• Toni O'Connor

Adventures in Aggravation

First ran in The Winchester Star on September 8, 2016.


I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of pet peeves. I am going to share some and see if you agree.

One of the first is people who tailgate. Did they not read the handbook before taking a driving test? There should be one car length for every 10 miles of speed. That means, I should be able to see at least the bumper of your car if we are careening down Interstate 81 at 70 miles per hour. If I have to slow down for, say, the semi who cuts quickly in front of me so he can pass another truck going a mile slower per hour than he wants to go, then you, my tailgating friend, will be waving hello from the inside of my trunk. Not cool.

Another driving aggravation are the stoplights that seem to sprout up from nowhere in the middle of the night. One can drive down any main street or highway in this town and find a new one. Are they all necessary? If there was a stop sign there before and everyone was behaving, what is the point? I am sure there are reasons.

What about baggers at the grocery store who lovingly place two items in one bag and move on to the next bag. At the end of the trip you may end up with 21 plastic grocery bags. That’s why I usually do it myself. I end up with five.

As a former schoolteacher, I resent professional athletes who make more in one year than I made in a whole career. Do they even remember who taught them to read that lucrative contract? It wasn’t their agent. Plus, someone had to teach the agent to read as well. As well as to figure out percentages. These folks are playing games. For a living. There’s something wrong with this picture …

One of the big ones on my list has always been that usually it’s men who design ladies rooms in public places. You can always tell, as you can’t go into a stall, get the door closed (which always opens in by the way) AND turn around. What if you have packages? Or a toddler? Men don’t often deal with packages, toddlers or, in many cases, turning around.

Those of an age have also probably noticed the songs of our childhood or jaded youth have been appropriated for commercial jingles on television or radio. It’s maddening. What happened to Barry Manilow writing original jingles that stick in our collective mind? Instead, some of my favorite songs end up advertising things that sometimes you can’t even tell what the product is. The commercials are so far removed from the product they don’t make sense.

The last one on my formal list is Windows 10, where I am currently typing this column. Nothing on Windows 10 makes sense to me. I can’t find anything anymore. My pictures are currently lost, and though I do manage sometimes to find them, I can’t remember how I got there to find them.

Years ago, as a college student, some of my pet peeves were due to my roommates. One of them could not manage to wring out a washcloth before leaving it in the bottom of the tub. The other two of us actually gave her demonstrations. But both of them left cabinet doors and drawers open in the kitchen where, from my room, I had to enter from around the corner. Thus I had bruised hips and a lot of headaches from turning the corner and crashing into one or both of these hazards. (The telephone was right there as well, so I didn’t always check first.)

There are many more things that aggravate me, such as not being able to remember what any more of them are right now.

Thank you for enduring my ramblings and musings for eight weeks. Adrian will be back at his desk on Monday. Also, thanks to the many people who have sent funds, cards, meals, snacks, or who visited, called or prayed. We appreciate each and every one of you.

It was a pleasure having you join me on my adventures.


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