Things that bug me (but probably shouldn’t)

Bugs meDon’t know if it’s just that I’m getting old and crusty, or I’ve been reading too much of ‘Ben’s Bitter Blog’, but there’s a bunch of stuff that drives me nuts.  Stuff that really shouldn’t:

  • People who call water heaters ‘hot water heaters’….you don’t need to heat hot water!
  • Running out of soap in the soap dispenser and pumping the thing like crazy and finally giving up but not going and refilling it and doing it again later
  • Opening the door to let the dog out and having a swarm of flies come buzzing into the house like they’ve been waiting there all along
  • Cars blocking the right turn lane at an intersection because they’re going straight even though it’s a right turn lane and the 6 cars turning right behind it have to wait until the light turns green…
  • People who don’t have any spacial awareness with their shopping carts and block the aisles in the stores while reading the ingredients on a soup can and no one can go around them and they don’t even notice or don’t care 
  • That smudge on my glasses that I can’t get rid of and it’s dead center in my line of sight
  • Having the coffee maker shut off half way through making a pot
  • Filling the car with gas an hour before the price drops
  • People who mis-dial you and leave a message for someone else even though you clearly identify yourself on the outgoing message
  • People who leave an outgoing message on their answering machine by only providing their phone number – the one you just dialed!
  • Putting your garbage out on a really windy day and by the time the garbage truck comes, the recycling box has blown down the street then you have to go on a search mission to get your recycling boxes back
  • Nose hair….on anyone
  • Dog owners who let their pets ‘go’ on my lawn
  • E-bikes, mopeds or scooters that go too slow to follow, but are on streets that don’t allow you to pass
  • Cars parked directly across from each other on narrow streets, making it nearly impossible to navigate
  • ‘Continental Breakfasts’….bring me bacon!
  • Button-fly jeans.  I’m over 50…buttons are for shirts, not pants
  • 3 ring binders – I’m left-handed.

Ahh!  Now that feels better….

Anything bugging you?

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They call me Mister

From the time we’re old enough to respond to our names, we’re able to pick up on the subtle differences between being called and being in trouble.

When your mother calls you by your full name, you know you’re in big trouble.  That kind of formality is reserved for serious infractions.

We never had trouble distinguishing things with our Dad.  He only called us by name if we were in trouble.  Otherwise, we got called ‘My Boy’ which was usually accompanied by a noogy.

There were 4 boys in our family, and he would just run down the list from oldest to youngest until we responded – and we had better respond, or else!  The more mad he was, the more convoluted the list sounded.  It’s no surprise that now with his condition, not remembering our names doesn’t come as any great shock.  For half our lives, he called us by the wrong name.

Out in the big scary world, there are names given to you that can be considered either respectful or condescending, depending on the circumstance.  Case in point;  Being called ‘Sir’ can be a show of respect from a youth, although it still stings a bit, since it means that you’re old. “Will you be getting the senior’s discount today, Sir?“.  Ouch!

On the other hand, being called ‘Sir’ by a police officer has a whole different meaning.  It’s on par with your mother calling you by your proper name.

When I’m introduced to people, especially someone of a generation ahead of my own, I tend to call them ‘Sir’ or ‘Ma’am’ until they offer back a more relaxed option.  “Call me Harold.  ‘Sir’ was My father’s name”.

At home now, we generally refer to each other with pet names; honey, sweetheart, and so forth.  I know I’m in trouble or something has gone wrong when my lovely bride calls to me by saying ‘Troy’.  We call our kids ‘Boy’ or ‘Girl’, and refer to them as such with our friends.  I don’t know how that came about, but it stuck.

In my neighbourhood, there’s lots of kids.  Since we live smack-dab in the center of our street, our activities are almost always visible to curious little eyes.  This is also why we have good curtains.

The children next door to us call us ‘Mister Troy’ and ‘Missus Darlene’.  I guess our Polish last name was just too much for their little tongues to navigate.  I think it’s cute – as soon as we come outside or pull into our driveway, they compete to see who can say ‘Hi’ first.

Hi, Mister. Troy.  We’re going to the zoo today” the little boy would rush over and announce.

Somehow, even without introductions, our names are now known all around the neighbourhood, which is kind of cool.  But not today.

While I was picking up the mail, a kid who couldn’t have been more than 10 and doesn’t even live on our street was walking home from school, and as he passed, he said ‘Hi, Troy‘, with a casual wave of the hand.  No ‘Mister’ Troy, or Sir.  Heck, even ‘Mr. T’ would be better.

It came out of him with a familiarity like he was someone I had a beer with while fixing the lawn mower.  This was a little too cozy for my liking, especially from someone his age.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not one of those formal people who insists that people refer to them as Mr.  I’ve met people like that. “Hello, I am Mr. Stephens“.  Yikes!

It’s just that there’s something about respecting your elders that got lost on this kid.  You should follow a more formal introduction until offered otherwise.  Is that being stodgy or frumpy?

I know it’s not the kids fault.  He wanders the neighbourhood a lot, with little if any adult supervision, so it’s not like he’s getting a good mentoring.

Maybe ‘Mister Troy’ should take him under his wing and teach him about respecting his elders, and on properly addressing people he doesn’t know.  Who knows, maybe one day, he will be sharing a beer with me while fixing the lawn mower.  Then he can call me ‘Troy’.  But for now, he can call me MISTER!