I’m wondering just how much I should learn to park my pet peeves. I have a whole host of them. Would I be a happier person if I learned to let them go? Shrug them off? Or am I human to have gripes and grimaces?
Take Peeve Numero Uno: People who don’t put away their shopping carts. I don’t care where we are. Clothing store, drug store, grocery store, hardware store. It drive me absolutely batty when I see someone leave their shopping cart anywhere but the cart corral. I don’t know which is worse – the half-assed attempts to get the cart out of the way by pulling it halfway over a curb or the sincerely lazy fukcs who leave it where they unloaded it. It takes everything I have not to lean out my car window and yell things like “I hope that rolls back and scratches your paint job” or “no wonder you weigh 300 pounds – you can’t even walk 15 yards to put away a cart.” When my own mother started to wedge her shopping cart between two parked cars rather than return it I nearly bit her head off. I know she doesn’t drive so she can’t understand how difficult it is to park in a spot already taken up by eight shopping carts, but she can at least imagine it. I can rival the laziest of the lazy. I admit I have my days of sloth. When I do, I just park as close to the cart corral as I possibly can. Returning the cart takes minimal steps and little effort. And I haven’t ruined someone’s paint job.
My second most irritating pet peeve is a little harder to define. It has to do with opinion surveys. I used to conduct them. Now I monitor them. Nothing drives me crazier than the person who says he or she is “all set” or “not interested” in giving their opinion about something, especially something important like health care. Most of the time surveys are conducted as marketing tools – yes, to garner more business resulting in more money. Obviously. But, let’s say a medical facility decides to shut down its oncology unit because the general surveyed population said they’d rather go somewhere else and you, the one person who could have made a difference in the statistics, didn’t participate because you were “all set.” Now let’s say you get a rare form of cancer and you want to stay local for treatment. But, only now you can’t because your local hospital closed its oncology unit and only hospital X (which happens to be 80 miles away and doesn’t take your insurance) handles your type of disease. When then? Sometimes I get so frustrated with the overly rude people. I have fantasies in which when they open their mouths to speak their minds a giant hand clamps down over them, suffocating them. A big voice booms out, “your opinion means nothing. We’re all set. Not interested.”
So, what do to do about these peeves? Why should I care? Ultimately, they don’t factor into my life too much. It might take me a little longer to find a parking spot without eight shopping carts already in it. It might take my interviewers longer to find that one willing, patient participant. I shouldn’t care and it certainly shouldn’t ruin my day. Yet, despite that logic I’m having a hard time parking the peeves.