Archive for the ‘peeves’ Category

Because I’m a little bit OCD, I have the well-earned reputation for being a pitcher, both at the office and at home.  I can fill up a trash can pretty quick given the right mood.  And while I’m not as much of a neatnik as I could be, the fact remains that I am the only such person in my household.  Spawn and my husband, being cut from the same cloth, are slobniks.  Which of course elevates me to the unenviable position as Chief of the Trash Police.

There’s a lot of grumbling that goes with this position.

Because my husband and my child are wired completely differently than I am, they don’t see trash.  I don’t know how a person can’t see something as plain as day.  And I cannot believe that they can walk over a pile of paper in the floor, it boggles my mind.  My husband can use the last of something and leave the container lying out and never give it another thought.  Spawn can be immersed in an art project and leave scraps of it everywhere and not once would it occur to the kid to clean up.  And if I say something to either one of them, I get a blank look.  They just don’t see trash.

I, on the other hand, see trash everywhere I turn at home.  My husband will fish through the newspaper bundler for the sports section and leave the paper in an off-kilter pile, and then further madden me by leaving the sports section wherever it is he reads it.  And I know that it’s a little thing, and it’s not a deal-breaker in the grand scheme of things, but little things have a tendency to become big things.  He’ll take the tags off a new pair of pants and leave the tags lying on the dresser.  For days.  Days!  I know this because I did an experiment to see how long it would take him to throw something like that away, and after about four days I couldn’t stand it any longer.  I have actually found tags in a dresser drawer where he raked them off the dresser top instead of tossing them in the trash.  What the hell?  He’ll go through his mail and rip up the junk mail and then leave it in a pile on the kitchen table, despite the fact that the trash can is not three feet away.

Spawn, being a mini version of my husband, cannot separate the wheat from the chaff, either.  And what’s worse, the kid is a fiend for recyclables.  I’ve learned to not ask Spawn to take certain items out to the recycle bins.  Cube-style tissue boxes become repositories for all manner of things, and I find them stashed all over the house.  Magazines get cut up and repurposed as art, which wouldn’t be so bad except the little bits and pieces left behind are just simply left behind, all over the floor.  And God forbid there should ever be a large box, particularly if that box is large enough to hold, say, a dishwasher.  For almost three months now I have had a box fort made out of a dishwasher box dragged to various locations in my house.  With numerous tissue-box addendums taped to the sides.

Don’t even get me started on the socks and shoes they both leave lying about.  It’s no wonder neither one of them can find proper footwear at any given time.

I think it might be entirely possible they have entered into an agreement to break my brain.

I spend a lot of time stooping and picking up.  I guess it’s good exercise — at least that’s what I tell myself.  Along with the constant running up and down the basement steps to do laundry.

I try very hard not to wish my life away, but there are certain parts of it that I will not be sorry to see go.



— Mox



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Ever since my husband and I arrived at full communion with Rome, I have had to deal with an entity that I did not expect to have to deal with, ever.  That entity is the ghost of my grandmother, who seems to be residing in my father’s body.

Just a few months prior to my husband and I (and my mother) going through the RCIA program, my father participated in a program called Catholics Returning Home.  This program is designed for people who have fallen away from the Church and would like to get back in, but don’t know how exactly to do it.  My father stopped going to church right about the time my grandfather passed away, and thusly I stopped going, too.  My mother then took over and took me to her Protestant church, and for 35 years my father was content to read the Sunday funnies while my mother and I went to her church.

Needless to say, my grandmother was not happy about any of this.  If there were anyone who was ever Catholic with a capital C, it was my grandmother.  Though I was bringing up the rear of a long line of grandchildren (24 of us to be exact), I was the only one not being Raised In The Church, and that didn’t set well with her.  Other than my baptism, which gave me what I jokingly refer to as a Catholic soul, I didn’t participate in any of the other rites of passage that my cousins did.  Of course she dumped all over my mom for this, since dumping all over my dad wasn’t an option, though he was the one who walked away from raising me in The Faith.

This all sounds incredibly quaint and medieval, I know.  The world pre-Vatican II was pretty divisive, from what I gather.

