I am feeling irate lately, though there is no particular source that I can channel my considerable angst against, which sort of just compounds the feeling of irritation. It is just a general feeling of being rather “put out” as Prince Humperdinck put it with such succinct verve in The Princess Bride. And I don’t want to be some pouty misanthropic sadist so it’s best to get it all out of my system, right? Thus, let the trumpets herald, as the List of Grievances is unfurled.
1. Yes, I know that there is snow out there. I sympathize. In fact, I drive in the same damn snow so I empathize. But will your widdew SUV really sustain such massive internal injuries as to render it requiring life support if a snowflake or two should hit the windshield at the same time as the foot is on the gas pedal? Last I checked, motorized vehicles were manufactured so as to operate under such frightening conditions. Put on your wipers, drive slower than normal, but DRIVE.
2. When people walk two or three shoulder-to-shoulder on the sidewalk and do not have the common sense or decency to interrupt their conversational flow for three seconds so as to allow another to pass. Those people should be ticketed and forced to take an Urban Living 101 seminar. I’ll teach! We’ll address a myriad of topics, including but not limited to: blasting one’s radio, honking at law-abiding bicyclists, wearing too much perfume, and all the dreaded grievances one commits with a cellular devise attached to the ear…
3. The lady at the herb store down the street who positively goes into cardiac arrest if my son should pick up a little package of this or that to look at, like he’s playing football with a precious family heirloom or a Tiffany lamp. Jeez! She seriously needs some valerian or chamomile or something. Check into it, lady: you run an herb store.
4. The awkwardness I created when I baked some cookies for my neighbors on a whim for Christmas. They seriously are avoiding all eye contact. Ooookay.
5. The scraping sound of the shovel on the sidewalk once concrete is hit. Even worse? Those who don’t shovel at all. They should be forced to listen to the sound of shovel on bare concrete for an hour straight.
6. When I bang into something with my foot. Seriously, John knows to avoid me after I hit my ankle or stub my toe as I am filled with the fury of ten thousand angry toddlers. I’m not sure why this is so, but it is.
7. Cold weather. Well, I certainly understand the futility in raising an angry fist against, like, the weather, especially when I live in a cold climate by choice, but after a while in the bracing cold and wind, I just feel like saying, “You know what, Weather? You’re cold. We get it. You don’t have to keep trying to prove it to us, okay? You can get damn cold. You win.”
8. Lukewarm iced tea with, like, two iced cubes. It is absolutely worthless. It does not work as an iced beverage. It does not work as a warm beverage. Good iced tea is the nectar of the gods to me, and a haphazardly prepared glass is the sludgy bastard child of its fullest potential. Blech. [Maybe this should be covered in my Urban Living 101 class?]
9. When people pull the (insert whiny voice here), “I tried to be vegan, but…” But what? Your hair fell out in giant clumps? I’ve heard that one. Your skin turned green? Heard that one, too. You lost too much weight? I yawn. Oh, you gained too much weight. Yep, I’ve heard that one, too. It took too much time? I’m sorry…was I drumming my fingers? How rude of me. You feel more connected to the earth when you consume its inhabitants? How cool that you and Ted Nugent have so much in common. Okay, I do understand that veganism is a more challenging road for some than others, but I do get annoyed when I feel like people are coming to me for some sort of forgiveness, for me to lovingly pat them on the hand and say, “It’s okay, my child. You tried.” I will not. But, being grumpy, I will say this in response: “I tried to be an omnivore but my conscience was killing me.” Or, “I tried to be an omnivore but I ultimately found consuming carrion, ovum and mammary secretions to be rather foul.” Harsh? Perhaps. Take that up on your own list of grievances.
10. When the grocery store only has neon green bananas and rock-hard avocadoes. Yes, I’m spoiled.
11. When you smile at a stranger to be nice and you get the big ol’ stink-eye in return. Yes, I was trying to mug/stalk/seduce you right there. You caught me! Like the ability to greet a smile with a frown somehow increases one’s urban edginess: I think not, my friend. That’s an error in judgment and it proves that you need to take my seminar and be banished to distant suburbia for the day where the other non-smilers gather.
12. That my mother refers to all Asian food as “chop suey.” I know that it may be endearing to someone who is not her child, but to me, well, it pretty much makes steam come out of my ears, Ridiculous, I know. But, still…Chop suey?!
13. When you slip on ice and the next thing you know, you’re lying on a cold sidewalk, gazing up at the sky and your keys have flown from your coat pocket into a nearby snow bank so you must spend nearly a half-hour in the ever-diminishing available sunlight searching frantically for them as a child whines by your side. Just as an example.
14. Casein, whey, bee’s wax and other silly ingredients that make otherwise vegan items non-vegan.
15. When big ol’ sweaty people don’t wipe off the exercise machine as they exit it at the gym. Gross. Towels, people!
Anyway, that’s what I’ve got for you. What’s your grievance?