Tag Archive | pet peeves

What Kind of Junk is Stuck to Your Trunk?

I’d like to think of myself as a pretty tolerant person, but sometimes when a pet peeve of mine is triggered, I momentarily lose my amiable nature, and become something akin to an R-rated version of Oscar the Grouch. I’ve had the same pet peeves for years, most of which are pretty standard. But recently I’ve felt a new one beginning to crop up. At first, it started out like one of those underground pimples – an annoyance that I tried to squelch before it came to a head. But now this sucker is red, ripe, and sitting right on the end of my nose, just begging to be popped.


I CAN’T STAND “Proud Parent of….” BUMPER STICKERS!!  Damn that felt good….


I’m aware of the fact that I probably just offended half of my readers, but it has to be said because parents have gone totally over the top with these stickers.  The back of some of these cars read like college applications. Since the dean of Harvard is unlikely to be driving behind you, why do you feel the need to advertise all of your child’s academic and athletic achievements to the world?


I get it, you’re proud. By all means, call Grandma and tell her all about the fact that little Sally made the honor roll, won a gold medal at her gymnastics tournament, and then rescued a baby whale during her Greenpeace excursion. She’s SUPER awesome!! But nobody but Grandma (and maybe you) cares.


You might argue that you’re just letting your child know that your pride for them is like these bumper stickers – permanent and unable to be removed without the use of a razor blade and/or blowtorch. But here’s a secret that your child might not be willing to share with you: they find these stickers just as obnoxious as the person driving behind you. And if your child is over the age of twelve, you can add a hefty dose of teenager embarrassment to that as well.




Part of me gets why these bumper stickers are so popular. Besides people wanting to brag about their kids, they also promote a sense that the world is a perfect place to live in. A place where all children get smiley face stickers on the top of their math tests, and score the winning goal at their soccer game. It’s a lovely idea, but it’s also total crap. Parenting is a messy, complicated business, and rarely idyllic.


Which is why I’ve come up with a better way for proud parents to decorate their cars – I’m calling them “The Real Deal” bumper stickers.  Not only will EVERY parent find something they can relate to, but my bumper stickers also won’t make the person driving behind you want to smack the shit out of you.


1.  For some kids, getting on the honor roll is about as probable as Macaulay Culkin getting another big movie deal – but that’s OKAY!!  Getting straight A’s isn’t nearly as important as learning not to share your poop with the people you live with….

proud parent toilet



2.  As a parent, it’s important to not only pick your battles, but also take your victories where you can get them.  No matter how small they may seem….




3.  Let’s face it, sometimes sitting on the sidelines of your kid’s game is BOOORRRRRING!!  There’s just so much cheering you can do before you start to pray for death – beginning with the screaming parent next to you that just ruptured their spleen (and your eardrum) because their son missed the ball.  For those parents who want to show support but would honestly rather be somewhere else, this one’s for you….

soccer parent



4.  After the age of ten, most honor students are like those cars that drive themselves.  They really don’t need parents behind the wheel directing them where to go (or taking credit for getting them there).  I know this because my daughter is like one of those freaky self-driven Google cars.  So I made this version of the “proud parent” for her because we both know the truth….




5.  Being a parent is hard.  Being a parent stuck inside a metal box with a toddler is HELL….




6.  It’s not much easier when they get to be teenagers and discover dance music that makes you want to gouge out your eardrums with a set of car keys….

homicidal radio



7.  Sure, driving around with your kids can sometimes be annoying, but those little rugrats can be a real lifesaver to the other drivers on the road.  Especially for the ones who cut you off in traffic….




