In yesterday’s blog I gave a brief history of my pet peeves, starting with Kindergarten and ending with my thirties. Not surprisingly, all of them continue to bug and haunt me in some way, and each one is probably as childish and petty as the next. (I guess that’s why they are called pet peeves and not actual problems.)
So in other words, my current pet peeves will definitely not show how I have evolved as a person. They continue to remain insignificant, struggle-bus, pesky little critters that drive me crazy. Here they are, in no particular order or level of maturity:
Uniqlo. When I first visited Uniqlo in New York’s SoHo several years ago, I didn’t really understand the hype. As far as I was concerned, it was just the Japanese version of Gap. I decided to give it another try this past fall when it finally opened in Chicago, and on opening weekend no less. My excitement at receiving a free tote bag quickly dwindled when I actually started shopping and walking around. Apparently the Uniqlo people think it’s quirky and funny to have its employees stand in the middle of each department and continuously shout out a sales pitch. One such pitch may go something like this: “PEOPLE OF CHICAGO!! ARE YOU TIRED OF FREEZING YOUR BUNS OFF THE SECOND YOU STEP OUTSIDE YOUR DOORSTEP? LOOK NO FURTHER AS OUR SUPER WARM LONG UNDERWEAR WILL PROTECT YOU FROM THE STRONGEST GALES OF THE WINDY CITY!!!!” Now this was charming perhaps the first two times I heard it, but after a while I wanted to curl up in the fetal position and cover myself with their mountains of cheap cashmere sweaters. Plus I couldn’t get away from the overly-enthusiastic salespeople who constantly wanted to help me. When I did actually manage to try on something, I ended up breaking a sweat as I contorted my body out of a sweater that was surely meant for a fourteen-year-old Japanese supermodel and not an American white lady with muscular upper arms. In the end I was running for the exits, dodging all the Japanese-Americans with gleefully smug looks on their faces.
“Top Ten List” Internet Articles. These are all little useless nuggets of pop culture information that I absolutely must read about ASAP. So I click on the link, and instead of giving me a nice little list I can scroll through, I get the list one at a time. In order to get to the next item on the list, I need to keep clicking on an arrow. Except there’s one teensy problem: the page contains about four different arrows and “next buttons”, all meant to confuse and trick me. Therefore if I choose wrong, I will be taken to some completely different page whose number one purpose is to distract and scam me . From there I am stuck in a death spiral, desperately trying to get out of the scam page and return to my article…because all I really wanted to do was find out which former child stars have grown up to be really (pick one) ugly/hot/bankrupt/friends of George Clooney.
Queue Drifters. There is a recent phenomenon happening in retail, and every time it happens to me I look around the store incredulously and want to ask other shoppers, “Did you see this? Is this really happening? Does this only happen to me? Or am I in some parallel retail universe?” Maybe I’ll actually try that next time.
But anyway, here’s what happens: I will innocently walk up to the line next to the cash register, only to have someone behind me (in a faraway voice) say, “Excuse me, I’m in line”. This person is nowhere near the register, and is just kind of hanging with their items in hand. This is not the case of two registers open at the same time where everyone just kind of waits in the middle until one of the registers opens up. There is one line and one line only, and apparently everyone else missed the memo that the line forms at the register. This isn’t an ATM, folks – I don’t need to give the people checking out that much privacy, even though I may seriously consider their fashion choices as the clerk rings up their sale. All I ask is if you are going to stand in line, then STAND IN LINE. Commit to it. Don’t be tangentially involved in the process. Thank you.
The Balsomra Commercial. I know you’ve all seen this commercial, otherwise known as the creepiest commercial known to mankind. If not, here’s the summary: Balsomra is a sleep medication. In order to illustrate to us how it helps you stay awake and fall asleep at the right times, it has created a little video of a woman that includes the words “Sleep” and “Wake”…only the words are in the shape of furry cat-like critters. Word pets, if you will. So as the woman goes to bed, she cuddles up to the “Sleep” word pet and shoos away the “Wake” word pet. The only thing is, the word pets are some the most terrifying, creepy creatures I’ve ever seen. Who in their right mind would want to snuggle up with these things, or even hang out with the “Wake” word pet during the day? These are the things of my nightmares, folks.
Drive-Thru Window Ineptitude. Words alone cannot describe my irritating drive-thru experiences, so I will instead give a sampling of my typical experience:
Fast Food Restaurant Recorded Voice (FF): Hi, welcome to Fast Food Farm. Would you like to try our sloppy joe grande pot pie combo?
Me: No thank you. (Although that does sound tempting, I think.)
Uh…did the human get the microphone yet? Am I supposed to go ahead and order? Or do I wait until I hear another announcement? Normal conversation would dictate that the restaurant person should now speak and ask me for my order, since the first question was truly just asking me if I wanted to try their latest special, and I already said I didn’t. I’m so confused.
What seem like several minutes pass, and eventually I just give up and start talking.
Me: Okay I’d like a small burger meal with ketchup, pickles and mustard only. And that’s it.
FF: You want cheese on that?
Me: No, ketchup and pickles and mustard only. And that’s it.
FF: Okay did you want an ice cream cone too?
Me: No, that’s it.
FF: Oh and did you said the meal or just the sandwich?
Me: The meal.
FF: Anything else?
Me: (Shaking my head, ready to scream) No.
FF: (Several minutes later): Okay that will be $5.23. Please drive ahead.
I pull to the window to pay.
FF: Okay so you said no cheese, right?
The struggle continues to be real.