Many of my friends have pet peeves.
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.”
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.