Pet Peeve of the Week

Subject: Inconsiderate Drivers (Part 2)

Well folks, as some of you may know, I recently became the proud owner of my first car. As wonderful as that is, it has provided me the luxury/burden of driving much more frequently. And while it’s amazing to take off, without having to negotiate permission to borrow someone else’s wheels, spending more time on the road means spending more time with inconsiderate drivers who cause me to lose my mind.

I’ve gone off on this topic before, referring to those who don’t use turn signals, wait until the last moment to merge and don’t wave when I let them in. These offences are heinous, but over the past little while, a few other types of inconsiderate behaviour has really grinded my gears…

My new wheels aka Jerome le Fantome. (Just embrace the nickname)

1. Taking up more than one parking space:

This offence is common in any large parking lot. There’s always some jerk who feels that in order to protect their precious vehicle, they should simply park on an angle and take up multiple spaces. Now, some people are just brutal at parking and their crookedness in unintentional. Those people are annoying, but nowhere NEAR as annoying as those who do it intentionally. The problem is, these people always manage to take up two spaces near the store. They never want to make the extra 3 minute walk and park away from other cars, because obviously that’s a ridiculous thought.

And what’s worse is that often these intentional crooked parkers aren’t even driving nice cars! If you have a Ferrari, fine, I get it – nice car. But then WHY are you shopping at Walmart? And if it’s not nice? Sorry, but I don’t see why you’re so concerned about protecting your 1978 beater that is being held together with duct tape. The duct tape is literally worth more than the vehicle. God forbid somebody puts a dent in the one piece of metal that’s not already rusted on your door…

You have a hole where your license plate should be. Nice ride.

2. The I-Have-To-Get-There-Fast-So-I’ll-Tailgate-You-And-Then-Slow-Down-As-Soon-As-You-Let-Me-Pass-You Jackass:

Often I wonder about these inconsiderate drivers. What went so wrong in their childhoods that their need for attention causes them to tailgate (dangerous), abruptly pass you (reckless), and then slow down to a lesser speed than what you were going in the first place (inconsiderate/mind blowing)? My only theory is that these people MUST just be attention seekers with a slight Napoleon complex. Whatever the reason, I’m annoyed and you’re an idiot.

I. See. You.

3. Aggressive honking:

If I’m stalled at a green light, I feel like I deserve to get a brisk honk. From time to time, our minds inevitably wander as we sit at red lights (no Mom, I swear I’m NOT texting). It happens to the best of us. Please don’t barrel down on your horn as if I’ve stolen your child and you’re trying to alert the world. I get it, I made a small error, let it go. Seriously.

Light, quick honk? Deserved.

Furthermore, why do people honk for no reason during traffic? WHAT GOOD DOES THAT DO? It’s called gridlock people. And while I literally can’t wrap my head around who’s at the beginning of the traffic causing the slowdowns every day (seriously, it’s an enigma), I certainly don’t think that blaring my horn is going to open up a magic tunnel that will let me speed past all my fellow drivers. Aggressive honking is annoying and it’s interrupting me singing along to Carly Rae Jepsen… which is NOT okay. #dontcallmeever

Great idea, morons.

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Pet Peeve of the Week

Subject: Bad Manners

It’s been a little while since I’ve written a Pet Peeve of the Week, but don’t fret – it’s not because I haven’t been annoyed. It’s because I often sit patiently on a topic, slowly collecting material to give you my (unfortunately) first hand experiences. And so, over the course of the last month, this week’s Pet Peeve is born, while manners have obviously suffered a slow death.

1. Moving to Avoid People on the Sidewalk/Intersection:

I began to notice this trend more aggressively once Ottawa was graced with snow throughout the past month. As the sidewalks and intersections become more narrow thanks to icy snow banks, I came to realize that for some reason, I am ALWAYS the person who pauses, moves to the side, or clambers over said icy snow banks to allow others to cross. Seriously, I am ALWAYS the person who shuffles dutifully out of the way while men and women push past me without moving a millimetre. And while you may think that this is because I actually HAVE manners, I can tell you that in some situations, it’s NOT. I have literally had to become ‘Frogger’ à la George Costanza when crossing the busy intersection outside the Rideau Centre in an attempt to merely stay upright. I actually believe that some of these people wouldn’t even notice if I was body-checked to the ground. The worst part is, this behaviour has tempted to stop accommodating these sidewalk hogs and shoulder-check them next time I’m in a face-off. My politeness can only go so far people and I’m being pushed to the brink!

