Thursday, February 02, 2006

Thursday Thirteen - Things that irritate me

It's another PMS-driven Thursday Thirteen! (Yes, I have PMS again. If it bothers you, talk to my husband. He can tell you that the only way to deal with my PMS is to repeatedly bang your head against a brick wall. That way, the pain in your ass caused by my PMS will be overshadowed by the pain in your head.) Anyway, instead of trying to freak you out with my mood swings, I'll see how many of my readers I can offend with a list of things that irritate me.

1. Anti-bacterial tissues. Seriously - has anyone EVER gotten a virus from germs that have been blown into a tissue? Was there some burning customer need for foul-smelling, too thick tissues that have the dubious benefit of killing germs that weren't going to hurt anyone? If I was a cynical person, I would say that the tissue company is simply trying to market a higher margin product to an insanely germ-phobic public.

2. People who smoke in front of the entrance to a public building. I try to be a live and let live person. If someone wants to destroy their lungs by smoking, that's their choice. Personally, I choose to clog my arteries with Krispy Kremes. To each his or her own. But the thing is, my Krispy Kreme habit doesn't impact the health of other people. Second hand smoke - besides being annoying to most non-smokers - has been shown to be harmful. Ok, I realize that when I drive my car the exhaust has a detrimental impact on the environment but allowing the use of cars is a societal choice as much as a personal choice. So, anyway . . . it pisses me off when I have to enter or leave a building and I have no choice but to walk through a cloud of smoke to get where I need to go. Please - if you must smoke, can you move away from the entrance of the building?

3. Winter. Well, more specifically, winter after New Years. I like a white Christmas season (or Christmakkah as one of my Jewish friends living with a Christian woman calls it). And I know some people actually like snow and do "fun" things like speeding down a mountain, dodging other people and huge rocks and just generally trying not to get killed, maimed or otherwise injured. I don't mind cooler weather but there is simply NO NEED for below zero temperatures. To be completely honest, we've had a fairly mild winter and I'm probably jinxing everything by complaining when I promised at the beginning of this god awful season that I wouldn't complain. But I'm PMSing, it's February, I'm sick of gray skies and cold weather. I'm sick of my winter coat. I'm sick of my winter clothes and if I never wore another pair of flannel pajamas I'd live happily ever after.

4. People who can't admit they're wrong. (Dear husband, please stop laughing). I can admit when I'm wrong. I can. It might take me a day (or five) but eventually I can admit it. Usually.

5. Incompetent people who somehow manage to weasel themselves into a position of responsibility. Especially when I have to work with them. How do these people get where they are? What makes the people who hire them think they are actually capable of doing the job? Let me just say that just because someone is a decent salesman does not mean that he can competently run a huge project that requires attention to detail, understanding of a wide variety of rules and regulations and the acceptance of reality.

6. Britney Spears and Kevin Federline. 'Nuff said y'all.

7. People who believe that there are big corporate, political or religious conspiracies going on requiring huge numbers of people are coordinating their efforts to dupe the "ordinary" person or destroy society as we know it. The most recent one irritating me has to do with the announcement by the American College of Chest Physicians that over the counter cough suppressants don't work. In an interesting article in the Chicago Tribune, author Julie Deardorff quotes "quackwatcher" Robert Carroll as saying that he knows that OTC cough medicines work because he's used them and millions of people swear by them so they MUST work. He goes on to say "Who's right? The millions of us with common sense and experience or some group of pointy-headed medical doctors who want us to get pneumonia so we'll have to check into the hospital and pay large medical bills to help pay for their SUVs and vacation homes?" Yeah, that's right. 16,000+ doctors got together and said to themselves, "Let's tell people that OTC cough medicines don't work so we can make more money." That's just plain stupid.

There's also the International Jewish Conspiracy to take over the world. I'm Jewish. Some of my best friends are Jewish. I'm shocked that none of us have been invited to the conspiracy planning meetings. I have some great ideas about how to take over the world. Maybe we're just not Jewish enough . . .

8. Restaurants that display actual plates of food to show their daily specials. Right after those plates are put out, the food starts to look unappetizing. Seriously people, the last thing I want to see when I walk into a restaurant for lunch is a plate of gnarly looking, five-hour-old eggs garnished with wilted parsley.

9. People who play annoying music in their cars at deafening levels. Look, if you're driving down the highway I can understand wanting to blast Bon Jovi's Livin' on a Prayer or, better yet, REO Speedwagon's Roll With the Changes. (Yeah, yeah - I was a teenager in the '80s. So sue me.) I might even understand it if you blast hip hop or techno under those circumstances. (Like I said in #2 - to each his or her own). But if you're at a stop light in the middle of the damn city, it's simply not appropriate to listen to irritating disco beats at a volume so high that the street shakes and people in neighboring towns cover their ears.

