Thursday, December 22, 2005

Pet peeves

Does anyone else have pet peeves and hate to discuss them? Right now I've got two, and I've just got to discuss them because They Are Everywhere.

The first is cell phones in cars. Now, okay, driving down the freeway or on a street not absolutely clogged with cars and people, and you're bored, and you gotta talk to someone, so you make a call. I try to avoid it, personally. If I'm alone, I'd rather listen to a book on tape or CD (right now I'm listening to The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri) than hang on the phone in the car. If my son is in the car, or my husband, hanging on the phone is just plain rude and I wouldn't do it.

But on the skinny streets of my town, when I see women and men in Mercedes and trucks or SUVs, especially, hogging up the street, turning corners, or backing up--yes! backing up or making u-eees--I want to scream. Sometimes I do, in fact, scream.

The other thing that's been driving me a little nuts is e-mailed Christmas cards. Now, sometimes, it's someone's birthday and you've forgotten to send them a card or you don't have their address and you e-mail a card. I've done it. Sure, why not? But when I receive an e-mailed Christmas card, I'm sorry but I tend to hit delete. (The exception this season was the one I received from Kim Dower, the sweetest book publicist ever. Her artist-husband created a cute cartoon and I printed it out.) And when I'm one on a list of about a million who've also been mailed said e-mailed card, I'm offended. It's almost worst than no card at all.

Technology can be a wonderful thing, but it can also bring out the obnoxiousness that we've all got buried within us, don't you think?

Thanks for letting me rant.

9 comments:

furiousmuse said...

umm, yes, cell phones. how about cell phones at the bank. when you're trying to handle someone's personal finances and you have questions. it happens every single day at my job. talk about frustrating!

i feel your pain!

Barbara DeMarco-Barrett said...

I stood at the counter at the post office counter and my cell phone rang. I answered it and then said, "I'm at the post office. I'll call you back." When I hung up, Dan, the postal clerk, said, "Thank you. You wouldn't believe how many people just keep on talking." "I would," I said.

~jolene said...

Arghhhh! People on their cell's while shopping in Trader Joe's or Mother's Market! Do I really want to hear a continual "like he was so not into me" as I roam the aisles gathering food for my family? Or how about the shopper who calls her house .."do we need mustard?", "do we need toilet paper?"....Arghhhhhhhhh!!!!

Jill said...

SUVs and Hummers turning onto our skinny streets (already lined up with parked cars on both sides)and the drivers seeing that you OBVIOUSLY have the right-of-way considering you are a hop-and-a-skip from the stop sign - but they continue to turn, therefore trapping you. That's when I roll down my window and scream: "Just because I drive a Beetle, that doesn't mean it will spread its wings and fly over you!!" I've learned that does the trick to make them back up.

Oh...and drivers that have yet to discover their turn signals. Oy loca.

louisev said...

I agree about the emailed Cmas card, but I feel the same way about pre-printed (or even signed)cards containing no picture, no note, and no Christmas letter. Why bother? I spend a lot of time writing my Cmas letter and always include a picture - I am very disappointed if I receive one with neither. The other thing I hate is when I get cards only after I have mailed mine - kind of an I'm not sending one if you don't thing.

That said, I do love receiving cards, especially if they contain a newsy Cmas letter. I love taking myself out for a long lunch to write the inside, I love anticipating the mail coming every day, and I especially love the cards that come after mine that say "I love getting your Christmas letters - your girls are so beautiful!" :)

Have a great Cmas Barbara!

Caroline said...

Emailed Christmas cards have become part of my holiday ritual based on the number of friends in my life that are formed strictly through our online world.

I enjoy getting them, and trying to understand how the person who sent them picked it out, based on what they know about me. You can always tell the ones that are thoughtful versus the ones that are mass generated. Each person I send an online greeting to gets a letter and pictures. I tend not to use Blue Mountain or Hallmark unless it is a business relationship. With dial-up Internet, those cards take forever to generate!

But for my family and friends, I refuse to. We write a letter every year, and stuff envelopes with pretty cards that we think are perfect for the person it is being sent to. My dad will lick the stamps while I fuss over putting a personal comment to each person. (beingteh writer, it is my job to write the letter and deliver the witty Christmas banter)

Every year they get later and later. *grin* But more than knowing we are keeping in touch with people we don't see often, is the shared ritual of Christmas cards.

That says holiday to me, and it is usually when my Christmas spirit finds itself with an outlet to shine.

So I agree. I think emailed cards are good in certain contexts. But a hand-mailed and signed Christmas car is still the epitomy of what Christmas greetings should be.

Thanks for the food for thought!

~C

Barbara DeMarco-Barrett said...

Caroline,
You make an important point: Online Christmas cards work for online friends. I should have clarified my point about receiving these sorts of greetings from people you know in the material world. These online cards tend to make the relationship you have seem more superficial. But e-mailed cards are great in certain contexts.
bdb

Elle said...

I must add to the cell phone discussion because when I saw it for the first time last week, I thought it was just one weird guy but after seeing it again today with someone else, it has become a trend. My pet peeve is watching a man continue his cell phone conversation as he walks into a public restroom! Yuk! So if that guy you are speaking with tells you it is the water cooler you hear in the background, trust me, it's not!

Barbara DeMarco-Barrett said...

Ha!