Defeated: How I feel when I'm trampled on the sidewalk.

Please and Thank You:

NON-NEGOTIABLE. Stop acting like you own the world and don’t need to show gratitude or appreciation. Chances are, you’re nowhere NEAR famous or fabulous enough to pull off that diva-behaviour.

Manners & Cats. My two favourite things, colliding.

Holding Doors Open:

A lot of the time, holding doors open is associated with male chivalry. Ummmm, P.S. We are currently living in 2012, not 1950. Yes, it’s nice when men hold doors open for women, but it’s also nice when everyone holds doors open for everyone, regardless of gender. People are genuinely SHOCKED when I wait for 3 seconds to hold the door open for the person trailing slightly behind me. Isn’t that sad!? Are we literally that hard up for time that we can’t pause the split second to make sure that the door behind us isn’t slamming in another human being’s face?

Nana's proud of you.

Respecting Your Elders:

I recently saw a 56 year old man (I know his age, because he announced it in fury) get up to offer his seat to an elderly woman on the bus, while approximately 10 teenagers/20-somethings sat comfortably in priority seating.* To me, this is inexcusable. If you know me well, you know that my grandparents are two of my favourite people on the planet. And if I saw my Nana struggling with a parcel, standing on the bus, I would literally inflict physical harm on the young people sitting down. I don’t care how important your latest text/bbm is or that you’re wrapped up in a really great game of Angry Birds. Get off your entitled teenage/20-something year old ass and offer up your seat to Nana…or else.

*Before anyone asks: I was standing on this bus trip and had no seat to offer.

My Nana <3 ...GET OUT OF HER SEAT.

I’m tired of nasty people getting away with bad manners and bad behaviour. We’re all in this world together, so we all need to take responsibility for our actions and act courteously towards each other. Imagine a world where a door never slams aggressively in your face. A world where two people smile and move gently out of each other’s ways. A world where Nana can always sit comfortably. It’s simple really: basic human decency. That’s really all I’m after…in a nutshell.

On the ninth day of Christmas, the mall drove me insane…

Well, tis the season folks. The season for aggressive shoppers who literally lose their marbles on their last-minute trip to the mall. Over the course of my Christmas shopping, I was unfortunately graced with the presence of a few Grinches, who, with their bah humbug attitudes try to suck the Christmas spirit right out of you…

1. The ‘I’m in a Rush’ Shopper:

When you’re shopping the week before Christmas, the only logical thing to do is brace yourself for big crowds. People are browsing for gifts, trying to find nice things for their loved ones. So, don’t expect to whip through the aisles at lightning speed. I literally saw one woman grunt and almost take out an elderly woman. I know the song is called, “Grandma got run over by a reindeer” but you ma’am are not a reindeer, and it is not okay to make that poor woman your roadkill. Expect that you will be held up in the aisles and try smiling at other shoppers as you try to maneuver over-sized carts. If you keep a positive outlook on the whole thing, you can actually find the humour in the craziness!

2. The ‘I Have to Park Closest to the Door’ Drivers:

Realistically, parking lots are not designed to handle the large number of vehicles that flood them during Christmas shopping season. Parking lots can be terrifying on a regular Saturday afternoon, but on the Saturday leading up to Christmas it’s actually a war zone. Personally, I will park far away and embrace the 5 minute walk to the store just to avoid the hoopla. But, you know there are those drivers who can’t STAND parking far away. No, they’ll whip through the parking lot like their cars are on fire and either cause accidents or heart attacks. What do they think? If they can reach 60 km/hour they automatically win a close spot? No, I’m pretty sure they are reserved for pregnant women and handicapped shoppers. Chill out and use your legs. Also, if my blinker is on, the spot is mine. Seriously.

Kill me now.

