Natalie forgot to make me a mother’s day card. This wasn’t a big deal, though, because she made me a little sketch during church service. Our church kindly provides little cardboard card stock slips that are meant to be used for newcomers’ to fill out. I believe that the bulk actually are used by small, bored children. I always keep pens in my purse, including some of those cool “four colors in one” pens that haven’t changed at all since I was a kid. Between the card stock, the quad-color pen, and her own ingenuity, she came up with something far better than a standard card. She made a visual representation of things that annoy me. And holy cow, does my 11-year-old have me pegged. Here’s what she came up with:
People who don’t know how to work four way stops. Heading north out of our subdivision I hit two heavily trafficked four-ways in rapid succession. And it’s rare that I exit them without muttering and cursing under my breath. The most annoying to me are the sneaky people who get to the intersection before you, even though it happened three cars before you’re both to the front of your respective lines. They keep track and assume that, once you’re both to the front, they get to go first. Now, if I happen to pull up to empty intersection concurrent with or a bit after someone who’s been in line for a few rounds? Clearly they get precedence and can go out of the “my turn / your turn” order. But those jackasses that attempt to sneak out out of turn because they happened to have been waiting in a longer line than me? Nononono. I hope you understand my explanation, because if you attempt to argue with me, it’s not going to go well.
Chalk. This isn’t so much annoyance as pure revulsion. I know there was a time when I looooved to be called to the front to write on the black, slate chalkboards of St. Mary’s school, preferably with white, not yellow, chalk. Something has changed, and now I hate thinking about it, seeing it, and I really hate touching it. The thought of drawing with chalk sends me into apoplexy.
When the dog vomits up underwear. I’ve shared this previously, but I can’t remember if I told you that he’s vomited up at least 6 pairs at this point. I don’t think that this particular dislike is unique to me, but I like the drawing.
When the dog jumps on the bed. Obi attended puppy training when he was about 3 months old, and we’ve sort of winged it since then. We enrolled in a formal obedience class about a month ago, and the instructor is big into all of the environmental controls and cues that should be instituted to remind the dog who is the head of the pack. One of these is keeping the dog off the bed. Some of us are buying into this philosophy more than others, and it’s not so much the dog getting on the bed, but when it’s coupled with said non-adopter hanging out on the bed with the dog.
When the girls sleep on the floor next to the bed. It’s not so much their being there. I admit that I relish those nights when everyone goes to bed easily, in their own beds, on the first request, and sleeps there all night. Those three nights were great. But I accept that due to fear or a strange desire to hang out, they like to sleep in sleeping bags on the floor of our room on the weekends. Fine. But they shuffle directly next to the bed and squeeze in there in such a way that my nightly trip to the bathroom is way too tricky. I don’t need a Double Dare Physical Challenge at 2 a.m.
When the girls ask me about food. This includes constantly begging to stop at Starbucks as soon as they enter the car, asking what’s for the next meal as soon as the previous one was finished, complaining about said meals, and requesting a different meal than what is already being cooked. Stop talking to me about food until you’re asking “where can I take you for dinner, mom?” This is one of the big benefits of cooking in a crock pot: they can easily identify what’s for dinner early in the day and begin to complain about it in advance without needing my input.
The never ending stream of Amazon boxes. I have to admit, I am a fan of the Prime. However, Jimmy has a problem. I have opened entire shipping crates packed to accommodate a single bottle of salad dressing. This doesn’t seem necessary. Or he accidentally buys in bulk: a case of 36 car-compatible tissue boxes. Or he buys a giant inflatable yard Yoda. The one that pushed me over the edge, though, was the time I opened a large box to discover a 2-foot high vinyl replica of a bust of Shakespeare in which the head could be raised to reveal a safe. This is apparently a nod to something from the original Batman TV series. To me, it was a crazy thing to arrive on a random September day. The neighbors joke about us and are slightly concerned that the constant traffic is illegal in some way. I always say, though, if this is his worst vice, I can live with it. I just take every-other-day trips to the recycling center for all of the flattened boxes…
So, that was my mother’s day card, highlighting all of my best, most charming traits. Once I realized what she was doing, I asked that she draw just as many items that make me happy as she had items that irritate me. I hoped that my daughter’s image of me was more than a summation of a list of things that rub me the wrong way. I hoped she’d come up with all sorts of sweet things like “being with me” and “warm hugs.” As we’ve already seen, she knows me far too well. I’m apparently quite bitter and jaded, because she barely came up with the requisite number, but they’re pretty spot on, and I’ll take what I can get.
“Things that don’t annoy mom:”
- The Great British Baking Show
- Family Tree / Genealogy
- FB 24 / 7 (soooo not true)
- Korean Soap Operas
- My Cup of Coffee