At any rate, fast forward 35-ish years and my father has suddenly been called into action by none other than his darling grandchild, the beloved Spawn, who after three years at Catholic school decided that being Catholic was the way to go.  Both of my grandparents were long gone, and the issues my dad had with the Church seemed to be unimportant in retrospect, and so he went to the Catholics Returning Home program to get his halo polished.

And he has been in church most every Sunday since.  My grandmother would be so proud.

But heaven forbid I don’t go to church once in a while.

Lots of things have changed over the years, but it’s true what they say — raise a child up in the way you want him to go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.  Never mind the fact that every time Mary Helen chides me for not being in church, the number 35 comes to mind.  And it’s not that I miss church all that often.  But once in a while it just ain’t happening.  And when that happens, I catch hell.

I had zero relationship with my grandmother growing up, and to have this sort of attitude flung at me now, as an adult, it’s a little irritating.  Mary Helen was a tough customer on the subject of religion, and not what you’d call a warm and fuzzy lady in all the other areas of life.  The woman’s been gone for nearly 25 years and I damn sure don’t want a relationship with her now.

Mostly I ignore it when Mary Helen comes calling, but every now and again it gets under my skin.



— Mox

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These are not my people.

Over the Memorial Day weekend, my husband and I had our annual barbecue.  We have been doing it for over 12 years now, and I am of mixed emotions about it.  Mostly, that has to do with the guest list.

They say that you can’t choose your relatives, and that goes for in-laws, too.  Arguably, you do have some choice in the matter, as you get to choose your spouse, and if the affiliated relatives aren’t to your liking you can always decline to choose that particular person as a spouse.  However, I don’t know too many who would throw out the baby with the bathwater, so to speak, and most just decide to tough it out with the assortment that comes along with the deal.  I don’t suppose I am too different from anyone in that matter.

Still, my in-laws are a classless bunch.  I do have some affection for them, don’t get me wrong, but I have to keep my world and theirs completely separate.  It helps that they live over two hours away.  For all the ways that my husband manages to piss me off, I still marvel that he seems to have risen above the level that his immediate family resides at.  Maybe it’s because he’s the only one who went to college.

I dread having these barbecues because the bulk of the attendees are my husband’s family.  We have a few friends who we invite, but they know what they’re getting into every year.  While I’d like to invite others, people whose company I would enjoy, the typical pool of guests keeps me from doing so.  I know that logically it’s not smart to judge people by the company they keep, but that’s what happens, and frankly I don’t want people thinking I am of that ilk.

I know this sounds terribly snobbish.

At the end of the day, my house is trashed.  Chances are something will be broken or missing.  Flies zooming around inside for a week afterward.  I’m picking cigarette butts out of the yard and flowerbeds.  This year I got to clean up fish food smeared all over the walls in Spawn’s room, plus I found a plate of frosting underneath a skirted chair.  Had I not moved that chair to clean there is no telling how many ants would have found it.  Also, red soda all over my living room carpet, and rings from canned drinks sitting on my piano.

Really, these people are wild indians.  Mostly it’s the kids who cause the bulk of destruction, but the adults basically don’t watch their kids.  I don’t know about you, Gentle Reader, but I was raised quite differently.  I wouldn’t dream of treating someone’s home the way these people treat mine.

We used to do two of these barbecues a year.  Thank heavens for getting older, since my husband has decided he’s not up to doing two anymore.

On one hand I feel a little guilty for feeling this way, because these are my husband’s people.  He loves them even if he doesn’t always like them, and I don’t dare run them down to him.  (I save that discussion for my mother and my best friend.)  But they’re just not my people.  I know that my own family tree is rife with loons, but for the most part my bunch is clean and respectful.

At any rate, I can enjoy the rest of my summer now, knowing I won’t have the locusts back for another year.


— Mox


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Capital Number One Pet Peeve:

Want to ruin my entire day?

Common sense, it would seem, is quite uncommon. 

Take, for instance, my paper carrier.  While I am sure there are people out there with Master’s degrees who get up at ohmigod o’clock every morning to deliver newspapers for extra money (what with the economy being what it is), I’d be willing to bet that newspaper delivery doesn’t rank too highly on the “gotta have special skills” list.  And yet, a weather forecast of 95% chance of rain and MY newspaper carrier will toss my paper onto my driveway without bagging it. 

