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Learning How To 'Pet' My 'Pet Peeves'

Updated on July 14, 2011


Alright, so I am not Clark Kent or his alias, Superman. Man, I have wished many times over the years that I was The Man of Steel and for this sole reason: Superman has super-patience and tolerance for anything and anyone. Kryptonite excluded.

Allow me the pleasure of asking you, “Have you any pet peeves that sometimes get the best of you and would Superman’s super-patience have come in handy at those irritating times in your life?” Okay. So you agreed if only mentally, but I understand. We humans pride ourselves on being on the top of the food chain, being extra-civilized, and really rational when it comes to life’s little aggravations that someone years ago dubbed them as “pet peeves.”

The creator of the term “pet peeve,” I can see clearly, used ‘pet’ to make whatever situation, or sometimes a person seem soft and easy to deal with. But do not be fooled, friends. “Pet Peeves” are severely-dangerous to our mental state of mind as well as our psychological well-being. Think I am kidding? Take a good, long, hard look at the rest of my story, which by the way, is my 50th story, and I want it to make an entrance into your mind like the power of a dynamite blast at a coal mine.

I do not know what your particular “pet peeves” are and honestly, I do not care to know for these “darts of difficulty” are yours for the tolerating. And hopefully, you will overcome them like defeating a fire-breathing dragon in the Dark Ages. Fact is, I had rather face a fire-breathing dragon than have to come face-to-face with any of my “pet peeves,” that always seem to hit me at my weakest point--and get me flustered because I have, for just a moment, laid my Armour down and relaxed. I always do that--lay my Armour down and relax. It looks like to me that over the years and all the torment that my “pet peeves,” have caused me, I would keep my Armour in place.

Where do I start? Okay. That answered itself. Inconsistent people. People who do not know how to make decisions fast on their feet. These “special” people always get in front of me at the grocery store when I am near exhaustion. Or in front of me in a order-and-pay-first restaurant. These people always sense that I am behind them for they always, like clockwork, slow down and scratch their head, sift through their wallet, mumble to themselves, halfway grin at the cashier who gets paid whether I eat or not, and just stare into space. Does the cashier ever reprimand them? What do you think? If I were this person, I would be escorted by a hefty restaurant employee named, “Biff,” and sent on my way.

While we are in the restaurant district. How does waitresses who ignore you make you feel? They get under your skin, right? I confess. Yes, they get under my skin. My wife, a gentile lady, always sees the good in people and softly scolds me for getting upset when I have been sitting at my table for 45 minutes and our waitress “acts” like she is too busy serving people at our side and to our front and only passing us by. This is one of my main “pet peeves.” And just about the time I am ready to get up and go see the restaurant manager, guess what? “Little Miss Mercury,” suddenly flies to our table as she has sensed that I am aggravated. And that would be correct. To make matters worse, she refills my wife’s tea glass and leaves me with only one cup of coffee--and while I point to my cup and sometimes hold it up in the air for I want no confusion in the matter of whether I did ask for refills or she just chose to be pest.

Why is it, friends, that most every time in a restaurant or grocery store, the person in front of you is always best friends with the cashier? Have you been noticing this? Or are you like me, sucking it up--swallowing slow service watching the teenage cashier take up MY time chatting to her BFF that she has only seen a mere hour ago in high school and they have decide, again, on MY time what they are going to wear tonight as they are going to “hang out” at the mall. I don’t really care if you go naked. I just want you to do your job, miss, and let me pay you my hard-earned money so I can get home. Is that too much to ask?

When I visit my doctor each month for a check-up, for I suffer with fibromyalgia, and my doctor wants to check me each month, I get to the office, sign in, fill out the same paperwork I filled out last month, and then have to sit and watch the log nurse check in everyone who just walks in the door--leaving me sitting against the wall reading some outdated Popular Mechanics magazine. After, say, an hour or two, I softly go up to the log nurse and inquire as to there has been a mix-up in my appointment. The log nurse scowls at me over her half-glasses and asks, “And you are whom?” I tell her my name. Again. And the tries to get me to fill out the same paperwork that I turned into HER only 30 minutes prior to me walking up to her office with a hole in the glass for dunces like me to talk through. About another hour passes, then I get to wait more hours in the doctor’s exam room. Have I made my point? Don’t tell me that you ENJOY this type of treatment? This is a major “pet peeve” of mine--slow and encumbered treatment in a doctor’s office.

