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john disque journalistRising with the Daily Sun
A daily column by John Disque

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Good Morning East Tennessee!

The other day one of my Facebook Friends thought it would be interesting to ask people what their pet-peeves were.

Indeed - it was entertaining, comical and interesting in unsuspecting ways. "Ut oh. Is there anything that I do on anyone's list?" What a potentially fascinating open door of information Kim has brought us.

While Wikipedia defines "pet peeves" as a minor annoyance, I don't agree. Pet peeves can destroy marriages, start fights with strangers, justify someone's hatred, and create incredible amounts of havoc throughout the community. I don't think they should be called "pet-peeves." They should be called "stuff that gets on my nerves so bad I could poke my own eyeballs out." Once you get past the comical part of that statement you might want to analyze the words: "my own."

You are subconsciously going down a list of all the sacrifices you have made and all the times you rose above your moods and did the right thing - even when it was the last thing you wanted to do. Here's someone going through life with no regard to my feelings while expecting me to have complete regard for theirs. It's the feeling of being taken for granted or feeling disposable. If you happen to be having a bad day and you're already feeling disposable, God help the person who left the cap off the toothpaste.

I don't think anyone wants their pet peeves. People are well aware that most are trivial and meaningless, but they'll also tell you they can't help what gets on their nerves. They'll say it's out of their control, it's just the way it is. Sometimes they'll use examples from their childhood and analyze where it comes from. Still, they'll never take steps to eliminate it from their lives: like that rusty old Nascar keychain: everyone, including you, hates it but you just won't throw it away. It's yours. you worked hard for it and no one has the right to take it from you!

In no particular order, some of the top pet peeves include:

Bad drivers.

People who read out loud while they're typing an email or letter.

Parents who let their kids watch violent or sexually explicate movies and TV shows.

People who blame anything but themselves for THEIR failure.

Bad table manners.

People who constantly say, "Ya, know what I'm saying?"

Talking on a cell phone in a quiet, public place.

People who are nosey or snoop.

People that interrupt you when you're telling a story.

People typing or surfing the net while talking with you on the phone.

Conspiracy theories.

Guys who leave the toilet seat up.

Customer service people who don't say, "Thank you."

Burping

Toilet paper put in the holder the wrong way.

People who litter.

People who take forever to order food while you're in line.

Customer service people who take their good ole time acknowledging you.

Bike riders in the street when there's a sidewalk.

Having to go to a UPS / FEDEX office to pick up a package.

Leaving the cap off the toothpaste.

People not returning phone calls or responding to emails.

People who don't follow-back on Twitter.


It used to be a major pet peeve of mine to open and hold a door for someone who would say nothing. They'd just walk right on by as if I were their appointed doorman and my life's purpose was to make their life easier. All I was asking for was a simple "thank you" or even just a nod but that was somehow beneath them because they were the royalty of Dollar General.

One day I was not in a very good mood. In fact I was beyond grummpy. Nevertheless, there I was again holding the door for a young lady who seemed to be taking her time. When she finally walked through the door she didn't look at me, didn't nod and didn't say anything. She just walked on through.

That was it. I had enough. With gritted teeth I loudly caught her attention and, while still standing there holding the door, I said, "Can you go back outside so we can start all over and I can let this door slam in your face!!??"

An older couple who were exiting the store stopped and stared at me as did some of the people in the store along with the lady I held the door for. Then her eyes filled up with tears, she put her hands over her mouth and she started crying almost hysterically. She turned and ran, disappearing in the store.

Then the old man who was exiting the store put his hand on my shoulder and said, "Sir, she said 'thank you,' you just didn't hear her."

I felt like garbage. I felt like the biggest, guilt-ridden loser on the planet. I went looking for her to apologize, but it was determined that she had locked herself in the ladies room and wanted to be left alone so I was asked to leave the store.

I don't have that pet peeve anymore. Today I'll nod, smile, say hello and if the person doesn't acknowledge me it doesn't bother me one bit. In fact I sometimes feel incredibly sorry for them and their family which leads me to believe that this pet-peeve issue is more in our control then we think. In fact I think most of it has to do with our own personal contentment.

Have a great day!

Published February 16, 2011

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