Because, you know, bagging it would make some sense.  Right? 

If I happen to catch it early enough, only one side will be wet and I’m able to spread it out in the oven for a few minutes so that it’s dry enough to read. 

If, however, it is Good Friday and my child’s Catholic school has the day off, I will be sleeping in, enjoying the sound of the rain pitter-patting on my windows.  And when I finally roll out of bed a full hour after I normally get up, the chances of my unbagged paper being readable are at a solid 0%. 

So if I am a bit snappish the rest of the day it is because my routine, which I keep because it keeps me sane, has been upset from the get-go. 

— Mox

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Not loving winter.  The end. 

— Mox

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Pajama Day.

So this has been Catholic Schools Week, and as such each day has had a “theme.”  Today’s theme was Pajama Day. 

I think Pajama Day is easily the favorite theme day for both the kids and the teachers, even though it always has to carry the caveat “please be appropriate.”  Because, you know, there are people who wouldn’t think of that.  Even in a Catholic school.  Pajama Day is always part of CSW and I think Spawn loves it because the kid loves to lay around in pajamas all day (think “snow day”).  As a matter of fact, I’m a big fan of not getting dressed some days, myself. 

That being said, I take considerable umbrage at the legions of people for whom every day is Pajama Day.  You know what I’m talking about:  those people who get out of their car at Walmart wearing Tweety Bird pajama pants, at two in the afternoon.  I mean, really.  That’s just flat-out lazy. 

I don’t think I have ever — ever! — stepped off my property whilst still in my jammies.  I’ve actually gone out to vote on Election Day while suffering from a stomach bug and never once did I consider to just roll up to the polls in my flannels.  Sweats, yes.  Flannels, no. 

I don’t have much of an issue with sweats as public attire, considering that more often than not I’m at Walmart Hell right after my stint at the gym.  But take note:  sweats as public attire need to be suitable for public consumption, which is to say, not ripped or stained.  And that goes for the tee-shirt you wear with them, too.  And I hate that that has to be said, but some people apparently have no pride. 

Just yesterday, as I was sitting in traffic waiting for the light to change, a young couple cut across the street in front of me.  Both of them were wearing pajama pants, and the girl actually was wearing bedroom slippers.  And it was 19° and blustery.  And they schlumped into the video store on the corner.  And if I ever come to that point in my life, where I am schubbing along in the freezing cold (because you know how I feel about that) wearing pajama pants and bedroom slippers in public (because now you know how I feel about that), please contact the authorities and have me removed.  Obviously that will be the point at which I have flipped my wig. 

— Mox

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I do not understand people.

One of the things about moving into a new place is a whole new batch of neighbors, of whom you must learn their names and witness their charms and foibles. 

The new office has a few neighbors, not as many as before, so it shouldn’t be hard. 

One of our neighbors is an older lady, who, from the moment I met her complained about being sick.  She went up and down the stairs while clinging to dear life to the handrail.  And where was she going, up and down the stairs? 

Why, to smoke a cigarette.  Of course! 

For the life of me, I will never understand people who smoke.  If you are reading this and you smoke, I do not understand you.  Why would a person not feel well and continue to smoke and not draw a conclusion about those two factors?  Like, maybe there might be a link?  Possibly?  Ya think? 

My mother volunteers at our local hospital.  Whenever I’ve been able to visit her on the job, I am amazed at the people standing around outside the hospital, smoking.  Some are patients.  Some are nurses.  What the hell? 

I am not ignorant to the process of addiction.  I understand that nicotine is addictive and the body craves what it is addicted to.  I understand that an addicted body is a body that will rebel when you try to stop that addiction.  (Ref: chocolate) 

Addiction, by its’ very definition, is “the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming” and the “persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be physically, psychologically, or socially harmful.”  Addiction is never about things that are good for you. 

Intellectually, I think that people who smoke know that smoking is bad for them.  And psychologically, a good many of these people probably feel like it’s bad for everyone else.  Because, “I feel fine!” 

Never mind the fact that it takes longer to recuperate from whatever epizootie you contract.  But what really gets me is that sick people don’t seem to make the connection between the two.  Or consider that the smoking might make it easier to contract the epizootie in the first place. 

The human mind is a mystery to me. 

— Mox

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