8.  It’s been a decade since I had a baby, but I remember the trauma of sleep deprivation the way most soldiers remember the horrors of war.  For all you parents out there driving around like extras from The Walking Dead, I’m here to make sure you don’t get pulled over during your commute to work….

sleep deprived



9.  Along with sleep deprivation, babies can also make you forget that you have sexual organs, and that you once used those man/lady bits for something other than creating life.  Go ahead and post your problem on the back of your car so other new parents won’t feel like the only sexually castrated Ken/Barbie dolls on the block….

babies libidos



10.  Having a teenager brings with it a different set of hardships, most of them chock full of hormones and seething hatred.  While I may get a full night’s sleep now, I have to do it with one eye open….




11.  Most kids will test your patience on occasion.  GOOD parents learn how to control the urge to strangle their offspring when their kid throws a temper tantrum.  GREAT parents go on to promote world peace despite being given a lot of shit at home….




12.  Just once I’d like to see a “drive carefully” bumper sticker that wasn’t put on a car to protect someone’s baby or grandma.  Like a drug lord, for instance….




13.  Trying to keep your child engaged in activities that challenge their mind and body is hard, especially when it’s Sunday afternoon and all you want to do is take a nap.  You wish they came with an auto-pilot button so you could just get a little bit of  “me” time.  And then you realize that they do…..




14.  A subset problem of  the “Proud Parent” bumper stickers are these stick figure family decals.  Here’s why:  you know that creepy guy who lives in your neighborhood?  The one you checked out online to see if he was a registered sex offender or just gave you the willies for no reason?  Well, your decals just made his life a whole lot easier….




15.  Whether you choose to go back to work or stay at home after having kids, it’s easy to feel like the grass is always greener on the other side.  I chose the latter and after about a decade, having a misogynistic boss who doesn’t appreciate me has become a fantasy of mine….

stay at home mom


10 Reasons to Hate the Season

Now that Memorial Day is starting to fade in our rearview mirror, the first stirrings of summer excitement begins…. unless you’re like me.  Summer always brings out the worst in me – my bitchiness, insecurities, and total intolerance for anything not made of ice cream.  While everyone else revels in the sun, I retreat to a dark corner like a mole and complain about the heat and humidity.

I’m not saying that summer doesn’t have some redeeming qualities; there just aren’t enough of them to keep me happy from June through August.  But there are plenty of things to make me UNhappy for those three months….

Tis the season of sweating for no reason:  When the temperature starts to climb above 85 degrees, my internal cooling system kicks into high gear and I begin to sweat profusely.  I don’t need to be running a marathon or shaking my ass like Ricky Martin for my sweat glands to shift into hyper-drive – blinking seems to be enough.  And I’m not talking about girlie perspiration (or “glowing”); I mean the kind of sweating usually reserved for farm animals.  If I dare venture outside my air conditioned home for more than 15 minutes, the climate inside my clothes begins to feel like a terrarium, and small rivers of warm perspiration trickle down my torso and pool in my underwear.   Sexy, right?

Turn off the air conditioning? Surely you can’t be serious?
I am, and don’t call me Shirley.

It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity:  The saying “out of the frying pan and into the fire” is used when a problem goes from bad to worse.  Well, when you add humidity to scorching heat, it’s more like out of the frying pan and into a giant sweaty armpit.  In that oppressively moist environment, my good hair days vanish right along with my will to live.

Cruel-tea:  The first thing I do in the morning (after cursing at my alarm clock) is fill the kettle with water so I can start making my tea.  Any human interaction before I’ve had that first sip is a recipe for disaster.  It seems that the amount of tea I drink is directly proportionate to how well I play with others – it’s like liquid Prozac.  But in summertime, when the heat and humidity are cranked up to ten, a hot beverage is the last thing I want anywhere near me…. which doesn’t bode well for the people I live with.


Will someone please get me a margarita and a blindfold?:  Sounds like ingredients for a hot date on a Friday night, but those things are also necessary if I want to go bathing suit shopping without crying.   Everyone has body parts they don’t like…. as I get older, that list seems to get longer and longer.   I normally don’t have to deal with more than one of those problem areas at a time.  When I go shopping for jeans, I can concentrate all my self-loathing on my thighs; shirt shopping, it’s usually my upper arms and boobs.  But bathing suits shine a big, fat spotlight on all of it at once.  So, why the hell would I want to spend three months in a garment that makes me want to put my head in the oven?

