Hello and welcome to another Wednesday Wondering. It’s very wet, wild and grey today on the Yorkshire Coast where I live. But I love it! Yes, I’m one of these made people who prefers cold weather to hot weather as you can wrap up warm and keeping adding layers when it’s cold but you can only shed so many when it’s hot. It annoys me when people look at you like you’re absolutely crazy when you say you don’t like the heat. Which brings me nicely onto today’s Wondering:
What are your pet peeves?
This was posed by Helen R, our Write Romantic in Australia where I can pretty much guarantee there won’t be a wet, wild and grey day today! It made me laugh when Helen suggested this as my local radio station, Yorkshire Coast Radio, does something called “The Wednesday Whinge.” Listeners phone up, text or Facebook with their pet peeves (although they mustn’t get personal with them, of course) and I sometimes listen to the radio giggling away to myself, thinking, ‘Yeah, I hate that … and that … oh, and that too!’ I was therefore dying to hear what The Write Romantics had to say so, without further ado, here’s their thoughts. We asked for a writing peeve as well, if they could think of one ….
I’ve had a bit of a morning trying to decide what are my pet peeves, cos it could be two, hairdressers (include dog groomers in there) and shops that won’t allow dogs in, cos both should come in for a bit of aggro as far as I’m concerned!!!
There are more hairdressers than restaurants in my local town and I cannot work out why. It’s not from my custom they’re flourishing, I avoid them like the plague. For most of my life I’ve had long hair and I used to get it trimmed every 6 weeks as they tell you to do. But so often I’d come out of the salon looking from the neck up like a candidate for Strictly that I gave up going at all. Those that know me will know that I’m a natural kinda girl. My formative years were in the 70’s and I became well entrenched in the hippy movement. Not the wild and abandoned sort of hippy, but the earth chick kind of girl who really just wanted to be an earth mother and feed an army of kids around a large family table. Fancy hairdo’s don’t go with that sort of life but every time I went to a hairdresser despite me explaining about my casual lifestyle I came out much too dressed up. So I don’t bother going now.
The other is about shops that won’t let dogs in. I love taking each one in turn of our four dogs for a walk round town when I go to dog friendly places and they love joining me. Most people love them too, and many stop for a chat and a stroke (of the dog that is!) But some shops won’t let dogs in, our local Oxfam for one. I can’t see why not, they don’t damage anything, or wee anywhere, they simply stay on the end of a lead and look cute. But there are a few shops I have to avoid when I have a dog with me. I can’t really work out why.
Ooopps, maybe I should have thought of writing related peeves, but I can’t think of any at the moment!
My non-writing pet peeve is when people pronounce ‘h’ as haitch instead of aitch – it’s in the dictionary, people, as the eighth letter of the alphabet! I know that they put on the ‘h’ sound because it is the letter ‘h’ but, on that principle, ‘f’ would be pronounced ‘feff’ instead of ‘eff’ and ‘L’ would be ‘lel’ and not ‘el’. No-one does that, so why oh why, do they say ‘haitch’? It makes me cringe, but I am sure that it will also spark some heated debate!
My pet peeve for writing is too much description of the characters’ looks, which makes me cringe too! Something like ‘Abigail looked at Henry’s chiselled jaw line, as sharp and impenetrable as the walls of the sky scraper where they’d first met. The cool regard in his ice-blue eyes reminiscent of her sapphire engagement ring, which she’d discarded in such fury after their last meeting.’ OTT I know, but I have seen descriptions like it and they make me laugh for all the wrong reasons. That said, I think I probably don’t give enough description of what the characters look like in my writing, so maybe there’s something to learn rather than be peeved about after all…
My pet peeve would have to be drivers who insist on parking right next to me in a car park with more empty spaces than I can count! This happened only the other day…I parked at the gym and opposite were 12 empty spots (I counted this time). Another lady arrived and parked her enormous four-wheel drive right next to me and then had the cheek to moan that our wing mirrors touched when she tried to open her door. I still wonder what she was thinking.
