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Can we survive our pet peeves?

We were having a lovely dinner the other night with some friends when they brought up a pet peeve of theirs that was going on at the table next to us; loud chewers.

It occurred to me that we all have something that drives us crazy. Since I know you’re just dying to know what mine are (heh heh), I thought I’d share.

People who check their cell phone 10 times an hour while you are with them. My boyfriend does this which often prompts me to ask him if he’s waiting for a better offer. Unless you are a doctor on call or President Obama, put your damn phone away when you are out to dinner with friends or your sweetheart. You’re not that important.

Bag crinklers. There is nothing worse when you are at the movies than a bag crinkler. I’m trying to watch the overpriced movie while you are sticking your entire arm into that bag of popcorn and I’ve got a constant melody of crunching and crinkling. A little thoughtfulness goes a long way.

Texting. I love texting; I do it all the time. But I don’t do it when I’m with people, in a meeting, at lunch/dinner or at the movies. It astonishes me that we are even talking about it. Where is Ann Landers when you need her? The question must be posed that if you’re texting while at dinner, a movie, with friends, why are you even there?

Voice-mail: the downfall of society. Now, I’m a good person, a patient person and an understanding person. But by the time I get to a live person when calling my credit card company, my utility company, the DMV and sometimes my doctor, I’m none of those things. I long for the days (I’m dating myself here) when a real live person actually answers the phone, you tell her what you need at which time you immediately get transferred (to the right person!). Those days are just a memory. In its place is a mine field of prompts, directions, listening to directories and pressing the correct buttons. God forbid you miss one; you have to start all over again. If there is a hell, I’m certain you will have to deal with voicemail while you are there.

Teeth pickers and finger lickers. Oh Lord, have mercy if I’m sitting at a dinner table with either one of these. My eyes start to twitch; I purposely look away and must force myself to not throw judging gazes. The sounds also drive me up the wall. If you’re a teeth picker or finger licker, stay the hell away from me!

People who litter. It drives me nuts when I see someone throw something out of a car or finish a cup of coffee and toss it in the street. You would be surprised (or maybe not) how many times I confront these litterbugs; sometimes successfully, sometimes not so much. I’ve discovered a little trick; I pretend I’m videoing them with my iPhone and they miraculously develop a conscience. People who litter are definitely up there on my pet peeve list. What I really want to do is yell out to them that I’m going to tell their mother.

Professional voice mail boxes that are not set up. I was once referred to a hypnotist to help me sleep. When I tried calling him for an appointment I received a message telling me his voice mail box had not been set up. What?! You’re a doctor and you want to handle my case but you don’t know how to set up your voice mail? Oh, I don’t think so. Trust me, if you are dealing with a professional and they don’t have their voice mail box set up … keep walking.

Call waiting. There are only two people you should be interrupting a call for when you are on the phone; your kids or God. Anyone else is just plain rude. Call waiting is a legitimate way of being on one phone call and being able to switch it for a better offer. I call bullshit.

Wow, as I check back on some of these, with the exception of the blatant violation of good manners, all of my pet peeves are a product of societal progress. There’s a lot to be said for the good old days.

I’d love to compare notes and hear your pet peeves. I have a feeling it would help to make me feel so normal.

Yes, I will survive my pet peeves, but God help the person who is on the other end of them; they may not.

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Jeffrey Davidson - Let’s add to that…
Cigarette smokers are among the worst litterers.
How about people that talk on their cell phones at an elevated voice level so that everyone in the restaurant can hear them?
People who are in one of two multiple turn lanes and they always crossover into your lane and back.
Drivers at a light intersection making a left hand turn and don’t pull up into the intersection so only one car gets through when the light changes.
Well that’s my contribution to your already comprehensive list.
Jeff Davidson

Joan Cooper - How about drivers on the freeways that leave at least 5 open car lengths in front of them in heavy heavy traffic. I have never been able to figure that out, but it drives me CRAZEE!!!

Sharon Westmoreland - Love your posts! Keep ’em coming!

