December 16, 2019
Do seemingly innocuous things just annoy the crap out of you for no apparent reason? Yeah, me too. There is a comedian named Sebastian Maniscalco, whom I saw in Vegas about two years ago. He was just becoming known on the national stage and I paid about $75 for my ticket. I laughed so hard that I had to ask the woman sitting next to me for an Advil because my jaws hurt from laughing so much. Well, now Sebastian has come into his own, as more and more people hear about him and watch his Netflix specials and go to his live shows. Case in point: my sister and I will be seeing him in March—suffice it to say our tickets are significantly higher than what I paid in Vegas. He is hilarious. Sebastian is young, mid forties, but with the sensibilities of someone much older. He has an old soul and appreciates the traditional behaviors of a time gone by and he gets IRRITATED at certain things and becomes quite vocal in his act. He’s an observational comedian who comments on the absurdities of daily living and makes it funny. As a matter of fact, his current tour is called “You Bother Me.” Aptly named. He doesn’t stand on convention, nor does he take any prisoners. He calls it like he sees it. I urge you to see him in person or check him out on YouTube. I think he is my spirit animal.
So, before Christmas arrives (and the reason I am a wee bit late with my latest installment of Widow’s Pique), I plan on dedicating this blog to Sebastian Maniscalco by providing you with a collection of my annoyances. And before some of you get your panties in a wad, your sensitivities in a dither, your feelings hurt, your stances on the state of the world in an uproar, or your sense of decency destroyed, PLEASE just stop and take a chill pill. This is a blog and as you all know, I have a large sarcasm gene and this is all in fun. My opinion means nothing except to me. So, calm the hell down and relax. Eat a Christmas cookie and read the blog unless you are so destroyed and insulted that you can’t handle it and must seek refuge in a gluten-free egg nog. I shall begin.
I am going to attempt to be as organized as possible because generally my annoyances tend to categorize themselves. Please bear with me.
- Pickup truck owners who drive like a bat out of hell (I learned this phrase from my Dad) or conversely drive, often in the left lane ten miles below the speed limit.
- Still on the pickup truck thread, those with lots of bumper stickers which often don’t speak well of the occupants in terms of their gray matter. A cartoon character who is urinating on an opposing football team or whatever their enemy of the moment is–not funny–just juvenile.
- Any of the following activities performed while driving: texting – just stop! Your life is not that important, you jerk, that you endanger all of us by texting your girlfriend that tonight’s the night—just stop! Putting on makeup: get up earlier and do it at home you idiot. In fairness, this is usually done while at a red light, but I have seen it in a moving vehicle. I hate stupid people.
- Parking in handicapped spaces. WHAT gives you the right? WHAT is your excuse? WHY do you think it’s OK? And one final thing: you are a colossal jerk.
- Parking in front of the store instead of in a parking spot. WHAT gives you the right? WHAT is your excuse? WHY do you think it’s OK? And one final thing: you are a colossal jerk. Unless you are dropping off your physically challenged 85-year-old mother, you are a pitiful excuse for a human being, and, oh yeah, a colossal jerk.
- Tailgating and flashing your lights at me because apparently you are more important than I. So, listen up nimrod: speed limit=70; my speed=75. You’re not satisfied with that? Tough dingleberries, Jack! Go around. I am not moving. I hate people.
- Luxury cars as a statement for your other obvious shortcomings. If you can afford a Maserati, have at it. I just don’t get it. I just want a car with decent mileage, no rust and no payment. Works for me. If you do indeed drive a status symbol please avoid the following: speeding past me with your “look at me” attitude AND the greatest sin of all, parking it in two spaces. That is a major asshole move and makes me REALLY annoyed.
- Conversely, do not put a huge spoiler on a Ford Escort. It won’t improve your chances with the ladies or the cool crowd, I promise you. And it just makes you look extra douchey.
- Fix your muffler, asshole.
- People who blare music at traffic stops with their hyper extended bass that makes your hair stand on end and your ears bleed is BEYOND annoying. THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE people, unless it’s oldies or ABBA; case closed.