My pet writing peeve would have to be when I accidentally hit the wrong keys in Word and it takes me a long, long time to unravel what I’ve done. The other day I managed to insert a black dotted line across my page in the middle of my manuscript. Every time I thought I’d deleted it, it would appear a couple of pages later. All I can say is thank goodness for broad search terms on Google…I’m not the only one to have done this and I found the solution.
My main writerly peeve is me! I’d love to be one of those who can bang out thousands of words at one sitting and get that first draft done in a couple of months but I can’t resist the compulsion to constantly re-read and alter and edit as I go along, which makes it very slow going. But then if that isn’t me, it isn’t, so I’m guess I’m stuck with it!
Outside of writing? Well, peeves are many and various, more so as I get older and become a Grumpy Old Woman, so I’ll pick one that happened only yesterday. I was on the bus and a child behind was coughing so violently I could virtually feel the spray hitting the back of my head. If the child wasn’t old enough to cover its own mouth then it’s mother should at least have removed it from the line of fire. Same applies to adults who sneeze all over the place. I don’t want your germs!
I really don’t like miserable shop assistants, those who can’t be bothered to acknowledge your existence. But having been on the other side of the fence when I worked in Boots, I have to say miserable customers were quite common. So come on folks, a smile or a hello doesn’t cost anything and it may even brighten yours as well as someone else’s day. Try it if you dare!
As for a writing peeve, well I hate it when I plan to spend time writing and life gets in the way. This quite often happens on the farm, so I just put my writing thoughts on pause, rather like you would with the television and come back to it as soon as I can.
My biggest non-writing pet peeve is people who abandon shopping trolleys in the supermarket car park. The trolley bays are not exactly miles away and it drives me mad.
My biggest writing pet peeve is how some agents – who I know are extremely busy – can’t take the time to send out a “no thank you” if they don’t like your submission. Isn’t that what office juniors are for?
My pet peeve list is long and seems to get added to every day! I have many driving-related peeves, particularly surrounding the ridiculous number of drivers out there who don’t use their indicators (or use them incorrectly), especially on busy roundabouts. However, my biggest peeve is around people who seem to be completely oblivious to anyone around them and therefore constantly behave inconsiderately. I’ll illustrate this with a few of the examples of such behavior that wind me up the most:
- People who stop for a chat with their friends in the supermarket, completely blocking the aisle with their bodies/trolleys
- People who walk several abreast down the pavement and won’t break into a smaller group to let you past, especially when you have a small child/buggy/armfuls of shopping or you’re running late for something like a job interview or a bus!
- People who just stop suddenly as they’re walking, making you bang into them
- Groups of people who sit at or lean on a bar in a pub (usually locals) so you can’t actually get in to order a drink
I could go on and on! What’s even worse is when any of the above then get irate or tut at you when you try to get past/bang into them/order your drink. Grrr.
As for writing-related peeves, I completely agree with Helen P’s peeve and will just add that I draw parallels with recruitment too and see writing submissions as very similar to applying for a job. I’ve been a recruitment manager for about 20 years and I am regularly disgusted by companies or agencies who don’t let you know the outcome of your application or cop out of responding by saying on the advert, “If you don’t hear within 2 weeks of your application, assume it’s a no cos, to be honest, we’re too busy and important to respond.” Ok, so I added the latter bit on but it’s just rude. However, as Helen has already used this example, I’ll throw in a new one. I have a real thing about this and I’m so sorry if I offend anyone but I can’t stand the incorrect use of their/there or your/you’re. Loads of people get it wrong, particularly your and you’re and I accept that there are people who’ve never grasped it at school etc. However, it is completely unacceptable when you see adverts and posters and any sort of marketing materials where the wrong word is used. Sorry people but this is basic grammar and you need to get it right or you’re poster over their will look completely wrong! (See what I did there?! 😉 )
And relax …. So, this is what peeves some of The Write Romantics. I’m going to have a nice cup of tea and lie down in a darkened room with a damp flannel on my forehead while I try to re-regulate my breathing and chill out a bit. We’d love to hear from you. Do you agree with our peeves? Do you have any of your own? Are you guilty of doing something that winds one of us up? If so, we’d love to hear the other side of the “argument”! Please do join in for a bit of fun.
Next week will be the day before Hallowe’en so we’ll be honouring it with a spooky-themed Wondering.