Monday, April 11, 2011

A List of Peeves

I don't believe in keeping peeves for pets. They don't do well in captivity and generally end up biting their owners in the ass. But lately, some things have been annoying me, and though I don't want to make a pet of them, I thought I'd share my peeves with you. Careful! They can be nasty little buggers (and petty, to boot!)

1. When characters in books just order "a beer" at a restaurant or a bar. I know this irritation is coming from the fact that I am both the daughter and the wife of two men who take beer very seriously. But ordering "a beer" at a restaurant is like saying to the wait staff, "Bring me a meal, please." Seriously, is it that difficult or terrible to name a brand or a type at least? I know you don't want to piss off the Budweiser corporation, but no one worries about that with Kleenex or Xerox in books. So get off your keister and figure out what the hell kind of beer your character drinks. For the love of Pete, it really breaks that fourth wall for this reader. Do you really want me finishing the chapter wondering what the hell kind of beer he was drinking?

2. Default settings. Since moving to Indiana, I have had an inordinate amount of stuff delivered to our Columbus address because it was set as the default on whatever website. AND I C AN'T GET THE DEFAULT CHANGED. Amazon, really, do people live at the same address FOREVER? Just make it easier to change the default. Because as sick as I am of calling a neighbor to send mis-handled stuff, I'm sure she's even more fed up.

3. People who glare at parents with screaming children in public. Obviously, if you have a screaming child at the opera or even a movie theater (for a non-Disney film), you deserve all the hairy eyeballs you get. I'm talking about the glares parents get because their children are being children and testing the limits of their lungs and their parents' patience over a package of Easter-hued M&Ms at the grocery store. Kids aren't always adorable and sweet and we really need to be nicer to parents when that is happening. Because believe me, as annoyed as you are at hearing the ear-piercing screams, imagine not being able to leave the screaming behind as you drive away without there being a subsequent call to Children's Services and the attendant headache and paperwork that will bring about.

4. The need for socks to match. My son is following in his mother's footsteps (har!) in his inability to keep two socks of similar color and style together for more than the first 15 minutes of the initial donning. I will often just wear two socks from non-twinned pairs and rely on my shoes to keep their damned tongues from flapping. LO, unfortunately, doesn't wear shoes, so the fact that one of his socks is brown and the other is sky blue is abundantly clear. I try to tell people that he's really not getting the hang of folding and sorting laundry yet, but as his mother I can still feel the judgment of others based upon LO's sub-par laundry abilities. It always comes back to blaming the mother, you know.

5. The fact that there is no E in the first half of the word judgment. For years, I felt a kind of smugness bordering on moral superiority that I knew this fact. But recently, I found myself wondering what the hell is wrong with the English language and its gatekeepers (like myself in my role as English teacher) that we would delete that E from the root word of judge. I mean really. Is there an E shortage? I happen to know that E is the most common vowel AND the most common letter in the English language. E's a little hussy, but bring up the word judgment and all of sudden she's playing coy? I get that Q likes to play hard to get, but E's so easy, she's been paired with every other letter in the alphabet. For the love of all that is holy, bring an E into judgement and maybe the world will make sense again.

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