The AfterEllen.com Huddle: Pet Peeves

This week, we’re talking pet peeves. What’s the one (or few) thing(s) you just can’t stand?

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Marcie Bianco: I really can’t stand when people talk about sex and kinks 24/7. The people who do this, who have to show you their latex outfits or who talk about how amazingly poly they are, etc, are usually the most vanilla people in the world. Furthermore, I really don’t like to be assaulted with these gross images. Because they are always gross.

Kim Hoffman: I grew up in Florida, so I’ve spent a great deal of time yelling at other drivers. (Oh, you’re 192, please go home and get off the road, for all of us. You’re scaring EVERYONE.) (Oh, you are an 18-year-old on spring break and you’re drunk and yelling out your sun roof.) But here in Portland, I walk everywhere, so I’m faced with the suddenly confused person who decides to stop in front of me and stare slowly around as if they just came out of a daze and don’t know where to go now. Forward, please walk forward, or to the side.

Let’s also discuss how annoying it is when you text someone something brilliant, important, funny, etc. and the response back is: “K.” Even my Dad does that (but in an effort to “seem hip” he’ll also shorten a lot of other words.)

Delish. That’s a shortened word I don’t subscribe to.

Lastly, I really despise when you’re at a small concert of any kind and someone yells something at the singer, repeatedly, making the rest of us feel mortified to be associated. Example: I recently went to see Macaulay Culkin‘s band Pizza Underground (a Velvet Underground cover band) and a girl standing near us in the front, who was talking to herself and clutching a Home Alone VHS hurled herself toward the stage, screaming in the middle of the set, “Mr. Culkin! Mr Culkin!” One of the other band members shooed her away with her drum stick and then we all ate pizza and forgot about it.

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Dana Piccoli: Throat-clearing. As a singer, it makes me cringe, knowing what it does to the vocal folds. As a person, i find it incredibly irritating. As an offshoot, people hocking loogies in public. Vile.

Elaine Atwell: The thing that drives me craziest in all the world is being around someone whose default approach to life is cynicism and scorn. Don’t get me wrong, that is an acceptable approach to a lot of things — jam band concerts and reality TV, for example — but if that’s all you being to the table in any situation, then you’re sucking energy and joy out of the world. I think it takes some courage to really let yourself love something, to jump into the dance of life and shake your ass for all it’s worth. You risk nothing standing against the wall and making fun of everybody else.

Lucy Hallowell: Saying my name over and over (not like that, you pervs). If I am talking to you, I know it, you don’t have to keep saying my name just to make sure I’m paying attention. Frankly, if you keep saying it unnecessarily I will stop paying attention because I will be filled with such rage my ears will no longer function.

Dara Nai: Omg, where to start?!? I don’t love when strangers add me to Facebook groups without asking. I’m glad you formed that book club/your own church/a pansexual chanting circle, but wouldn’t it be more polite to invite people to join?

Also, people who hover just above the speed limit in the left lane for 10 miles drive me absolutely bananas. Were you sleeping during the “the left lane is for passing only” part of driver’s ed? Do you not see the car parade that has formed behind you? No. No, you don’t.

Which brings me to idiots who wait in line for 10 minutes at a fast food place, but don’t decide what they want to order until they step up to the counter. Are you kidding me right now? First of all, it’s McDonalds. It’s basically the same menu since 1953. Do you think if you study the board long enough, you’ll find salmon croquettes up there? Just order the #4 and step aside. p.s. Now is also not the time to ask your 3-year-old what he wants. He eats his own boogers. He’ll eat what you buy him.

Speaking of food, have you ever noticed how some people in restaurants fist their forks like they’re getting ready to put up tent stakes? I’m sorry you were raised my chimpanzees but at some point in your life, it’s time to examine your table manners. Unsure how to properly cut your rib eye? Look around.

I could keep going but I have to add all of you to my new Facebook group, “My Ex Cheated on Me Three Years Ago and I’m Still Not Over It.”

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Grace Chu: Anyone who is anti-science and anti-reason, including but not limited to, conspiracy theorists who believe in chemtrials, imbeciles who believe that vaccines cause autism, anyone who believes PETA’s assertion that milk is linked to autism, histrionic people who believe all GMOs are the devil (even though we have been engineering food since prehistoric times), all fundamentalists, some postmodernists, people who think planes didn’t hit the World Trade Center on 9/11 (oh, I’m sorry — I guess that those things I saw with my own eyes must have been giant orcas with wings). Oh wait… I guess I pretty much hate half the internet.

Heather Hogan: My biggest pet peeves are: 1) People who can’t adhere to even just a minimum standard of politeness. Like, let people off the train/elevator before you rush on. Don’t shove your way in front of people at concerts or the baggage carousel at the airport. Give up your damn seat for elderly folks or moms juggling multiple shopping bags and kids. Say “please” and “thank you” to your server or bartender. Apologize when you smash into someone with in a crowded space. I realize not everyone was raised in Mayberry like me, but come on, man. Just don’t be a dick. 2) People who don’t know when to stop talking. Protips: When someone is no longer making eye contact with you, but is instead glancing all around and they also have started nodding or going “mmm hmm” instead of talking back to you, it’s time to be quiet.

Chloe: My biggest internet pet peeve is people who send anonymous nasty messages to people they don’t know, or try to somehow harm people they’ve never met because they don’t agree with something that person has said. If you’re genuinely offended by someone and want to argue, fine: say it to that person and say it without cowering behind anonymity. Trolling is tragic. Back up what you say or don’t say it at all.