10. Parents that live vicariously through their children. I recognize that this is a dangerous subject. Not only because I am perilously close to doing this with my own child but because, to some extent I think most parents live through their children to one extent or another. To me, one of the great things about having kids is being able to experience their discovery of the world. As parents, we want - and need - to guide them and keep them safe on that journey. That guidance is based on our own experience and desires. Someone who always wanted to play sports as a kid but couldn't for one reason or another, is likely to encourage their kids to play sports. Someone who loved musical theater as a kid but didn't have the nerve or ability to do it professionally is going to be really excited when her daughter gets a role in the Sound of Music and gets to do the show in Asia for three months. Just hypothetically speaking. It's not that I actually know anyone like that . . . I'm ok with that kind of inevitable living through your kids.

What irritates me is parents whose self-esteem rests in the achievements of their kids. I admit, I talk about A Girl way too much sometimes. Partly because she's doing some exciting things and partly because in my weaker moments, I fall prey to typical stage parent bragginess. But, in the end, this is all about A Girl and not about me. I simply can't stand the type of mother (I'm not being sexist here - it's always the mothers in this business) who sits at the door of the auditions and tells everyone how great her kid is and how excited she was to be in the such-and-such movie with X mildly famous person. Or the mother who says "Didn't your daughter audition for Y commercial with my daughter? Well, my daughter booked that commercial, you know." Yeah? Bite me.

11. The fact that it is apparently impossible for me to make a simple list without expounding ad nauseum and creating a long, rambling post instead of the pithy bit of blogging entertainment I intended to create.

12. When the Starbucks barista doesn't put any foam in my latte. Yes, I know that in the scheme of things this should not get my undies in a bunch but, let's face it, I spend something close to the annual GDP of Bolivia on my morning lattes so shouldn't I get it just the way it's supposed to be?

13. Believe it or not, I've run out of things to bitch about. Shocking, I know.

Now that I've either bored you to death or offended you, maybe you want to check out some other Thursday Thirteens. Mosey on over to the sidebar to the Thursday Thirteen links.


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The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It's easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Susie said...

Your list cracks me up. I can identify with a lot of those, but the funniest thing has got to be your quote "I spend something close to the annual GDP of Bolivia on my morning lattes..." - That is hilarious.

My Thursday Thirteen are up if you'd like to drop by!

Jen said...

Wow, these are good! I have big issues with #2 and #6, and most of the others.

Nice to "meet" you. My 13 are up!

Uisce said...

OMG, this is an excellent list!! Thanks for dropping by my 13!

The Scarlett said...

I hate when my Starbucks barista puts whip on my no whip vanilla bean frappiccino. I said NO WHIP, missy!

That felt really good to vent.

JK :) said...

OMG I just HATE #5!!!! Grrr!!

Happy weekend! And hope you feel better soon!

Charity said...

I completely agree with you! The smoking next to the door really really gets to me.

We have Starbucks available on campus...granted the school appointed "barista" is no where close being trained to make a good white chocolate mocha with is the closest available...and it isn't very good. I should learn to stop going and get up early enough to drive farther to get what I really want...but I am not that dedicated.

Mama! Mama! (Mel) said...

Oh. My. What a great list. I hate when people smoke where I have to smell it period.

Number 7 cracks me up. That is so my step-dad.

My 13 are up.

Dariana said...

lmao, what a great list. You crack me up, lol. Happy TT!

Janne said...

I am SO with you on #2!

Paisley said...

This is awesome! I totally hear ya on these. Esp. Brit and KFed.

There was a study about anti bacterial - it said the more you do it, the more colds you WILL get because you are killing the GOOD bacteria...

Denise said...

I agree with many of those....mostly the smoking by the door thing. I expect to breathe fresh air when I walk out of a building...not be knocked on my ass by smoke.

Oh...and those anti-bacterial tissues? Rip off! Maybe they are good for people who like to re-use tissues...ew.

My 13 are up.

Mental Excrements

Kimmy said...


My 13 are up!

Joan said...

Oh my goodness, me too --- numbers 5,9, and 10!!!

My 13 are posted.

Caryn said...

Fun list! I especially agree with the one about smoking right by the doors of buildings. I HATE it when people do that! I know some places have restricted zones where people can't smoke within a certain number of feet of a building's entrance but, come on, do they really enforce it? I doubt it. But they should.

Karin said...

Thanks for making me laugh ;-)

Killired said...

mine are up! i can relate to a lot of yours!

Nicole said...

LOL Great list. You crack me up. But I agree with you on most things.

Hp[e you had a happy TT!

catherine ryan said...

I thoroughly enjoyed your TT and chuckled through several of them! I agree totally with the parents who live vicariously, the conspiracy quakes, and most especially the morons who get promoted because they are ass-kissers.

Rose DesRochers said...

Britney Spears and Kevin Federline. 'Nuff said y'all.

I agree there. LOL