Becca Longabucco- Contributing Writer
You know what I’m talking about. That thing. That thing that sends your upper and lower jaws racing to meet each other in a tooth-clenching frenzy. The thing that curls your fingers inward to ball your hands into tiny fists. The thing that sends a gust of air into your lungs and deflates them slowly.
You know you have a pet peeve. Or, if you’re like me, you’ve got several. Lucky you. Whether it’s that incessant pencil tapper in class or the torment of having a sock slip halfway off a booted foot, there’s a cause of mind-boggling fierce annoyance for everyone. (Maybe yours is long introductions – in which case, get over it.)
That right there is perhaps the single most irritating thing about pet peeves! Since many of them are unique to their
owners, other people often have little empathy concerning the nuisance at hand. Do you know how agravating it is to vent passionately about your lost lip balm as your friend stares at you blankly, mentally pleading for you to shut up? Well, no, you don’t know – unless chapped lips are a pet peeve of yours. See this vicious cycle? It’s a rough life.
I have to admit that I’m sometimes guilty of this inability to understand. As an avid gum chewer, I simply cannot wrap my head around my friend Mady’s disgust with the habit. It’s uncanny how something that I need to survive is the same thing that irks her to a point of no end, and for reasons she can’t even explain. “I don’t know. It just skeeves me,” says Mady of her gum hatred. Huh. Maybe we’re all just wired to hate certain things – even, in some cases, things that should theoretically comfort us. For example, my friend Logan stresses that she can’t stand when people tenderly touch her shoulder. Hmm.
Then there are the pet peeves that deal with specific forms of impoliteness, one of which is particularly bothersome to my friend and roommate Julia. “I hate when people don’t make eye contact!” she exclaimed forcefully. Caitlin (another friend) is also made irate by a certain type of rudeness – “when people are mad [at her] and act like they’re not.”As for me, if you’re that jerk who opts out of a basic “thank you” after I hold the door and risk my own punctuality, beware.
Are we born with our pet peeves programmed into us, or is this whole thing something deeper? Perhaps these angering instances are reflections of our innermost fears and troubling past experiences, and should be looked upon as clues that map out the human psyche. Or not.
Either way, go pull your excess hair out of the drain. It’s making me want to pull mine from my scalp.