Monday, November 29, 2010

Things That Annoy Me and Really Shouldn't, the First

It's okay to be annoyed - it happens to everyone. Even the people who claim that nothing bothers them have at least one thing that he or she really can't stand. For example...having to say "he or she" when I mean a person of indeterminate origin annoys me. Yes, we tend to just say "they" to cover that, but then grammar tyrants and militant high English teachers get all up in your grill about how that's not grammatically correct. We need a pronoun that means "he or she" and is grammatically acceptable so some people can move on with their lives.

Anyway...many annoyances are justified. It's annoying when someone is hateful or stupid. It's annoying when you step in dog crap. It's okay to be frustrated and bothered by these things. However, every so often, an annoyance slips in that just...doesn't seem worth it if looked at from outside. This is part I of the list of 9 things (yes, 9. And I bet it annoys someone that I have a top 9 instead of a top 10) that annoy me and really shouldn't.

The Annoyance: Someone asking me if I'm okay when I'm doing something completely innocuous

Why It Shouldn't Bother Me: Someone is just concerned for my well being, I should be thankful someone cares about me.

Why It Does Anyway: There are two reasons for this one. The first is that when I was younger (maybe 7 or 8), whatever age you are deemed responsible enough to go to the public bathroom by yourself, I would go the restroom when we were out at dinner (or something). Now, me being me, I'd be doing my business and then get really distracted at something on the stall walls - maybe some graffiti or the completely unnecessary art restaurants put up because I really care if the they carried the theme into the bathroom. Anyway, I'd be there, lost in surely riveting 7-year-old thoughts, completely oblivious to the passage of time, when a voice would shake me away from my ponderings. "Melody, are you okay!!!??", it would call. Yes, I would be gone long enough to worry my mom and she would come looking for me, asking the bathroom at large if I was alright. I remember it being incredibly embarrassing, as I had to scramble to get myself collected so I could be "rescued" by my mother. Ever since, being asked if I'm okay when I'm doing something completely safe and boring has always bothered me.

Second reason: My husband does this all. the. time. It's one thing if you don't know someone, and don't know what their "default face" is, so you may think "oh, they look bored" when really they are completely lost in thought, entertaining themselves on the meaning of cheese. However, once you know someone for awhile, you get to learn what their "I'm not actively trying to make a face and this is just what I look like so deal with it" face is. I've got friends who kind of default to bitch-face and I don't think they're pissed off all the time. I've got friends who could be thinking about their favorite joke and laughing inside and having a wonderful time, but outwardly they look about two seconds from jumping off a bridge. It's okay, though, because I know them and I figured it out. My husband, one would think, knows me fairly well. As such, he should know what my "I'm okay, nothing to see here" face is. I'm not going to run around grinning from ear to ear all time...if I did that would be creepy and then you'd have a legitimate reason to ask if I was okay. Most of the time, though, I'm just chillin'. Continuing to ask me if I'm okay just makes me incredibly paranoid that it looks like I'm not having a good time, even when I am, so I feel like I have to over-do the cheeriness and that just tires me out and it's awkward for everyone. So in short...yes, I'm okay. I'm having a fine time and we can all go on with our lives knowing everyone is fulfilled and happy, ok?

The Annoyance: People who insist on calling me to work out a simple detail

Why It Shouldn't Bother Me: Some people just really like live, on the phone talking. It really isn't that too much trouble to work it out over the phone. It can be faster a lot of the time.

Why It Does Anyway: Notice I said "simple details" up there. I'm referring to situations where I can text "Does 7pm work for you for dinner?" and if you agree, text "yes" and then everyone is happy. This takes approximately 10 seconds to reach a solution. You really do not need to call me up to tell me "yes". What happens is that the phone adds this entire new social layer which just creates a lot of unnecessary talky talky.


*phone rings*Me: Hello?
You: Hey, 7 is fine.
Me: ...ok
You: So yeah, I'll see you at 7.
Me: Right. Bye..You: How are things?

can take anywhere from 5 minutes to several hours.

What happens is that this active two-way communication unfolds into a long drawn-out conversation that I was specifically trying to avoid by texting you . I texted you because I am also trying to do something else. Texting is passive - I can respond when I get free moment. Forcing me into phone conversations means that whatever task I was working on has to stop, most of the time for awkward phone conversation about the days events even though, as we discussed, I will be seeing you later that day ; blowing your conversation wad early means that dinner will be awkward because you ran out of things to talk about. I understand that if a lot of back and forth is needed to determine a solution, the phone is warranted. Otherwise...just shoot me a text and let me keep cleaning my house. I'll be happy to talk to you in person about every single detail of how you almost bought that sweet jacket, once we meet for dinner.

