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My Pet Peeves

We all have them; that little thing that everyone else can seem to ignore or overlook but for some strange reason, you can’t. Or, that minute detail that on a bad day just drives you crazy. Yes ladies and gentlemen, we all have pet peeves. I don’t know, maybe somebody didn’t get enough hugs when they were younger or someone else may have a short fuse. But, no matter what it is, you know it when you see it. For instance, I was recently at an advisory board meeting for a program at a major university and head of the organization’s cell phone went off. He reacted quickly to silence his phone, but in doing so, set off a number of bells and whistles. Just then, the person presiding over the meeting stopped what she was doing and chastised the person whose cell phone went off. After giggling at her tirade, I paused for a second and thought this is a classic example of when pet peeves get the best of us. So now I ask you, what pet peeves do you have? What small actions committed by other people set you off and how do you handle them?

As a former middle school teacher, I had to make sure my students understood correct grammar and the proper use of words. As someone known to jack up a term or definition every now and then (hey, I just found out that the word is “pashmina,” not “poshmona”), I had to make sure that my students could grasp the basic principles of speech and not make the same mistakes I am so commonly known for making. Therefore, one of my biggest pet peeves is to hear people use a singular noun improperly in a sentence. I know, it’s a trivial item in life that can be overlooked, but this reached a boiling point when I heard Oprah tell her audience that everyone needs a good “pant” or a good “jean.” Come on now, Oprah! A good pant is what you do after exercising. We all need a good pair of pants or a good pair of jeans.

I will admit that I have been under a lot of pressure lately. I am preparing for the summer which is my busiest time of year at work, and I have been slaving away at my computer trying to crank out my dissertation on a tight deadline. Therefore, the small nuances of life are starting to bug me more than usual. I guess this is why I got so irritated when the lady sitting next to me on the airplane decided to talk on her cell phone as if everyone on the flight wanted to hear about the day she was having (peeve #2). And, maybe, just maybe, this could also explain why my best friend and my father snap at me when I pop my gum. Once the passenger next to me on my flight hung up her phone, I had to deal with the man sitting behind me smacking on his ice cubes. As he committed number three on my list of pet peeves (smacking), all I could do was wait for the flight attendant to tell us that we had reached a certain altitude and that it was now safe for me to use my approved electronic devices on the flight.

The one good thing about a pet peeve is that they only last for about one or two minutes, and if you wait them out or ask the person to cease the act politely (a hint to my best friend and my father), they will eventually go away. Yep, I am pressed to write something this week, my neighbor’s car is blocking my driveway again (peeve # 4), and I just got finished clearing my inbox of emails proclaiming a string of bad luck if I don’t forward the messages on to 10 people I love (peeve #5). My list could go on and on, but surely, I am not the only person with a string of pet peeves that drives them crazy, right?



May 4, 2008 - Posted by | Opinion


  1. KP, may I politely ask you to please stop popping the gum? Pretty please? Is that polite enough for you?!

    Comment by La Rubia | May 4, 2008

  2. I blame my father for my pet peeves. I would be in BIG trouble if I did the following –
    a. Chewed with my my open
    b. Smacked or Sucked on food – This now drives me up a wall!
    c. Made noises with the silverware while eating such as scraping the plate…

    I blame him because I now realize that most of the people in the world are guilty of the above actions. So please pardon the scowl on my face as I sit near ANYONE that is smacking, scraping, sucking or chewing food with their mouth open. I got it honest! Sometimes I wish I didn’t have the pet peeve b/c I would enjoy dinner a lot more when I’m out with friends… WOW! I JUST yelled upstairs to my daughter b/c I can her spoon hitting the bottom of the glass bowl as she eats cereal!

    Comment by TMAC | May 4, 2008

  3. correction..”hear her spoon hitting the bottom of the glass bowl…

    Comment by TMAC | May 4, 2008

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