There's no rhyme or reason to this list, it's just a collection of those little and not so little things that just stick in my craw.
1. Tailgaters. If where you're going is so all-fired important, instead of riding my bumper in a vain attempt to get me to go faster, why don't you just go around?
2. People who wear too much perfume or cologne. This is a situation where, if a little is good, a lot is not necessarily better and is in fact often much, much worse.
3. The packaging of children's toys. When did it become necessary to safeguard a dump truck made out of plastic as if it were the crown jewels? I have had to get a screwdriver to get some of my son's toys out of their packaging, I kid you not. A screwdriver. For a $5 toy. Whoever came up with that idea clearly has never had a child standing there screaming, "Mama, I want my truck RIGHT NOW!" What happened to just opening the box, pulling out the toy and playing with it?
4. Hold music. If I'm calling about a problem, hearing the Muzak version of "Pour Some Sugar On Me" is not real likely to improve my disposition.
5. Pushy salespeople. This is somewhat related to #4. I call Company X with a particular problem, wanting only a solution to that problem. Before I can get off the phone, they have to tell me about 4,783 different services that I could add to my existing account for only a small fee, and when I say "no", they try to tell me a different way why I really can't do without those 4,783 different services. Yeah, well, lots of small fees add up to one big one, so no, thanks.
6. Junk mail. I swear, I get more crap in my mailbox in one week than most people do in a month. Or two. Or three. Somehow I'm on the mailing list for just about every catalog in the country.
7. Four-way stop signs. Invariably someone will get there before me and already be stopped. Then they stare at me like I've grown a horn out of the middle of my forehead when I come to a stop to let them go. And then it's a big stand-off and several false starts before someone actually finds the intestinal fortitude to gun it through the intersection. AARGH. If you were there first, you get to go first. It's not rocket science.
8. Overdraft fees. Unfortunately, I've become far too well acquainted with this in recent months. You overdraw your account. The bank charges a fee. OK, fine, I screw up, my overdraft protection kicks in, I reckon the bank is due a little something for providing that service. But if you don't get the overdraft cleared darn near immediately (say, it's three days until payday and there's nothing you can do to get money into your account any sooner), you get charged more fees. For every overdraft fee you're charged, that's another overdraft item, and you're charged a fee for that. And on and on, until you're so far in the hole you can't hardly dig your way out. What, the initial overdraft fee wasn't sufficient?
9. My finicky, hypersensitive DVD player. Sometimes, for no apparent reason, it will balk at a disc and say there's no disc in there. I've cleaned the DVD player, I've checked the disc for scratches and smudges and found none. Why, in the name of all that is holy, won't you just PLAY?! (This never happens with anything I want to watch, of course - only with whatever DVD J is wildly obsessed with at the moment. Ever try to explain to a 4-year-old that for some reason unknown to you, and in spite of your best efforts, he's just NOT going to get to watch SpongeBob right now? It's madness, I tell you, madness.)
10. The sizing of women's clothing. You know, a size 4 should be a size 4 should be a size 4. A size 18 should be a size 18 should be a size 18. Brand, cost, whatever shouldn't matter. I can see that a difference in style might make a difference in fit - i.e., a pleated skirt might run a bit bigger than a straight skirt. But I shouldn't wear one size on one day and three sizes bigger the next, just because I'm trying on a different brand or shopping in a different store. And I'm not a skinny girl - I've gotten past the number on the tag ages ago, so please, designers, don't think I'll be more inclined to shell out money just because the tag says 14 instead of 18. I truly don't give a rip. I'd just like some consistency, so I don't play "guess the size" every time I go clothes shopping.
11. Cigarette smoke. Yes, it's a free country (well, not counting all the places that are now banning smoking in public buildings, or restaurants, or what have you). You're a grown-up, you're free to smoke if you like - that's your call. I, however, do not have to like the smell of cigarette smoke, and I don't. It makes my eyes itch, and I think it smells horrid. Smoke all you want, but don't get aggravated if I cough or rub my eyes if you happen to be smoking near me. (And for what it's worth, my sister is an occasional smoker, and if she tried to light up in my house, I'd send her outside.)
12. Wal-Mart. Why do we have a Super Wal-Mart with 37 checkout lanes if only three are open at any given time? I don't get that. (Note: We now have a Wal-Mart in our town, so perhaps they'll redeem themselves. I'm not expecting that, but I'm willing to try to keep an open mind until I'm proven wrong.)
13. Crickets. I don't like their singing if I'm trying to sleep (which is about the time they start up at my house), I don't like the fact that they can get up in the recessed lighting of my living room and dive-bomb me, I don't like the fact that they're jumpy, ooky bugs, and no, I don't care that Jiminy Cricket was cute or crickets are supposed to be lucky. I don't like them. They oog me big-time, and I don't want to touch one or see one. And I'd challenge that idea that crickets are lucky - I've got so many around here during cricket season, I should have won the lotto four times over by now. I don't see any lotto winnings around here, do you?
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