Add people who chew with their mouths open and I think you’ve got it covered! Oh, what about people who don’t signal when they are changing lanes or turning?

Jennifer Eubanks - Where shall I begin? Please do NOT talk to me with your mouth full of food, and by the way when you chewing it better be with a closed mouth!
People who PARK in the middle of a “drop off” round-a-bout so nobody can get through. Yes, I AM honking my horn at you because I too have children that need to get to class. Move ON.
People who ask you questions, then argue with you or tell you it isn’t so. Don’t &(*$)(@) ASK me then.
Drive-thru’s. I don’t go often, but when I do I’m always asking myself WHY. I’m sitting here 20 minutes waiting on a tea and there is NO escape route.
Being interrupted in the middle of a sentence. It makes me feel like I am not important. Besides, I really do only have a 10 second memory so if you start talking OVER me….SQUIRREL!
Seriously, I think I need help because quite frankly I could be answering this question all night long.

Jennifer Eubanks - *you’re chewing…it is supposed to say you’re. ANOTHER peeve! I can’t go back and correct it!!!

Kellie - My pet peeve! People with expensive cars who feel entitled to park in two parking spots, so we poor little morons don’t dare bump or scratch their little perfect cars. I have news for THAT poor moron … it only makes me want to KEY you car! But I won’t …

Carmen - Great article. As usual right on target!!
I agree with all of your pet peeves!!!! I have a few to add: Automobiles with closed windows — and the music so loud you can hear the music down the street and it is not Mozart!! Gum chewing cracking loud with mouth open — especially in a place of worship. AND CERTAIN LOUD NOISES/WORDS OR LANGUAGE !!!

Maryjo Faith Morgan - Right on! I could not agree more, and wonder about progress if it makes us less polite.

I am offended when someone dives for call waiting while we are talking … unless I’ve been forewarned a business call is expected and we might be interrupted. I appreciate that courtesy.

You’re doing a great job here – you make me laugh and say, “Oh yeah!” all the time. 🙂

Maureen - I so agree with you!! My biggie is those rude people that blow their car horns to make you move…I don’t mean a simple, polite toot-toot, that can actually be appreciated if I make the unforgivable mistake of daydreaming thru the light turning green. And when they just sit on their horns I automatically stop moving anyhow, thinking I’m about to hit or be hit – so it just defeats their purpose. Are they really in that much of a hurry??

Marcia Nichols - Tammy, I think you’ve covered it for me….with only one addition. For me, one of the most irritating pet peeves is a L-O-N-G voice mail message. You know…..Hello (pause), this is Cindy (pause), thank you for calling. I am on another line or away from my desk (duh) and am unable to answer my phone (duh). I can be reached between 8 and 5 Monday through Friday, or on my personal cell phone (number) during off-business hours, so please feel free to call and leave me a message and I will call you at my earliest convenience. Thanks and have a great day!

Suerae Stein - Good ones! And I love Jennifer Eubanks one about the parking in the drop off round-a-bout. We have the same irksome problem at our school. I cannot STAND when people post things on Facebook things like “having a great time at the bar” from their phones. If you’re having such a great time, why are you even picking up your phone and posting anything on FB???? And why do we need to know this? Love all your pet peeves, and mine has always been people who throw cigarette butts on the ground, as if that’s not some of the most harmful litter!!! ~ Suerae

Tammy - Jeff, judging from the reaction to this blog post, I left quite a bit out. I agree about cigarette smokers being the worst litterers, and people too afraid to pull out into the intersection waiting to turn left on a green drives me crazy. It’s one of the few times I use my horn – it never helps. Thanks for adding to the list, you’re awesome!

Tammy - Joan, Haa, I get that about every day. I had a conversation at a dinner once about this very thing. One of the people at the table complained how every time she would leave 5 car lengths in front of her on the freeway (so she could drive safely) some moron would cut her off. Yikes, I had to tell her that I was one of those morons and it wasn’t a ‘cutoff’ but rather a “move your butt” move to pass her. We never became friends. Can’t win them all! Thanks for posting!

