We all have pet peeves.
When I hear lay and lie confused, it's like fingernails on the chalkboard. (You lay a book on a table. You lie down on the bed. It's a question of which is transitive, but we don't really want to go there, do we?)
When someone says, "Me and him are going to a concert, and you can't come. It's just for him and I," I want to lay my grammar book on the table between us, then lie down in bed and weep.
One pet peeve I cannot seem to shake affects my life a lot more, however. It is: people who enjoy using their little bit of power. I call it Gym Teacher Syndrome, and anyone out there who teaches phys ed, kindly forgive me. I'm sure not all gym teachers have it. But the ones I had, did. Climb those ropes! Ten more pushups! Ropes give me burns and I can't do more than three pushups on a good day.
Why does this syndrome bother me so much?
For many reasons that are undoubtedly better saved for the therapist's couch, I have felt since I can remember that I have little to no control over structuring my own life. It starts with doing what your parents tell you to do, including being nice to family members you wouldn't mind shooting to Mars in a rocket ship. It continues with sitting properly in class and following instructions on how to follow instructions. At church, we as small children believe what we're told to believe, or else our souls turn into those dark shadowy filmy things that escape from our bodies and screech like banshees as they head toward purgatory.
Okay, so we go to see our shrinks, and we set up some boundaries, right? We learn how to protect ourselves and make some of our own choices. We learn the word, "no."
But there are so many places where "no" isn't acceptable. Such as at work, for example.
Oh, sure, we can always say, "It's all about them, not us."
But guess what? What is about them affects us, even if we become experts at, as some pop stars might sing, shaking it off?
Being this way means I don't fit in well. It means I'm not good with authority.
Maybe I should have been Empress. But that's not a job category I could ever find on Monster.com.
Besides, I feel badly saying, "Let them eat cake," and my feet don't fit in AAA-width shoes. They're more the peasant kind, good for digging potatoes.
And maybe because of the feet, I prefer to just stand on my own, which is challenging enough. I don't want to tell anyone else what to do, unless it's to hold hands and look both ways, and you're two.
What are some of your pet peeves? Jot these down. Select one. NOW WRITE!