21 Things I Irrationally Hate

{Note: This was written in the Spring of 2014 and never published for the reasons articulated here. I’ve added a link to a not-yet-written-at-the-time-but-exists-now post but am otherwise leaving it as written then.}


As I’ve indicated before, I was a lone blogger for a long time. I had hundreds of blog posts out there before I had very many people outside my real-life friends paying any attention.

I didn’t engage in Writing Challenges or Daily Prompts. I didn’t troll the tags or Freshly Pressed or any of the other avenues for “meeting people” in the blogging universe.

I was just telling my stories. Period.

Folks in the blogging universe eventually started to notice me and drag me slowly into the larger picture of a blogging community rather than just a rather public way to record the stories I want to hold onto. And as I gradually woke up, I started paying attention to those people that crossed my path. And I often liked what I saw.

I’m still not very good at checking out the blogs of people who like one of my posts or subscribe to follow mine. I’m just often busy when the notification comes in and then I don’t think about it later. But sometimes, when I’m lying in bed not wanting to get up (for example), I’ll follow the links in the email just to kill some more time.

I did that recently and discovered a delightful blog post from a kindred spirit entitled 21 Things I Irrationally Hate. At the end, she asked if we, her readers, had published a similar list. No, I thought, I haven’t.

With a sigh, I forced myself to leave blog land and start my day. As I trudged into the bathroom, I thought, What are my irrational hates? And they began to line up front and center in my brain. I looked around the bathroom. There was nothing within reach for me to write with. The desire to write it down warred with my reluctance to move. The former won out and I was soon standing at a counter writing them all down.

I ended up with more than 21. Which is fine. Just because her list has 21 doesn’t mean mine has to. But in the interest of keeping a handle on things, I applied a critical eye and ultimately decided that some of my “hates” were not in the least bit irrational and I crossed them off.

So now that I’ve written nearly an entire post without getting to the subject at hand, I now present to you my 21 Things I Irrationally Hate.

1) Snoring I can’t tolerate snoring noises. From the dog. From the spouse. From the kids. Simply can’t do it. It doesn’t matter how quiet or soft or rhythmic, whether I’m trying to sleep or not; once I hear it, I fixate on it and can’t let it go.

2) The New Donut Shop in Town First off, we really didn’t need a new donut shop. There’s almost as many donut shops as churches now. That’s not what raises my ire, however. The traffic congestion I now face on my morning drive to work, though, especially in light of the fact that we already had plenty of donut shops pushes me over the edge. Did they have to build it on that intersection?!

3) Pickled Beets As a kid, I occasionally confused beets and cranberry sauce. That was always an unhappy surprise. As an adult, I still can’t stand pickled beets and really don’t like beet lovers trying to peddle them to me.

4) Grammar Mistakes I abhor bad grammar. Far more than is reasonable for any sane person. If I receive word that there is a mistake in one of my blog posts and I can’t get to it to correct it, I get antsy. When I find one in any sort of “official” publication, I go ballistic. My eye is still twitching from the pop-up window on an application that said “Their are still windows open. Do you wish to continue?”

5) People Wearing Jeans or Perfume in the Backcountry Please. We are here to hike. And sleep under the stars. And experience nature. Quit screwing that up!

6) Losing Our Internet Connection Living in the country means this happens a lot. It’s not like there aren’t plenty of other things that could be done that don’t require internet service. Still, once it’s gone, I simply can’t wait to publish that blog post or watch that show on Netflix.

7) Facebook’s Sorting Criteria I have no idea how Facebook determines what is important for me to see. I really wish it would just leave it all in time order. That way, I can scroll until I see something I’ve already seen and know I’ve missed nothing. The Android Facebook app is even more baffling than the basic website.

8) Sweet Pickles Actually, not just any sweet pickles. Sweet pickles masquerading as dill. There is simply nothing worse in the culinary world than crunching into what you think is a dill pickle only to taste that icky sweet pickle taste.