3. The ‘Why is this taking so long’ Person in Line:

Refer to #1 – people, we should anticipate long lines and big crowds. Yes, stores have more staff to try to accommodate the large number of people coming and going. BUT, there’s never going to be enough staff to have you in and out in a flash. People need to stop thinking that they’ll be able to get in and out of a Walmart in less than 30 minutes. I don’t care what you’re buying – it’s going to take that long. Tapping your foot, exhaling loudly and berating your cashier really isn’t going to speed up the process. In fact, you just make yourself look like and idiot, and make everyone around you want to punch you in the face (including Santa himself). Don’t run over my foot with your cart, trying to ‘beat me’ in line, don’t start complaining out loud and expect me to nod in agreement, and definitely, don’t complain to the poor, overworked cashier that he/she is scanning your 50+ items too slowly. Go watch ‘A Christmas Carol’ and realize that there’s no point in being this generation’s Scrooge!

RELAX!!

Just embrace the fact that this is what you're in for.

So readers, if you have to brave the stores today or tomorrow, I beg of you – please go in with the right attitude. I know it can be frustrating watching time fly as you fight the crowds, but remember that the whole point of Christmas is to embrace the wonderful joyous parts of the season. Smile at your fellow shoppers, graciously thank your cashiers, and most of all… DON’T RUN OVER GRANDMA. She’s got a rough enough go of it already!

Pet Peeve of the Week

Subject: Uncomfortable Over-Sharing

The over-share. We’ve all been a victim of its awkwardness. Whether it’s in the office, while trapped on public transit or in an elevator, we’ve all been put in situations where the person we are speaking to loses their filter (and sense of boundaries) and proceeds to tell you information that makes you so uncomfortable you would rather suffer a horrible accident than be forced to speak to them a second longer. I won’t lie; I’ve been sitting on this Pet Peeve for a while. I have been biding my time, slowly suffering through blog-worthy exchanges in order to make you laugh and cringe at my unfortunate experiences.

The Awkward Bathroom Run-In

Public washrooms are awkward to begin with. There’s really no getting around that fact. It’s a giant room filled with people trying to take care of business, without alluding to the fact that they’re taking care of said business. Normal people try to make it their mission to get in and out with little to no chit-chat. Unfortunately, not everyone feels the same way. When there is a foul smell in the washroom, generally you try to do anything and everything in your power to ignore it, wash your hands and run. You don’t linger and you definitely don’t want to know where it’s coming from…

Me: *Silent hand-washing*
Stinky: *Knowing smile* “Oops, shouldn’t have had so much chilli for lunch”
Me: “Oh, um..” *Forced smile, internal CRINGE*
Stinky: “I just can’t help myself! My husband puts bacon in it!” *BIG smile/chuckle*
Me: “Uh, okay, have a nice day” *Walk briskly back to my desk and vomit*

This is what I'm going to do to you.

Uncomfortable Medical Updates

When you have a medical appointment, there could be a million and one causes behind it. We all have to see the dentist, the optometrist, the general physician – and those are just normal check-ups. Tack on getting sick, taking a tumble, seeing specialists, etc. and you have yourself a plethora of appointments each year. When someone asks me, “Oh, where were you this morning,” if I was missing from work, I simply respond, “Oh, I had an appointment.” Not everyone does the same…

Me: “Nice to see you today.”
Disgustasaurus: “Oh, I wasn’t here this morning because I had an appointment with my pediatrist!”
Me: I didn’t ask but… ”Oh, ok. Well have a nice afternoon.”
Disgustasaurus: “Better than this morning when they drained a pustule from my foot that was the size of a toonie!”
Me: “Wow.” *Immediate vomit*

Thanks!

The Mother of All Over-Shares

So, I have a colleague who doesn’t understand boundaries whatsoever. Sir Creeps A Lot grosses out everyone on a daily basis. One example of his awkwardness: he frequently enters the cubicles of female employees and adjusts his belt and pants so often that you can barely answer the (fake) question he’s come up with. But, this isn’t the worst thing he’s put me through. One afternoon he and I were left alone in the office, and he received a call to pick up his daughter from school. Instead of saying, “My daughter isn’t feeling well, I have to go pick her up from school” this human forced me to endure the most cringe-worthy 5 minutes EVER.

