Ever wonder what the phrase "pet peeve" means? I know I have a lot of them, so I did some research to better understand what I'm "peeved" about.
The verb means "to irritate or annoy" and the noun, "an annoyance or something that irritates," according to www.thefreedictionary.com. I completely know what they are talking about.
One of my pet peeves is bumpy-wheel shopping carts. I love wandering around Wal-Mart, casually looking at things I don't need or can't afford, but that pleasure is ruined when I happen to choose a cart that has a bumpy wheel. Anybody else have the same peeve?
I think Wal-Mart installed a slate floor at the entrance so you don't know you have a wonky wheel on the cart until you are way into the store. Not me. When I notice the wheel bumping, I turn around and take it back. I select another one. And if that one is the same, I take that one back, too, until I find a quiet cart.
Think it's a problem just in Plattsburgh? Last time we were at Wal-Mart in Colorado Springs, wouldn't you know I would get one of those annoying carts. I could not believe it. Where does the company get these carts from? A seconds store? Even Goodwill doesn't have bumpy-wheeled carts.
Like I said, I love Wal-Mart, but I hate their carts. They should consider a job description that includes pushing these carts on smooth flooring to test them out. Any cart that doesn't pass the "smoothies" test gets put in the recycling bin.
I have other pet peeves, too. How about when somebody chews with their mouth open? It used to be elbows on the table were bad manners, but that has long since given way to what I call "muncher mouth." It also annoys me when people talk on their cellphones in a restaurant. I don't want to listen in on someone else's conversation, but I'm forced to when I'm at the next table. Please.
How about fingernails on a chalkboard, when someone cracks their knuckles or "drumming" fingers on the table? Or someone who says, "Know what I'm saying?" after every sentence.
Kids can give you a pet peeve, too. It used to drive me up the wall when my children came home from school, kicked their shoes off at the door along with their coats and book bags and left them there. I figured they each had bedrooms, and that's where their stuff belonged.
I must have made an impression because my son, Todd, told me a few years ago that he finally understood my frustration. Guess his kids did the same thing, and the youngest, Katie, still does.
When I Googled "pet peeves," I also found a list of 500 pet peeves shared by people from around the world on www.getannoyed.com. The list included people who drink directly out of the milk container, when someone makes a sucking noise with a straw when the glass is empty, and people with a full cart of groceries who get in the 10 items or fewer line.
Some of the ideas on the list were downright dangerous, such as reading the newspaper while driving, drivers who don't use a turn signal and people who zigzag in and out of lanes on the freeway.
Others were personal preference in my opinion, like people who give their kids weird names, people who don't dress their age and people who dress their pets to look like humans.
Some were amusing, like people who style their hair during Mass; people who talk, whistle or sing to themselves; people who write "Keep in touch" in your yearbook and you never hear from them again.
The list goes on and on, but I can add a couple more from personal experience at my house: "persons" who leave the bathroom light on and that same "person" who takes the last of something and doesn't throw the box away. That "person" shall remain nameless because I don't want a divorce at this age.
I do feel better knowing that there are at least 450 irritations or annoyances that don't bother me at all. Now, if only I had a motion detector in the bathroom to shut the light off, I could cross one pet peeve off my list.
One last thought, as always, please be kind to each other. The world needs more kindness.
Susan Tobias lives in Plattsburgh with her husband, Toby. She has been a Press-Republican newsroom employee since 1977. The Tobiases have six children, 18 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. They enjoy traveling to Maine and Colorado, and in her spare time, Susan loves to research local history and genealogy. Reach her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.