I heard on the news recently that Consumer Reports magazine has posted a list of readers’ gripes. Interestingly enough, I have been collecting my own list of gripes. I call them “pet peeves.”
According to Wikipedia, the definition of pet peeves is “a minor annoyance that an individual identifies as particularly annoying to them, to a greater degree than others may find it.”
Below is a list of my personal pet peeves, followed by those of family and friends.
My personal pet peeves:
1. People who say “Don’t take this the wrong way.” (Trust me, I will. You’re better off not saying anything at all.)
2. Mothers who say, “My daughter and I are best friends.” (You shouldn’t be. You are years apart in age, and even more in experience. Your job is to be her mother. Leave the bff title to someone born within the same decade.)
3. Those who “Reply All” to every e-mail they send. (Unless you are trying to coordinate something, we all don’t need to hear your answer.)
4. Drivers making a left turn while talking on the phone. (Or better yet, trying to pull in or out of a parking space while holding said cell phone. Not only is it unsafe, it takes you twice as long, and is ignorant for those drivers waiting for you.)
5. People who insult you and then follow it with “Just kidding!” (No, you weren’t. You were being rude. Don’t hide behind humor to try and make yourself feel better.)
Now, pet peeves from family and friends:
1. Tailgating: And I don’t mean at a game. (My husband’s number one gripe!)
2. Playing dumb in a store with multiple cashiers but just one line. (The store is packed and you think you just happened upon an open cashier? Open your eyes and get to the back of the line!)
3. Driving up the shoulder. (Oh, you’re in a hurry. Then go ahead – the rest of us really want to wait in traffic!)
4. Teenagers. (I don’t think there is one particular trait that annoys my sisters the most – it is the whole package. If you have teens, you’ll understand.)
5. People who talk on their cell phone while in a public place (on a “no talking” train car or in line at the grocery store. We all don’t need, or want, to hear your private conversation.)
The term pet peeve has been around since 1919 and comes from the 14th century word peevish, meaning ornery or ill-tempered.
Believe it or not, there are various websites set up to post your pet peeves. (I guess that isn’t too hard to believe. There are websites for pretty much everything these days.) There are even t-shirts available to advertise your annoyance to the world.
A quick check of the Consumer Reports list showed that the number one annoyance of those polled was “hidden fees”, with “not getting a human on the phone” a close second. I can understand that. (I have started pressing “0” as soon as I hear a list of options. That almost always gets me to a receptionist.)
However, I have to question number 6 on the list. On a 10-point scale, with 10 being most annoying, “dog poop” was rated 7.6. Dog poop? Really? More people are annoyed at dog poop than discourteous cell phone use? I will pick up d.p. before listening to a stranger’s medical history any day of the week.
Well, I guess that is why they are called pet peeves. They may seem irrational or illogical to others, but are extremely annoying to us.