Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Pet Peeves on a Short Leash

Ross: What is Monica's biggest pet peeve?
Joey: Animals dressed as humans!
Ross: That is correct.
from Friends, "The One with All the Embryos"

In my last post I painted a word picture: pet peeves are small things that annoy me, which I nurture and dress in silly clothes and keep near me. And as I said before, I don't think peeves are things I should keep as pets. Instead, I believe I should figure out what bugs me, why it bugs me, and then try to stop letting it bug me.

So I've been a'thinkin on this for a day or two. And here are my pet peeves:

1. People who get to the front of the line in the grocery store, wait until all their items are scanned, and then start looking around in their purse for their wallet.

2. People who get to the front of the line in a restaurant, and then start reading the menu.

3. Stores that have really long lines and only one cashier, while employees walk around stocking shelves and don't open another register.

4. People who don't pay attention at stop lights when the light turns green. They they take so long that they get through at the last minute but I get stuck at the red.

I could go on, but I think the theme is pretty clear. I have a patience problem.
The dialogue at the top of this post is from one of my favorite "Friends" episodes. The friends are having a trivia contest to prove which of them knows each other best, and one of the four categories is "Fears and Pet Peeves." Monica's pet peeve is above. Chandler's fear, the episode reveals, is Michael Flately's Lord of the Dance ("His legs flail about as if independent from his body!").

This is a telling episode. Its true: if you want to really know what defines a person, find out what their pet peeves and phobias are. Because again, the things we let chronically irritate us say a lot about our character, especially when we list them like items on a resume rather than as items on the list of things we'd like to change about ourselves. I'm not sure exactly what is says about Monica that she hates it when people dress up their pets. But I know what mine say about me: I do not like to be kept waiting.

Again, I have a patience problem. But I do notice that these things don't bother me if I've allowed myself enough time to get somewhere or do something. It's only when I'm trying to squeeze too many things into too little time (which is usually) that this irritates me. (And also, if I'm really, really hungry.) When I've left a margin of time, I am extremely forbearing and polite; I might even let you go ahead of me if you have less than 10 items in your cart.

But generally, places like JoAnn Craft stores need to put up a sign just for me that says "Your poor planning is not our crisis." Or possibly, "Just because you are trying to buy black felt and Steam-a-Seam before your daughter gets out of school and left your house too late does not mean we need to page someone else to the cutting table or open another register." But that would probably take up too much space.

So, reality check, Amanda. The world does not revolve around you and your housewifely agenda. Becoming short tempered with the children, the cashiers, and your fellow drivers on the road is not worth crossing one more item on your list.

I shall now edit my list of things to do and, in so doing, put my pet peeves on a shorter leash. How about you?

1 comment:

  1. I can totally relate to this post. I have a patience problem but it really is only because I am the one that is running late, not them! Good to know I am not the only one out there!