The Annoyance: When a car slows down to let me walk across in front of them, then get annoyed that I slowed them down

Why It Shouldn't Bother Me: They were just trying to be helpful, but also want to keep moving. It's a tough balance. Also...I shouldn't care whether some random driver is annoyed with me over something stupid.

Why It Does Anyway: This again is a two-fold problem. Firstly...I saw you were coming and was already stopped at the edge of the street. I was just fine waiting for you; I'm a pretty passive pedestrian. More than likely, there isn't a lot of traffic coming after you and I am okay waiting the approximately 3.45 seconds it will take you to drive past me. I am well aware it is a bigger inconvenience for you to stop your car than it is for me to stop walking. This leads into the second part. Oh, okay, you're going to stop and let me cross. That was very nice of you. I'll continue my walk - oh, you're at glaring me. I guess I can walk a little faster...Look, you are a human too. You know the average walking speed for different types of humans. Please do not expect me to turn into Usian Bolt for the interval it takes me to cross the street just so you can get moving faster. If you see a little old lady waiting to cross, it stands to reason that she isn't going to break out her inner cheetah and straight up fly across the road. You knew going into this about how long it was going to take for me to cross the road - don't give me the side eye because you decided I only get 2 seconds to cross, and I'm just not moving fast enough for you.

This relates to another annoyance: When someone some distance in front of me holds the door open for me. I then feel pressured that I need to run (or at least walk faster) to get in the door so you're not standing there awkwardly holding it open. I'm okay opening my own doors if it's seemingly going to set you back that much to hold it open. Sometimes I just don't want to run. Over the weekend, I managed to drop something heavy on my left foot, twice, and now it's all bruised and sore. I was walking slow on purpose, guy holding the door to work open for me. Now I feel like I need to double step it so you can wipe that "why am I wasting my time" glare off your face. My foot was not cool with that.

Here's the standard measure I like to use - if the door was going to close on it's own between you getting to it and me getting there...just go ahead and let it. I understand and won't be offended. I really can open my own door, at my own pace. This was I don't feel pressured and you're not delayed. Everyone wins!

The Annoyance: Facebook status ending with declarations of love...that have nothing to do with the rest of the status

Why It Shouldn't Bother Me: You have a special person in your life! Yay for you! I am glad you are so in love. We should all be so lucky.

Why It Does Anyway: Think about if you talked like this in real life. "Hey, I'm going to the store and I love Mike!", "I just took a nap and I love Mike!" , "My grandma is just the funniest old lady and I love Mike!"...and so on. Someone would punch you. Conversations are meant to have a flow to them, and with all the additions to Facebook over the years, statuses are a lot like conversations. If you constantly exclaim your undying love to your boyfriend of three whole weeks (more on this later) at the end of every sentence, you throw off the flow of the conversation. It becomes every one else responsibility to keep bringing the conversation back on track, though it's hopeless because everyone knows your love Tourette's is going to ruin things the next time it's your turn to speak. I'm glad you and Mike are happy...I don't need to know about it every 8.7 seconds.

Furthermore, I've noticed that most people guilty of this are those professing their pure, perfect, undying love to someone they've been dating a month. I appreciate that your relationship is new and exciting, but constantly talking about it shows me one of two things: Either it's not really working out and you're desperately trying to cling to the illusion that your relationship is perfect, overcompensating for your panic by telling everyone that you and Mike are just so in love. Alternatively, it means that your entire existence is wrapped up in your boyfriend, so much so you can't complete a single thought without mentioning that yes, you have a boyfriend and he's just the most wonderfulest thing ever. Either one leaves slight scent of pathetic desperation that I can't quite stomach.

Finally...the guilty ones are also the ones who update their status about 13 times every hour. That means that 208 times a day (subtracting 8 hours for sleeping), I get to know not only the minutia of your life, but also that damnit, you love Mike. I just don't care. (Yes, I am aware you can hide people from your news feed. I have. That option wasn't always available.)

I'm not saying don't share the special moments with your FB friends if you so choose. My husband got me a sweet dinosaur birthday cake and damnit if I wasn't all over giving him public props for that. Just...speak in a way that makes sense and won't nauseate your friends.


1 comment:

  1. Melody, all your posts are hilarious! Please keep it up!