Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Knee-Jerks

Ten Things That Instantly Bug Me, and (if I Know) Why

1. Artificial Tanning Products: Because they're dumb. Ladies, when you dye your hides with this glop, you don't look tan. You look orange. It fools no one. Stop it.

2. Balloons: PCBPGTSD (post childhood birthday party game traumatic stress disorder) induced dislike. It bugs me simply to hear them being inflated.

3. Being Fed: Have no idea why. Just let me eat my own food, thank you.

4. Grope-huggers: Dishonest. Either hug me, or cop a feel, don't try to do both.

5. Mouth-kissing Strangers: Fastidiousness. Besides, you don't know where my mouth has been.

6. Pantyhose: Discomfort. A man invented them as a torture device for big girls. And I would personally like five minutes alone with the genius who developed "Sheer Energy" pantyhose.

7. Pet Names for Grown Men like "Snookums": Please. I call the dog things like that.

8. Pointy-toed cowboy boots: Gratis Stephen King's The Stand. Since reading it, I've thought they were creepy-looking.

9. Talking or animated stuffed teddy bears: not a clue. I can't stand the damn things.

10. Underwire Bras: Distaste. They're horribly uncomfortable and too symbolic of what women used to do to their bodies. The corset died a long time ago; can we get rid of the last symbolic whalebone now?

What are some of the things that get a knee-jerk reaction out of you, and why?

38 comments:

  1. How can you not like grope-huggers? Everybody likes a good grope, right? No. Okay, I'll remember that one.

    My list would have to inclued almost everything on your list, except balloons and cowboy boots. The bras I don't think I can comment on. Here's what I'd add.

    Couch sleepers: If you can't make it to bed, you're staying up too late.

    Unknown huggers: If we've just met, I don't want to hug you. When did this become okay? Can't we just shake hands.

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  2. But-- but-- I like underwire bras!

    1) Loud, monotonous noises. Alarm clocks are at the top of the list, followed by vacuums.

    2) Obnoxious people. But this is a given.

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  3. The teddy bear thing is probably from Teddy Ruxpin. That animatronic blinker was creepiest when its batteries ran down and it. drew. out. the. words. of. the. tape.

    It was like a dying spirit.

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  4. Those creepy Tickle-Me-Elmo dolls. They sound like demented munchkins on speed. Shiver.

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  5. People who talk on their cell phones everywhere, especially where I'm walking.

    People who smoke upwind from me.

    Control top pantyhose. The regular kind isn't bad.

    Smurfs.

    Jessica Simpson, Paris Hilton, and their ilk.

    Skirts without pockets.

    People who bring little kids to the movies because they can't get babysitters.

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  6. Reality TV. I don't even watch them, I just shout at the telly when they advertise the damn things. I swear if I have to hear about one more 'NEW' show where some moron gets 'voted off every week' I'm going to go postal.

    And people who take their kids for a scream in the supermarket. Yea, fine, you leave your kid to howl and whine because you don't want them associate noise with attention, but right now I want to march up to the pair of you, batter you both to death with a tin of kidney beans and feed you through the bacon slicer.

    And anyone who smokes when people are eating. Just because you've finished doesn't mean you have a God-given right to screw with everyone else's meal...

    And now I have to stop - my blood pressure is getting out of control.

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  7. People who use "leverage" as a verb.

    Racial intolerance.

    The Welsh.

    People who use really, really old jokes like that...

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  8. Cockroaches. Absofuckinglutely hate the bastards. I see one, we fumigate the house. Twice.

    Grit, especially on my hands. Eeeeyuck.

    Fat chicks in tight hip-hugger jeans. I have enough sense not to wear them, why can't these other gals?

    Bimbo actress/singer/heiresses who have cosmetics, clothing, and perfume lines - and the mommies who buy them for their daughters.

    Sponge Bob

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  9. Anonymous7:23 AM

    Gotta go with you on the balloons, pbw! I have no idea where it comes from, but ever since I was a kid....I just *Hate* the things! They make me cringe just waiting waiting wai- BANG - ting til they burst.

    Julie Anne

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  10. Gee, where to start:

    Corsets: I stand by what a friend told me the first time I had to wear one: somewhere out there is a man with a remote control, and every time he pushes a button, it gets tighter. First-class torture device.

