Ten Pet Peeves
Out here in the woods, we never stay up late enough to watch David Letterman; however, we do know he is famous for his ten-item lists of various things. In that spirit, here is this observer’s most recent list of: Pet Peeves.
10. Disorganized people in the grocery checkout or other lines who don’t have their stuff together. Only AFTER their groceries are tallied and bagged do they even begin to look for their check book which they have trouble finding and, of course, nothing on the check has been entered in advance – not even the date. These are often the same people who get into the express line with a gazillion items.
9. People who block the grocery store aisles with their carts. Women, in particular, seem to have this territorial imperative. I think they do it to send a message to we males who do grocery shopping which is: Look buster, this is female terrain. Go home and do something useful like cleaning the garage.
8. People who leave their shopping carts anywhere they please rather than returning them to the store or placing them in storage rack.
7. People who arrive early for a dinner party. To get everything ready by the appointed hour is a struggle for many hosts and hostesses. To be descended up on by guests in the middle of the mad flurry of last-minute preparations is a crime deserving of capital punishment. The 8th Amendment prohibition against “cruel and unusual” punishment should not apply in such cases. Emily Post says to arrive about ten minutes after the appointed hour. Surely, she has been elevated to sainthood by now.
6. People who say they are leaving and then linger on and on, half-in and half-out the front door.
In the military, the custom was that once you bid your host and hostess farewell, you moved out smartly.
5. People who block the moving sidewalks in airline terminals instead of standing on the right side of the moving sidewalk so others (who might be rushing to catch their flights) can pass by on the left.
4. People who get on airliners dressed for beach in shorts, tank tops and sandals. In an off-airport landing (otherwise known as a crash) they are the first to become incapacitated and taking care of them then becomes a burden on those who had enough common sense to wear long pants, long sleeve shirts and sensible shoes and can act as first-responders.
3. People who get on airliners and place their carry-on bag in a storage bin BEHIND where they are sitting instead of in front. Duh. When it is time to deplane, they have to go backwards to get their bag thus blocking the outward flow of passengers.
2. People who call on the phone without giving their name at the outset of the conversation. Perhaps, they have such large egos that they think everyone knows who they are or they think their voice is so special that no one should forget it or, maybe, good manners just were not part of their home curriculum. As our population ages, hearing loss is more common and we need to be mindful of that.
1. And finally, (drum roll) People who say they use email and then never check for their messages. MicroSoft Outlook Express has a feature whereby the sender can request a message receipt that reveals the time and date when recipients open their messages. Some folks to whom this observer has sent what, by any measure, were important messages may not open them for weeks. When that happens, they get email capital punishment: deletion from the email address book. Apparently, city dwellers who get their mail delivered to their door rely less on email than those who live far from a post office or where RFD is not readily available. For rural/mountain America, email is becoming the essential means of written communication.
William Hamilton, a nationally syndicated columnist and featured commentator for USA Today, is the co-author of The Grand Conspiracy by William Penn – a novel about a terrorist attack on the Colorado high country.
©2002. William Hamilton