I have a middle-aged neighbor who is not exactly the tidiest, shall we say. Over the fourteen years we have lived in our current home, he has kept his large pole barn overflowing with, uh, well, I’m not sure what. I just know that it’s A LOT OF STUFF. And just outside his barn doors, he has left a variety of unusual items sitting for weeks, months, and even years at a time (though not all at once, thank goodness!): a child’s plastic playhouse, some sort of tilling attachment, parts of mowers or grills, bike wheels, broken ladders, hoses of all sorts…you get the idea. All in all, not the nicest scenery to drive by every day or to have friends and family see when they come to visit.
But a few months ago, my neighbor got remarried and his wife must have put her foot down, bless her heart, because the past few weeks have seen a huge uptick in the number of items leaving his house and barn in various trucks and farm-y vehicles. However, just when I thought I’d seen it all, yesterday I drove by on my way home and discovered a new item abandoned to the elements, the utmost answer to “What could he possibly still have in that barn?” Yes, you guessed it: the kitchen sink. Wonder how long THAT one will decorate the sides of our driveway? Oh, well, you can’t pick your neighbors and all that…
Still, these and other small – and not-so-small – annoyances add up to make me roll my eyes or, more often, shake my head and wonder, “Why, why, why?” But, like other common-sense lovers out there, I just grit my teeth and pray for patience in dealing with the, uh, interesting folks God has put on this earth. What else is bugging me about my neighbors and fellow human beings in general on this hot, hot, did I mention HOT, day? Here’s my list of what’s annoying me most this week:
Cashiers who call “Next” and take whoever shows up first, not who’s next in line
People who eat over library books, leaving behind bits and pieces for the next reader (or rub their eyes, leaving eye lashes between the pages)
Construction workers who hold up the STOP sign just as you’re about to go through the zone and no one else is behind you
Models whose legs are 75% of their body and mouths are 50% of their face, and the fact that clothing designers and magazines think this is “beauty”
Neighbors who decide to use loud power tools the day of your outdoor party
People who drive 5-10 mph UNDER the speed limit when a police car is nearby
Pop songs that keep the same beat throughout, often with words that just repeat over and over
People who splash water all over the bathroom counter in public restrooms , leaving puddles , so you can’t put your purse down there to primp
People who say “No problem” instead of “You’re Welcome”
Guys, some teens (but not all), who spit on the sidewalk as they walk along
When parents talk to their above-5-year-olds by referring to themselves in third person. For example, on vacation: “Mommy needs a drink now, honey. Go play on the balcony while Mommy mixes it up.” (Ha ha…just kidding.)
People who drive around with dogs on their laps or hanging out the driver’s side window
When the mail person comes early only on the days I have outgoing mail, but I don’t get to the box in time so I have to drive the mail to the post office
Parents who do their kids’ school projects for them, making other kids feel stupid and inept
Loud cars, monster trucks, or motorcycles that fly by when you’re enjoying eating at an outdoor café
Drivers behind you who only decide to use the passing lane right when they see you are about to need it to pass a slow car, thereby forcing you to slow down and wait for them to pass first
So, okay, I know these are not life-altering issues, but they’re small things that add up to big annoyances over time. And a few, I fear, add to the death of common sense. I do feel better now, getting those off my chest. I can only hope I’m not on too many other people’s lists for MY annoying habits (like correcting spelling on forms and letters when I find typos…sorry, I just can’t help myself!).
What’s on your common sense list of annoyances this week? Go ahead, you’ll feel much better just writing it down (but please, be sure to check your spelling first…it’s just a little thing I have).