    People who drive on the cellphone: Put the phone DOWN! Your brain cannot handle more than one task at a time. And that idiot yesterday who was text-messaging while driving...you just plain scare me.

    Children with crappy parents: You had the kid, now parent it! Don't expect me to be happy that your "darling" just dumped out a pan of water I'd filled, or just kicked over my stack of packages, or is screaming at the top of his/her lungs. There's a theory called "discipline" - try it!

    People who chase our peacocks to rip out their tail feathers: Two of our peacocks have figured out they can go after you if you chase them, and they have nasty spurs. Do you really want to take the chance that the one you're chasing isn't one of them? (By the way, don't expect anyone to show you any sympathy when the peacock turns on you - we told you to leave them alone)

    Body-inappropriate clothing: Everyone has clothes they are just not meant to wear, so don't. Fat rolls over low-ride jeans are not attractive. Old men in Speedos are NEVER appropriate. Breasts should not be coming out of clothing.

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  11. Ditto Tambo and Stuart, but what really pushes me over the edge are repetive sounds. I change the station if there is a drum machine or the same four bars in the base line played over and over. The sound doesn't have to be loud; something as soft as a fingernail on a hard surface induces the mom look.

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  12. telemarketers, who seem to be making a comeback since the first of the year.
    people with cellphones to their ear while driving.
    people asking personal questions that are none of their business.

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  13. What's wrong with pantyhose? I always hear other women complaining, but no one can explain it beyond saying eww. I cannot be the only one who wears the comfortable kind, right?:) Same for underwire bras. They are perfectly comfortable :)
    Although I must say I totally agree with the rest of the points, save for #2!
    Oh, in addition to mouth-kissing strangers and grope-huggers--
    # people with *very* sweaty hands who don't bother to wipe them on their pants or something before a handshake.
    # Crowds but only when riding a bus, or the tube. Perfectly fine with party crowds, etc.
    # Mothers who seat their small children in a way (again, usually happens in some kinds of public transport) that their feet just barely stick out beyond the seat (i.e. the seat is wide and the child is short-legged, so the soles of their shoes face the wall, not the floor), which means if you get close, or the bus sways, you are doomed to get dirty footprints on your coat.
    Can you guess where I've just been :) ?
    # Vacuum cleaners! Everything about them, duty, sound--everything.
    # Hosts who always have the TV on despite having invited guests. If you insist on staring at the box, why invite people to wander around your house?
    # Writers on some forums who start every post with "and in my book," even if you discuss the weather ir congratulate another person on their book sale.
    You sure you want the whole list? This blog isn't large enough *g*

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  14. People who interupt other people while they're talking.

    People who don't really listen to you but just blabber on for the sake of sounding intelligent.

    People who use unnecessary big words to show how brilliant they are and to intimidate with language.

    Clowns (want to chase them with a water pistol full of pee)

    Mimes (want to push them down and kick them over and over)

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  15. Agreed on the underwires and the pantyhose (esp those control-top ones)
    Grrrrr.. . . .

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  16. I think most of you guys covered my peeves.

    I hate smokers. And I hate it when they are walking, and they hold the cigarette at their side. You know, you're going to accidentally burn somebody!

    I hate bras. And I don't get girls who want to have breast implants! What Mother Nature (or substitute whoever you want) gave you wasn't enough? So suck it up. If a guy wants you because you have them, he ain't worth having, you twit.

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  17. The phrase "oh well." It's always sounded quite condescending to me.

    Condescension of any kind, actually.

    Reality TV.

    The feeling of clay or chalk on my hands.

    On the subject of how people raise their kids, I've got a lot, but I won't clutter up your blog; I'll just give you one: People who blame the bullied child instead of the bully for bullying.

    Self-deception.

    The sound of a vacuum cleaner.

    And something I bet a lot of us can relate to: People who don't see writing as a valid career.

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  18. Thoughtlessness. It gets me every time. If you're going to be rude or unkind to me, OK. I can put up with it or do something about it. But at least have the decency to insult me on purpose.

    And I'm surprised that nobody's mentioned politicians yet. I can't think of any I've heard on the radio or on the telly recently who haven't instantly made me want to strangle them with their own instestines.

