Tuesday, October 22, 2019

All the Annoying Things Part I

Once upon a time I came across this important article presumptuously listing fifty things I do every day that annoy other people.  For some reason, I keep coming back to this list. So as one final return, I thought I'd explicate it on my blog, to defend or concur, once and for all, to nobody who wanted to know to begin with.  But, you may want to ask yourself which of these things rings true for you, and whether or not it makes any difference to you.  Also, fifty is a lot. Maybe I'll make this a two part-er.

1. Humblebragging.   I'm trying to think about this. If I were to do this, I would do it to mock. Mocking is always funny and welcome, as a general rule, for me and my house.  If something can be made fun of in a lighthearted, well-meaning mocking way, then it should be done. I never want to let a moment pass without exploring its full funny potential.    But, have I done this seriously? Unintentionally?  Probably. I try to be as self-aware as I can.  I can't think of any examples but I'm sure I've said something that I may have tried to phrase a certain way but then failed and it just came out as a humblebrag.  And it's uncomfortable.  Hopefully I have the good sense to make fun of myself for doing it.  Because humblebragging is funny, and I am super entertained when other people do it.

2. Not standing to one side on an escalator.  A loud, resounding NO! I know this rule. I lived in a city. It's been ingrained in my skull. You stand to the right, walk on the left. Thanks, city, for teaching me to be conscious of myself and others around me in crowded areas.

3. Starting an order with "Can I get a...?"   What? The article says this is rude and "may I please have..." is more polite.  Is it just me or does this sound really dumb. Is the server my mom?  I don't even know what i say exactly at a restaurant. I probably say, "I would like _____ and ____" and make a direct statement instead of a request with prayer hands. I mean, I'm going to pay for it. I'm going to ask people who've worked in food service and ask if they really care about this. I'm sure this is the least of all the annoying things in the food service field.

4. Not holding the door for the person behind you. I do this, of course I do. But sometimes it's like, how close is the person behind me before I'm holding it an awkward length of time? I know I feel weird if someone is holding the door for too long and i feel like I have to hustle. "Just let it go!" i want to holler.  I think it depends on the relationship or age.  Stranger: 3-5 seconds. Young stranger: 5-8 seconds.  Friend: 5-7 seconds.  Elderly stranger: 5-10 seconds.  Elderly friend: forever.  Enemy: If you can catch it before it shuts after I've gone through, good job. I won't purposely hold it shut after I go through. You're welcome.

5. Refusing to walk single-file on a crowded sidewalk.  No. See Number 2.

6. Singing along to a song like you're trying to win a Grammy.  ha ha! I kind of wish I did this more. I certainly do at home or with loved ones who support my Grammy goals.  No but seriously, I don't really do this. Not to a point of annoyance, I am certain. But I do know someone who does and it is kind of weird, but, like humblebragging, also super entertaining.  Like, really? still going? ok. Basically, anyone who unknowingly breaks the unspoken rules of society has my full attention.

7. Not returning your shopping cart.  I have stressed out about this in my time.  I like to return the cart when I'm parked close by. And in general.  But I also am super lazy, so I'll go find a cart-return thing.  Do I leave it in a random spot in the parking lot, free to roll whichever way, potentially damaging cars or prohibiting someone from parking in a spot? NEVER.  That is super rude.

8. Talking ad nauseam about how busy you are. Ha! I have known people who've done this and, truthfully, I bet I do it too.  But I like to think I have an internal annoying-o-meter that just seems to go off when I cross over into annoying territory.  Also I'm rarely all that busy, at least doing anything worth mentioning, so if it happens I'm usually like, "Listen to these THREE THINGS i did today! I'm DYING."  And then we can make fun of it.  But I do know people who do this a lot, unknowingly, and it's true, it can be annoying. Or maybe just boring. But something I like to do in a conversation with people who may do things like this is read between the lines. What are you REALLY trying to tell me? Do you need some validation? What's at the root of all of this? Let's get at that.  Another alternative is I'll likely tune in and out and work on my "act like you were listening the whole time" skills, something that could always use a refresher.

9. Looking at your phone when you're talking to someone in person.  I definitely do this. But I know it's annoying. I'm working on it.

