Pet Peeves and Other Irritants

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Lately, everywhere I go — the Ferrari dealership, the local MENSA meeting, or the Olympic Village, it seems people are always stopping me and asking, “So, Elena, what are some of your biggest pet peeves?”

I tend to blush with so much attention, but when I do begin to speak, I explain that my very first pet peeve is when people ask me about my pet peeves.

I’m kidding people, I’m kidding! I haven’t blushed in years.

But seriously, as an ex-English instructor (Is there such a thing as an ex-English teacher? Or is it like being an ex-Marine, where there is simply no ex about it?) OK, as a lifetime English instructor, I have many, many peeves that involve the improper use of words, or grammar. However, when talking with friends, I tend not to grade them, at least not in front of other people, and even then, not too harshly. Also, if I myself, make a grammar error, please note that this is what as known as “poetic license.”

Some of my other pet peeves include but are not limited to: people who call their children “stupid,” or other insults, people who add drama to undramatic situations, thoughtlessness that is akin to unkindness, and Bobby Flay. OK, it has taken me years but I am not nearly as irritated by Chef Flay as I used to be. He is a tremendous chef, and has earned my grudging respect. So, he’s off my naughty list. But mean people are still firmly at the top.

At the second tier of pet peeves live people who don’t discipline their children nor their pets. If you don’t say “no” occasionally to both children, furry and non-furry, you will wind up with exactly what you deserve: whiny, self-indulgent, overprivileged creatures who shit everywhere in the house. And then, of course, there are the dogs.

At the lower end of the spectrum of annoying peeves are small irritants, such as drivers who don’t use turn signals or drive under the speed limit, recipes that are way too complex for ordinary humans, students who interrupt classes stupid questions (yes, Virginia, there is a stupid question, mostly ones that have absolutely nothing to do with the subject being discussed), waitstaff who don’t write down the orders (especially if they come back later and ask, “Was that ranch of blue cheese?”), know-it-alls, and snobs. The last on the list does not include people who are snobs in a narrow category, such as wine snobs or chocolate snobs (of which I am one, only liking dark chocolate), but rather living in a general state of snobbery as it is applied to other people — that they are in a certain social class, while others are “beneath them.”

Actually, there is one more thing. The word peeve is really annoying. Pet is fine, but peeve sounds awful. PEEEEEEEVE. It’s a nails on a chalkboard kind of word, right up there with how some feel about the word “moist.” Even a James Earl Jones voice-over cannot save this word.

So there you have it. This is, of course, not a complete list, but it should satisfy the unwashed masses who have been hounding me to know my innermost irritants. Now that this is going to be published, please, everyone, give me a little down-time to focus on my current pursuit — working with close friend, Cesar Milan, training my German Shepherd to bark in French.

Good day to you, ladies and gentlemen.

I said, GOOD DAY!

Written by

Writer and storyteller, immigrant, wife, mom, knitter, collector of jokes, lover of cheap, sweet wine.

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