    Junk mail (and all forms of unsolicited rubbish, I suppose can be added to that). If I'm looking for double-glazing, I'll try the phone book. I'm unlikely to suddenly think 'Hey, double glazing, there's a good idea. Why don't I get some of that.' just because a glossy brochure's popped through my letterbox.


    And I agree about the pantyhose and underwired bras - I've never been comfortable in either.

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  19. That's a great list! I stopped wearing bras and pantyhose and shaving ten years ago, and never looked back! Haha! And ooo - good one on the vacuum cleaners, I love to sweep, but refuse to vacuum!

    As for me, along with loud-cell-phone-talkers (and dangerous-while-driving-and-talking-cell-phone-talkers), I really get annoyed with folks who like to be miserable and find the down in everything. Ever see the SNL about Debbie Downer? People like that make me run screaming for the exit!

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  20. Some good ones listed.

    Cannot stand line jumpers, in any form. People who drive down the shoulder of a road so they can cut in at the last minute where everyone else has been waiting for miles to merge. People who are at the end of a long line at the checkout counter who then run up to be first when a new line opens up, ignoring those of us who've been waiting patiently for long minutes. Jerks who interrupt your transaction to ask the clerk a question, ignoring the fact that you're currently being helped.

    Rude salespeople/service people who clearly hate doing what they do and act like they are doing you a huge favor to take your order/help you find something/answer your question.

    The entire insurance industry.

    People who haul crying children around a store/through dinner at a restaurant to annoy every one else around them even though it's clear the child is tired/hungry/cranky and should be taken home. Now. Sure, it's a huge inconvenience to stop your shopping/eating/socializing and deal with your needy tot. But, well, that part was in the parenting handbook if you read it carefully.

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  21. Anonymous10:44 AM

    * People like my husband's grandmother who say "you people" - as in, "I don't get _you people_" or "you people nowadays..." Grr. I suppose it's not too different from saying "you guys" or "you folks," or maybe I just loathe the old broad...

    * Smokers. I once tried to kill my younger brother when he started smoking. Unfortunately he was bigger than me. Smoking killed my father. So I can't help but make snide comments or choke and gasp for air when smokers butt (no pun intended) their way into my meal at a restaurant or on the street, or wherever. ~Kate

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  22. Inconsiderate smokers, like the ones who smoke in clearly delineated non-smoking areas (such as the bus platform -- I know it's outdoors, but you're still triggering my asthma and I can't leave without having to pay $2.50 to come back, and there's a no-smoking sign right there on the wall behind you) or the guy seven years ago who thought he could impress his girlfriend by flicking his butt away, which arched over the crowded sidewalk and made a perfect landing straight down my top. This would be funnier if I didn't have a permanent little round burn scar between my breasts now.

    People who yell at the museum staff in the discovery galleries about things that have nothing to do with us, simply because we're the only employees they can find.

    Similarly, the people who get really upset and refuse to leave their strollers in the stroller parking at the entrance of our small, very popular, crowded children's gallery (these are invariably the people with the massive SUV strollers, of which it requires only one to completely block the access between rooms of the gallery, which is where they invariably abandon the stroller).

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  23. Ronn wrote: Unknown huggers: If we've just met, I don't want to hug you. When did this become okay? Can't we just shake hands.

    I need a T-shirt that says this. Especially for strange women who air-kiss while they hug. It's like an icepick in my ear.

    Kayla wrote: Loud, monotonous noises.

    I divorced a couple of those.

    Alphabeter wrote: The teddy bear thing is probably from Teddy Ruxpin.

    Hit the nailhead. That was the one with the moving snout that asked the kid to be its friend, right? (shudder)

    Nalini Singh wrote: Those creepy Tickle-Me-Elmo dolls.

    We were too old for T-M-E when it came out, so I didn't have to punch out some other parent at the mall to get one of the only six the company released before Christmas.

    Shelly wrote: Smurfs.

    I'm with you. The thing that creeped me out most about the Smurfs was that there seemed to be only one female Smurf (Smurfette?) I have visions of her . . . okay, no, let's not go there.

    Stuart wrote: And anyone who smokes when people are eating.

    Agreed. You might as well tap the ashes onto other people's meals, it's about as palatable.

    John R. wrote: People who use "leverage" as a verb

    Now I'm going to go crazy trying to think if I ever have.

    Tambo wrote: Fat chicks in tight hip-hugger jeans.