- And finally, is that extra twenty seconds worth it? Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT block the intersection. When in doubt, stay back. Nothing makes my blood get churning more in a traffic situation than when I see these idiots deliberately speed through the changing light just to avoid the red, only to cause a shit show for the people in the cross traffic. This is a totally obnoxious move and karma is sure to strike you somewhere down the line. Don’t do it. Use that extra time to check your make-up.
Television (a glimpse into the sad state of our society) and the Entertainment Industry
- Kanye West: Every time he opens his mouth, I want to shut it for him. And yet, he’s a multi-millionaire, and I am not. Please be quiet, Kanye. You’re so annoying. And despite your protestations, you are not that supreme talent you think you are – except when it comes to being annoying.
- All Things Kardashian – from the mother on down. Please be quiet. They all whine. They all speak in that supremely annoying “upspeak” and they all live in front of cameras. That’s got to be healthy for their kids. Yeah. And yet, they are all multi-millionaires, one is a billionaire, and I am not. And surprise, surprise, one of them is married to Kanye. Let’s keep spreading those annoying genes to the next generation, shall we? Be sure to teach those kids that conspicuous consumption is an admirable lifestyle.
- Lori Loughlin: she really is clueless, isn’t she? And entitled. As someone who had to work my ass off to get through school, I’m more than annoyed at her crap. And to plead not guilty? I hope they throw the book at Aunt Becky.
- Another one who is completely clueless and whenever I see her, even on the newsstand (didn’t she jump the shark about 12 years ago; in fact, didn’t the expression “jump the shark” jump the shark a while ago too?) is the beyond narcissistic, controlling and obnoxious Kate Gosselin, who has somehow bankrolled having a multiple birth into a so-called career, irrevocably damaging her children in the process. This woman should be permanently banned from the airwaves, yet somehow there seems to always be a producer who comes up with a strange premise (Kate learns to basket weave; Kate has a colonoscopy) to add to her bank account. Annoying as hell.
- Madonna and Johnny Depp. Annoying. Annoying. Annoying squared. From Madonna’s bad plastic surgery to Johnny’s affectations and destructive relationships, I am sick of them both. It’s time for them to retire from public life and poor decisions. But the thing that REALLY aggravates me about these two overrated celebrities? Their phony and contrived accents. Madonna wants you to believe that she is the lady of the manor with her undefined, yet grandiose delivery of the English word. She’s from Detroit! Give me a break! And don’t get me started on Johnny “I’m a Pirate” Depp. Have you seen his Sauvage by Dior commercial? Or as he pronounces it SOW-VODGE pause DEE-OHR like he’s an Earl from Devonshire in all his gilded glory. He’s a good ole boy from Kentucky. Don’t hide your roots, Johnny Boy. Let’s get real! You are both so irritating to me. Phoniness personified. Ugh.
- Kraft Cheddar Cheese Commercials. The parents are intimidated by their children’s disdain for what’s for dinner (a lovely piece of salmon) by feigning nausea or the little brats’ refusal to finish their broccoli by saying “fine, we’ll sit here all night.” Instead of, in the first scenario, the parents telling the ungrateful little jerk who is writhing around on the floor to take it or leave it, or, in the second, telling the little snots, “fine, sit here all night,” the parents give in to the whims of the small people. WHO is in charge here? I guess I am old school, but commercials like this not only annoy the shit out of me, I think they do serious damage to the sanctity of parenthood. Children need to learn about boundaries and parents need to grow a pair.
- Rap: pretty much enough said. There are some excellent rap artists, but anything that degrades women, uses gross profanity to the point that it doesn’t add to the “artistry,” really does absolutely nothing for me nor does it contribute anything worthy to the conversation. Annoying.
Trendy turns of phrase, clichés, and platitudes
I am becoming increasingly tired of people’s overuse of certain expressions and phrases that have become such a part of today’s vernacular that they almost sound normal when in fact they are a phenomenon created in just the last few years. Annoying as hell.
