22 Things I Hugely Dislike
[Listen to an audio version of this blog here.]
This is not an exhaustive list.
1. Birds. They are scary and gross.
2. When someone says "we should figure that out," by which they mean, "you should figure that out." This frequently happens in the workplace, as in, "We should put together a proposal for the important people that highlights these very boring key points and maybe add a PowerPoint slide with relevant facts and figures and graphs, maybe a photo and a short but succinct and touching client testimonial, yeah? Let's get on that."
3. Erroneously comparing two very different things under the guise that they're even sort of the same. Comparing the BLM marches to the capital insurgency, for example. Or comparing wearing a mask with having no human rights. Or comparing a book to the movie version of that book, they're different mediums and won't be the same, I just don't understand this comparison.
4. Heavily abstract art, I just don't get it.
5. Mundane household chores. How is the floor dirty again? Why is there always laundry to do? Why do I have to go the store again to get more food? Why make the bed when I'm just going to unmake the bed later tonight? How is there dust on the door trim? Why would dust go there? What even is dust?
6. Social media generally, but more specifically attention grabbing, vapid, meaningless social media. Like why say anything if you have nothing interesting/funny/insightful to say?
7. Church services. They are overly boring and I am forever distracted. Slow music, sad singing. Monotonous reading, shame-imbued sermons. Musty pews and mournful church bells that make the most cheerful human feel gloomy.
8. How my insurance provider makes me see my primary care physician before seeing any specialist. Have a torn meniscus, bulged disc, or chronic fatigue? You must first see this doctor who knows many small things about everything so she can poke and prod and refer you to a different doctor who knows many small things about the one thing that is bothersome. Song and dance and clap your hands.
9. Mansplaining. Mansplaining is "the explanation of something by a man, typically to a woman, in a manner regarded as condescending or patronizing." There are countless examples of mansplaining to pull from. The earth is rich with fodder. Our culture is ripe with examples. One man tried to tell me that I'm Irish because my last name is McMahon. Another explained to me, in gut-wrenching detail, how to take my writing to the "next level" (vague) because he'd written a book that remains unpublished. Another tried to explain the importance of maintaining a high credit score, and detailed exactly how. Meanwhile, my credit score hovers right below 800. Men have explained how to drive while I'm driving, or how to cook while I'm cooking, or how to sleep while I'm sleeping or what my dreams mean. They have a counterpoint to every counterpoint and an exhausting capacity for utilizing the phrase, "Well, actually." Song and dance and clap your hands.
10. Small talk whilst other things are happening. I'm here to buy groceries, not tell you about my fun weekend plans. I'm here to get my teeth cleaned, not convey disquietude about the latest political fray. I'm here to pick up my prescriptions, not sign a petition for a wildlife refuge. I'm here to rent a car, not engage in flirtatious yet meaningless discourse. I'm here to eat my dinner and drink my chardonnaynay, not sit on the receiving end of your vague and mundane word vomit. Check, please.
11. Olive Garden, TGI Fridays, Abblebees, Red Lobster, Red Robin, P.F. Changs, Buffalo Wild Wings, Cracker Barrel, The Cheesecake Factory, Waffle House, etc.
12. Zoom meetings in which I am expected to pay attention. My brain just doesn't work that way, okay? I'm an active learner, not a passive learner, and I feel an enormous degree of empathy for all the children stuck in zoom-school.
13. How gas stations are all different. Shouldn't they be the same? Today we only accept debit cards and there is a $0.30 debit fee. Tomorrow, though, you will be required to enter your credit card number manually, then provide proof of social security, life insurance, and up to date, in-state registration. And next week, you'll spend eight minutes trying to to pump before figuring out that the pump is broken and backing into the space behind you. And don't forget that your gas tank is on the left/right/left again.
14. Monopoly, it's just an infuriating game.
15. Waiting in line to do just about anything: withdraw money at a bank, enter a theme park, enter a national park, enter a grocery store, enter a freeway, enter a sporting event, enter a plane, order food, purchase anything, see any doctor, see any popular monument, get on any form of public transportation, etc. Patience is a virtue, is a common (overused) adage that comes from a poem called Piers Plowman, written by William Langland circa 1360. You're welcome.
16. Any and all talk of "cancel culture." Is it real, is it not, does it matter? Who are we "canceling" and are they even important? Doesn't something have to be happening to be canceled? Plans are made, and then they're canceled. Events are scheduled, then they're canceled. People fuck up and, if I'm getting my facts straight, they either fix their fuck up or they don't and if they don't, perhaps we all collectively agree to not step in the same pile of shit twice which means, they're canceled.
17. Weddings, I just think they're largely awkward and antiquated, and we all know we're just there for the open bar and dry chicken dinner.
18. Cocktails at fancy rooftop bars, unless you're paying.
19. Coming back to work after a long, relaxing vacation. All the relaxation gets sucked right out of ya when you come back to 500 unread emails, only 8 of which are relevant. A relaxing vacation feels sort of like getting a massage and then sitting on an airplane for 12 hours. It feels nice, but then life sort of fucks it right up again.
20. Very long text messages. I'm not reading that, or responding with as many words, it is simply too much work.
21. The one guy (probably Steve) who always asks questions right as a meeting is winding down. "Any final questions?" someone asks, and poor, sad, enraging Steve always always always has a question. "Have we considered doing X and Y to get to Z?" (no, Steve, we're focused on A and B). There is a special, private, personalized, monogramed chair in eternal damnation for the Steve's of the world.
22. Reply all. We get it, you want everyone to see that you did a thing, or that you're a team player, or that you are sufficiently ingratiated to whomever you need to be. But please, for the sake of everyone's sanity please please please stop cluttering our inboxes with your try-hard attempts to be seen. Not everyone needs to see/hear/indulge you, please and thank you.
P.S. These are sort of serious but sort of not. Take a joke, Debbie. Sorry if your name is Steve.