    There are a lot of hefty gals in my town, and too many wear low-cut skin tight jeans. I wince every time I see one. You'd think the hassle of getting into them, not to mention the potential for bend-over butt-crack exposure, would give them pause.

    Julie Anne wrote: They make me cringe just waiting waiting wai- BANG - ting til they burst.

    They're evil. I'm telling you.

    Andi wrote: Old men in Speedos are NEVER appropriate.

    Don't come to Florida, Andi. Ever.

    EJ wrote: what really pushes me over the edge are repetive sounds.

    I think I know what you mean. My daughter's hamster running in its wheel makes this repetitive squeaky-whining sound that goes up the back of my skull (and no matter how I oil that wheel, it still squeaks.)

    Edie wrote: telemarketers, who seem to be making a comeback since the first of the year.

    I've noticed that, too. The strangest has been three repeat calls from a company that offers to come to my house to fix any cracks in my windshield for free. I wonder if I keep saying no, I don't have any cracks, will they come over and throw a rock at my truck?

    Daria wrote:What's wrong with pantyhose? I always hear other women complaining, but no one can explain it beyond saying eww.

    They're hard to get on without laddering them (I have rough hands from gardening and sewing), they feel like a too-tight girdle around my waist and mash my toes together (no matter what size I get, even the extra-large queen type). I instantly start sweating the minute I have them on, and I can't walk three feet without snagging them on something. Then when I take them off, I always find a brand new rash starting to spread somewhere. Usually not in a place you want a rash.

    Trace wrote: People who don't really listen to you but just blabber on for the sake of sounding intelligent.

    Trace, you might want to rethink the publishing career. Lol.

    Robin wrote: Agreed on the underwires

    I also resent the fact that 99% of all bras made for well-endowed women are spiked with underwires. Be nice if they would make them removable.

    Milady Insanity wrote: I don't get girls who want to have breast implants!

    Neither do I, but I was in a regular bra by the fifth grade. Boys teased me unmercifully. I'd have happily traded my bounty for a smaller chest.

    Zornhau wrote: People who don't see writing as a valid career.

    And yet know everything about publishing, although they've never worked in it, have you noticed that?

    James O wrote: I'm surprised that nobody's mentioned politicians yet. I can't think of any I've heard on the radio or on the telly recently who haven't instantly made me want to strangle them with their own instestines.

    I avoid politicians and politics like the plague, which I shouldn't, but I'm so sick of them that I block them out entirely. And I'm not alone.

    jlb wrote: I really get annoyed with folks who like to be miserable and find the down in everything.

    There are people I've known who are not happy UNLESS they're miserable, and/or making someone else miserable. I unknow these folks as quickly as possible.

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  24. 1. The phrase, "Whatever..." when used as a dismissive;

    2. Those who constantly snap/pop their chewing gum, or simply look like a ravenous cow when they chew;

    3. Spiders ... any size, shape, color;

    4. People who are oblivious to their surroundings when on their cell phones, particularly in cars;

    5. People who've already "been there, done that", no matter what you're talking about;

    6. Most strong scents, particularly bad perfumes and after shaves;

    7. People who insist on driving their knees into the back of your seat in the movie theatre, then say, "What?" when you turn and give them the evil eye for the umpteenth time.

    Ahh...I feel better. You? :-)

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  25. Oh, just thought of this one.

    Automated phone systems that loop you in such a way that you end up in a mailbox that is full or just cut you off with a "No one is here. Thank you, please call again." Also its twin sister, the system that makes you go through 62 selections only to discover that's not what you need, so you have to start all over, and in the end you see that you need to speak with a real live human but there are no options at all to get you to one.

    Argh!

    Yeah, this does make me feel better. :)

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  26. Anonymous2:06 PM

    I would just like to add that some of us live for potential bend-over butt-crack exposure. Thank you, ladies, for dishing it out so often.

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  27. LOL! Thanks for the laughs, everyone.

    Pantyhose and underwire bras are on my list, too. I wish I could get queen-sized pantihose that don't have any spandex or lycra or whatever they put in it that makes it feel like pulling rubber bands up your legs. Nothing's going to make me look skinny, so I'd prefer they didn't bother to try to sell me that it will. My solution--long skirts and trouser socks.

