What's your biggest pet peeve? Come on, spill it: I know you have one. We all do, apparently -- there's even a new book, Annoying: The Science of What Bugs Us, that explains why the tendency to get ticked off is practically a biological imperative.
I honestly wasn't sure what topped my list of personal irritants until I started googling "common pet peeves" and a clear trend emerged: What drives most of us the nuttiest, it seems, are other people's so-called rude behaviors. The most oft-mentioned offenders on the web included people who talk too loudly/text too frequently on cellphones, babies who have the audacity to cry in public, smokers who put out their cigs on the ground, drivers who go over/under the speed limit, people who chew gum and/or anything else with their mouths open, shoppers who accidentally block the aisle with their grocery carts, people who park their cars poorly, and, perhaps the most heinously annoying of all, those who are chronically late.
I'm not gonna lie, it was that last one that struck a nerve. As my mother likes to say, I was born two weeks late and I've never arrived anywhere on time since. It's true; I should probably make the She's never early/She's always late verse of "Lady Is a Tramp" my ring tone. But it's not like I'm late on purpose, I thought -- I honestly do try to be punctual! That's when it occurred to me: Who really tries to be annoying? I mean, I know some people do, but I doubt too many of us make the conscious decision to monopolize the cereal aisle with our carts or back into a parking space at an awkward angle. We're all capable -- and guilty -- of doing thoughtless, irritating things from time to time ... can't we cut each other a little slack?
So now I know what my biggest pet peeve is ... those human glass houses who go around griping about what everybody else does wrong.
What gets your goat?
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