It’s only March, and already some of the optimism I felt heading into the New Year has dissipated.
Why? Because rather than focusing on all the good things in my life -- my job, my family, my friends, the nice weather in northern California this winter -- I find myself irritated by some of things I’m seeing each day and reading about in the news.
So I’ve decided to spend a few minutes and rant about “Things That Are Not Good.” Yes, these can be easily dismissed as First World complaints. And I certainly know they pale in comparison to the problems faced by those coping with hunger, poverty, homelessness, joblessness, underemployment, health issues, crazy terrorists who have no regard for human life and crazy politicians bent on world domination, among many other horrible things.
But what can I say. I live in the First World, and this stuff is driving me crazy. And we’re only 65 days into 2015!!!! I can’t even imagine how long the list is going to be by June.
Let me also just point out that I am not the only one: There is a hashtag, #thingsarenotgood, and it is neither new nor initiated by me. It can be pretty funny, though.
So here are the things that I’ve just found truly annoying so far this year, listed in no particular order.
• Rude drivers who think they own the road, as demonstrated by their inability to send a simple wave your way after you let them cut ahead of you in a long line of traffic that causes you to miss the light -- again. Yes, I’m talking to you, Tesla Model S driver.
• Tools -- and I’m not talking about hammers and screwdrivers here.
• Prominent venture capitalists who say publicly they endorse the need for more women in their ranks, but note in private emails (made public in a sexual discrimination lawsuit) that they wonder if a woman candidate for partner will retain her enthusiasm for travel when “she becomes a mom.”
• Public address systems that sound just fine when the announcer says “Attention riders. Attention riders,” but then turn into static-spewing speakers when it comes time to deliver whatever news we we’re supposed to be paying attention to. I’m now convinced they do it on purpose, with the announcer putting his/her hand over the microphone and making the crackly sound just for laughs.
• The $4 cup of coffee and $3 French macaroon.
• People who talk too loud on public transportation because they somehow think that the little speaker on their earphone cords activates a cone of silence that prevents those around them from hearing what they’re saying. We hear you loud and clear -- and you’re boring.
• People who can’t stop checking their smartphone while they’re talking to you. This is not a new complaint, I know, but this has reached epidemic proportions. Hello? Put the phone away. You're supposedly having a conversation with me.
• The voicemail from someone who’s called to tell me they sent me an email.
• Passive-aggressive people. There’s a reason they’re called “crazy makers.”
• People who put their seat all the way back in the coach section of the airplane. No really, I’m thrilled to have you practically sitting in my lap for the next six hours. And really, I don’t mind that you almost smashed my laptop to bits with your high-velocity backward thrust. I understand that glancing back is too much trouble.
• People who don’t pull to the forward pump at the gas station -- because we’re all happy to sit and wait for you to finish since we have nothing better to do. At least it wasn't that guy in the Tesla.
• Autocorrect. When my son got a text message from me with a word I would never use in conversation with him or anyone else, he texted back, “Mom?” Honestly, I didn’t mean to say that.
• Over-sharing on Twitter. For the record, and I don’t think I’m alone here, the world doesn’t care what you had for lunch or that you smell something funny. Really. We don’t care.
• People at movie theaters who refuse to stop texting even though the PSA asking everyone to stop texting has just played. This includes you. Really. It does. Stop texting.
• The group of three or four people who walk next to each other on the sidewalk. Sidewalks are made up of two lanes, people, and you don’t own either one. Step aside. We’re trying to walk here.
• People who start a conversation by saying, "No offense, but..." For the record, any sentence that starts with "No offense, but..." means you're about to give offense.
OK, I’m going to stop there. I feel better just sharing. If you think you’ll feel better after a brief rant, too, feel free to tweet us @onethingnew with the hashtag #ThingsThatAreNotGood. In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy the warm weather and hope the year improves. -- Connie Guglielmo
If you missed last week's issue, here you go:
The Last Fun Thing To Do In the Snow
If you liked this story, you'll also like:
Small Golf, Smelly Food and Plain English
Getting Unstuck from Sticky Situations
How I Learned to Work a Room -- and You Can, Too
Photo of macaroons courtesy of flickr user Farrukh
Right on the Money. If England managed to get Jane Austen onto the 10 pound note, maybe the the U.S. can have a woman on its currency, too. We did have the Susan B. Anthony silver dollar, minted from 1979 to 1981, and again in 1999, the first of only three non-allegorical women's faces on circulating coins. Now, a new organization called WomenOn20s hopes to change that by getting the face of a women on the $20 bill. Timing targets 2020, which marks the 100th anniversary of passage of the 19th Amendment. Candidates for the new bill include Betty Friedan, Shirley Chisholm, Rachel Carson, Rosa Parks, Clara Barton and nine others. According to The New Yorker, WomenOn20s founders Barbara Ortiz Howard and Ades Stone hope to present preliminary options to President Obama in the next few months. Obama has already indicated support for the idea, saying last August he thought it would be a "a pretty good idea." You can vote for your pick on the WomenOn20s site.
Women, take note. March is Women's History Month, and you can read all about the contributions of notable women at a site run by the Library of Congress. In addition to tributes to Depression-era photographer Dorothea Lange and Red Cross founder Clara Barton, the site offers up a 3-D model of the leather and wool-lined flight suit worn by aviator Amelia Earhart during her trans-Atlantic solo flight in 1932. Yes, it's very cool.