Pet Peeve Nation – Is Chivalry Dead?

I’ve often wondered if it’s possible for a person to go through one entire day without suffering some kind of mild aggravation. I should state that I’ve never been the most patient of people – truth be told, I do have a low tolerance for stupidity. Stupid people, stupid actions, stupid situations – you name it. Now I must mention that in the last two years or so, I’ve become much calmer and I’ve learned not to let the stupid, small things get to me. I mean, why waste my hard-earned energy? You can thank yoga for that, because now that I’ve found my Zenitude (Annism), it is surprising even to me, how calm I can remain when faced with certain situations. In any case, don’t get too excited because I still have moments of spasmoradica (Annism) where I can’t help but react to stupidity. My little Turkish Delight and I had the same thought about what my next blog post should be about – pet peeves and related what-nots.  So here goes (in no particular order)!

Slow walkers: How many times have you found yourself running errands on a busy downtown street during lunch, and following a slow walker? Someone who seems to have no schedule, and who is oblivious to the fact that people are trying to get past them; with the continuous on-flow of pedestrian traffic, this can be a difficult task to accomplish. To slow down your trek from Point A to Point B, the slow walker chats on their cell phone, stops in front of multiple store windows to gaze admiringly at the displays of shoes and fashion and, you swear they do this on purpose – move the same way you do just as you’re about to go around them.

Helpful hint: Walking is like driving. Please keep to the right, and do not suddenly stop walking or you’ll find yourself with a couple of angry people on your back. Literally, on your back. If you’re unsure of your destination, please keep out of the way of people who actually know where they’re going.

The Posse: In case you haven’t noticed, space on city sidewalks is pretty limited. Is it necessary for you and your 15 friends to walk in a horizontal line, blocking 99% of the sidewalk? Do you not realize that there are other pedestrians who are trying to get past you from both directions? Hello? If you’re going to travel in packs, then perhaps you should rent a bus. There is no reason for me to have to walk on the street to get around you.

Flailers: Oh. dear. Flailers are self-involved people who think no one exists but them and the person they’re talking to. They gesticulate wildly, flailing their arms in all directions – they’re hazardous to other pedestrians because they don’t look before they flail. How can I remain calm when a flailer smacks me in the head and then looks at me like I’m the problem? Unless you’re a cross between a human and Big Bird, keep your arms to yourself, especially if you’re having a smoke. There is nothing more aggravating then someone who assaults you while flailing, and then burns you with their cigarette – all at the same time!

The Smoker: I’m thrilled that smoking has been banned from establishments. Thrilled! The problem though, is that all smokers now converge in little groups outside their office buildings, restaurants, bars etc., so that whenever you walk in/out of said locations, you’re greeted by a cloud of smoke. Similarly, if you want to sit on a terrace, be prepared to deal with the stink of cigarette smoke. These things, however, do not annoy me as much as the following scenario: sitting on a bench having lunch, or reading, and suddenly being invaded by a group of women who proceed to crowd around me and light up. Are you blind or stupid or both? Seriously? While I’ll be the first to admit that some smokers are very respectful of non-smokers, many are not. Somehow, it’s the non-smokers’ fault that the smokers can’t smoke indoors, so we should put up with their bad habit, outdoors. Smokers should be forced to indulge their habit in a giant plastic box, and leave the rest of us with clean lungs and fresh air.

I am Blind:How many times a day do you get pushed or shoved because the people walking towards you refuse to move to the left or to the right? This goes back to my post ‘Where Did the Love Go‘ – seriously! It is simple common courtesy to move over so that both parties can get past each other without getting slammed. We are not Sumo wrestlers people. Are you so busy that you can’t slow down for half a second to avoid hitting or being hit by a fellow pedestrian? In these instances, I like to forget about my Zenitude and announce “I guess I’m invisible!” to the world!

One Door, Two People: I am in a store. You are not. I am leaving said store. As I start to walk out, you insist on walking in. HELLO? The door can fit one person, not two people who are going in opposite directions and attempting to accomplish this feat at the same time! If I was in the store, then it’s common courtesy to let me exit before you bully your way in, no? Also, most shops have two doors. How about you try using the ‘In‘ way while I use the ‘Out‘ way? Too complicated? The same thing applies to public transportation – two people can’t walk through a bus or train door at the same time – the person who is ahead of you, should be able to walk through the door first, without being sandwiched up against the doorway as you rudely shove past.

Quick! It’s Leaving! I don’t know about you, but when waiting for an elevator, I let all elevator travelers step off before I even attempt to get on. What’s up with the bozos who insist on forcing their way on while people are still trying to get off? Similarly, I would like to send a message to the eager beavers who use the subway: before you get on a subway car, let the people who are already in it, get out. You don’t have the right of way here – chill out and wait your turn. I once had a friend stand in the middle of a subway car’s doorway and loudly declare that she wasn’t done getting off the subway yet, and an ex-boyfriend (who was shaped like a very large fridge) stand in a doorway, with his arms crossed, until people backed off. People just don’t seem to get it unless you’re in their face. Sad, but true.