10. Tapping your feet.  Like, I'm impatient? Or just wiggly. I have a brother who used to shake his knee so violently, it would register [*quickly googles "high on richter scale*] a 5.7 on the Richter Scale.  And it was annoying. I'll definitely bounce my crossed legs-foot to the beat or tempo of music playing but hopefully keeping it in the air prevents from shaking those around me.  UPDATE: I'm writing this at a later time. I was sitting here at my desk having worked a long while and guess what i started doing? Vigorously shaking my legs.  Guess it's time to get up. 

11. Parking too close to the line in the parking lot. No! I hate this! This causes me great stress and I will fix my parking until I feel comfortable and symmetrically within the lines.  If, for some reason, I don't, I say a prayer of apology and hope it finds the owners of the cars next to me. Also if I'm forced to park horribly due to someone else's too-close parking, I say another prayer that they will forgive me and consider this, which makes me think I ought to do the same, as they may have had no choice either.

12. Finishing a food item and putting the container back in the fridge. Hahahaha lolol.  I used do this all the time as a lazy punk kid, just to be a punk. And it's funny and I'd do it today. I think I will. Sean will looooove it.

13. Replying all.  Ok. Let's talk about this. Akin to group texts, I have a certain tolerance threshold for this and it's not the highest.  Fortunately, just as the use of email has entered antiquity, I think people have finally figured out how to use the reply/reply-all option.  I'm sad about email, by the way. I guess people still use it professionally though. Asking oneself: Is it helpful/relevant/important/funny so as to include all the other people here? is a good thing to do.  But group texts on the other hand... I think "family group texts" could be its own blog post.

14. Putting something back on the wrong shelf at the grocery store. Guilty! But I feel it.  I feel the guilt. If I'm close by, I'll do my best to return it to its home, or at least make Julian do it.

15. Talking at the movies.  A little, but not really.  I'm here for the movie. Unless it suuucks. Then I will make fun and joke with friends a la Mystery Science Theater 3000. Right now a specific movie comes to mind: Safe Haven, with Julianne Hough, based on a Nicholas Sparks novel. I went to this with friends and it got so ridiculous- with my pregnant friend crying even though it was pretty cheesy, us making fun of her, and then I started predicting outrageous theories that turned out to be TRUE. Also, i have another friend with whom I used to go see junk movies on a Saturday morning and it was truly the best. I really miss this. 

16. Wearing too much fragrance.  No. I do not wear it. Sometimes I wish I did but then i remember that is actually pretty annoying to smell it on someone else. T'is rare that I smell someone's perfume and go, "Mmmm that is delicious, come nearer to me."  Mostly it's overwhelming.  Fragrance-free unisex deodorant is about all I'm good for. 

17. Going to an express checkout with more than 10 items.  Never!

18. Taking a phone call at the gym.  Ha ha ha ha "taking a phone call!"  ha ha ha!  "at the gym!" Hahahaha...

19.  Not replacing the toilet paper roll.  Ohhh I try not to do this. But sometimes I do. But i'm only shooting myself in the foot bc I use the bathroom 50 times more frequently than anyone else. 

20. Humming along with a song in public.  Geez, what is this, George Orwell's 1984?  I'm sooo sorry for trying to share a little song and joy with the rest of the world.  I'm not sure how often I do this. But I bet I do it a little at least.  Somewhat related, our plumbing is being weird lately so whenever the water's turned on (faucet, dishwasher, laundry) the pipes hum this almost perfect B-flat note. Then I will sing the next note in the chord, then someone sings the next and then the next and it makes me laugh every time. Feeling like a super nerdy musical family.  We also sing a response to our oven which sings a little ditty when it's done pre-heating. It will do its little song and I will hear Julian respond from wherever he is and I love it. I love it a lot. 

