Culture / Newsy

Now Hear This — the Pet Peeves That Drive Us Crazy

From French Fry Thieves to Gum Chewing to Bad Dog Owners, We Have a Few Complaints

BY // 05.03.19

Who doesn’t love a soapbox when it gives you the opportunity to vent? That said, I had no idea that my latest “Now Hear This” Dallas PaperCity office question would be so well-received.

Pet Peeves. We all have them. Whether or not we are willing to list them all or share is another matter.

However, shouldn’t we? It’s important that others in the world know what really rubs us the wrong way. So, in the vein of “once in a while it should be all about ourselves,” that I asked my colleagues to reveal some of their pet peeves.

Let us know if you are also annoyed by some of our pet peeves.

Christina Geyer, Dallas Editor-in-Chief

Pet peeves. Do you have an hour? Here we go: 

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Bad manners — or a blatant disregard for basic etiquette. (Especially during formal functions.)

Chewing loudly is perhaps one of the things that could send me into a murderous rage. 

I loathe lateness — being late myself and being on the receiving end. Five minutes is the only acceptable window I allow, unless a really good excuse is given. 

Pointless meetings. 

People who are belligerently drunk in public.

Cell phones on the table during any meal. 

The overuse of exclamation points in e-mails or texts.

Dishes left in the sink. (The dishwasher is literally six inches away). 

Coming home at night to a house that is dark — or, even worse, one that is only lit with overhead lights. Once the sun goes down, it’s lamps and ambient light only. 

When you order fast food, and the person riding shotgun thinks it is OK to sneakily eat the French fries before you get home. Note: It isn’t OK. 

Smelly food on airplanes. This is not the proper place to eat a banana or carry on buffalo chicken wings.

People who use their cellphones in line at the grocery store check-out — never once saying hello or thank you to the person ringing up and bagging their items.

Lisa Shaddock, Senior Editor

I am by no means perfect in this regard, but one of my pet peeves is complaining. Of course, everyone needs to vent from time to time and to lend a supportive ear to a venting session or two — what else are friends for? — but I truly believe that everyone is in control of their own happiness, and to take it a step further, accountable for it.

If we could all learn to react to life’s curveballs with positivity, compassion and resilience, the world would be a better place.

But also, if you make a tapping sound while I am trying to concentrate — my real pet peeve — I will flip out.

Billy Fong, Culture and Style Editor

Like many of my colleagues, I have a lot of pet peeves, but I’ll just share one with you today.

It bothers me to no end when I walk in someone’s home and they have “fake” or “decorator” art. What I mean by “fake” is framed prints that you can purchase at places like IKEA or World Market.

“Decorator” art is what I call pieces that are the perfect fit for above a sofa that an interior designer has chosen to create from some type of fabric or textile. It’s not original and generally has no passion or true artistic intent behind it.

That stuff isn’t always cheap, so why not go spend some time buying something original? Perhaps from a student who is working on their art degree. A budding young photographer.

I remember when I was younger that plenty of my friends who had an artistic bent — me not so much, as I always say I am aesthetically challenged — would have loved for someone to give them $100 for a photograph or painting.

Yes, you can, of course, spend much more than that on local talent, but there are honestly original works of art that are available at any price point.

Okay, one more pet peeve — men who don’t understand their size and wear massively oversized clothing. Just because you are over 6-foot-2 doesn’t mean you have to shop in the Big & Tall section. I hate seeing a guy who is on the thinner side wear a shirt that looks like he is wearing a sandwich board. Come on fellas, figure it out.

Hillery Stack, Dallas Publisher

Everyone is going to think that I am totally crazy, but gum is my pet peeve. The word itself, the smell and the act of people chewing it all drive me crazy. I have no idea why, and I know it’s completely irrational, but people that know me well know that it’s my biggest pet peeve!

Also, my husband has started to leave cabinet doors open. Why? You open and then close the door once you are finished. Please do the same with the cabinets.

Maggie Wilson, Events and Partnerships Manager

One of my biggest pet peeves is people who smack their gum. There is nothing I hate more than driving in a car while someone next to me is loudly smacking their gum. I cannot stand the noise it makes, even just writing this is causing me to think about it and get irritated!

Samantha Olguin, Sales Account Director and Director of Business Development, Dallas

Well, where do I start? My pet peeves are endless, but does this make me a bad person?

I will start with the most obvious, and that is personal space. Please do not stand within a one-foot radius of me in any direction.

I mean why would you want to be that close to a stranger anyway? I can’t stand when people stand too close to me in line, so since I am a solutions person — that’s what a degree in Finance teaches you! —  I have become a regular fan of the wide stance. 

Let me explain. You simply turn your body one way and then widely stand — yes, not ladylike, but I wouldn’t have to use terrible manners if people knew human boundaries —  in the opposite direction of the person next to you. This creates at least one foot on all sides distance between you and your closest neighbor. 

Next on my list would be the girl that is TTH, or trying too hard. This is simple, people: don’t wear a ballgown to a luncheon or heels to a movie theater. The worst is carrying your Chanel bag, your Hermès belt, your Gucci heels and your Louis Vuitton scarf all a the same time.

We get it, you’re rich.

I am happy for you but not sure the whole world needs to have it rubbed in their face. Trust me, I like my designer goods just as much as the next girl, but I just wear them tastefully. Now that I sound like a complete jerk I will sign off.

I promise I am not, but this topic was a good one!

Linda Kenney, Account Executive

Pet peeve: a minor annoyance that an individual identifies as particularly irritating to them. Yes. I have many pet peeves. Here are but a few:

Rude people: If they only realized how unpleasant they are, perhaps they would stop.

Littering: We like pretty.

Poor driving etiquette: This includes driving slow in the passing lane, drivers that don’t give the right of way to cars merging onto a highway and pig parkers (homage to Larry David).

Nice to vent, thank you Billy Fong.

Meryn Kennedy, Dallas Intern

One of my biggest pet peeves is stepping in chewed gum. That’s probably the quickest way I get annoyed. But it is usually preventable, so I’m never too worried.

Caroline Lidl, Dallas Intern

Pet Peeves? I am hesitant to even begin answering this question, as discussing them might just get me all riled up. I can handle gum smackers, leaving the lights on, and talking on the cellphone in public places — but one thing I will not stand for is slow walkers.

There is very rarely an occasion I find myself taking a leisurely stroll — I’m either dashing to class or powering along the Katy Trail for a light weekend workout. On either occasion, if I get stuck behind you and your buddy walking slowly — and blocking the entire path — you will have secured a spot on my hit list.

I apologize in advance for the over-dramatic cut-around maneuver and cutting glare I will likely throw your way.

The Katy Trail is also a hot spot for my second pet peeve: people who don’t clean up after their dogs. I love that Dallas is such a dog-friendly city, but that doesn’t mean it is a free-for-all doggy dumping ground. This is a growing pet peeve of mine, as it seems to be a much bigger problem in this city than anywhere else I have ever been. 

Please, please, please clean up after your pets!

If you ever have something you want our team to address, shoot us your thoughts via social media or email (@papercitydallas on Instagram; on Facebook; or yours truly, Or, better yet send a message to the office, handwritten on the Smythson stationery of your choice — and feel free to include a bottle of Veuve. Champagne really helps get the ideas flowing.

Look for the next installment of Now Hear This from Billy Fong next week.

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