I am not a Doorman:Because I’m civilized (or I used to be until chivalry died), I used to hold the door open for anyone who was behind me. Notice the term ‘used to.’ But lately, I’ve noticed the following: When you hold the door open for someone, you almost never get a thank you. People almost never hold the door open for you, even if they know that you’re behind them. People WILL let a door slam in your face, even if they know you’re there. I paticularly enjoy those people who expect you to hold the door open for them – as though it’s your duty. I don’t think so – I don’t care how old you are, or if you’ve got a kid with you, or if you’re disabled – I’m not your doorman. Sadly, this is what our society is coming to. And all it takes is a simple thank-you. Now, I hold the door open if I’m in the mood to. I do make exceptions – when I’m coming off the train and using the stairs to get out, I hold the door for the people behind me. When I’m with my parents, family members or friends, I also hold the door. I will also hold the door open for an elderly person or someone who is disabled. For the rest, depends on the day. And if I hold the door open and don’t get a thank you, I let that person know!

Repeat Offenders: People who talk about the same thing, over and over. And over and over. Can you please just shut up? You sound like a broken record.

Virtual Yelling: In case you haven’t figure it out yet, using all CAPs in an email basically implies that you’re yelling at the recipient of said email, or that you are desperately trying to illustrate how stupid said recipient is. Please refrain from using all CAPs – it’s annoying, and it’s uncalled for!

Spelling Bee: As an English major, nothing irritates me more then receiving emails or text messages with bad grammar/spelling and/or the use of acronyms. First of all, there is a difference between ‘there’ and ‘their’, ‘your’ and ‘you’re’, ‘its’ and ‘it’s’. This is basic knowledge of the English language – a kid in elementary school knows the difference. Secondly, how long does it really take you to capitalize your sentences and correct your crappy spelling? If you’re not going to do this in personal text messages/ emails, at the very least, do it when you send work-related messages. You look like an uneducated moron otherwise, especially if you’re in a management position. Third, have we gotten so lazy that we can’t even be bothered to spell out full words anymore? I’m getting emails and texts using acronyms I don’t even know. Why? Because the senders are making them up as they go along! In the time that it takes you to think up your acronym, you could’ve written out the whole sentence. Again, if you want to use acronyms in personal communication it’s one thing, but for work-related emails… spell it out!  And lastly, I really, really hate reading blogs if the blogger can’t spell. Don’t call yourself a writer if you can’t spell – you could easily turn on the spell-check!

Walking & Texting: Some people just can’t multitask. It is virtually impossible to walk amongst a crowd of people, without looking up once, and text at the same time. So for those of you who can’t do both simultaneously, can you please get out of my way? Go find a corner somewhere and text to your heart’s desire. Same thing applies if you’re attempting to drive and text. Instead of causing an accident, either pull over or wait till you get to your destination to send those ‘important’ texts.

Baby & Me: I have friends with kids, and I get that it’s tough being a parent. That being said, I have two requests; first, if you’re taking a stroll with your kid, and your kid’s in a stroller – and you’re accompanied by another parent, whose kid is also in a stroller – must you stroll side-by-side? Can you not line yourselves up if you see someone walking toward you? Secondly, I can only imagine what it’s like to commute with a small child – I’m sure that it’s not easy, especially now that chivalry is dead and no one offers to assist you when you need help getting your stroller on a bus/train. But if you’re taking the train with your stroller, please roll over to the designated area that is specifically designed for people who are in a wheelchair, or parents with strollers. Don’t sit at the back of the train, by the door, with your stroller parked in the middle. People can barely get into the car when you do this. Lastly, if your kids can’t behave, leave them at home. Nothing annoys me more then going to a restaurant for a quiet dinner, only to hear your kid screaming in the background. McDonalds? Yes. Buona Notte? No. Definitely not.

I See your Thong: And the point is, I don’t want to.

Scent of a Woman (or a man): When selecting your perfume, can you aim for something that doesn’t stink? As well, can you avoid bathing in your perfume? Some of us have allergies – and some of us simply can’t stand your chosen scent. Personally, I loathe anything by Dior – I think all perfumes that fall under that brand should be banned. I would also like to add a note for you yogis/yoginis out there: if you go to a studio or a hot yoga studio to practice, lay off the perfume!

I think I’ve covered most of the basics. If I really think about it, I can probably come up with more situations, but then this would be a novel instead of a blog post.  After thinking about what I’ve written, it does seem more and more obvious that chivalry is dead. We are the products of a society where people interact less and less with each other, opting to communicate via iPhones, Blackberries, Skype, Email etc. Perhaps we should go back to the basics, and start socializing with one another one-on-one instead of via computer screens and cell phones.

What are some things that bug you about today’s society?


14 thoughts on “Pet Peeve Nation – Is Chivalry Dead?

  1. Pingback: I Do… Behave! (Guest Post) « Waxing Lyrical

  2. I love your pet peeves! Especially the elevator one. It’s so true. People are barreling on and you can’t even get off before people are pushing the “close” button…I’m with you girlfriend!