    Smoking is another of mine. I'm horribly allergic to it and am grateful for California having some of the strictest laws against smoking in public places. After they enacted the laws and the smoke cleared, I stopped getting those headaches. Amazing!

    I abhor voice mail, especially the ones where they're absolutely certain they know every question you could possibly be calling them about. They put those on the menu and give you no option to talk to a human if your question isn't on the list.

    And I agree with random hugging. I prefer a handshake upon meeting people for the first time. Except for people I've met and become friends with over the internet. They would get a hug, if they're OK with it. It's the assumption that you want the hug that gets to me. :)

    Linda

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  28. Clowns. Can't stand them, ever since I was a child.

    People I don't know touching me. I'm sorry, but if I've just met you, all you're getting out of me is a handshake at most.

    I know I've got others... I just can't think of them at the moment.

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  29. ****Mouth-kissing Strangers: Fastidiousness. Besides, you don't know where my mouth has been.***

    Yes, yes, yes! :-)

    Tanya

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  30. Cafe's and other eating places that serve food on a serviette or other bits of paper.

    Behaviour described as unAustralian or unAmerican. This usually means the speaker doesn't agree with your political views and wants to make out you're a quasi terrorist.

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  31. Thank you everyone who hates balloons. My girls think my balloon intolerance is weird and slightly un-natural. Now I know I'm not alone. Down with balloons!

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  32. TV commercials. They're stupid. All of them. Except the Clydesdales playing football, but that goes without saying, and them only the first 6 or so times I see them.

    Cell phones. Period. I carry one because I travel. I don't turn it on until I need to call somebody. When I'm finished, I turn it off. If I want a radio, TV, e-mail, whatever else, I'll go home and use the ones there. Trust me, I really, really, don't want to hear your personal business.

    Yes on the underwire bras and pantyhose. False advertising. ;)

    Bad drivers. Yes, that means you, you @#$%@#$ moron! Pay attention to what you're doing!

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  33. Leave my underwire alone--trust me you'll be happy you did!

    Things that bug me: People who go under the speed limit *grrrrrrr*

    People who talk loud on their cell phones in public--they have no idea how stupid they look.

    Telephone prompts and companies that outsource their customer service overseas (like Microsoft).

    Microsoft.

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  34. I have found soulmates among some of you pet peevers. My drive-me-nuts list includes:

    1 - Balloons. AMEN! My children love the perverse little things and love to bound them around, rub them together, play ball, sit on them to pop them, etc. Me, I'm always waiting for the nerve-shattering pop. I allow the balloons in the house, but they have to be in ANY other room than the one I'm in.

    2 - Repetitive noises! Yes! Especially crinkly ones, such as when my elderly mom rattles a peppermint wrapper for five minutes as she insists she can unwrap it herself (she can't). Next-most-irritating are the hard, brittle sounds like the business end of a second-grader's pencil drumming on the car window in time to "It's The Song That Never Ends," which she just learned that afternoon and is humming softly to herself and which you are valiantly trying to tolerate because you don't want to tell the happy child, again, to STIFLE it, dammit. For me, it's worse when there are irregular pauses between the monotonous sounds. Just when you think it's over ...

    3 - Talking teddy bears on TV? Utterly demonic! Especially the creepy Snuggles fabric softener bear. I just scrabble for the mute button when he comes on.

    4 - Any use of the phrase "in other words" more than once in a single conversation. Pick one way to say it, and then do it. Don't mangle it and then translate your mess for me. Some people can't go more than a sentence or two without saying it, like one of my childhood Sunday School teachers. *shudder*

    5 - Ditto for "uh" ... I once reviewed a teacher with her per-minute "uh" count, averaged over three college classes. (The most interesting part of the class, sadly.)

    6 - The attitudes of people who pooh-pooh the mastery of grammar and style, dismissing it as something vaguely "clerical" and beneath their creative artistry to study. (File that one under "Thanks for wearing a beret so you're easily ID'd, you precious little snot. Now learn your craft.")

    7 - Interruptions. I think it's the height of rudeness to cut someone off in mid-conversation, especially if they're answering a question you've posed to them. It's like the interrupter is saying, "Yeah, yeah, I get it -- don't waste my time with any more of your crap. My time is VALUABLE, baby." (My favorite response I saw used once during a TV interview was when an interrupted celebrity had had enough of a rude talk show host and said calmly but crisply, "Oh, PARDON me for talking while you were interrupting." I've never had the nerve to try it, but tempted? Oh yeah.)

