The other day someone asked me a question. Before I had a chance to open my mouth, a person about three yards away called out the answer. Now that irritated me! Nevertheless, it did some good, because it suggested the topic for this week’s blog: pet peeves.
I think every human being is irked by certain things, even Jesus. Imagine how he felt when his two apostles asked for the best seats in his kingdom. Then there was the day after he multiplied bread for thousands and the apostles were worried because there was no food in the boat. At that, Jesus exploded and shot at them no less than five questions in a row that can be summarized, “How can you be so dumb?” (Count them in Matthew 16:7–11.) Of course, the blindness and hypocrisy of the religious leaders got under his skin repeatedly. I suppose some things I do make him roll his eyes too.
I asked my walking partner, “What’s your pet peeve?” Instantly she said, “Slurping.” She meant when people slurp their drink or soup.
Here a few of my pet peeves that you possibly can identify with:
• The phone ringing while I’m eating or cooking or wrapped up in writing only to discover it’s a telemarketer warning me about my car warranty or offering me a week in a hotel.
• Waiting at an intersection for a car to pass and having it turn before it reaches me without a turn signal.
• Being tailgated. Sometimes I’m tempted to stop abruptly and let him/her deal with the accident.
• Beginning to tell a great story or a joke and someone else interrupts and finishes it.
• Talking to a person whose eyes survey the room looking for someone more interesting to be with.
• Reading a book that has many pages dog-eared. Is it so hard to find a bookmark?
• At a red light being trapped behind a car whose driver doesn’t know it’s OK to turn right on red.
• Having someone recall an event and then say, “Oh, were you there too?”
• Contributing to a discussion and then having someone repeat what I said and get the credit for my idea.
• Being asked to pay almost as much for shipping as the item you wish to purchase costs.
• People who are always late.
• This one makes me laugh: Listening to a long-winded person monopolizing the conversation and then having them say to me, “You’re very quiet tonight.”
How do we handle frustrating things like these without developing an ulcer? I like to use an oyster as a metaphor. A piece of grit gets into it, but over time the grit becomes a beautiful pearl. Likewise, a pet peeve can be turned into an advantage. We might use something that annoys us to grow in the virtue of patience. We can also offer up the nuisance and so contribute to the salvation of the world. Also, it doesn’t hurt to say a prayer for the person offending us.
• What is your pet peeve?
It’s National Catholic Sisters Week! A former Baptist and banking executive turned religious sister shares her gratitude for the Eucharist and the fears and doubts that were part of her own discernment in her OSV Talk. #osvinnovation