Friday, July 25, 2008

Pet Peeve

Sitting here in America. Specifically, outside a Starbucks at a massive outdoor mall in Tustin, California. The parking lot is lined with cars, its perimeters defined by martial lines of palm trees. The sky is grey. The coastal inversion layer has not yet moved out west, over the ocean. Young people at neighboring tables eagerly talk business. Behind me, a couple of Mexican workers pass the time of day in Mexican-accented Spanish. I have read the editorial pages of the New York Times. I have just finished my double latter and the lox-and-bagel sandwich I brought with me, and am contemplating the possibility of a second latte. I’m unable to get online. I thought that every Starbucks in the world was wi-fi’ed, but this one appears to need a “subscription” of some kind; so I write in Word, and will cut and paste later.

I am waiting for my Prius. I took it in to the Toyota dealership this morning for its 15,000 mile service, in preparation for our long road trip up north with George the dog. Ellie has been complaining, also, of a rattle, which she hears from the passenger seat and is a constant irritation. Also we want to get our Bluetooth voice command system activated, now that we can only use our cell phones hands-free in California these days. We want to be able to say, “Peter, Office”, and be connected right away. This is America. (Actually, we use our cell phones very little in the car, but you never know, do you? Best be prepared for that emergency when it’s absolutely needed!) And to think that it’s a few scant years since we all drove our cars (most of us, anyway) without needing to make or receive telephone calls… How rapidly things change.

Anyway, here I sit in America, wasting my time—and yours. Don’t you hate it when people call you from their car phones because they’re sitting in traffic and have nothing better to do than waste your time? Their assumption is that you, too, have nothing better to do than help them waste theirs. This is currently one of my most cherished pet peeves. I’m sure you-all have your own. Could I persuade you to share one with me? Or have you, unlike me, no time to waste?

12 comments:

Paul said...

I've never been a phone-talker. I have a cell phone and use it often for business and communicating with my family when neccessary. I have a plan of a mear 500 minutes, and no text messaging. I simply don't call people just to chat. I'm not that lonely.

I was in a shopping mall with my daughter a few years ago. Just as we passed a group of teens, one of them pulled her phone from her pocket and looked at it. She said, "No one's calling me, and that makes me really, really mad."

That's worse than being all dressed up with no place to go.

John Torcello said...

My Pet Peeve...
Go into a retail store; you know, one of those ones that has knocked out all of the competition and seeming have outlets every few miles...search for and finally ask a sales assistant for what I'm looking for...be told they don't stock them in inventory...but, I can get it online...?!...

Sue said...

My cherished pet peeve?

Well Peter, I have a cat named Peeve that I cherish very much. Other than that I work at trying not to get too pissed off at the foibles of others.

Mark said...

I ride my bike everywhere, which saves me a ton of money, but it opens my eyes to just how impatient people are. One of my biggest pet peeves is riding on the roads with cars behind me honking and screaming at me through their windows. What can be so important that you can't wait fifteen seconds - literally - to drive around me and speed up ten miles an hour? More often than not, I end up catching up with those cars at the next stoplight anyway. Are we really that busy? And that thoughtlessly rude to each other?

heartinsanfrancisco said...

My pet peeve is the general lack of gentility in the world. Few people seem to understand the rules of the road, or care, and bully the right-of-way for themselves in every situation.

Apparently they either have a well-developed death wish OR they feel invulnerable because those rules are made for everyone's protection, and they simply do not have the right to endanger me and the few other people who wait their turn.

thailandchani said...

Aaaah. Where to begin :)

Loud music from other people's cars or homes. That would probably be Number One. It completely irritates me when people are so selfish that they have no consideration for others who surround them.

So.. perhaps the root peeve is selfishness.

~*

robin andrea said...

I have too many pet peeves, peter. Perhaps we could narrow it down to subject matter:
politics
people (driving, making noise, talking on cell phones)
shopping

I think I have become a curmudgeon.

PeterAtLarge said...

Thanks for the peeves, friends. I share them all! Have a peaceful weekend.

Doctor Noe said...

Mine's two -- each cellphone-related. 1) the reason they made it a law in CA is that too many idioten were driving like drunk while using them and 2) people in restaurants using 'em has always made me stew.

Cheers,

Noe

hele said...

I'm not sure if it is a waste of time since I really enjoy hearing voices from all over the world but I am suppose to be working on an essay that needs to be in tomorow and instead I find myself drifting towards blogland, again and again and again.

I suspect at three in the morning when I am compiling my reference list blogging might seem like a time-wasting peeve :)

Sloane said...

The other day I was having lunch by myself and at the table across from me this father and son sat down. As their food arrived the father received a call on his cell phone. He sat there eating and talking on his cell phone while his son (late teens) ate alone. After five or so minutes, the son got on his phone. So there they sat, having lunch with their cell phones, nothing like a father/son bonding time?

It really made me quite sad.

Cell phones in public are a pet peeve...

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

These days I’m like I was in the olden days: I only carry a cell phone in case of an emergency—like the car breaks down or the oxygen tank that I carry so that I can breathe malfunctions.

However, seeing others talking on their cell phone frequently frightens me, especially when I look in my rearview mirror and see the car that is coming quickly at me is being driven by a dude or dudette with a cell phone plastered to his/her ear.