9) Unsorted Laundry in my Kids’ Drawers No matter how many times I tell them to sort their pile of folded laundry, no matter how many times I clean out their drawers and dictate which articles go where, they always mess it up. It absolutely infuriates me when they say they can’t find something and I open the drawer to see that everything from shirts to pants to underwear and pajamas have been tossed higgledy-piggledy into the drawer.

10) Driving on Road Trips This is my husband’s job. I’m sorry, but it is. I do not like that he makes me share this burden. I mean, really. It’s my duty to sit in the passenger seat and read or sleep. Not his. What’s he thinking?

11) Slow Accelerators on On-Ramps Speaking of driving. I get quite irate when I get behind someone that does not understand that the objective of the on-ramp is to get your car up to, or at least close to, highway speeds before you reach the highway. I’ve been known (if no one is behind me) to come to a complete stop when I realize I’m behind a hopeless snail, thus allowing me time to properly accelerate once they get out of the way.

12) Premature Deccelerators Approaching Off-Ramps Similarly, I despise people who begin to slow down on the highway prior to actually getting on the off-ramp. People! 99% of the off-ramps are specifically designed to allow you enough time to go from highway speed to access road speed on them. Please don’t jump the gun!

13) My Right Pinky Toe I’m not kidding. I don’t know what’s wrong with it, just that it gives me problems. The nail isn’t like the ones on all my other toes. I think the bone is turned slightly too. It’s like it’s twisted slightly to the outside – imagine someone with bowlegs. That’s what my toe reminds me of. It’s not that noticeable to look at but it makes wearing certain shoes uncomfortable. And it always waits until I’ve purchased said shoes before it indicates there’s a problem.

14) Poop There’s several things about poop that I hate. First, I’m really, really tired of wiping my five year old’s bottom. Really. I’m also tired of the two older children suddenly realizing they need to poop a couple of minutes into a task I’ve given them. Oh, and then, the teenager with the ipod in particular will spend half an hour or more on the toilet. And if I poke my head in to tell her she’s taking too long, she’ll exclaim, “Mo-om! I’m trying to poop!” It’s like throne time is non-questionable. I simply must accept their prolonged attempts to relieve themselves. Of waste product, and of responsibility.

15) Exercising Without Entertainment Bo-oring! Give me a book and I’ll walk the treadmill or ride the stationary bike. Give me a movie and I’ll run on that treadmill. Deprive me of both and I’ll hate every minute of it. Hate it.

16) Janitors Who Fail to Properly Stock Toilet Paper This will be its own post some day soon. I can’t stand it when janitors take out the almost finished roll from a double dispenser and stack it on top for me to use instead of waiting for it to empty (there is another one in the dispenser, after all). {edit: Ironically, the toilet paper post became reality long before this list did.}

17) People Who Use Toilet Paper Wrongly I’m still talking about double TP dispensers in public restrooms. In order for the janitors to even be able to stock properly, people need to always take paper from whichever roll is smaller. Otherwise, we end up with two very small rolls instead of one empty and one full, and then the janitors are forced to make me angry by stacking the rolls.

18) Forgetting to Put the Laundry in the Dryer Something’s wrong with our dryer. It takes a very long time to dry. So if I forget to move the laundry over to it, it delays the whole process when I prepare to start a new round. Even worse is when I put it in the dryer and fail to start it. Then, I’m ready to move the next load over, but – surprise! The previous load is still wet! Then my whole plan is thrown off.

19) Inaccuracy I’m not talking about lying. I’m just talking about people being inaccurate. About anything. I can’t help myself. If we agree that we are going to do X, then Y, then Z, and you then relate to another friend that we will do X, Z, Y, even if the order doesn’t matter, I’ll correct you. If you tell someone we saw a green car and I know it was blue, I’ll likely interrupt your tale to correct the color. Even if it’s not integral to the story. This extends on into areas of truth that are legitimate areas to insist on accuracy, but the drive for everything to be right is completely irrational.

