I mentioned a pet peeve of mine on my Facebook page the other day and it got me thinking. Do I really have that many things in life that irritate me? The short answer is yes, yes I do. In fact, it turns out that I'm quite easily annoyed. This isn't good people.
My husband recently had a heart attack and I am more aware than ever of the effects stress can have on your heart. So in the interest of cleaning the slate, I thought I'd write a few of my pet peeves down and then leave them on this page instead of festering in my head.
People who hit the brakes in anticipation of the light turning yellow. For the love of Pete, cut it out. The light is still green....MOVE.
Selfies. I actually don't mind an occasional selfie. But there should be quota right? More than one a month and you get fined. Also if you have a duck face in the selfie, you should be banned for life. Sounds reasonable to me.
Unnecessary quotes or air quotes. I am an "offender" here but I'm working on it.
The Harlem Shake. As a society I think we have to ask ourselves, "Are we getting dumber?"
Bitches. Good grief, please don't walk in a room and say "Hey Bitches" or "Yo Bitch" or "It's Britney Bitch." I can't even begin to tell you how insulting I find this term.
Wet toilet seats.
Requests on LinkedIn from people that have no reason on earth to linkin with me. If a person in the travel industry wants to connect, I understand that. But when someone from the financial services sector or real estate sector wants to connect with me I think it's a sales job. LinkedIn is for me to find employment, not to open myself to spam. Try sending a reason why you'd like to connect, otherwise it's a flat-out ignore.
Margarine. I can't. I just can't.
When my kids ask me what's going to happen next in the movie...and it's my first time seeing it too.
Phone ringers. Text alerts. Your phone has a silent button. Please find it.
Labels that leave a sticky gooey mess behind. Grrrr.
Finally, women who don't wash their hands when they leave the washroom. I see you.
Phew! That felt good. Now maybe these things won't bother me...as much. What drives you crazy?
I'm pondering the big questions in life today.
Do my kids really need to give Valentines to everyone in their class?
Yesterday, I asked them if they were going to be giving out Valentines this year (you know, just in case I had some last minute shopping to do) and I received a resounding no from both of them. In fact, they both seemed thoroughly turned off by it.
"Why?" I asked.
"Because we have to give them to everyone so nobody's feelings get hurt. Blech." said my youngest, so eloquently.
Um, ok then.
And this is where the pondering comes in. I'm not concerned about my daughters' respect for others. They've both received awards from school for modeling the spirit of inclusion. They watch for kids that are bullied or excluded. They are gentle with kids with special needs. I can honestly say that they try their best every day to be kind to those around them. But the reality is, they don't like everyone. Quite like most adults don't. Because it's impossible.
Why do they have to give those kids a Valentine? And vice versa. It seems quite disingenuous to me. The giver knows it and the receiver knows it as well. And what was the lesson?
For my kids at least, it seems that they've learned to hate a holiday they once loved. When they were younger they never questioned this rule, but they've gotten older and well, you know, are starting to question the machine.
And before everybody jumps all over me, I totally see the other side of things, I swear I do. I know that in the past little kids hearts were broken who never got a single valentine because they were different, or that some kid was bullied and got ignored by the mean girls. I am in no way suggesting we go back to the old way of doing things.
But does the victim need to give the bully a valentine? Will the victim really think the bully has put it all aside with a paper heart? What if you really just don't like the other kid?
So I'm wondering out loud if our "all or nothing" mentality is really teaching them anything at all.
What do you think? Does Cupid's arrow need to hit everyone?
By now, you've no doubt heard of Canada's Dumbest Family. I don't hand out that title lightly and quite honestly, I'm only a teensy bit tongue in cheek about this. Because if they were handing out medals for this, in my humble opinion, they'd win the gold.
Last week, the McNeil family from Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, boarded a plane bound for Punta Cana. Somewhere along the way, it is alleged that they decided to openly defy a 20-year-old non-smoking law on planes and sparked them up. Unlike most people, desperate for a nicotine fix who sneak into a bathroom and hope for the best, the McNeil family decided that it was their right to smoke in their seats. See what I'm saying—DUMB. They decided that their pathetic need for a fix was worth being belligerent to staff and passengers on the plane, putting others safety at risk, being fined $500 each, arrested and finally sued for $50,000 in damages. Wow. Cigarettes were expensive enough already. This family may not be able to afford another pack.
If there is anything to be gleaned from this story though, aside from the blazing idiocy of these people, is that cigarette addiction is a very powerful thing. (No, I don't think this is a viable defense for this family by the way, as there are smokers who fly everyday and somehow make it to their destination without being pompous jerks.)
How can I sit here and be so harsh? Easy. I was a smoker. For a very long time. I ignored all the evidence of its nasty health effects, I spent scads of money, I smelled like an ashtray, and I even avoided social settings that wouldn't allow me to smoke.
My husband smoked too. Right up until November 23, 2012. That was the day he had a heart attack.
How's that for a price to pay?
I've seen people in my family stop talking to each other over smoking. I've seen family members I love dying and smoking to the bitter end. The ultimate irony being that the smoking caused the bitter end.
So, I get it. I really do understand the hold cigarettes can have on a person.
I tried everything to quit. Nicotine gum, cold turkey, patches, hypnotism, pills and needles. But my addiction was in my head and I couldn't get past that hurdle. Then, in a last ditch attempt, frustrated and disgusted with myself, I attended a seminar by Allen Carr.
A couple of days later, I drew the proverbial line in the sand and stepped over it as a non-smoker. I didn't gain weight, I didn't crave it, I didn't miss it. I was finally free. Even my husband picking up the habit again a few years later didn't draw me back in.
I see smokers everyday and it kills me not to go up and be that pain-in-the-ass ex-smoker and say "Damnit, get thee to an Allen Carr session." I see them shivering in sub-zero temperatures. I see them dousing themselves in perfume or cologne to try and mask the smell. I see them — feeling the guilt every time they light up.
So if this post helps one person today, then I've done my job. If one person goes out tomorrow and signs up for an Allen Carr session than I'll feel great. And take heart smokers, there is new evidence to suggest that if you quit before 40 you can gain back all the lost years.
I do not, however, have a solution for the dumb. That one is a little trickier.