  3. OOh OOh OOh, lots to say here. One of my biggest pet peeves are those damn slow walkers. If I wanted to dance with you, I would have asked you. the posse has gotten a bit ridiculous. I mean we get that you are important because you travel in large groups and all but do you have to take up the entire set of stairs? My husband is a flailer I have to admit. We are both Italian and I guess it’s in our nature but he is a true bull in every sense of the Taurus sign. If there is something to be smacked, broken, tripped over, or knocked down he will find it. Most days my husband and I both swear that we are invisible. It doesn’t matter whether we are walking or driving, we tend to get cut off as if we don’t exist.

    Oh, and I have had the unfortunate experience of meeting many of thong that never should have seen the light of day. Ugh.

  4. Hah! Just thought of one that aggravtaes the crap out of me EVERY week – people who meet up in the supermarket for a chat and a catch-up and block up the aisles – what the hell!

  5. You’ve nailed it! Holy crap, you’re so like me! I have a very low stupidity threshold and don’t suffer fools gladly – believe me they’re ten to the dozen over here! Don’t get me started on grammar and spelling…in this day and age there is NO excuse for bad grammar and spelling…I think one of the downfalls of the English language has to be the introduction of mobile text messaging and IM! Have you ever heard anyone say L.O.L instead of actually laughing out load, literally!? I have! 😦

  6. I LMAO’d at this! We share so many of the same grievances, which I’m sure we have discussed many times over the years.
    It all comes down to our being in a completely ego-centric society where no one has any regard for anything going on outside they’re own little bubble. I have declared myself invisible on many occasions, and I have also said decleared “I’m not off the train yet” and made myself into a wall inside the subway door. It’s amazing how people react to that. Especially when I body check people trying to push their way on! My favourite sport!
    I am very guilty of walking and texting, but I do look up often. I text enough that I don’t really have to look at the keys anymore :p But luckily in Ontario, it is against the law to text and drive, or even talk on the phone and drive….but sadly, people still do it, and in turn are ignorant to all around them!

  7. If I see a mother struggling to open a door because she has a stroller and a kid, I will open the door for her; similarly, if I see someone on crutches who would benefit from me opening the door for them, I’m happy to do it. It amazes me that people are so indifferent now, that they don’t even pause to ask themselves if they should help another person out. A few weeks ago, the city of MTL put out a cable right outside our building (it was Fashion Week). In any case, the cable was the color of pavement and was NOT noticeable and there was nothing in place to alert pedestrians that it was there. I mean, I don’t walk with my head down eyeballing potential street obstacles. What happened? I tripped and went flying ass up onto the sidewalk. Not one person helped me up though I did here the “Oh!” from the idiot smokers that were 6 feet away from me – like it was a spectator sport or something. Come on man, I landed on my face – not even a helping hand? Chivalry is dead – I keep saying it.

    I can’t comment on the bus system because I only use the train. It’s nice to see that commuters don’t respect designated areas regardless of what mode of transportation they are using. And yes, those are exactly what I’m talking about – giant SUV strollers that look like a small housing unit on wheels. Get with the program ladies!

    I understand that a child’s mood is unpredictable, especially at a certain age, but if you have a newborn, don’t bring it to a restaurant. It’s common sense – it’s almost a given that it will have a fit at some point and that’s to be expected – it’s a newborn. Similarly, I think parents should consider that kids under a certain age simply don’t belong in restaurants – some kids are well-behaved, but some just aren’t, and if you’ve already had the experience, where your child has exhibited unruly behavior when you’ve taken him out, then maybe you need to consider that he/she isn’t restaurant-ready. You can hire a babysitter or choose a restaurant that is more kid-friendly/ I use the term “you” generally in this reply 🙂

  8. Right on, Sister!

    Just a comment about the kids in strollers. I have a very compact stroller – I chose it on purpose because I KNEW I’d be taking public transport with it. Whenever I’ve travelled with the boy, I’ve made a point of keeping us to as compact a square-footage as possible. I don’t expect any help with stairs, but when it’s offered I thank that person effusely. Yes…it’s that rare!

    You mention the designated areas for wheelchairs and strollers. Nobody EVER respects that area. On the bus, the seat must be flipped up, meaning that people sitting there have to stand up. They never do. Not even if a wheelchair user boards the bus. I know – I’ve witnessed it. I’ve given up on my ‘right’ to that area.

    My stroller peeve is the GIANT SUV strollers that can’t even fit on to the bus without the driver having to open the handicap entrance. Dear mother: Do you really need to bring everything you own with you for this trip?

    Oh, and kids in restaurants. Sometimes we can’t help it that the perfect angel has decided to become a screaming Banshee. Then again, we would never take him to a fancy restaurant because he’s, well, a KID. Maybe later on, when he’s learned some basic manners.

  9. Well you pretty much covered everything that bugs me about people,
    I admit I am guilty of spelling errors getting there and their mixed up ect.. Thus why I do not blog! Lol

    I do text and walk too, in a mall on top of that oops.. But I do look up and I don’t do it if the mall is pact, I find a bench and sit.

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