A recent post by Catherine Summers on her Not Dressed As Lamb blog, got me thinking about those things in life that I absolutely could live without. I shared Catherine’s antipathy toward Harry Potter, Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas, tattoos, and a few other things, but there are a few of my own worth mentioning. Perhaps you share my intense dislike of:
Non-signalers: Sometimes I wonder if people realize that automobiles are equipped with turn signals and indicator lights for changing lanes safely. Driving is hazardous enough without trying to guess who is going to cut you off or skip across lanes to access the exit they missed because they weren’t paying attention. I’m not psychic and I would like to live a long life.
- Interrupters: How many times have you been telling a story and someone else finishes your sentences? Not only is it rude, they usually get it wrong. No! I did not mean to say what you think I was going to say; my story has a different ending and you might even like my ending better than yours. So, shut up until I’ve finished. We should all try to be better listeners.
- Little girl voices: I’m referring to those irritating, breathy little girl voices that so many young women effect today. They’re big girls now and should project adult speech accordingly. Diction projected from the nose and back of the throat in a high-pitched girly tone drives me crazy. I’m even hearing it from professionals on television and radio which means I have to switch the channel as it hurts my ears. For example, the Bernadette character on television’s The Big Bang Theory has a voice that grates on my nerves like nothing I’ve ever heard. Actor Kristen Chenoweth also has one of those unbearably chirpy voices that prohibit me from watching any of her movies. Use your grownup voice, ladies. Speak from the diaphragm.
- The word ‘Like’: While we’re on the subject of speech, I hate it when people constantly intersperse their speech with the word “like” or “you know”. Like, could you take the garbage out?” or, “You know, I have, like, no idea what you’re talking about.” Again, I’m hearing it used constantly on television and radio interviews and I have to change the channel. I’ve been tempted so many times to email radio stations and force them to listen to their own programs and take a tally of how many times “like” was redundantly inserted into sentences to fill space. The other day I was watching an episode of The Social and one of the guest hosts used “like” so many times, I tuned out. Grrrr!
- Aaah!: It amazes me that one of Justin Trudeau’s handlers has not instructed/forced him to stop inserting “aaahh” several times into every sentence he utters in English when he’s being interviewed. My French-Canadian friend said he’s not as bad in French but his constant use of “aaahh” to buy time while he is thinking is distracting and drives me nuts. And, he’s not the only one who does it. As the millennials now say to their young children, “Use your words”.
Reality TV: With the exception of Escape To The Chateau I can’t stand reality television, especially the Kardashian/Jenner klan. The abandoned-on-a-desert-island survival shows, bachelor and bachelorette dating, baking competitions, and other lame excuses for not producing good television are a waste of time. Millions of people obviously do not agree with me but I’d sooner be reading a good book with a real plot.
- Winter: Since I’ve been retired, I’ve been able to escape the only season I cannot abide—shitty Canadian winters. I’m not a skier, a snowboarder, a snowshoer, or a hockey player so my idea of a perfect winter is to never leave the house, make a giant pot of tea and sit by the fire with a pile of good books downloaded to my iPad until spring arrives. And, the salt and slush on city streets is murder on good boots, even sturdy Canadian-made brands. Fortunately for me, the southern sun beckons, and I answer its call.
- Bad grammar and spelling: My spelling and grammar are by no means perfect but at least I know the difference between they’re and there, principle and principal, or affect and effect. I’m often shocked at errors I see. Then, there’s the difference between cement and concrete which I covered in a previous blog: Listen up people; concrete and cement are not interchangeable words.
- Celebrity Culture: When did the world start to think the universe revolves around the opinions thoughts and actions of witless celebrities. What they eat, what they wear, that kind of toilet paper they use, anything celebrity-centric annoys me enormously. There are thousands, millions of people in the world far more deserving of our attention. I do not care who is boinking whom; I do not want to dress or wear my hair like an anorexic, teenaged celebrity who has contributed nothing to the betterment of this planet. We have celebrities running for important political offices who have no experience or knowledge of constitutional, financial, and foreign affairs issues. Those jobs are important and require serious brains and leadership skills.
- Cellphones: I saved this one to the last because I expect there are very few people who sympathize with my impatience with cellphones. I can barely use mine and rarely need to. I’m not totally opposed to cellphones as they definitely are a wonderful invention when used with discretion. How did the world become so addicted? I find them particularly irksome when I’m sitting having an in-person conversation with other people who are constantly referencing their phones, whether checking their email or browsing lord-knows-what. It’s rude and it drives me crazy. Especially at lunch or dinner. I realize I’m definitely in the minority here as most people mainline their cellphones. Conversations or meals with friends or family are possible and even more enjoyable without constantly checking your phone.
I also have a strong aversion to the late singer Prince. Just too creepy for my taste and this was confirmed when I read Sineád O’Connor’s impression of him as described in her memoir, Rememberings. I have no time for people who lie; dealing with the truth, however difficult, is always infinitely preferable to sorting out lies. Imagine the world of crime if lying became impossible. I also do not like the taste of liquor of any kind. I’m not a fan of sci-fi, violence in movies or television, or books that do not have a clear and happy ending.
We each have the right to our own personal likes and dislikes. It would be a pretty boring world if we agreed on everything and there was no variety from which to choose our preferences. My list of un-favourite things is not limited to what I’ve outlined here, but as we age we become more comfortable with our choices and feel no reason to apologize. What are some of your most un-favourite things? I am listening and will not interrupt.