me while I'm waiting to make a left turn.
This. Makes. Me. So. Mad.
I say very unChristian things when this happens that I am not proud of. (But I still don't curse at them, Will Martin, so don't get your hopes up.)
Everyone experiences a little road rage now and again. This makes me actually start to understand the crazy people who hunt other drivers down.
I'm a fairly cautious driver. I don't like to take unnecessary risks just to get to where I'm going faster or to get the people behind me to where they are going faster.
It's one thing when there is clearly no oncoming traffic - or a little reminder toot if the light turned green and you were zoned out - but it's entirely another thing when you know they can't see the oncoming traffic, whether it's there, or not.
My route home includes a left turn that is pretty easy to make, but the oncoming traffic is coming up a hill, so if you are not the first in line to turn left, you actually can't see the cars coming up the hill. And, if there is someone waiting in the opposite turn lane, it's even harder to see as the first in line, much less the second.
I don't know why, but lately people have decided that I should risk my life to scoot out in front of the huge semi-tractor-trailer because they have somewhere more important to be than my accident/death scene.
Seriously. It's ridiculous at the Caton Avenue and Georgetown left turn around 5:00 to 6:30. I've been making this same turn every day for a year and half, and in the last month, I've been honked at almost every time I make the turn (or, don't make the turn), without fail. I'm not being any more cautious than I usually am, but it never fails that the person behind me decides I should go, and decides that I need to know that I should go.
It is so frustrating, even when I am gratified by the car that comes zipping over the hill right after I was honked at.
I wouldn't care every once in a while, but it's ridiculous.
Baltimore drivers...they are not as crazy as Dakar drivers, but I am pretty sure there must be some Senegalese taxi men driving around in some of those big SUVs that think they rule the road and that they have the right of way simply because they are two times the size of my little Corolla.
[And a side note - a few days after writing this, I almost saw a horrible, horrible accident at this same intersection which would have definitely affected me and my car if the oncoming Semi had rammed into the car turning left in the alternate lane - it was horrible. I'm not exaggerating - the left-turning car was saved by about a second (and they had the right of way - the truck was running the light at about 50 miles/hour). Please be careful when turning!]
Dear Girls and Unfortunate Adult Women,
Just because there are holes in the feet of your tights, this does not make them pants.
I sometimes feel that I am alone in my deep-seated hatred of leggings-worn-as-pants. I just don't get it. It's like I missed the memo where everyone got together to decide that leggings could be worn as pants.
[If you don't know what leggings are, they are either tights-materials (thin, colored hose) without feet, or often a hose in a slightly-thicker stretchy/spandex material, also without feet - sometimes called *shudder* "jeggings."]
This is one of my seasonal pet-peeves. Fall has arrived (yay!) and with Fall the pumpkin spice lattes, the Uggs, and the leggings-as-pants come out to haunt us all like the Great Pumpkin.
In all seriousness, immodesty is an epidemic in North America - and just when you think the weather will finally make some people cover up, it almost gets worse when the leggings and boots come out.
Allow me to clarify: I have no problem with people wearing leggings with a tunic, or something long enough to cover the butt. It's the people who wear a normal length top, and a pair of leggings with no coverage that drive me crazy.
And, while I am a religious person, it's not really just a conservative, religious preference.
How we dress, whether we are in a religious environment, or not, says something about us. Is it right for others to judge us by our clothing and outward appearance? Of course not! But sometimes that's all we have to go on.Whether you like it or not, the clothes that you wear say something about you and will be evaluated by the people around you for better or worse. Of course there is a time to be casual, and a time to be professional - but you never know who you are going to run into when you are out and about in the world. You never know who you're going to meet, encounter, have a conversation with. A potential friend, a potential employer, a potential colleague, or even a potential spouse.
If you're okay with a possible friend, employer, colleague, or spouse already knowing the intimate outlines of your butt - go ahead and wear those leggings as pants.
I'm not working in a situation where dress code is as much of an issue (only a few of my little 11 year olds seem to be pushing the dress-code envelope [and by the way - we do have a dress code and we do enforce it, for those of you who cry out against public schools]), but when I taught high school (oh, how I already long for those days...as much as I do enjoy my squirmy little middle schoolers), that was often an issue. In a Christian school, the girls had heard the Christian message about why it's important to dress modestly a million times, and I know they got tired of hearing it. So, I tried to occasionally couch our dress code in terms of professionalism: we are a school, we are preparing you for not just academics, but socialization and the working world. In the world, when you get a job, you are expected to dress in a certain way. Most jobs require you to dress with a measure of decorum and professionalism that is not that different from the modest dress code of the school.
But, of course, most of the women and girls wearing leggings-as-pants aren't wearing them on the job - they are relaxing after yoga, they are on a run to the store, they are just "hanging out." And why should you care about looking professional when you are on your down time? Of course not - that's not what I'm advocating. But why would you want to dress in such a way that is going to probably gain unwanted attention towards your butt (unless you really, really want that attention on your butt, and most normal women don't - and this post is for the normal women, not the ones craving the the attention). Just because it's comfortable? Because I think most of the women and girls I see are probably just wearing their yoga pants and leggings because they're comfortable. Yoga pants are comfortable. (Leggings, however, are not, and there is nothing you can do to convince me of that.)
My mom has always advised that when you are traveling, dress well. Comfortable, but dress well. She even advised that we don't wear jeans when we travel alone. (And, between you and me, I prefer not to wear jeans because jeans are not really as comfortable as we think they are, especially on ten hour flights - or twenty hour bush-taxi rides) Because if you are dressed well, if you are in trouble, people might be more inclined to help you out. If I'm stuck at an airport (or a bush-taxi gare) (or, God-forbid, a bus station) wearing leggings-as-pants and my uggs, I'm just another one-in-a-million twenty-something American girl who doesn't have a clue. If I'm stuck in an airport wearing a nice (but comfortable) dress or slightly-nicer trousers, I'm just paving the way to sweet-talk that ticket-agent into giving me a hotel voucher for the night since I'm stuck in Lisbon with no where to go - or, to convince the security guard in Lisbon to let me go to the front of the line because I'll miss my flight - or to just give me a voucher for food in the airport because I missed my flight. (The Lisbon airport and I have a long history...).
I don't know...maybe it's a stretch. But I do know that I get good results from ticket-agents, and I do know that the too-youthfully-dressed people in line behind me or in front of me often get poorer service. It also helps that I have been stuck in airports a lot and know how to push just enough for what I want without (usually) ticking off the agent.
I know that this is one particular situation, but it applies to not-travelling - as I said before - you just never know when you are going to be in a situation where you need to impress someone or where you might need help.
Mostly, it just bugs me. In case you couldn't tell from the five-hundred word rant I just delivered.
So, if everyone could just conduct themselves in ways that don't annoy me, that would be great.
|Yes, I made this meme myself. I am totes cool.|
4. One last pet peeve:
People who write "tots" instead of "totes."
I mean, for the love of Pete, it's bad enough when people say "totes" in place of "totally" (which is bad enough in and of itself).
But writing "Tots"? Really?
In what kind of universe are we living that the basic rules of phonics are simply being thrown out the window, devil-may-care?
A terrible, terrible one. It's time to make a super-hero movie about grammar.
What are some of your "situational" pet-peeves?