20) Public Lore That Is False Oh, my gosh, this drives me crazy! “Al Gore invented the internet”… “Woman sued McDonald’s because she didn’t know coffee was hot”. The fact that Al Gore never claimed to invent the internet and the poor old woman was severely burned by excessively hot coffee and only sued when McDonald’s refused to cover her medical expenses is lost on most people. This stems from #19. I feel the need to correct stuff like this All. The. Time. Does it really matter if Joe Blow thinks the McDonald’s lawsuit was frivolous? Yes! To me, it does. Even though… really… it probably shouldn’t…

21) Internet Comments I have friends who love reading the comments on news articles. They are greatly amused by the wealth of idiocy on display. I can’t stand them. There are three types of comments I can’t stand – for different reasons. There’s the angry/hateful/judgmental ones; those are the people who can’t imagine anyone else having a different opinion and feel the need to beat down everyone else. I think hatred of them might just be rational. Then there’s the clueless people; those whose comments illustrate that they simply haven’t read the article. Or have poor reading comprehension. I should ignore these people but I can’t (see #19 and #20). Then there’s the people who comment on tragedies with some variation of “Praying!” or “Prayers coming from Dallas!” Hating these comments is completely irrational because they are probably nice people who mean well. But those comments have always struck me as a bit pompous. Announcing prayer is not necessary for its success. I don’t think the people being prayed for are likely to see the comments in order to take comfort from all that praying being tossed around. So it strikes me as people who want to advertise to everyone else that they are good Holy people. And that annoys me. I often wonder how many of them actually stop to pray before rushing to the next story to react strongly to.

And there’s my list. What about you? What do you irrationally hate? Overly long and rambling blog posts about nothing? 😉

Mommy Comes Home

For awhile before my husband got a C-PAP machine to wear while sleeping, I was in the habit of wearing earplugs to bed. I am a hopelessly light sleeper and he snores. The earplugs took some getting used to mostly because the silence was truly deafening. It was like total sensory deprivation. When I would remove them in the morning, the sound – even of a quiet house – seemed so… rich. Intense. Almost too much.

Returning to my boys in my house after spending a week in Washington, D.C. felt much the same. While the trip had its frustrations and its own sources of exhaustion, it was basically a get-away. Jane was a pleasure, my time was largely my own. No one was screaming or bouncing off the walls or acting out. It was a reasonably quiet, reserved vacation.

Within minutes of entering the house, I was on sensory overload. The boys were still hyped up from their own vacation and seeing Mommy again pushed them over the edge. The dog was also excited to have the clan reunited. She was running around, jumping and licking, and in general adding energy to the room. My husband was trying to show me the gifts he had purchased. I was handing out my gifts to the boys. Jane was making plans for the evening.

When my husband left to take Jane to meet her friend at the theater, I found myself alone with children I had grown unaccustomed to wrangling. I managed to sort the dirty laundry from the suitcase into piles on the floor before retreating to the bedroom and closing the door. I called my mom but she was at volleyball and unable to visit. The noise in the living room was ratcheting up louder and louder. It seemed wise to investigate.

The scene that greeted me literally made me dizzy. The boys were prancing around the room, laughing and giggling, waving their arms in the air. They almost looked like natives dancing around a fire. When they saw me, the hilarity redoubled. The real shocker wasn’t their activity though. No, it was their attire.

They were wearing our dirty laundry. Each was wearing either my shirt or Jane’s. Under the shirts, they had layered swimsuits and bras to give themselves the appearance of breasts. The strutting and dancing was performed with chests thrust forward and calls of “Look at me! Look at me!”

I wondered why I had thought my husband was being so generous to me when he said he’d run Jane into town. I was too tired and overwhelmed to yell or laugh, either one. I just pulled the undergarments off the hysterical boys and in a fit of desperation asked, “Who wants to watch Dr. Who?!”

Bee Nests, Dog Snores, and Busy Mice

My husband has been away for several days now. As a ridiculously light sleeper, I find his absence typically means more restful nights since there is not another body moving and breathing nearby.

On night number one, Hal entered my room after I had fallen asleep, announced that he was scared, and hurriedly climbed into bed. I listened for a possible explanation for his fear and settled on the rather loud wind blowing outside. I assured him that it wouldn’t bother him and held him tight for several minutes. Eventually, I gently told him it was time to return to bed.