- Journey, as in “I am so happy to be on this journey with my best friend.” May I release my nausea here? These words, often spoken at weddings are so saccharine that I want to hurl. Puh-leeze. Why not just say, “I am happy to be marrying this guy? He’s a wonderful human being.” The end.
- It is what it is. Yes, it is. And so, it shall be. Until it was what it was. And hopefully will never be again.
- Take it to the next level. This is so overused. It is used at work. It is used in a parked car between horny teenagers; you name it. All I know is, it’s annoying and vague. Just say what you mean dipshit.
- At the end of the day. Oh, my God! (NOT OMG!!!) Please stop saying that! It makes me want to slap you! And I shouldn’t have to explain why. So, I won’t. Just think about why that expression is so irritating. Morning, Noon, or night, it’s so damn annoying.
- Think outside the box. Another pretentious expression that deserves to be put back INSIDE the box and buried in the back yard never to be heard from again. Next.
- In my safe place. If we all had a safe place it would be nirvana. But we don’t, so stop saying it. You are creating an unrealistic view of the world. Grow the hell up and accept reality. That is all. You are so annoying to me.
- Everything happens for a reason. As someone who has lost several loved ones over the last ten years, I can assure you, no one wants to hear this. Ever. Stop saying it.
- YOLO. Yes, you do. If you want that “once” to be shorter, use that expression around me. I will shorten your life considerably, because YOLO makes me livid. And annoyed.
- I know, right? What the hell does this mean? When did this become acceptable repartee? Please make it stop – now, because I find you extremely annoying, and a bit of an a-hole.
Passive Aggressive and I am Superior to You on all Levels Behavior
These people REALLY twist my panties. And annoy me easily just by their mere existence. See if any sound familiar to you.
- The svelte-bodied individual in the presence of the person who has struggled with his or her weight seemingly forever: “Oh I really shouldn’t eat anymore. I’m getting to be as big as a house.” Sweetie, you weigh 120 pounds. How dare you. Are you really that clueless or do you take pleasure in making those who aren’t slender like you feel even worse about themselves? You must feel so proud. Go take a selfie.
- The fresh vs. artificial Christmas tree battle. Who really cares? I don’t think the artificial tree people really care. They just don’t have the dedication or desire to be out in the cold picking the perfect specimen, dragging it back to their car, getting covered in sap and needles, yada, yada, yada. To each his own I say. But some of the fresh aficionados take great umbrage at those who go artificial, passing judgment that somehow the true meaning of the holiday has been destroyed by these usurpers of tradition. Yeah, whatever. You’re so much better than me. And so annoying. This year my tree is an eight-inch Lenox statue. I’m going to hell, obviously.
- Vegans and Vegetarians. I could easily be a Vegetarian. If I had to give up meat I could. I would miss my occasional steak, but I would survive, but there is no way in hell I could give up cheese. Life would not be worth living. But I digress. I am here to discuss those dietary elitists (in the minority I am sure) who look with polite disdain at the rest of us who eat animals. You know the type. You’re at a gathering and you pick up a plate and he or she will look at you and say “Oh, we are vegetarian/vegan. We brought some lentil stew and beet salad, which is delightful. We just feel so much better since we went completely meatless.” What they are really saying is “HOW can you even consider consuming something that used to have a face, a mother, and tried to get away. YOU, sir, are a MONSTER!” My answer would be, “Cool, more for me!”
- People who make everything about them. These are the people who don’t really listen to you. They never listen. They nod their heads, but they are just waiting for a chance to jump in with their words of wisdom. Their lives and experiences are SO much more important. They are annoying narcissistic tools. They are also the ones who send out those obnoxious holiday newsletters all about how little five-year-old Johnny is starting college next year. We all know little Johnny will be stealing cars when he’s 15. Annoying.
This will be a mishmash of things I witness and experience but cannot fit into their own unique categories, but because they often irritate the niceness out of me, I feel they deserve a mention in today’s blog. Bear with me please.
