Saturday, July 19, 2008

What Annoys Me

I am seriously desperate for a blog topic; when my faves don't post for several days it's aggravating and I don't want to be guilty of the same thing.

So, I googled "topics for discussion" and landed on an ESOL site that lists various topics, intended for students to use in practicing their English skills.

My English skills could occasionally use a workout, so I'm listing as many as I can answer. The basic topic is "What Annoys You."

Sorry if this is a bit too much like a "meme."

1. What annoys you about living where you live now?
Aside from people "sympathizing" with me about the neighborhood (they would faint if a non-white moved within 5 miles of them), my pet peeves include
-unnecessary noise;
-people who don't take proper care of their pets and either leave them to bark all night or roam all day and cause trouble;
-graffiti and vandalism
-Chronically unkempt property
-lack of decent restaurants and stores within walking distance

2. What annoys you about driving a car?
Ooh, good question.
-Other drivers in general would have to lead this particular list
-The constant need for upkeep -- just when you've spent a fortune on one type of repair, another crops up, and it's often something you just finished paying off from 2 or 3 years before.

3. What annoys you most about living at home with your family?
-Well, my "family" at home is now down to one other than myself. He is a Felix Unger type, obsessively neat. Watching him move my shoes from one room to the next is exasperating, but when I think of how this place would look without his vigilance, I'm less inclined to complain.
-Actually, our other family member is our destructive, intrusive cat. I have an entire blog dedicated to him already.

4. Do you think you have habits that annoy other people?
-Well, my husband would cite the above-referenced tendencies toward disorderliness...
-I'm not terribly sociable, so others have to do more work to maintain the relationship (starting conversations, calling me, etc.)
...ever notice how introversion is rarely if ever viewed as a positive trait?

5. Does it annoy you when people kiss in public?
-Are you talking about kiss-goodbye-at-the-train-station or a 20-minute tonguefest, for which tickets could be sold?

6. Do you get annoyed when someone cuts in front of you when you are waiting in line?
-Generally, I consider myself out of kindergarten for a long time and don't let it bother me, but if many others are behind me, then I get it for letting them in.

7. What are some new pet peeves you have as a result of recent technology (i.e. cell phone use)?
-I could do without cell phone text messages that are little more than rehashes of junk e-mails ("U R my bff -- send this to 10 of your bffs in the next 10 minutes and Jesus will bless you!")
-In my opinion, the more often your cell phone rings, the more quiet and unobtrusive your ringtone should be.
-Advanced technology has done little or nothing to boost basic levels of intelligence, especially judgment. Hence the proliferation of urban legends.

8. What annoying habits does your best friend have?
-She's a bigot
-She's sometimes too tough for her own good and demonstrates a regrettable lack of sensitivity.
-She's a talented writer but still insists on reading James Patterson and V.C. Andrews.

9. Does smoking bother you?
-My parents were chain-smokers and as a result I had a cold throughout my entire childhood, right up until I moved in with Doug, who didn't smoke. Carl is a smoker, but he confines it to outdoors and therefore, it's manageable. I sympathize with smokers' addiction and wish more could be done about it.

10. Do you get annoyed when other people display bad manners? Give some examples.
-I think lack of awareness of personal space is my number one pet peeve in this area. The person who parks him or herself (and the shopping cart) in front of the freezer case at the store and stands there for 10 minutes reading labels -- oblivious to other shoppers who would like to grab the box of Hot Pockets and be on their way.
-Related to this is people who are unnecessarily loud and boisterous in public. Those who don't keep their voices down in the library or a movie, or who get into mock fights with their friends while waiting in line and then say "Oh, excuse me!" after they've knocked into you.

11. What is something that your parents do that annoy you?
-Well, my folks are long gone, but I suppose their drinking gave rise to nearly anything I could think of that annoyed me. The loud fights in public; the eccentric behavior when friends came over; the reckless driving, and tendency to be unreliable, to name but a few.

12. Can annoying someone be a good thing?
-If the main goal is just to get their attention, it may work if you then have a plan to appeal to something they want so they'll become an ally.

13. If something is annoying you, what do you usually do?
-I am much more likely to "put up and shut up," or to vent about it to someone else later on.
-However, if I know that many other people are equally annoyed about the same thing, I may then find it easier to speak up to the offender.

14. How do you change annoying habits?
-I guess the most effective thing for me is feedback. I can be utterly oblivious to the impression I'm making ... though more recently I've developed the ability to take a hint. A direct approach ("Don't start talking when the weather report is on, please") usually works best.
-Once I know about an annoying habit, I then look for triggers. For example, I get snippy with people if I sense both pressure and frustration at the same time (Must make 100 copies right now but copier is out of order...). When this happens I just need to tell myself "Okay Volly, this is one of those pressure-and-frustration type scenarios, so keep smiling and mind your manners. It won't kill you."

15. What are some things other drivers do that annoy you?
-Tailgating when they're behind me
-Driving too slowly when they're in front of me
-Not moving when the light turns green and then sliding away from the light when it's turned yellow, leaving me to wait through the next red.
-Forgetting to turn off their blinker
-Blasting the stereo
-Not staying in their lane
-Barreling up to a stop sign when you're approaching, so that you have to wonder if they plan to stop at all
-Loud mufflers or belching exhaust
-Driving too slowly in the left lane
-Not knowing what "yield" means
-Making unnecessarily slow right turns (seems to be especially prevalent in the South; no idea why)
-Stopping in the middle of the street to have a long conversation with another driver

16. Can you think of some things children do that annoy adults around them?
-I think being too loud or "running amok" is the main one, and that's really up to their parents to fix. Kids are kids. They don't shape up until someone tells them to.

17. Does it annoy you when people don't use the right punctuation?
-A great deal.

18. What kind of people annoy you?
-Opinionated in a bullying way
-Those who use crude language all the time

19. How do you inform someone they are being annoying?
-Whenever possible, I prefer an oblique approach. For example, I once lived in an apartment complex and one young lady would come home late at night and wake me up talking loudly to her friends. The next day at the pool I saw her and we got into a conversation. When she asked me how I was doing, I told her I felt ill because I hadn't gotten a decent night's sleep -- "someone" was right outside my window going on in a loud voice about "99-cent Taco Bells." The girl got very quiet, then finally said "That really must be hard to deal with when you're trying to sleep -- people should be quieter at night." After that she was much more courteous.

However, most people I spend time with don't annoy me that much.

20. Who is the most annoying celebrity?
-Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, sports figures who are more "players" than players, and people with no discernible talent but great publicists.

21. Which is more annoying, being caught in the rain without an umbrella, or finding out you don't have enough money to pay for something you really need?
-It doesn't rain that much where I live, but the latter situation arises all too frequently.

22. Who is the most annoying person you know? Why?
-See next post.

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