21. RSVPing at the last minute. Oooo this is my faaavorite.  If I'm on the fence about it, I might wait until 6:59pm to say yea or nay.  Ok, maybe not that bad.  But I wait as long as I can. Sometimes if they don't request an RSVP, and it's perhaps a large impersonal invite, I won't give one at all!  I like keeping my options open. I'm very selfish with my time and commitments.  I'm sorry if this is annoying. I'll think better of it in the future, but am unsure if I'll completely refrain from this annoying habit. I get that people need numbers for food planning and whatnot and will respect that. If it's a small group, a reply is needed, and I plan to go and would like to go, I will respond pretty promptly and try to make it worth your while. But I will respond immediately if I can't go because isn't that the best? When you can't go to something you didn't want to go to anyway? "Sorry, I can't make it! {party emoji}"  And then include in detail the reasons why. < -- I do not do this (I don't need to explain myself to you) but I see it all. the. time.  My response to this one is making me sound like kind of a jerk.

22. Leaving the toilet seat up.  Uhh no.  Actually, I tend to close the lid after each use. I feel more clean doing this and also I don't want the cats to drink toilet water. The article mentions this as a polite thing to do as well. 

23. Stopping short while walking. I have definitely done this. Especially when I lived in a place where I was getting lost all the time. But most people are understanding, right? I try to pull over when I need to stationarily take care of business. What I fear is someone walking toward me whilst not looking, when there's no way to know where they'll go, and my best option is to just curl up in a ball and wait for them to pass.

24. Fishing food out of your teeth.  GUILTY.  I toootally do this and it is probably sooo gross and annoying. My sisters and I used to joke about how we'd do the laugh + teeth clean combo.  It's because I will stop at NOTHING to get that food out of my tooth.  I have to refrain from resorting to probably really uncomely methods. But it is hard. 

25. Listening to music on your headphones loud enough so other people can hear.
  No. I rarely listen to music on headphones. If I use headphones at all, it's a podcast, and I'm so protective of my tender ears, it's always on the bare minimum of decibels.  But I agree, this is annoying. I'm also concerned for your hearing.

And that's Part I of this discussion.  Stay tuned for Part II. 


Alanna said...

SO much to say about this... I'm glad you broke it down into two posts! I'm going to be commenting on nearly all of these...

1. I don't think I do this-- I either all out brag or I'm all out humble. Never both at the same time.

3. I think I usually say, "I'd like..." or "I'll have..." but my sister drilled it into me that you have to end with PLEASE because that's just good manners.

4. Totally with you on this.

5. Still trying to teach this to my kids, mostly at grocery stores. They NEVER get out of anybody's way!

6. I see NO PROBLEM with doing this. Sorrynotsorry.

7. I always do this except at Costco where there's a grassy strip in the middle. I'll leave my cart there. But not just where it will roll into someone's car-- that's terrible.

8. Guilty. But I'll listen to every word you say about how busy you are, too, and admit that you're probably busier. So that makes it not quite so bad, right? Right???

9. Ummmm...

10. I do this all the time. So does Craig. It only bothers me when I'm trying to write in my journal and he's shaking the whole bed with his tapping. But otherwise, I have no problem with this. We've made our SIL seasick...

11. I try really hard here, but I drive a humungous van and if the other person next to me didn't park well, I take no responsibility for what I do to compensate. (But I do hope and pray that they're still there when I come back so I don't look like a horrible person.)

12. I have nearly killed Craig for doing this. He thought this would help me to realize we were out of that item-- wha??? HOW???

14. Nope, never. The worst I'll do is hand it to the checker and tell them I changed my mind and ask if they mind re-shelving it.

15. NEVER. I will shush you for doing this.

18. Bwa ha ha ha! Neither of these are a problem for me!

19. Same as you. Exactly the same.

20. Same as with #6, I see NOTHING WRONG with this. And I don't even care if I'm bothering you.

21. Sometimes. I try really hard to not be that person, but sometimes it's hard to commit.

22. I was raised that the lid always goes down, then you never have to fish stuff (like toothbrushes) out of the toilet. My Mom convinced Craig to do this, too (she knew of a baby who drowned by falling into a toilet, so she was ADAMANT. Still trying to teach my kids this.

24. This isn't okay??? Isn't it worse to have food stuck in your teeth?

Whew. Who knew I was so opinionated???

)en said...

Oh boy, I enjoyed reading this. Thanks for sharing your opinions! This is important stuff, right? And I'm glad you get that and to know all of these things about you. {star swoosh emoji-- can't insert it bc i'm on a lap top}