- Hot dogs in 10 packs and hot dog buns in 8 packs (or is it vice-versa?) If we possess the smarts to put a human on the moon, why don’t we possess at least the logic to match up our dogs and our buns? It’s infuriating.
- Verizon Customer Service. Enough said.
- People and their carts stopping in the middle of the aisle at the grocery store. Honey, I realize that you are the center of the universe, but last I looked, it was your own little universe, not the one the rest of us reside in. Move over. Thank you, and while you’re at it, stop talking so loudly on your cell phone. I really don’t care what your husband wants for dinner.
- Speaking of the supermarket – there are still people who write checks instead of using debit cards AND they wait until they are at the checkout AND all their merchandise has been checked when they decide to rummage through their handbag to look for their checkbook. My suggestion: if you insist on writing a check, please have it pre-written before you get to checkout. The only folks I give a pass to here are the elderly. They deserve it.
- Not using your “ings” Please use your “ing.” It’s looking, not lookin’, eating, not eatin’, loving, not lovin’. This lapse in speaking (not speakin’) well makes my skin crawl. Please speak well and don’t annoy the Widow.
- Similarly, PLEASE, for the LOVE of God, STOP, STOP, STOP, using the word “like” unless it’s to express fondness for or similarity to something or someone. Do NOT use it in any other way, because it is just plain WRONG, both grammatically and to my sensitive ears. And, if you have noticed a theme throughout this blog, it annoys me.
- Let’s lump this group together into social graces: bratty, disrespectful children, pushy, entitled adults, condescending people, parents who don’t control their children in public and/or don’t engage them at dinner by allowing devices at the table. Put away the devices and have a conversation; people who don’t hold the door, say please and thank you or don’t wash their hands after using the restroom, people who are chronically late.
- Fawners and phonies. These are people I truly cannot abide. Sometimes I think they don’t realize they are behaving in such a disingenuous manner. It must be exhausting. The nicest people I know are just themselves. It’s so refreshing. And not annoying at all.
- Today’s fashion. Some is nice. Some not so nice. Here’s my take: Uggs need to go away. They are just not that cute. If you are over 40, you just should not wear them. I guess they’re kind of cute on high school and college girls, but once you reach a certain age, you’re just trying too hard. Sorry, my opinion. And leggings. I don’t care if you are a supermodel with glutes you can bounce a dime off. Cover the ass area. A nice long sweater or tunic, looks elongating and fashionable, paired with some nice, non-Uggs boots. The only time the butt should be out is at the gym. One comment on the popular quilted parkas with the fur trimmed hoods – why are the hoods so oversized? They impede your line of vision and are just too damn big. Why? Finally, the proverbially low-slung pants with the underwear hanging out – this has been around for some time. Come on guys. Show some respect. And stop being so annoying.
- Some selfies are cute. I’m talking about the ones that are obviously meant to elicit a reaction – over and over again. They annoy me. And please don’t take them in the bathroom mirror. Enough said about that.
- Disney freaks. These are the people (you know who you are) who think Disney is the place to go above all other destinations. Here’s a thought. Why not at least TRY another destination. It’s called expanding your horizons. You annoy me.
- Elf on the Shelf. That little creep was a marketing coup for whomever came up with the idea. I heard someone say that in his day they called it “Belt on the Shelf.” The kids knew they had to behave or else. Now parents rely on this strange little androgynous spy who supposedly scares the kids into behaving a few weeks before Christmas. My attitude is one of pure annoyance. Big surprise there.
I have several other things that I could add to my list but that would be overkill, I think. I want to end this lengthy post with a few serious thoughts on some things that truly bother me, going way beyond mere annoyance. I am bothered by unkindness to others. I am bothered by bullying, especially to the defenseless. I am horrified by cruelty to children, the elderly, and animals. As we approach the holiday season, no matter what your faith or method of getting through life, I hope we can all agree that we are in this together and should just help each other when help is needed or ask for help. Never feel alone.
NOTE: I want to give a special shout out to my friends DB and KJ who provided me with some input on this blog. They annoy me sometimes, especially KJ’s hair, but they’re good people.