When I complain about having to wear a bathing suit, my sister argues, “Have you seen some of the women who go to the beach?  There are ones twice your size wearing bikinis.”  No I haven’t seen them because I’m too busy giving the death stare to this girl sitting two towels over…

Lawnmowers, they’re not just for grass anymore:  From September through May the time I spend on hair removal is minimal – I shave just enough so I’m not mistaken for Bigfoot.  But when bathing suit season arrives there is nowhere for my unwanted body hair to hide, so I’m forced to spend an extra half hour in the shower making sure I’m well landscaped.  At this point, I think the only body parts I don’t either wax or shave are my eyelids and tongue.  If I ever get rich, the first thing I’m going to spend my money on is laser hair removal – a college fund for the kids can wait.

This is what I look like before I shave….
Is it any wonder I take so long in the shower?

Put your best foot forward:  Once the weather starts to heat up, I retire my Ugg boots and pretty much live in my flip-flops.  I love the convenience of being able to slip them on and go, but like everything else about summer, there is a downside.  My once hidden appendages are now on display for all to see.   I’m not self-conscious about my feet – they’re actually on a very short list of body parts I happen to like.  But I wasn’t born with naturally pretty feet; they require a lot of maintenance to keep them looking nice.  It’s a necessary evil though because if I left them to their own devices, they would look like something out of the stone age – fine if Fred Flintstone needs help peddling his car to work, but otherwise kind of nasty.

If you think I’m kidding, check out these BEFORE and AFTER pictures….


Sand crotch:  This is one of the most unpleasant experiences you can have at the beach – second only to seeing a fat guy wearing a speedo.  Delicate girlie parts should NEVER come in contact with something as abrasive as sand.  Why the hell hasn’t anyone invented a bathing suit that doesn’t collect ten pounds of sand in the crotch?  Here’s a tip for all you clothing manufacturers out there – forget the Snuggies, make a bathing suit that doesn’t sag down to my knees when I get out of the ocean.   Millon dollar idea right there, people!

I know exactly how you feel, kid.

The brownest thumb on the block:  I am the Jack Kevorkian of the plant world…. actually, I’m more of the Ted Bundy because none of my plants begged me to kill them.  In winter, my brown thumb is camouflaged because everybody’s garden looks like something out of a horror movie.  But in summer, when my neighbor’s yard looks like the Garden of Eden, mine still looks like a Tim Burton creation.  I used to buy new flowers for my garden every year; each time thinking that THIS was the year I would manage to keep them alive.  After a decade of unintentional herbicide, I finally gave up hope and bought non-flowering plants that even the apocalypse couldn’t kill.

Thank you Hostas plant for giving
my brown thumb the illusion of being green.

Buzzzzz off!:   Insects are everywhere in the summer.  I can’t even escape them inside my house because the sneaky little buggers always manage to find a way in.  My son, Aidan, is a bug magnet.  The first time  he comes in covered in bug bites, I know mosquito season is upon us.  It’s not enough that the blood-sucking parasites eat him alive, they also leave behind an itch that makes him want to claw his skin off.  Luckily, bugs don’t seem to find me too tasty, but they still annoy the hell out of me.  They buzz in my ear, feast on my children, and cause my son to shriek every time they fly anywhere near him.

Remember how I asked people to invent a bathing suit that didn’t collect sand in the crotch?  I’d forgo that if someone could come up with a way to eradicate mosquitoes from the planet.   According to this really smart science lady we wouldn’t miss them.  I’m inclined to agree.