Tammy - Sharon, huge thanks for the encouragement. Open mouth chewers are HUGE on my list too! Clearly I did neglect to add a few good pet peeves mentioned in the comments here. But on the other hand, the post would be endless. Great having you here and appreciate you posting!

Tammy - Jennifer, well now, tell us how you really feel! I also have a 10 second memory (if that) and I’m hopelessly lost if interrupted when I’m on a roll. I remember those school drop off days; amazing how pissed off we get when people don’t follow the rules. I’ve also had numerous episodes in drive-throughs (see my post You wanna Piece of me?!) and yet I continue to go. There is little rational but laziness. Open mouth chewers drive me up the wall and I don’t know why I didn’t include it on the list. I don’t think you need help just because you could be answering this question till the cows come home, I think you need to surround yourself with less annoying people. Easier said than done….they’re everywhere! I love knowing you are on the other side of my posts and always happy when you chime in!

Tammy - Carmen, OMG, how could I not mention those annoying thump-thump blasting radios that come from very inconsiderate drivers (usually under the age of 25)? You’re right…Mozart it isn’t! Gum smackers are right up there too, and I have to add when they just spit it out on the street. Huge yuck! Clearly my blog post needs revising! Thanks for being here, appreciate your posts!

Tammy - Maryjo, thanks, girl, for the words of encouragement, appreciate it big time. I LOVE that I make you laugh and think. Awesome! See you next time…and thanks so much for posting, it’s great when you do!

Tammy - Maureen, Haaa, I’m finding that so many of other peoples pet peeves involve cars and rude drivers. Duh?! I know…every time I hear a horn honk my natural instinct is to stop or slow down until I figure out what’s wrong. And yes, they really are in that much of a hurry as they go along their merry rude way. Great having you here, thanks for chiming in. It’s been pretty eye opening to read everyone’s peeves. Happy I’m not alone in them! Thanks for the post!

Tammy - Marcia, Oh my stars, YES! When I hear those long, slow messages by the time I get to leave one I’m so ticked off that I had to wait 4 minutes to do it. Slow takers in general kind of drive me up the wall I once had a very sweet friend who was an extremely slow talker. She was a great gal but I just couldn’t get accustomed to waiting for her to finish her thoughts and sentencing. Seriously. I drew away from it because it became such an aggravation and there was no way she was going to change. I still feel like a heel for doing that but I found myself always trying to finish her sentences for her, which made ME the rude person. Oye! Thanks for posting, great hearing from you!

Tammy - Suerae, clearly my list needs adding to! Cigarette butt litter is disgusting and vile. Hate it. Do they think it’s bio-degradable or do they just feel above the law? Either way, it’s so piggish. Yeah, Jennifer had some pretty good pet peeves and I agree with pretty much all of the ones mentioned on this forum. I FB everyday and see a lot of silly-ness. Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of porn and violence (not awesome). I would discontinue my profile but have made some very good relationships on there. But I don’t need to know where you are having dinner or drinks, that’s for damn sure. Thank for posting, always a pleasure having you here!

Tammy - Jennifer, Haaa! Yes, that and auto-correct!

cheryl - Hey girl——this is such a timely topic now that the holidays are upon us——-time to get a sense of humor or slit your throat. I have two huge pet peeves
1. When shopping in the grocery store or walking through a shopping mall or along the sidewalk, it drives me crazy that people I meet choose to walk down the center of the aisle or sidewalk. I find myself always moving clear to the side (almost in store windows) to make room for “them” who are often walking 3 and 4 abreast. I would like to say teenagers are the offenders but——-not. Now I am a short lady but I am NOT INVISIBLE!!!!!!——Oh, maybe I am?????
2. We have totally killed the word “are” in our vocabulary. This is the kind of stuff I hear all the time—-and from fancy national “journalists”.——–
“There IS A LOT of PROTESTERS in the park”
Should be———
“There IS A LOT of PROTEST from people in the park”——is a lot of protest (singular)
“There ARE LOTS OF PROTESTERS in the park”—— are lots of protesters (plural)
All must be in agreement to be correct.
Actually, a better solution would be to report that there are many protesters in the park.
I know I’m old and “old school” but people from other countries use english grammar more correctly than we Americans. I think it is shameful.