Other pet peeves include:
1. Capris, khakis, crocs, paisley.
2. Mansplaining, particularly about politics. I have a degree in international relations and political economy but that doesn’t stop pretty much every dude from insisting that if I don’t agree with him, it’s because I don’t understand the topic. Bitch, I grasp it.
3. The sound of cardboard rubbing against cardboard.
4. Clapping after movies in the movie theater. THEY CAN’T HEAR YOU.
5. Straight girls who think I’m hitting on them.
6. Straight guys who ask “What happened to you?”
7. Ending every other sentence in …
8. Inspirational quotes, ESPECIALLY on instagram.
9. People who are secretly convinced that somewhere inside them lies a great writer even though they’ve never written anything longer than a college essay.
10. Bad stand-up comedy.

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Jill Guccini: When people don’t STFU at concerts or at movies. Oh, you’re on a date? GOOD FOR YOU, TALK AFTERWARDS. Maybe the money you spent on these tickets meant nothing to you but it DID TO ME. I am typically a very peaceful person but some kind of intense rage comes out of me at movies and concerts. Especially concerts.

People who are rude to waiting staff, treat them like they are subhuman, or like everything that is wrong with their food is their fault. I will pretty much no longer respect you if I see you address a waiter really condescendingly, which is unfortunate, since I have close family members who do this and who are otherwise really kind people. What is it that makes people do this?!

When people assure others that they can make something happen if they “just try hard enough,” when that thing might be actually physically unattainable for them. Stop thinking that something that worked for you can work for everyone else, OK? You think you’re being encouraging, but really you’re just being a shitty person.

Valerie Anne: Pet peeves include, but are not limited to:

Making dramatic sighing noises or chuckling out loud every 30 seconds until I ask you what you’re reacting to. If you want to tell me something, just tell me. Don’t try to trick me into asking, I won’t do it.

When grown, educated people use chat abbreviations like “ur” when there’s no character limit involved.

Excessive/constant negativity. I feed off the energy of other people, so if we have an hour-long conversation and you haven’t had a single positive thing to say, I’m going to need a nap.

Being unnecessarily rude to people, especially servers/waitstaff. If they say, “Sit down, asshole,” that’s one thing. But otherwise, what’s your game? They’re bringing you FOOD and maybe even ALCOHOL. To your table! You don’t even have to move! They’re heroes is what they are. You be nice.

When people get mad at you for not being able to magically figure out why they’re upset. You’re not allowed to give me the cold shoulder if we didn’t already have a discussion/fight about why you’re angry with me. Try as I might, I have not mastered Legilimency. I can’t fix something if I don’t know what’s wrong.

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Bridget McManus: I’m a Libra and everything has to be fair. My biggest pet peeve is when someone cuts the line.

Ali Davis: The practice of politely alternating cars while merging is the only thing that separates us from rampaging cannibalistic swamp monsters. People who violate that part of the social contract should be immediately removed from the traffic flow with powerful magnetic cranes. And then left hanging way up in the air to think about what they have done for at least three days.

Also, while we’re sitting here in traffic, I’ll just mention to 70 percent of the city of Los Angeles that TURN SIGNALS EXIST AND ARE INCLUDED IN EVERY CAR FOR A REASON. I once read that drivers who don’t use turn signals have a 90% higher risk of getting into accidents. My only thought was “Good.”

(Also I agree with everyone who listed being mean or snotty to your bartender or server, except that’s less a peeve and more in the “I am DONE with you” category.)

Eboni Rafus: I live in Los Angeles, so I am obligated to give at least one traffic related one: When you and dozens and dozens of other cars are stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic and someone pulls out onto the shoulder and drives past all of us patiently waiting it out and cuts back into the line of cars a few hundred feet down the freeway. I absolutely cannot stand that!

Other pet peeves include:

People who hold up traffic by trying to be nice and instead of going/turning/merging when they are supposed to, wave the other car on instead. Inevitably, there’s that delay where each driver is thinking “You go.” “No, you go.” “Go ahead, I insist.” “Are you going?” “Oh, you want me to go?” Ugh!!!! Each driver should just go when they have the right of way according to the laws of the road and save us from all this confusion. They created rules of the road for a reason. Namely, so I don’t have to watch you hem and haw in the middle of the intersection.

People who put themselves down so that you can contradict them and give them compliments. I am pretty generous with compliments. Last week, I told someone how nicely their polo brought out the color of their eyes after meeting them three minutes before. Seriously. And I wasn’t hitting on them either. I just really liked that color on them. I’m that stranger in the dressing room who encourages you to splurge on that dress or pair of jeans because you look fabulous in it. But don’t bait me or I will stubbornly refuse to tell you what I know you what me to say. Lately, I’ve just started agreeing with whatever negative things people they say about themselves and that tends to stop that behavior.

People who are completely clueless about their privilege. Even those of us who are marginalized in some ways may be privileged in others. As a queer black woman, I have a lot of marginalized identities, but I also recognize that I am privileged when it comes to my religion and class. Just because you are marginalized for being queer, doesn’t mean you can forget the privilege you have simply by being white.

Also, people who continuously confuse white privilege with class privilege. Two separate things, people. Two separate things. OK maybe that last one is more than a pet peeve.

Trish Bendix: Hypocrisy is my biggest pet peeve. Let’s just keep it real and we’ll be good to go. Also, being talked down to. In summation, I am a big girl, OK!?

What drives you insane?

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