If I’m being honest, this post should be called, ‘Things That Mildly Irritate Me’. But as titles go, that sounds a bit lacklustre so we’re going to have to go with the slightly exaggerated one above. Slightly. I’m not what you would call an easygoing person. I am at the mercy of my emotions and easily succumb to the very worst elements of my temperament. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not always angry, but I am prone to fits of annoyance (these are mostly internal grievances that nobody ever sees but probably does greater damage to my health, due to its suppression, than it ever does to anyone else). I make no apologies for this, my predilection for explosive irritation makes me the person I am and has probably stood me in good stead many times in my life. The stand-up row with the IKEA kitchen salesman when my kitchen was two weeks late, the stand-up row with the builders fitting said kitchen for repeatedly not turning up when agreed, the stand-up row with the plumber for overcharging and poor workmanship, and the stand-up row with many a power-crazed ward-sister who required taking down a peg or two. All worthwhile ‘totally losing it’ moments. Anger stops you from being trodden down. Anger forces you stand up for what is right. The only problem is that my brief fits of rage have not mellowed with age, but have actually grown a little bit worse. And those flashes of temper have spilled over onto things that really shouldn’t matter at all. Don’t mistake me, that rage is almost always just a simmering undercurrent safely hidden beneath the surface of my smiling façade so you would never really know about it. But mark my words, it is there. So here are a few seemingly innocuous things that shouldn’t really grate on my nerves but…well, they just do.
Adults on Children’s Scooters:
I’m the parent of the house that does the school-run four times a week so I see this activity far more than I’d like. What happens is this; a grown-up accompanies their child to school, said child brings along a scooter to speed the process up a bit, said scooter is nigh-on impossible to chain up to bike-rack so parent takes scooter back home. Well no, they don’t take it home (I do, I fold it up and carry it), these parents insist on scooting it back to the house, weaving in and out of the other more sensible pedestrian parents on the pavement. Now what really gets on my chimes is that the maximum weight limit for most kid’s scooters is about 60kg. And I’ve seen many a grown man scoot his poor kid’s scooter home (one of those men being my husband), and I tell you what, those men are well over that weight! You lazy, selfish bastards! You do realise you’re thoughtlessly wrecking your child’s beloved toy? My daughter’s scooter is messed-up beyond repair because my husband has ridden it home one too many times; the bearings are all shot to bits and it now makes a horrible grating noise when my child tries to ride it. Stop this practice right now, apathetic parents! You look foolish and you’re destroying delicate pieces of precision-engineering designed for somebody half your size, you freaks!!
Keep Calm Posters:
Look, I liked the ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ poster just as much as anyone back in the day. But as with most good things, too many people jumped on the bandwagon and bastardised a pleasant piece of artwork dating back from a wartime era; rubbished it with their lazy, ill-thought-out take-off’s. And now the ‘Keep Calm’ franchise is dead. Cashing-in on this poster’s stoic sentiment has simply turned it into an overused gimmick. They wrecked it. And I don’t like anything that’s been done to death.
The Alarm Clock Snooze Button:
I have never been one of those people who loafs about in bed. It’s a bit of a curse really, even at the weekend I’m up in the 7’s. I just don’t have the capacity to have a lie-in But on a week day, I still need to ensure that I get up on time for work (because anybody can oversleep a little bit), so I set my alarm clock for 7am. The alarm sounds at the appointed time, I switch the alarm off and climb out of bed. Easy-peasy. Now, my husband is completely incapable of doing that. He has never found it easy to get up in the mornings and having a lie-in is probably his favourite thing in the entire world (even better than his wife and children). So he sets his alarm for twenty minutes earlier than he intends to get up on a week day. The radio-alarm goes off (waking me up before my allotted time, I might add), he switches it off and goes back to sleep. Ten minutes later, the radio-alarm (usually playing some totally-inappropriate-for-the-morning, sweary hip-hop track) goes off again. This wakes me up again. He switches it off and goes back to sleep. Then his alarm goes off one final time ten minutes later when he is supposed to get up. Then he lies in bed for a further ten minutes forcibly keeping his eyes open, staring at the ceiling, just thinking about getting up. Oh dear God, this is making me wild with rage just typing about it. Here’s a thought, just set your bloody alarm clock to go off once, for the time you actually want to get up – and then GET UP!!!! How about not letting it go off a g’million more times than is necessary just so you can lie in bed a few minutes longer (waking and annoying your poor wife who isn’t a deep sleeper)? This is completely insensitive behaviour and, I swear, (as they say where I come from) it totally does my head in!!
As you will know by now, I have kids. And I know just as well as anyone that thinking up good ideas for presents for those kids year after year isn’t easy. But the one present I detest above all others is the oversized teddy-bear (or any overly large stuffed toy). On first inspection, it seems like a pleasant and thoughtful enough gift. Which it is. If I lived in a castle. Where am I supposed to put this bear? This bear is bigger than my child. Shall I just pop it somewhere in the west wing? I am deeply sorry if I offend anyone who has presented my child with a bear so large, it takes up the majority of her bed. You are very generous and kind, of course. But that bear is ruining my life. And also it refuses to pay rent.
People Who Lick Their Fingers Between Turning Pages of a Book:
I don’t have much to say about this other than, how much extra traction can that actually give you? Little to none. It is a hideously disgusting and disturbing habit and it makes me want to heave. Please desist from doing it.
I could go on; scented candles that smell of nothing, light switches located on the wall outside the room they are supposed to light etc. etc… I know, I know – I’m turning into an angry old woman (well, an angry woman in her early forties); the Victor Meldrew of my generation, maybe. I think I’m just having a bad month and my rage is the only thing keeping me going; holding the pieces together. In future, I’ll try not to be so influenced by the whims of my easily-triggered annoyance. I’ll just smile and wave, smile and wave. You can tell me some of the mundane things that drive you up the sodding wall in the comments section below if you like. Next week, I might even talk about something light and fluffy – like cosy log-fires or autumnal colours or knitting patterns. I might even start singing, ‘Favourite Things’ from the Sound of Music. It’s unlikely, but I might. Or failing that, and if I am far too morose to be the positive and up-beat Adele you know and love, I’ll ask somebody else to blog for me instead. Deal?