By Susan Govern
Life’s irritations, or what can be called pet peeves, can be as diverse as there are people walking the earth. Some people have only one or just a handful of pet peeves; things that really drive them up a wall. Me – I’ve got a quite a list.
To imitate David Letterman’s Top Ten List from his former show, I’ll start with one of my least irritating complaints.
Why is it that people who are going out to eat at a “sit-down” restaurant will try to race each other for the door? I’ve seen this happen many times, and I have to admit I’ve been guilty of it myself once in a while. Two cars will pull into the parking lot of a popular restaurant at about the same time. The drivers will hurry to park and then, as if their cars suddenly had a wasp nest explode inside, the drivers and passengers rush out slamming the doors and practically start sprinting toward the entrance.
If I’m inside and waiting to be seated as I witness this I feel like I should start imitating a sports announcer who is calling a horse race while I watch the people coming across the parking lot.
“In the lead is the lady in blue, closely followed by junior in the neon Nikes. Closing fast on the outside is dad in the plaid shirt with little sister in school uniform moving up along the inside.”
What is the hurry, people? Do you think they are going to run out of food if the other carload of people gets through the door and seated before you? Sheesh!
Next up is the people who think it is highly fashionable to pour a gallon of perfume or aftershave on before leaving the house. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have been at the store and smell some woman’s perfume that is so strong it brings tears to my eyes only to realize she is actually in the next aisle over.
There is nothing I dread more than stepping into an elevator and having a man get in who has bathed in aftershave that smells like a combination of musk, fruit, and something else in the mix that is unidentifiable. By the time he leaves the elevator or I do, I am almost purple from trying to hold my breath.
I would also like to ask – whatever happened to teaching people who are to be “greeters” how to smile and actually be pleasant or welcoming? I have encountered people whose title is “Greeter” in places of business, and even at churches, who make the Grinch (before his conversion) look positively jolly.
If you are hired or volunteer to greet people, then please look up the term and act accordingly. I have heard people say good morning or welcome to (wherever) and they sound as though they are imitating Eeyore.
Remember how the comedian Rodney Dangerfield had the famous line about not getting any respect. I know the feeling. There are times when I have approached a salesperson talking to another salesperson in a store and I wait for them to finish their conversation so I can ask for assistance only to have them glance at me and keep on talking.
Even after saying “Excuse me…” they don’t respond until I usually interrupt a second time. Then looking as if I had just stopped them from discussing how to finally cure cancer, one of them will ask if they can help me. Score 0 for proper training in Customer Service.
Pet Peeves, how appropriate when the next one on my list is in regards to people and pets. I love animals. I think when I was born I came out saying puppy, kitty and horsey. So it bothers me when I see people mistreating animals of any kind in any way. My pet peeve here is about people letting their dog (and I’ve even seen a cat or two) sit on their lap while they drive their car down the road.
They seem oblivious to what today’s airbags in a steering wheel could do to their precious pet. If a child must be protected from an exploding front seat airbag by riding in the backseat, why not secure your pet back there too?
I have this horrible image in my mind of some loving pet owner saying to an officer after an accident, “I didn’t think Princess would end up crushed just from sitting on my lap. I never knew the airbag could open with such force it would kill my little precious pet.” Ugh…too be blunt…think about it; one sweet animal dead due to another owner’s dimwitted thinking…or not thinking as the case may be.
And that brings me to my Number One Pet Peeve…parents who do not use the brains God gave them and who do not put their children in proper car seats. I have lost count of how many times driving around town over the years since the use of car seats became law that I have seen children climbing around in the back seat not even protected by a simple seat belt.
Some pet peeves are amusing – this last one is no where near so. Please people, protect your most important treasures – the lives of your children and pets when you are on the move. If you don’t want to wear a seat belt, go ahead and take a chance, but don’t gamble with the lives of those who depend on you to protect them. Don’t let a lapse in judgment result in a life time of living with guilt.
As I said, we all have to put up with life’s irritations. We can do so with humor about some things that bug us, but when it comes to the important stuff, it truly is no laughing matter.