Tammy - Cheryl, Wow, aisle and sidewalk hoggers are a ridiculous pet peeve of mine too! I’ll go one further and share that I often encounter people waking in parking lots right down the middle of the driving lane with no regard to the cars waiting for them to move over; rude thoughtless people. You must be a retired English teacher, yes?? But you’re right, of course; Americans butcher our language to exhaustion…especially journalists. I’m not sure why that is, they, above all others, should know better! I think you have found yourself a new job in an advisery capacity to the networks. Lord knows they could sure use you!! I’m a big fan of old school and a fan of yours. Thanks for posting, wonderful hearing from you!

Kris Henderson - There’s the person who is standing in line in front of you – cheerfully talking with their friend or family member about their car, their children, the weather, whatever – and then when they get up to the counter to order, start looking at the menu (really! what did they think was going to happen at the counter?), they ask the person they’re with if they’ve ever had one of the menu items (really! there’s people behind you), they start to hem and haw, fold arms, bounce a little, say “I’m sorry” (don’t say that – you’re not) and then finally order. Wait…..then ask 2 or 3 questions about what’s on it, how’s it cooked, how long it will take. Keep in mind, we’re at a fast food restaurant. It’s every thing I can do not to reach out and thump them on their forehead and demand they go to the back of the line just for the mere reason of their stupidity.

There’s many other pet peeves I have (it’s true) but this particular situation just happened to me. I just hope that one of my own little idiosyncrasy’s don’t become pet peeves for other people.

Tammy - Kris, oh my gosh … you hit the nail on the head! I have to add something here; I have a dear friend who takes forever ordering a meal at a restaurant. She asks a million questions (many of them you mentioned) and racks up about ten minutes of everyone’s time just to determine what she wants. I seriously don’t go out to eat with her anymore because this makes me nuts. But the fast food person? Well, they need to learn some manners. I love your solution: send them to the back of the line just for being stupid. Hahahaha! That solution, by the way, works in other venues of life. If only it were true. Thanks for your post … it was awesome!

Sharon - Have you ever been backing out of a parking lot space with two SUV’s on both sides of your car impeding your view of what’s happening behind you? As I slowly and cautiously back out, it never ceases to amaze me that people walk behind me as my engine is on, AND, I’m actually moving! Why do people assume that I will see them and stop before I hit them? People are generally distrusting of strangers, and yet they depend on me, an unknown, to miraculously notice them and stop as they proceed to walk behind my moving vehicle. Pedestrians, please don’t take such risks! Stop when a car is blindly backing out!

Tammy - Sharon, happens to me ALL the time. It brings out the worst in me as my secret passion is to just run them over then stick my head out the window and ask “what? you didn’t see me?”. Even more aggravating than that are the people that walk right down the middle of the parking lot….slowly. Really? Once again, I just want to run them over. Yikes, I think when I become rich and famous I should hire a driver. What do you think? Great having you here, thanks for the post!

Kesha Brown - Tammy, girl, I sure have my list as well and some even match yours…here are a few of mine:

1) people who hog and spit in public
2) people who throw cigarettes out car windows while driving
3) i’m with you on the finger lickers and teeth pickers
4) people who drive in the fast lane (slowly) when there’s nothing in the left lane…

I could go on but….I’ll survive! LOL


Tammy - Kesha, I love that you gave me a nick-name … Tammy girl. <3 Someday we must meet in person and shoot the breeze. I agree with all of your pet peeves which is why I don't carry a gun. I re-read some of my readers comments and can't for the life of me figure out how I missed so many of them. Spitting in public is huge on my list. Clearly another blog for another day. Great hearing from you as always, thanks for posting!

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