As the headline indicates, below is a list of my pettiest grievances, none of which I’m proud of and all of which I’ve yelled about after two or more drinks.
The relationship flex that is “I can’t wait to marry my best friend.”
Why I’m peeved: FIRST OF ALL—ahem—first of all, the idea of marrying a person you 1) spend more time with than other people, 2) confide in more than other friends, and 3) love in more ways than one—all things that can just as easily define a best friend as a spouse—is not remotely unusual. And yet this phrase is imbued with a sense of superiority, as if the person using it is the first to marry someone they are both sexually and platonically attracted to. Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do?!
Why I’m petty: Because there is obviously nothing wrong with people trying to communicate the myriad ways they love their partner and there is no room for my cynicism in these matters!
When people in movies bathe exclusively facing the shower nozzle—especially when they lean against the wall dramatically as the water sprays directly into their face.
Why I’m peeved: Literally no one does this.
Why I’m petty: FINE, I will let the director get the shot.
When people claim they read a particular book “every year to see how they’ve changed” and consider this an important part of their personality.
Why I’m peeved: This is all Definitely Maybe’s fault.
Why I’m petty: I can think of about 1001 things that are worse for people to talk about than books.
Any song that takes more than a minute for the lyrics to start.
Why I’m peeved: I’m sorry but no one is as enamored with your ability to pluck a guitar for a straight minute as you are. Please just start the actual song, thank you.
Why I’m petty: Music is an artform and it owes me NOTHING.
When the credit card machine beeps urgently at me to remove my card before I’ve been given the chance to do so in a calm and timely manner.
Why I’m peeved: I pride myself on being prepared to pull my card out the second I’m permitted to do so—this is a pillar of my self-esteem. So I do not at all appreciate when the machine goes from “Do not remove card” to aggressively honking at me to remove it in the space of a millisecond, as if I’ve taken so long it’s about to call the cops. Do not chastise me before I’ve messed up!!!
Why I’m petty: The world is not improved by my being a reliable card-puller nor are credit card companies responsible for assuaging what is absolutely a deep-seated issue with where I glean my self-worth. Also, I’m sure the beep is a net positive.
When the fitted sheet slips off the mattress in the night or the duvet gets balled up inside the duvet cover creating what I call “loose skin.”
Why I’m peeved: I actually have shivers and can’t talk about it.
Why I’m petty: It’s literally a bed.
When millionaire celebrities tell civilians to “never give up on your dreams”—on Instagram, in acceptance speeches, on billboards.
Why I’m peeved: I could write a full-length book about this, but if you think that “never giving up on your dreams” is the only thing that got you to where you are, check your privilege (and luck!) while also cutting a check to every single person who just had to sit through your soap-box moment.
Why I’m petty: It’s well-intentioned (I think???).
Perfectly good garments that feature an unnecessary drop shoulder.
Why I’m peeved: When did every women’s clothing designer get together and decide every basic shirt or sweater needed a drop-shoulder hem? Just because we identify as women doesn’t mean our basics need some kind of stylistic flourish! (Also, they make us look like we’re slouching.)
Why I’m petty: I don’t know, in terms of the changes that need to be made in the manufacturing of apparel, this seems extremely unimportant? Also, maybe some people like a drop shoulder. (Show yourselves!)
When people who like to relax, wear comfortable clothes, and get a good night’s rest call themselves “old ladies.”
Why I’m peeved: Calling yourself an “old lady” is such a weird humblebrag! I think it’s meant to seem self-deprecating (sorry, old ladies), but people say it as if no one else under 30 goes to bed early. But not wanting to go out doesn’t make a person interesting or intellectual! And I’m pretty sure wearing sweatpants on a couch is a universally beloved activity. TDLR: P sure this claim has the opposite of its intended effect.
Why I’m petty: This is probably just a way for people to allay feelings of FOMO and create an in-group that (for once) revolves around not participating in social activities, which, fine, are very human pursuits I can empathize with.
Aimless peers becoming unlicensed life guides (i.e. mediums, coaches, tarot readers, speakers, armchair experts).
Why I’m peeved: Why is it always your wildest friend from high school that enlists themselves to guide others, often with swirly Pinterest quotes?
Why I’m petty: In THIS economy???
And finally: internet listicles by me that are mostly just whining.
Graphic by Madeline Montoya.