NO!” His reply was so forceful that it surprised me. “There is a bee nest in my bed! I can’t go back in there!” He sounded panicked.

“Honey, there’s not a bee nest in your bed. You need to go back to your room to go to sleep.”

With a voice full of command, he insisted, “You go in there and look! There is a bee nest in my bed!”

“Ok. I’ll check your bed but you come with me.”

I carefully checked his bed and found only some broken rubber bands. When I said so, he gestured to another part of the bed and told me that he had been sleeping over there. I checked that part of the bed and confirmed that all that had been in his bed were the rubber bands. He then told me that he had one on his wrist that was not broken. It took me several tries to get my fingers under the too-tight rubber band on his wrist to break it lose.

A humorous aside: As I told this story to my husband on the phone the next day, the term “bee nest” came up repeatedly. Eventually, he interrupted me and asked, “Are you saying that he thought there was a penis in his bed? Hal has talked about the bee nest repeatedly and every time, I have to fight down the smile as I hear “penis”.

Back to my nights… Night number two found me lying awake, listening alternately to the dog snoring at the foot of the bed and Jane coughing across the hall. I eventually yelled at the dog to startle her awake but could not bring myself to disturb the sleeping girl.

You would think that I would be extremely tired moving into night number three and you would be right. If you think this would make me retire earlier, then you overestimate my good sense.

Around midnight, I lay in bed reading, knowing I should stop. Before I could act on that knowledge, I heard a rattling sound in the bathroom. I listened for a couple of minutes, trying to pretend I didn’t know what it was.

I’ll need to back up to that morning for you to understand the sound. I was sitting in the bathroom. Reading. (Give me a break… it’s a really good book!) Anyway, I was sitting there reading when something caught my eye. I looked up in time to see a small field mouse scurry under the door, across the floor, and behind a picture leaning against the shower, waiting to be hung on the wall.

When we installed the new shower, we had to install it on a raised platform to account for both the drain hole and the water pipes not being where they needed to be. The water pipes come out of the foundation and now angle across the floor under the shower. There are two notches cut in the platform supports for the pipes. One apparently had enough room for a mouse to pass through.

When I came home from church, I noticed a large nut sitting in front of that hole that I was fairly certain had not been there before. I strongly suspected that that nut was what was making the rattling noise at midnight. More specifically, it was likely the little mouse trying to move the nut under the platform.

I once had a rather traumatic experience of a mouse running across my head as I lay in my bed. With that memory, I knew I couldn’t sleep wondering about the mouse. As I switched on the light in the bathroom, I saw the nut rattle as the mouse disappeared under the platform.

With a sigh, I headed to the kitchen to prepare a mouse trap with some peanut butter. By the time I got back to the bathroom, the mouse had resumed its ridiculous attempts to pull the nut through the small hole. It darted back to safety and I carefully laid the trap nearby.

Back in bed, I thought about how loud a mouse trap is when it triggers and about how mice don’t always die immediately. I relived a moment nearly two decades earlier when I had listened to the squeak of a caught mouse and been unable to put it out of its misery. I also worried about the mouse ignoring the trap and coming into the bedroom. Sleep, I was sure, was not coming soon.

The rattling resumed shortly after I climbed back in bed. When it stopped, I got up and turned on the light. The nut, to my shock, was gone! I could believe that a squishy mouse could get through that hole but surely not that fat nut! Then I saw the trap. Licked clean of all its peanut butter.

This time, I used a toothpick to carefully push the peanut butter deep into the mechanism of the trap.

Eventually, I managed to drift off into a fitful sleep. I was dreaming about dealing with the mouse when a loud THWACK! woke me up. Confused, I lay awake wondering what had interrupted my slumber. It slowly dawned on me that the noise was most likely the trap. A quick check confirmed that I was right.

Finally, maybe I could sleep peacefully. As I lay there, waiting for sleep to return, the coughing started across the hall. And I was fairly sure I could hear faint snoring from the dog asleep on the couch. It was now well after 1:00. My alarm would go off in just over four and a half hours and I was nowhere near sleep. I was pretty sure the day would be a Mountain Dew day.