When you live with someone long enough, they can do things, even little things, to really get on your nerves.
Growing up with my two sisters we fought over clothes, bathroom time, and whose turn it was to do the dishes.
Husbands are also a great source of pet peeves; never refilling the toilet paper roll, leaving wet towels on the furniture, and flossing their teeth anywhere but in the bathroom.
And my late mother, she HATED when you’d read a book without a light on behind you. If you really pissed her off Mom would usually react one of two ways:
- Respond sarcastically to questions like, “Where are you going?” with, “Crazy, that’s where!”
- The silent treatment.
Mom was a pro at “2.”
These pet peeves and others are minor inconveniences we put up with every day. Whether it’s finding toenail clippings or coffee stains on the counter for the 1,876,435 time, we supposedly love these people and are willing to bite our lip because we know their good qualities far out weigh the bad. Besides, none could be so irritating as to cause a mental break, right?
Then comes Charlie.
I love my dad. He’s often thoughtful, funny, and tolerates me eating his food and using his washing machine while I’m visiting in exchange for home cooked meals, cleaning, and, I assume, my sparkling personality. That said, however, Charlie also has some seriously grating aspects to his personality that can be beyond irritating and could nearly drive a sane person to tears.
Perhaps that’s what was causing Mom to go ‘crazy’?
I’ve begged him, I’ve pleaded. Still no change in his behavior.
“Dad, could you please turn the music down?”
“DAD. I’m sitting right here. You really don’t need to yell.”
“Could you PLEASE STOP leaving your wires everywhere? Someone is going to trip over them and kill themselves!” (Close calls happen about a half dozen times a week.)
“Are you aware you just said ‘Son of a bitch’ five F*CKING times in the last five F*CKING minutes?!”
The thunderous snoring. The TV at full volume, coupled with his refusal to replace the battery in his hearing aid. The pointing at his non-existent wrist watch at the stroke of 12 noon and 6pm to not-so-stubbly indicate he’s ready for me to make food. I’ve bitten my lip and lived almost blissfully with all of these “minor inconveniences” for weeks. Then the day came when I discovered the biggest potential Dad-related pet peeve of all: A disrespectful sound used to cut me off in mid-conversation. That’s when I mentally broke and the Mexican Standoff or, in our case, German Standoff began. (more…)