Sir Creeps A Lot: “So, uh, sorry to leave you completely alone, but I have to leave to pick up my daughter at school. She’s sick…”
Me: “Oh, ok no problem. I hope she feels better. Bye.”
Sir Creeps A Lot: “Oh, ya, well I guess she just got her first period.”
Me: WHY did you tell me this… “Oh, ok. See you later.”
Sir Creeps A Lot: “I mean, she’s 13, so I guess that it was bound to happen right?”
Me: PLEASE STOP TALKING. “Mmm hmmm…”
Sir Creeps A Lot: “I really wish her mother was available to pick her up, but I guess I’ll just stop to buy some products with her on the way home.”
Me: O.M.G. “Ok?”
Sir Creeps A Lot: “I guess you would know a bit more about this than me since you’ve gone through it, eh?” *slight chuckle*
Me: ARE YOU ACTUALLY ASKING ME ABOUT THIS? “Uhhhhhhh.”
Sir Creeps A Lot: “I mean, well, you’re a woman”
Me: I’M BEGGING YOU TO STOP. “Yep”
Sir Creeps A Lot: “So, you know it’s an awkward thing to go through, eh?”
Me: THIS IS AN AWKWARD THING TO GO THROUGH. *silence*
Sir Creeps A Lot: “Ok, well, I guess I better not keep her waiting. See you tomorrow.”
Me: KILL ME NOW.

This is how I look now. Thanks, Sir Creeps A Lot.

I really can’t follow that up with much of anything. All I hope is that by sharing these unfortunate experiences you got a good laugh, and all I ask is that you try to limit the over-shares and never ask me about my period…in a nutshell.

Pet Peeve of the Week

Subject: Aggressive Kiosk Sales People in the Mall

The subject of this week’s Pet Peeve was not something that I happened to stumble upon by chance. No, this week’s subject was shoved into my face as I perused the aisles of my local mall. We all can agree that pushy sales people are annoying. Coming from someone who worked in a mall as a sales rep. for 4+ years, I understand that there are targets and goals that you try to meet each day/week/month. I’m a firm believer that there’s a proper way to go about a sales pitch. A customer should not feel pressured to buy, but instead buys because they have received good service and actually want the product. But, even when the sales pitch is forced or I feel like the sales rep is pushy, I always keep in mind that it was my choice to walk into the store and it’s my choice to walk out empty-handed.

Awkward.

Now, it seems there is a new mutant breed of pushy sales people who dominate the hallways throughout the malls. They work at the random kiosks that sell everything from lotion to body jewelry to hair straighteners and curlers. At what point did it become standard practice to interrupt me mid-conversation to try and lubricate my hands with unwanted lotion? At what point did you think I was the type of person who believed you could ‘fix’ my balance with magnets? And, at what point did it become okay to chase me down the hallway with a burning hot hair straightener?

This is all I see as I run away, fearing my life.

I can’t stand how this tacky sales strategy has become common practice in most (if not all) malls. If I want to try your product, I will approach you. With most stores, I choose to walk in if I want to see what you have for sale. If those employees greet me, fine. Those same employees don’t chase me out the door if I leave empty handed. The hallway used to be a safe haven where you could casually walk around, window-shopping to your heart’s content. Now it’s just another place I have to face awkward encounters.

Not only is the lotion forced upon you, but a creepy hand massage usually accompanies it.

I don’t need a new lotion, so don’t shove the bottle in my hand before I can say no. I have pin straight hair, so I’m pretty sure I don’t need the hair straightener designed for people with ringlets. And to the guy with the magnets…seriously buddy, come on.

The general layout of a mall hallway, at any given point.

**All images courtesy of Google.

Pet Peeve of the Week

Subject: How my Kitten turned me into a Crazy Cat Lady

Our biggest (animal) fan...

Recently, my boyfriend and I embarked upon a new adventure – we purchased a kitten. Had you told me two years ago that I’d be in a relationship with a cat; I would have told you that you were crazy. And alas, here I am…putty in the paws of my new furry companion. I have always been an animal lover, but I much preferred dogs to cats. That is until I held my kitten at 4 weeks old. He was a tiny little muffin who sat in the palm of my hand, and I was hooked. (That’s how they get you…)

Jasper a t 2 weeks and 4 weeks. Melt.

