Not A Pink Girl

Things that annoy me to no end. | November 25, 2008

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Ah, Thanksgiving! I have so much to be thankful for it would take weeks for me to list my blessings. For example, every night when I get into my 14-year-old bed (no head- or footboard, just a mattress & box-spring on a metal frame), I sound like a revival-tent preacher. I say – out loud – “Praise the Lord! Thank you Lord for this wonderful bed! Praise Jesus! Thank you Jesus!” Sometimes I get teary-eyed. The flannel sheets are pilling, the pillowcase is from a bedding set I bought at Montgomery Ward (now defunct) in 1983 when I moved into my first post-divorce apartment with my then-3-year-old daughter, the TV remote is sticking me in the left thigh, I have about 5 books & magazines (all in various stages of being read) strewn across the quilt, there’s a slight sinkhole on my side of the mattress (did I mention it’s almost a decade & a half old?), but heaven knows, when I get into that bed at night, I am a grateful (& comfy-cozy) woman.

But you know what? There are plenty of things about this life that bug me. It’s the little things, you know? So what the heck. Yes, I’m grateful, but I’m also a wag.

Here are just a few of my pet peeves:

People who say, “I don’t want to be a third wheel.” It’s fifth wheel. You need the third wheel, right? Just take a look at any car or truck. Wheels one, two, three & four are necessary. It’s the fifth wheel that’s awkward.

“A light bulb went off over my head!” No, dear; if you had a bright idea, a light bulb went on over your head. If the light bulb went off, you just got a little dimmer.

“Even still…” No no no. It’s “Even so” or “Still…” You know, like: “You shouldn’t eat another piece of cheesecake.” “Still, I do love it, so I’m going to eat it.” Or, “You are so right. Even so, I’m eating it.” You don’t say, “Even still.” So stop saying it.

More than one exclamation point at the end of a sentence. Think about it: it’s called an exclamation point because all you need is to add one to the end of your sentence & everyone knows you are super-excited about the content of your sentence. Your excitement is implied purely through your use of one exclamation point. When you add five, you just look silly. You also betray the fact that you can’t figure out how to write the proper words in your sentence to reflect your overflowing enthusiasm, so you substitute exclamation points for words, & that’s just sad (especially if you’re over 18).

If you write a sentence like this, “Come to my party!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Lots of pizza & free sodas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” you need to take a remedial English grammar course or, better yet, a creative writing course. & buy a dictionary & a thesaurus (it can’t hurt). Oh & also, you’ll ostracize the few friends you already have (are they partially literate too?) & no one will come to your party because your overuse of exclamation points is so annoying, no matter how much free food you throw at them.

Here’s one that bugs literate people to no end: the misuse of the apostrophe. It’s so easy, my suspicion is that people are just plain lazy & put the flippin’ apostrophe wherever the heck they want & don’t care about what’s right or wrong.

Are you going to the Joneses’ house? You know, the one where the Jones family lives? Then the Joneses own the house, so you must show possession by use of an apostrophe. So you don’t write, “I’m going to the Jone’s house.” Is their last name Jone? No, it’s Jones. So if the Joneses own the house, you write, “I’m going to the Joneses’ house.” If you’re going to a house that’s on a historical tour of old houses, perhaps you’d write “I’m going to the Jones House.” That’s correct, too.

Let’s say you’re flipping through a Lillian Vernon catalog & you see a sign that you can personalize for the front of your house. How would you fill out the personalization form? If your last name is Bashir, you would ask for it to look like this: “THE BASHIRS”. I’ll bet that picture in the catalog is wrong, though; it probably reads something like this: “THE BASHIR’S”. No no no. You would only use that if your sign was going to read, “THE BASHIR’S HOUSE”.

Lots more pet peeves to come. But first I have to chop celery & onions, make cornbread from scratch for the homemade stuffing, find the harvest tablecloth (that’s 14 years old too), put a Post-It note on the microwave to remind myself to put the cranberry sauce (2 kinds [whole-berry & jellied], each from a can) on the table, put another nightlight bulb in the plastic light-up turkey on the front porch (bought from Miles Kimball over a decade ago), & figure out how the heck I’m going to be able to spend some time in that wonderful old broken-down bed of mine before I reek of Butterball bastings.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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