No more classes, no more books, time for Mommy’s dirty looks:  I can remember being giddy with excitement about the last day of school when I was a kid.  As the school bus pulled away from the building, unwanted notebooks, papers, and textbooks were shredded and thrown from the windows like confetti in a ticker tape parade.  The summer and all its possibilities stretched out in front of us, and once the bus turned the first street corner, school was already a distant memory.

As a parent of two school-aged children, I’m finding it hard to muster the same enthusiasm for the last day of school that I once had.  Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy summer vacation… for the first three weeks.  Once mid-late July comes around, the excitement over alarm clock-free mornings and freedom from schedules wears off…. then I realize there’s still another month to go.  It’s no offense to my children – I don’t like anybody enough to want to spend 24/7 with them.  I need my daily dose of solitude, and if it’s not given to me freely, I have to get creative….

How do you guys feel about summer?  Do you give it a happy thumbs up or a sweaty thumbs down?

Social Morons

Living in New York, there are a plethora of pet peeves to choose from – insanely bad drivers, multitudes of rude people, criminally high costs of living, and an overpopulation problem that makes me feel as though I’m being herded like cattle whenever I leave the house (okay, so perhaps I’m a bit claustrophobic – which you would already know if you read my entry entitled “These Are a Few of My Scariest Things”).  But the one pet peeve that rises above the rest is dealing with social morons.

Every social function has at least one.  The social moron is the person I try to avoid making contact with because I know if I even offer them a curt greeting, it’s all over.  I might as well dig a shallow grave for myself and jump in because in just a few minutes, I’m going to wish I was dead anyway.  In an effort to prevent this from happening at a party, I will sometimes enlist the help of a “rescue buddy”  – someone who will swoop in and save me in the event that I wasn’t quick enough to get away.

The social moron will talk ad nauseam about subjects that make most people pray for the apocalypse just as a means to escape the conversation.  They are masters at the art of locating the most tolerant person in the room (someone too polite to walk away), and then backing them into a corner so as to limit their chance of escape.  They also tend to be close talkers (yet another pet peeve – like I said before, I’m claustrophobic).  But I think that beyond their inability to sense reasonable personal distance, they also subconsciously use close talking in order to block out every other person from their victim’s periphery, which unfortunately for the victim, may also include their rescue buddy.

The social moron’s mouth has no off switch once they’ve cornered their kind-hearted victim.  If I’m unlucky enough to fall prey to the social moron, I will soon find out about their chronic problem with anal leakage, their Aunt Janice’s dreams of becoming a world famous porn star, and how their six-year-old son won a local spelling bee with the word “engorged” (sounds like a word Aunt Janice might have taught him).  If my rescue buddy hasn’t saved me by this point (which he or she will pay dearly for later), I usually resort to sending out telepathic S.O.S signals to everyone else in the surrounding area – mentally pleading for someone to save me from this person’s verbal diarrhea.

The social moron is the only one who would chance discussing such mind-numbing topics because they are genetically incapable of realizing when they are boring the life right out of people.  I believe that for these people, the portion of the brain that enables us to decipher body language or pick up on social cues is dead (or at the very least misfiring). You can break eye contact, nod off, drool, or zone-out to fantasies about them choking on their own tongue – all to no avail.  Nothing will trigger a pause in the conversation because as far as the social moron is concerned, you’re riveted…. even if you haven’t spoken a word in the last half hour.

And because I’m too damn nice to walk away or yell, “Shut the hell up!” at the top of my lungs, I’ll be stuck in the corner nodding like an idiotic bobble-head doll, with an endless stream of monotone uh-huhs coming out of my mouth – all the while wondering if there is a god, and if so, why he seems to hate me so much.

As a parent, I don’t get the opportunity to go out to parties or social gatherings too often, and I feel like my childless evening is wasted when I have to listen to a social moron go on for hours about his reoccurring hangnail.  If I wanted to listen to senseless prattling, I could have saved myself the trouble of getting all dolled up, stayed home, and watched reruns of Sarah Palin’s Alaska.