Pet peeves; we’ve all got them. Personally I’ve always hated:
Walking round the supermarket at the same pace as a whistler is like torture to me. If it goes on for more than 30 seconds I have to remove myself from the area until the offending person is out of earshot, lest I do something I might regret.
People Who Talk While They Eat
Whether that is to your face (a disgusting sight) or on the phone (a disgusting sound); it’s just plain bad manners. Surely they realise this?!
Drivers Who Cut In
You know those people who want to teach bad drivers a lesson by refusing to let them cut in when they’ve tried to queue-dodge a massive line of traffic? Yep, that’s me. You should have queued like the rest of us had to, butt munch! You can think again if you think I’ll be letting you in!
Trick or Treating
It is not ok for strangers to come to my house of an evening, knock on my door and expect me to give them stuff. I have always ignored knocks at the door for the few days around Halloween, and I will continue to do so forever more. Call me Scrooge if you must, I don’t care.
Overzealous Opinion Pushing on Social Media
I might have voted for a different political party to you in the last election. I might not have the same views as you do on Brexit. We might not agree on a multitude of other issues. But we’re friends, and we have lots of other shared interests and great memories. Lay off the public rage. Stop pushing your opinions down everyone else’s throats. Or I will almost certainly be unfollowing you before it drives a wedge in our friendship!
Kindness costs nothing. Manners cost nothing. There is no excuse for rudeness!
Those are the biggies that have historically annoyed me. Recently though since entering into the world of parenthood I’ve discovered a few more irritants to add to my list too. These are the most rage-inducing of my new pet peeves:
Lack of Common Sense in Conversations
This one started long before baby arrived in the world actually, from the minute I told everyone I was pregnant.
When you become pregnant it’s like people somehow lose their usual filter. Some of the most polite and perceptive colleagues, neighbours, acquaintances etc suddenly lose all common sense and start asking you things they really shouldn’t be asking, or offering up comments they really should be keeping to themselves.
From how much weight you have (or haven’t!) put on, to how you conceived, to the parenting choices you plan to make to name just a few; suddenly it seems nothing is out of bounds.
“Are you sure it’s not twins? Surely there can’t only be one baby in there! You’re bigger than you should be for how far along you are!”
“Was it planned or was it an accident?”
“It’s not just your bump you’ve put weight on – it’s your arms and your legs and your face too.”
In response to me saying that I wouldn’t be breastfeeding: “Well, it’s a long way off yet. You never know, you might change your mind.”
All those are actual examples of things people said to me while I was pregnant, and they are just a few of many.
Then when baby actually arrives it’s time for all that unsolicited advice. It’s not that I’m anti-advice, I appreciate when people are trying to be helpful. But I don’t like it when they take it upon themselves to bulldoze you with their opinions as if they are facts. Or when they categorically think that because something worked for them or was right for them that it will be right for you. Every baby (and every parent) is different! There is no one size fits all rule about anything when it comes to raising children.
You very quickly learn to ignore people’s stupidity though, and to remind yourself that they haven’t got a flipping clue how annoying they’re being!
People Who Wake Up My Baby
A baby who has not slept well is a tired baby. A tired baby is more of a handful than necessary. Therefore people who unwittingly disrupt my baby through loud or silly behaviour are like the devil. Overly loud delivery men and women, door-to-door salespeople (although to be fair they could just have a category of their own separate from this!), people who think it’s ok to wake your sleeping baby in their pram by touching them or cooing at them, and of course the aforementioned trick or treaters; the list is endless!
Just today in fact I found myself wanting to lamp the postwoman after an ill timed knock. This morning, shortly after I’d put an overtired baba down for a nap and he had finally settled after fighting his own tiredness for a good 15/20 minutes, I heard a clatter coming from the front door. I went to the hallway to see what was going on and could see the bright orange high-vis vest of the postie on the other side who was clearly trying to shove something through our letter box that was not going to fit. I rushed to the door to open it before she could make any more noise, but of course before I could get there she knocked it loudly. I then opened the door to find a postie (not our usual one) with her phone glued to her ear, mid conversation, trying to juggle her postbag and our post all while continuing her conversation. Thrusting the post towards me she said, “here you go” so loudly that it reminded me of that Trigger Happy guy with the gigantic phone back in the noughties. (“I’m on the train!”) She then carried on talking into her phone as she wandered back down our path, leaving me silently fuming and praying the commotion hadn’t woken up the baby. It had of course.
To add insult to injury the offending package that the ham-fisted postwoman had failed to get through our letter box was NOT EVEN OURS. So not only had she woken up my baby, she’d also palmed her work off on to me as I now have to take the parcel round to our neighbours. *Huff*
Improper Use of Parent and Child Parking Spaces
This one is my new nemesis. This pet peeve that I only developed sometime last year is now by far the biggest of them all. Nothing can get my blood boiling more than this one.
Parent and child parking spaces are hard enough to come by as it is with there only being a handful in most places, so for some of those precious few spaces to be taken up by people not with children is all the more infuriating. I have seen an unbelievable number of people wrongfully parking in them: old couples, business women, people in their workout kit on the way to the gym, workmen in their work vans; the most unassuming people you could think of. It makes me so cross.
Now I’m normally a fairly placid person and I don’t like confrontation at all but one day all this pent up anger about the parent and child parking situation got the better of me and I decided to challenge a child-less woman who had taken the last parent and child parking space in our local supermarket car park. (Or rather, I began to challenge her before I could fully think it through, and once I’d started there was no going back!) To my utter confusion this inconsiderate woman actually tried to justify her actions by saying, “the problem with all you parents is that you’re just so lazy. You should have to walk across the car park with your kids! You don’t need to park right outside the front door.” There are no words. Literally, no words.
I had a newborn baby in tow which meant I needed to park somewhere that I could easily get a car seat and pram frame in and out of my car and set it up safely. I don’t actually give a crap about where in the car park the space is, as long as it’s big enough for me to get my baby in and out. And she thinks I’m the lazy one!
She had literally parked RIGHT IN FRONT of a massive sign that clearly states ‘PLEASE KEEP THESE PARKING BAYS FREE FOR PARENTS WITH CHILDREN’. Then she thought it was appropriate to speak to me like I was the one in the wrong. The woman had no shame.
I’m not one to stereotype or badmouth people so I won’t go into detail about my first impressions of this woman. I certainly won’t point out she looked to me like she embodied all the very worst parts of a Jeremy Kyle show guest crossed with someone off TOWIE. I won’t use the words ‘chav’ or ‘wannabe WAG’, and I won’t comment on her heavy make-up that looked like it had been trowled on with some sort of industrial make up tool. I will refrain from pointing out that her car was so big I strongly suspect she regularly parks in these bays because she doesn’t want to try and squeeze it in anywhere else. No, I will leave all that to your imagination.
I will say though that after what can only be described as the argument that followed I went and reported the big-car-owning-cow to the supermarket staff. I suspect they didn’t do much about it but deep down I hope they gave her a fine as the signs threaten they will if you misuse the space. Let’s face it, someone like that will just keep on doing it again and again unless they actually face some repercussions.
So those are all the things that really get my goat! What are yours, in the world of parenting or otherwise? What is the thing that really gets your blood boiling the most?