Here’s the thing, I didn’t know anything about the quirks that come along with cats. After we purchased Jasper, we had to wait a month and a half until he was ready to come home. It wasn’t until then that anyone decided to warn me how crazy cats can be OR how they change your life completely. And so, nutshell readers, here are the things that I never knew about owning a kitten…

1. My kitten is programmed to eat as soon as the alarm goes off. Forget about hitting snooze, those days are long gone. And, you probably think the sound of your alarm going off is the worst sound in the world…but it’s not. It’s the sound of your alarm mixed with a caterwaul that cries for wet food. 

How can you say no to this face? Even if it is 5:30…

 2. When you have to be up at 5:30 a.m. every weekday, you relish being able to sleep in on weekends. At least, I used to. Now, if no alarm goes off at 5:30, there’s still a hungry kitten that demands attention. 6:30 is pretty much the latest he’ll allow you to ignore his breakfast time, and so he will crawl up onto you and tickle you with his whiskers until you can’t deny him his breaky any longer.

He gets even closer up by 6:30...

 3. Jasper is a climber. I know they say cats are curious, but I didn’t realize that curiosity allows cats to defy the laws of gravity and physics. Seriously, my kitten was the size of a gerbil but still managing to jump onto the 4.5 foot tall kitchen counter. HOW!?

4. Kittens are crazy cute when they’re sleeping. But they sleep for so long that when they wake up they are filled with this weird aggressive energy that comes out in short bursts. Your extremities literally become his personal teething ring.

See how cute this is? This is how he hooks you...

...And then he turns on you!

5. Kittens are EXPENSIVE! If you aren’t adopting your kitten from the Humane Society (which I totally recommend if you don’t need a specific breed that is hypoallergenic like ours!) you are on the hook for the initial cost, the immunization, the heart-worm medication, the neutering/spaying, toys, food, litter, accessories… The list goes on. Make sure you are financially ready for this fluff-ball of joy!

A litter box and litter...just some of the mandatory accessories

6. Also, brace yourself, because a fluffy kitten will turn the manliest of men into putty. Think of that Whiskas commercial, where the guy is talking in baby-voice, petting a cat and talking about going on picnics together… That’s now my boyfriend.

"Who's Daddy's little Persian Prince?"

Despite the previous woes that I have listed, kittens will get the best of you and melt your heart. Take it from me, the former self-pronounced dog lover… You will become a crazy cat lady if you adopt one. They weasel their way into your heart with their cuddles and purrs, and the next thing you know you’re writing a blog post about them… Besides, they wouldn’t be so popular on YouTube if they weren’t so damn cute!

Just look at that face...How can you NOT be obsessed?

Pet Peeve of the Week

Subject: Popped Collars

This past week, we had the pleasure of having a guest-post written by one of the most fabulous and fashionable men I know, Simon Puckett. Simon addressed the “What Not To Wear” items for men, and we couldn’t be more on board. There is nothing more attractive than a well-dressed man! However, Simon has graciously left out one male fashion “don’t” …because it is my pet peeve.

A few years back, a video surfaced that humorously spoofed the guido lifestyle. “My New Haircut” went viral, mocking the “douche-baggery” that comes along with obsessive working out, aggressive use of hair gel and (cue gasp) the popping of one’s collar.


Unfortunately, the popped collar didn’t stop with the guidos. It spread like the plague, infecting preppy men across North America. As I mentioned, this video went viral a few years ago and so, the popped collar came under massive scrutiny. At that point, I thought, I hoped and I prayed that the popped collar had seen its last day.

Just two of many informational posters that warn against the dangers of the Pop.

Well folks, I was wrong. The popped collar has shown serious staying power, even infecting my own boyfriend. A polo shirt is actually one of my favourite looks on him and for a year and I half I’ve stayed silent. I have even folded his polos with the collar facing up (so as not to disturb the starch needed for a proper pop). But NO MORE I tell you!

An example of how I folded these shirts to preserve the Pop.

Girls, please take charge if your boyfriend is still sporting a popped collar. Don’t let the happiness that the pop brings him deter you from your mission to combat this stupid style. Don’t make my mistake and wait until his Birthday to finally say NO MORE!* Fold down that bad-boy and bask in the glory that is your man, un-popped.

