Pet Peeves

pet peevesMany of my friends have pet peeves.

I don’t.

A pet peeve is a gripe we like to handle and stroke, encourage and feed, like a pet.

Some enjoy finding irritation just around the corner. And granted, irritations are always around the corner, like bad traffic.

(Speaking of which, are driving rules different now? Are new drivers taught NOT to signal when they turn left or right? Because the majority of drivers seem to think they’re the only ones on the road; they just turn whenever and wherever they damn well please, no warning necessary).

But these drivers don’t get to me. Oh no, no peeving platitudes from me.

I hear many complaints from those vexed with the self-appointed “important” person in front of them – at the bank or the grocery store, for instance – who ignores the clerk ringing up her goods or cash so she can answer her extremely crucial phone call, the one in which she responds with chortles and chatter, while the hapless clerk and the people in line behind her wait patiently for the immensely essential exchange to end, so that everyone can get along with their business.

Such inane indifference to the inappropriate disruption of everyone else’s needs doesn’t bother me in the least.

Oh no, I refuse to pet the peeve, just breathing in and out, whistling a happy tune, and wishing only the best for the batty bitch.

I understand the exasperation of those who try to communicate with their friends and family who never answer their phones. Many extremely busy people only respond to texts (when convenient) and laugh at the idea of listening to voice mail messages.

I just shrug in acceptance.

“How do you stay so calm when you can’t reach someone by phone, when they won’t even listen to your messages?” my dear friends ask. “My kids won’t listen to the voice mail even if I text them that I’ve left them a critical message!”

I smile serenely and explain, “I sing.”


“When I leave a message for someone on their voice mail, after trying e-mail, text, and even a sweet snail-mail card, I call their voice mail and sing “I’ve Just Seen A Face,” from the Beatles Rubber Soul album, – from the first verse to the last.”

Beatels, music, singing, I've Just Seen a Face

Illustration by Josh Kemble.
Click image to hear song.

The stunned horrified expression on my buddies’ faces always makes me grin.

“And then what?” they whisper in shock.

“I get a call back.”

A jealous gasp.

I don’t mention that the return call may be a week later. Or that the recipient of my Beatles tune never ever acknowledges my singing message.

But that’s okay. I don’t believe in petting the peeve.

pet peeve, pet's peeve

21 thoughts on “Pet Peeves

  1. You are too cute! And, I’m taking your great idea about singing voicemails (my kids never listen to my voicemails….I get calls back – eventually – “hey, Mom I saw you called”, so what if it was last week! I, too, know all the verses to “I’ve Just Seen a Face” 🙂


  2. Pamela – now this is the type of story I’ll remember (and retell) for a long time and certainly when I listen to Rubber Soul. So funny! You nailed it when describing our phone calling and messaging practices these days. Driving and grocery store etiquette also. Perfectly told all the way through and I love the cameo from the Golden Retriever too.


  3. I’d like to know why people who are in line to pay for stuff wait until the cashier is finished and states the amount due and THEN they start digging through purses, bags, and pockets for their money. Did they not think they would be required to pay? Could they not anticipate the need for cash or card? Have they never done this before? Sheesh!

    Joan Leacott heart, humour and heat, Canada style Tips 4 WIPs~MS Word for Fiction Writers

    On Fri, Nov 8, 2013 at 9:25 AM, roughwighting


    • I’m standing right with you, behind that unorganized neglectful Neanderthal who forgot that, duh, oh yeah, he has to pay for the stuff.

      But then I breathe in, breathe out, and sing a little Rubber Soul under my breath…


  4. This is hilarious, Wight…”batty bitch!” My pet peeve? A meeting is called for 2:00. I’m there at 1:55 or so, settled in, pen out, notebook out. Then the facilitator says, “We’ll wait just a few more minutes for stragglers.” Why should everybody wait for one or two stragglers? Huge pet peeve.


    • You know what? I definitely should have listed that in my post. I agree, WE, the ones on time, are punished by having to wait for the ones who are LATE. Urgggggggggggggggggghhhhhh. Oh, wait a minute, I don’t get peeved, I don’t get peeved, I better repeat that a few hundred more times.


  5. Hmmm…my only pet peeve is people who act like they’re somehow a different species from every other human…and the ones who post exactly what they’re doing on facebook seven or nine times a day. “Just made dinner” “Going to work” “Eating” “Watching television”….in case you want to know where to find them in their houses lol.


    • Well, first, only writers get to claim they’re a different species from other humans (because it’s true). Second, I’m with you on the FB thing. Really? We need to know you just looked out the window/sat down to dinner/took the dog for a walk? I don’t think so.


Comments are closed.