    8 - Strangers -- particularly men! -- who assume it's OK to fondle a pregnant woman's belly. These are the same men who would be scandalized (and in pain) if I gave a way-too-firm thump to their family jewels in return.

    10 - (Perhaps this should be #1) Underwire bras for bigger sizes with wires that DON'T EXTEND THE ENTIRE UNDERGIRTH OF THE BOOB. You C and D and DD or bigger-cup ladies know what I mean. Inevitably, that wire will be sliding around in the fabric and will poke where it hurts and fail to support where it should. How much can it possibly be saving the manufacturers to skimp the 1-2 inches of metal off the end of each cup's support to make it atually FIT the entire channel in the fabric? And why don't they pierce the metal at each end and put a stitch through the hole in the metal to keep the darned wires in place?

    11 - People who say, "Oh, you WRITE? I'm so impressed! I just wish I had the TIME!" ("Yeah, I'm grateful for my time portal; it comes in handy every day. It's only people who are living the life of luxury and who are totally free of any important obligations -- unlike you -- who can write." Well ... that's my thought balloon, anyway. Usually, they just get my "must leave soon" grimace-smile.)

    12 - Front-line tech support people who INSIST on hearing the details of your problem instead of bumping you up to a higher level of support, even when you've called before, have a case number, and have been told to ask for third-level support when you call back. (Can you tell I've had to install a home network or two?) And English? Entirely optional. Patronizing male attitude? De rigeur.

    Gee, what a nasty, grumpy little git I am. But you didn't ask for the list of things I love and appreciate, eh? ;o)

    And I'll admit -- sheepishly -- that I've never understood what the furor over public cell phone use is all about, as long as the person isn't driving. Seeing or hearing someone doing a mobile chat while in public doesn't bug me, as long as I'm not having to hear the history of someone's intestinal parasites while I stir my supper. I guess I'm glad there's at least ONE pet peeve I missed!

    And finally ... gotta comment on the butt slots spilling out over low-riser jeans. Whether they'r skinny, shapely or fat, smooth or hairy, I don't really like the crack show, but I usually laugh. My husband and I just snicker and say, "Quarters," and one of us will mimic sliding a coin into the back of a bank.

    I love that man's sense of humor. ;o)

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  35. 1. Food from a can. I don't understand how people can eat soup, chili, vegetables, pie filling that comes in a can. The taste, the texture *shudder* The only exceptions are canned tomatoes and some canned beans.

    2. Maple syrup. I don't know why.

    3. Capri pants. They make short women look shorter and tall women look like they couldn't find the right size pants. It is particularly annoying when I'm shopping for slacks and all I can find are capris.

    4. Pictures of people I don't know in my house. This is the really weird one, and I don't know why it bugs me, but I don't buy magazines with people on the cover. I don't buy books with people on the cover, usually. If I do I have to cover the face or make sure to always lay it down with the face facing down. It doesn't bother me to see it if I'm just looking at it, but if I'm walking through the house and happen to spot it it gives me the willies. I've noticed lately that sometimes pictures on the net bug me too, though not so much.

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  36. Daria, you have pantyhose that's comfortable? Isn't comfortable pantyhose an oxymoron? Okay, so what do you know that the rest of us don't? I avoid pantyhose as much as possible but there are strangely, a few places that my stretched out green yoga pants aren't acceptable.

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  37. THe whole thing about cell phones for me is people who walk around, oh say, the grocery store talking as loud as they would in their own kitchen.

    >>Front-line tech support people

    THey're so patronizing! They talk to you like you're three and gonna throw down on the *ahem* floor in frozen foods any second and kick your feet and scream.

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  38. Anonymous7:42 PM

    >Artificial Tanning Products

    For some competitions and the like, you're EXPECTED to be tan. Much healthier than the real thing--and besides, you only notice the crappy ones.

    >Underwire Bras

    For those of us...er...very gifted in te breast department, underwire bras are a godsend becahse they put the weight around your middle, not on your shoulders. A well-fitted underwire can't be beat for comfort for the busty.

    (Anon for this one.)

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