If I’m talking to a friend, and I am in mid-sentence, I despise the “pet peeve” of another person literally barging in between the two of us and then having the gall to say, “Hey, bud! Let me comment on that for I just happen to know what you are talking about,” and then talk and talk and talk so much that I have dark thoughts of him going over Niagara Falls in a oak wine barrel.

When I want to ask for directions and the only man or woman in this certain locale who actually knows how I get to where I’m going is busy on his or her cell phone. Out of respect for their privacy, I stand silent and wait. And wait until they are finished and then I say one word and up goes the index finger from the person on the cell phone. This index finger is the most powerful device in the universe. This single index finger can alter time, space, and dimension. It must be that powerful for I keep silent and try to be patient as “Joe” or “Jill” figures out with their phone pal, whose house the Thanksgiving Dinner will be held. This is a newer “pet peeve” only been around since cell phones have been with us. Still, I cannot stand to be given the index finger by anyone.

People who insist on my hugging their Yorkie or St. Bernard before I embrace them out of friendship. I politely explain that I am not really a dog person, but these type of “pet pet peevers,” have no hearing about them. Their ears have been molded over by years of only listening to what “Scratch,” their purebred Yorkie has “told” them in secret. Frankly, I have walked away from some people in my family who love animals more than family due to the fact that I am a human being. I speak. I think. I drive a car. Thus, a little respect if you don’t mind.

People who call my phone and ask for someone who is not there because they have reached a wrong number, are also classic “pet peeves” of mine. I tell this confused caller that “Goober” does not live at his number. “Are ya’ sure, man?” The wrong number caller asks. I simply hang up. I am not going to get into a long, drawn-out conversation of who’s right or wrong and why “Goober” doesn’t live with me.

A major “pet peeve” that I have, is someone who tries to impress me with their knowledge of how to say a certain word. And then screw it up more than I did. I politely try to side-step this event as to not get into a conflict, but the know-it-all, insists that HIS way of saying the word is right. I agree many times and as I do, my blood pressure keeps shooting upwards. Wonder why?

Relatives or buddies that use the term, “you know,” can really get under my skin. They end each statement with ‘you know?’ And I sometimes in times past, would say ‘yes, I do know,’ thinking that they were asking a question, but again, they keep the ‘you know’s’ rolling. I think that it’s more than an oral habit, but a reinforcement device that they think they need in order to be accepted in life. I can tell them that overusing ‘you know’ can drive people like me away. Far, far away.

Let’s say a friend calls me up and sets up a time for us to meet in our hometown at our local restaurant at a specific time. I agree to the terms. I proceed to shower, dress and get to this restaurant a tad early. Then I am the one who waits and waits on the friend who has a track record of doing me this way from time to time and each time they let me down, I keep giving them the benefit of the doubt. Then they sheepishly say to me, “Oh, was it at 2 p.m. we were to meet? I thought it was 3 p.m. My bad,” and never apologize for their tardiness. At all. I call this more than a “pet peeve,” but down-right, flat-out inconsiderate. What do you think?

Other “pet peeves” that I have are:

Potato chips with only half a bag of chips. The rest of the bag is only air; Waitresses who refuse to take my food back due to it being cold; Getting looked at when I might run late for morning worship service. Hey, I am NOT Jesus. I am only a mortal; People who cannot remember my name although they have known me for years; Salesmen who ask, ‘may I sit here?’ and I should answer, No!; Salesmen who cannot understand what the word ‘no’ means and dogs that are on a leash and suddenly lunge at me biting me in the knee and their owner getting down on the ground talking baby talk asking if the dog is okay!

Oh, I could go further if I chose to, but I choose to leave this where it is. And with that, my last “pet peeve,” is that of when a person asks me to help them with a project and then halfway through our work, bails out leaving me holding the bag.

I personally, like to finish what I start.

And now, I am finished.


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