Tuesday, January 20, 2015

That Thing You Do

With the whole two-small-children thing, our anniversary wasn't a big deal this year, but just so ya'll know, we just had our 3rd. Anniversary, not child. Lord help me. (Incidentally, today is also my parents' 25th anniversary, holla!!!) 

In light of that little milestone, I was chuckling about the timing of this post on pet peeves. I like to ask couples what habits they have that drive one another crazy - not to be divisive, but just because the answers are so funny. As I looked back at the little list I'd been keeping of my own pet peeves (particularly about things that Jonas does), I was happy to see that some of them aren't even an issue any more. 

Don't get me wrong, I still hate seeing the toilet seat up, but I've finally decided to be the bigger man and let him have it his way (I can say stuff like this because he doesn't read the blog). ;) Did you hear that Jonas??? I STILL NOTICE, and I'm just not saying anything anymore because I'm that awesome. Although honestly, I have noticed that now that I'm not making a point of chastising him for always leaving the seat up (and absolutely refusing to concede why I find it rude or gross), it doesn't needle me so much. I think I've more or less let it go. I'm patting myself on the back right now, for reals.

(I know the hate-the-same-stuff sentiment is a little cynical, but it's so nice to be on the same team as your husband or wife, isn't it?!)

Of course, I've moved on to being irritated by other habits. I promise this will be interesting, because not all my pet peeves are generic. The other day, my pastor talked about what it would be like if we tried to live a whole day without complaining about anything. BORING, I say! ;) I would have almost nothing to talk about. 

I'll start out with the generic spouse stuff - leaving drawers and cabinets open, leaving the shower curtain open and towels on the floor, not unbunching his socks before they go in the wash, etc. Then there's leaving pot and pan handles facing into the kitchen (as opposed to the side or back of the stove), which I find so dangerous, not to mention difficult to move around. That's pretty much the worst of it that I can think of when it comes to Jonas, so that's really not all that bad. Except when he finishes some special food in the fridge without consulting me. That really makes me sulk for a while. 

He used to leave the butter dish in the microwave and I would lose my mind because I could not find it ANYWHERE. As it turns out, he does that because his mom did that growing up, and she did it because they had a cat who always wanted to eat the butter. Strange as all get out, but made sense once I figured it out. 

To be fair, he goes crazy over some of my habits too, including leaving 20+ tabs open on our laptop, and in our old apartment, I never put the toaster away in the morning because I knew I would just have to take it out again the next day. My brother Bradley has a cow whenever I burp loudly, and growing up, my sister Annelise hated nothing more than listening to me clear my throat in the morning (I blame it all on Chinese polution). 

I asked an engaged (now married) friend what she and her fiancee found strange about one another's routines. She said that her husband always wants to rip the foil all the way off the yogurt container, and she leaves it on. For my parents, it's my mom leaving the microwave door ajar after she's used it. That is exactly the kind of thing that makes marriage so interesting, and sometimes challenging. A few months in to living with someone or seriously combining your lives, you start noticing little things and thinking, "who does that?!" It's weird how we assume that the way we do things is how everyone must do them. The little weirdnesses add up and then we have to put aside ourselves and learn to love someone for who they are, right? I know, I know, I'm getting a little Kumbaya here.  

I heard or read somewhere once (and I feel like I've blogged this before, so, sorry!) that in a good marriage, you fight about the same things over and over, and in a bad one, you find new things to fight about. Of course that's not true on every level, but I like that it acknowledges that we all have petty struggles. It makes sense that there are some issues that remain bothersome because simply by virtue of us not being clones, there will be deep-seated differences that butt heads in any relationship. On the especially deep seated issues, that same argument may come up forever. I think the secret must be to find middle ground or simply not let that issue eat away at all the good things we may have going for us in the larger picture. 

Ok, now here are my very particular pet peeves. 

1. Maybe my very biggest one is when people use the phrase, "great minds think alike." To me, nothing is further from the truth! What makes an idea great is that it stands out from the rest. A bunch of people have the same thought at the same time makes that idea obvious or a necessity, not some meeting of great minds. But I digress... (this one is particularly irksome because it's usually said as a compliment, but it only makes lava bubble up in my heart and almost out of my eyeballs). 

2. Salad forks (and tea spoons). I hate them. They feel so miserably inadequate for real food in terms of both length and weight, and I hate them. 

3. The way the radio ques some supposedly regionally appropriate ethnic music after any story that is well, regional. For example, tribal drums or chanting for Africa, twangy stuff for the American south, etc. It just seems so patronizing to me. Like I need a little melody to help me place my thoughts in a certain part of the world or something? I think it feeds into stereotypes in an unnecessary way. Individuals are more than where they are from. 

4. Oooh, this is another really good (and self-righteous on my part) one. People making their social media profile pictures photos of their kids or pets!!! This is both confusing and silly. Unless the account is all about said other creature and simply run by you, it's okay for your picture to have you in it. We're not all thinking you're vain for showing your own picture, and simultaneously, we also know you're proud of your kids without changing your photo to theirs whenever they do something especially great. I hate to say this (not really), but the cool-parent code strictly prohibits this practice (although it is acceptable to have your child in a photo with you as your profile picture). 

5. While on the topic of children, why does anyone with a faint interest in art and design and a not-terrible (but then again, sometimes terrible) idea think, "I should make this idea into a children's book, it will be easy!". That's why there are so very many abysmal children's books in the world. Please, spare us all and stop that thought process right now. Children's books are not easier to write - in fact, they're probably harder because you have to try and get across a solid idea that a child will understand in so many fewer and clearer words than you could get away with talking to an adult. Kids aren't stupid, but they are easily bored. And also, stop asking my husband to illustrate your children's book. He won't even illustrate stuff for me.... 

(one of my all-time favorite children's illustrations, from an unknown vintage book) 

6. I haven't looked this up, but I'm pretty darn sure that you use "a" before a noun beginning with a consonant (A kite) and "an" before a noun beginning with a vowel (AN airplane). That is all. 

7. Similarly, the word "especially" does not have an X in it. One need only read this word in print ONE TIME to realize it is not pronounced "exspecially". And yet, sadly, the english-speaking human race seems to have much better things to do than notice this small fact. 

8. And last but not least, please do not pick your skin or nails while sitting on the couch with other people. It doesn't matter how small the movement is, other people on the couch can feel the incessant quivers throughout the entire piece of furniture. Do not ask me how this is possible, it is simply true.   

All joking aside, I do prefer to spend my time being grateful for things. But don't we all love the occasional bug-eyed revulsion-fest we get to indulge in when we discover a shared pet peeve with someone (like our friend Greg sharing my belief that Iron and Wine is the WORST musical act). When you have a very particular stance on something, it's always kind of nice when someone else agrees with you. 

What crazy things get under your skin? What habit of your significant other surprised you when you started living in the same place? I'd love to hear, truly, I would... 


  1. A million times YES with the children/pet as profile pic. Drives me nuts. There's even the banner now that you can plaster with your offspring if you like. But if the profile displays YOUR name then YOU (or possibly some specific expression of you) needs to be visible somewhere in the frame.

    1. Every time I see one now, I will feel a small warm place in my heart, knowing it's bothering you too. ;)


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