I’ve been thinking for a while that I wanted to grouse about a few, stupid random things that annoy me in the world, and what better time to do it than on a Monday Morning when just about everything annoys me?
So, here goes — the 5 Random Stupid Annoying Things Meme (Feel free to adopt/adapt for your own Monday Grousing!)
1. Those automatic chemical smell sprayers installed on the wall in public restrooms. I can’t tell you how much I hate those things. I feel like I’m getting irradiated, napalmed, and mustard gassed all in one. There is absolutely no way inhaling all of those chemicals is good for you, I don’t care how many rabbits and mice they saturated with that shit before they started selling it to public venues. Plus, so many places install those industrial sized fucking things in small restrooms so that there is absolutely no air in there but the insanely faux-tropical-chemical one. Clearly, the giant stadium sized smell sprayers are not meant for a single stall room that is 3’x4′. Honestly, I’d rather smell the poop than feel like every time I go into one of those damned bathrooms I’m going to come out with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity to top of my pre-existing asthma. (Bit of a back story: quite a few years ago I had an office in a very old state-owned building where I was doing research. About halfway through my tenure there, they installed one of those things in the tiny freaking bathroom on my floor. After a couple of weeks of torture, I figured out how to turn it off, which I did. It usually took them about 3 weeks to figure out that it was off and switch it back on again. In the meantime, did the bathroom smell awful? Heck no. That’s what modern, indoor plumbing is for, for Pete’s sake.) Anyway, those Evil Chemical Bombers are absolutely the single most important thing that pisses me off these days.
2. Continuing on the bathroom theme (can you tell I’ve been hanging out in public cafes lately?) People (women, obviously) who pee all over the toilet seat and then just walk away. If everybody sat their asses down on the freaking toilet seat, no one would sit in pee. That’s right, folks, it would be MORE hygienic if we all sat down. Now, granted, there is the gross gas-station exception where no one in their right mind would touch their skin to those things, but come on, the small local cafe where we all know each other and see each other day after day? Sit the fuck down or clean up after yourselves, ladies. I’ve often thought of starting a sticker/graffiti campaign in women’s restrooms with the slogan: “If everybody sat, nobody would sit in pee,” but I think it is probably a hopeless cause.
3. Again, with the bathroom (God, what is with me? It’s like I’m obsessed. It’s probably egged on by the fact that the Gadlet has taken up residence on my bladder so I’m visiting bathrooms a lot more frequently these days.) I absolutely hate faucets that are so short that you wind up bashing your knuckles on the back of the sink. I don’t understand this one at all. Sinks are like, what, 1.5’x1.5′, right? Ample room for washing, but with those short faucets, you only use the back 1/4 inch of the sink, and it is hard to feel like you’re getting your hands clean when you’re rubbing them all over the back of the sink. Granted, this is a minor annoyance, but it impacts MY quality of life when places are too cheap to spring for a faucet that is size-appropriate for their sinks.
4. Finally, something that pisses me off that doesn’t involve a public restroom – but closely resembles #1: excessive perfume. Even before I got pregnant, I had a bionic sense of smell. Since then, it is off the charts insane. So much so that it feels like an intrusive violation when someone else’s perfume invades my olfactory space, especially at restaurants where I’m trying to eat. Here’s a message for you, old ladies. Smelling like the whole perfume counter at Macy’s does not change the fact that you are old. Suck it up. It happens to all of us, and I’m sure we none of us smell good when we get to that stage. Attempting to disguise your age with a whole bottle of perfume is a futile, hopeless task and it makes me hate you for trying. (Bit of history here: My great-grandmother used to smoke like a chimney, but she was convinced that nobody knew it. At all family gatherings she’d sneak into the bathroom, have a smoke, and then spray her cheap old-lady perfume to cover it up. In retrospect this was kind-of a charming and amusing exercise in self-delusion, probably compounded in my memory by the fact that she maintained a vivid red 4-foot-high bouffant hairdo a la Marge Simpson until the day she kicked it at 90-something, but in general, old lady perfume is just not a good idea.)
5. This is kind of stupid and I suspect no one else can relate, but I hate the little plastic doohickeys on our windows that pop out to keep the window from being opened all the way so that we can leave our windows open but burglars can’t get in when we aren’t at home. Those things always pop out when I don’t notice and don’t expect them, so when I open the window it slams against it, jars my arms, and scares me silly. Which then makes me shriek with rage. Every time. Spousal Unit thinks I’m insane when this occurs. But, since the crime rate here is not worth mentioning and we never use these things for their original purpose, they are never actively opened by either of us. Therefore, they engage themselves of their own free will specifically and deliberately just to freak me out and piss me off.
Yes, there you have it — the completely trivial absolutely selfish and completely ridiculous things that piss me off. And now I don’t feel any less grumpy for articulating them. That completely failed. OK, so here are the Top 5 Stupid Things that Make Me Happy For No Good Reason, maybe this will help improve the mood.
1. Public establishments that have flowers growing on the outside. I love it when a place has a sense of aesthetics and when they care as much about the outside as they do the inside. There’s a really posh restaurant in town here that lets their yard go to weeds – while the inside is exquisitely decorated and you pay 40$ for entrees. I don’t get this. Even the humblest greasy-spoon diner looks great with flowers outside of it. And, if I’m paying that much to eat, I shouldn’t be itching to get down on my hands and knees in my $200 dress and heels in order to weed their landscaping on my way in. (Oh, oops that turned into a grouse. What I REALLY meant was I love the flowers outside most other places!)
2. Sidewalk chalk. Direct evidence that kids are still kids, at least at some times in some places. Or of someone else’s advertising initiative on a budget. Either one, I like it.
3. Target. Yep. I love the Target. So much stuff! So affordable! So stylish! So overwhelming! While I succumb to visual overload usually within 10 minutes of arriving, I still love the Target. I always feel like there are so many possibilities, it’s the magic of consumerism. If ONLY I bought that handbag or shiny necklace or Rubbermaid container or DVD then my life would dramatically improve: i.e. my dissertation would complete itself, my childbirth would be simple, easy, painless, and short, and Spousal Unit would start picking his clothes up off of the bathroom floor. Yes, if only I had the right product, then all would be well.
4. Public affection. So many people are mean to each other in public I just love it when people are loving on each other. It is just nice when there’s so much love it can’t be contained. It always makes me smile, even when it is a bit gross.
5. And, since I spent so much energy grousing about smells – here are the great ones that make me happy. The smell of: coffee, baking things, freshly dug dirt, sidewalks after a rain, air conditioning in the car, lakes, oceans, coca-cola, laundry (when I don’t forget and leave it to rot in the machine). All clichéd, yes, but happy-making nonetheless.
Memes aside, I’ve been doing good work this morning at the café. For lunch, I walked to my new favorite Japanese restaurant and had a bento box. It was delish (although I’m still stumped about how to cut meat with chopsticks when the bite is too big.) Now, I’ve gone to the second café of the day to set up shop for the afternoon. At home, there’s too much temptation to couch and read and nap. (Although I’m NOT reading HP7 – Spousal Unit is currently cruising through it. He pretty much did nothing else all day. I’m saving it for the week before my due date – when I’ll be too pregnant to move and will be in most need of distraction. So, no spoilers please.) Back to the chapter!