Shaun, showing off his mood Pre- and Post-Popped.

 *Special thanks to my boyfriend Shaun for being my model and putting up with my antics on his Birthday. There are a million things I love about you, but your popped collar is definitely NOT one of them.

Pet Peeve of the Week

Subject: Ottawa’s Fashion Offenders

Hey, Nation’s Capital…way to go. We are now being considered, “the town that fashion forgot”. On Friday, social media lit up with the circulation of an article written by Kristy Nease of the Ottawa Citizen, which reflected on the latest MSN ranking list – the least fashionable cities. Ottawa, being the hub of the federal government, has been ranked the 8th worst dressed city in North America. We considered boring, with lackluster nightlife (although, we nuts would argue wholeheartedly that OUR nightlife is bumping) and lackluster clothing to go along with it.

Given that I work in a government office and live in the business sector, I feel that I am often exposed to the fashion disasters that have gotten us this ranking. And so, this week’s Pet Peeve takes aim at those who must not own mirrors…

**Disclaimer: I in no way think I am fashion savvy, but my work attire is both appropriate and colourful at work. That’s really all they’re asking for.

The “I Forgot Half My Outfit” Employee:

Back in the day, I wore skirts to school constantly. It’s no secret that I was called to the principal’s office one or twice (or ten times) because it was too short. In hindsight, my skirt was totally inappropriate. But I was 15 and didn’t know any better. To the 40 year old women who wear skirts that barely contain their lady business – YOU DON’T HAVE THAT EXCUSE. Not only do you look unprofessional (unless somehow your cubicle moonlights as a strip club) but you make it super awkward when you bend down to change the paper in the photocopier.

Men, you aren’t off the hook. Cargo shorts that sit 5 inches above the knee are NOT work-appropriate. Nor are the Hawaiian shirts from your vacation 10 years ago. If your belly makes your buttons pop, it’s probably a shirt that shouldn’t see the light of day, let along the fluorescent light of my office building. Finally, please stop wearing short sleeve dress shirts – it makes you look like Dilbert.

Image via Google

The “Lazy-Bones”:

The article comments, “I’m not sure what it is or where and how it happened, but there are a lot of people who think its casual Friday every day”. This is SO true. I’m not sure why dress codes are ignored, but a large number of people turn up to work in ridiculously casual outfits. I’m not talking about toeing the line by wearing jeans and a cardigan on a Thursday – I’m talking straight up sweat pants on a Tuesday. Seriously, Wal-Mart called and they want their B.U.M. equipment sweats back.

NOT legit. (Image via Google)

So, people of Ottawa (and Gatineau). We’re not asking for much here. If you could throw on a pair of slacks and a decent shirt (maybe throw some colour in there) maybe we’d start climbing the ranks. Let’s face it, maybe we’ll always be the slightly boring, conservative and awkward cousin of Montreal and Toronto. But, maybe if we put a teeny bit more effort, we’ll slide happily into obscurity and rank at number 11 next year. Anything to get us out of the top ten…in a nutshell.

*Read the full Ottawa Citizen Article here.

Pet Peeve of the Week

Subject: The Users of Public Transit

With the weather slowly becoming cooler, the freedom to walk, bike, rollerblade in the warmth slowly fade away. And if you’re like me, and don’t own a car, public transit is the fastest and warmest way to get around. And with this method of transit come pet peeves that really grind my gears. 

The red and white limousine I take to work and school

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Pet Peeve(s) of the Week

It’s been an emotional week for us nuts, with the departure of one of our closest friends looming. And somehow, the goodbyes are still not done! With Kaylee taking off for Europe next week, it will be another emotionally charged weekend. That being said, I have not been as annoyed by anything in particular this week. BUT, as a result of these weekly articles, a few pet peeves were brought to my attention over the past few days by friends…

Changing the Toilet Paper:

  1. DO IT. There is nothing more frustrating than feeling like you’re ALWAYS the one who has to do it at home, except for being stuck in an awkward bathroom situation as the result of an empty roll.*Just to clarify, no one can get by on 2 squares, so that is not an acceptable amount to leave behind.

    REALLY? What are you supposed to do with this?!

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