Since we have a minute, and the old year is winding down, let me share with you some things that really bug me, in no particular order:
- Political fundraising emails that say, "Just chip in 3 dollars." Then, when you click through, suggested donation levels begin at 15 dollars and they actually have the gall to suggest that people 'like you' donate 25.00 or more. This is just cheesy, folks! As God is my witness, if they actually offered the low amount as a choice I would probably give. Every. Single. Time.
- The trend to put huge amounts of power over education in the hands of people who aren't teachers, have never studied education, have never taught. See also: entire education reform movement. If what you are is a test-maker, everyone looks in need of testing. Follow the money.
- School rules that mean you can't send birthday invitations to school (might hurt feelings) but you can't get access to students home addresses (privacy). How are you supposed to invite guests: telepathy? This is right up there with the teacher who wouldn't give out a list of first names for Valentines, so children had to distribute nameless cards to each other. In the first grade, that's a missed literacy experience.
- The growing trend to make sure that all kids have cell phones so that we can know exactly where they are and reach them 24/7. And the corollary that, if we don't do this, we are not being responsible parents. My husband had to admonish a kid who took a call during class. "But it's my mom!" He protested. This is already having far-reaching consequences as young people go to college and every decision is micromanaged through texts with the home base. When will we let our children leave the nest and fly?
- Nick and Disney tween-teen shows that have the intellectual content of a Twinkie and portray all parents as morons and all girls as frighteningly skinny and perfect-looking.
- Trolls. In particular: anonymous trolls. Do you want to say vile, hateful, character-smearing things? Attach your real name and photograph so that everyone knows you stand by your words. Yes, everyone. Your neighbors, your family, your co-workers, your employers...
- Fascinating video clips that won't play on my iPad. Aaaaah! I'm clearly missing out on so much important content!
- People who are well behaved and respectful in church but routinely talk during the musical portions. Really? You would never talk during the scripture readings or the sermon, so why is the anthem fair game? Is all music just background music to you?
- When they're restocking at the Food Lion and they just leave carts and boxes anywhere willy-nilly. The whole store looks like an unmade bed. Nothing says, "we had no idea that customers were coming" like leaving aisles blocked, boxes open, shelves a mess, and displays half-finished.
- And finally, a disturbing new development: have they stopped carrying sticky buns at Wegman's? Say it isn't so!
Please feel free to list your current pet peeves below. Perhaps I'll create a new ritual and burn all mine and start the new year fresh.