I have an astonishing lack of pet peeves. Or peeves in general, I think, which is what adds so solidly to my sunny disposition and general good nature.
I’m being serious.
I understand peeves, I do. Because I have a couple. But they’re small ones. And I rarely get teeth-baringly freaked out about them. However, in the spirit of “it’s a dark and cloudy day, and I unknowingly left a Kid at home with a dead car battery this morning,” here is a little sampling of my personal peeves.
A. Grammar issues. I’m more of a word nerd/grammar geek than a full on grammar snob, obvs. But small things irk me. I’m all in favor of split infinitives (because I’m not a native speaker of Latin and stuff), and clearly I adore beginning sentences with conjunctions. So sue me. Also fragments. Love them. But subjects and verbs should agree, don’t you agree? Why can’t we just all get along? Also, their, there, they’re/its, it’s/your, you’re business? It’s not so hard. You’re getting there. Just learn it. And then I won’t have cause to gnash my teeth. (This is way more leaning toward written word, clearly, than spoken, but mostly to things claiming to be professional – ads, speeches, brochures, books… like that. I try to breathe through the gross grammatical errors  of everyday interactions.)
B. Entitlement and the dreaded “It doesn’t apply to me” mentality. It never fails to make my eye start to twitch – the kid who thinks he can slide by around the rules because he deserves some kind of special treatment. The woman at a conference who ignores (and flagrantly flaunts) the “please turn off your cell phone” announcement, because clearly her life is more crucial than anyone else’s. The guy who puts his car diagonally in two parking spaces? Kind of makes me want to key his door. Not that I would EVER do such a thing. It’s an instinct. That doesn’t mean I act on it. I do have some self-control.
C. Lateness, if you can imagine. My own more than anyone else’s, really, but there are not many people who live in my house who agree with me on this one, so I find myself getting twitchy about other people’s lateness when it affects  my own. I hate being late. I feel like it’s disrespectful. I feel like it’s condescending. I feel like it’s unkind and rude and needlessly flaunty of the abovementioned (part B) mentality.
D. Empty boxes on pantry shelves. This stems back to my childhood, when my brother (hi, Omaheck!) would put empty treats boxes back on the shelf simply because it happened on accident one day (so he says ), and I reacted. After that, it happened All The Time. And now my kids do it. –“Who put this empty pretzel bag back in the pantry?” –“It’s not empty.” –“Oh, you’re right. There are three grains of course salt rattling around right there in the cellophane.”
That’s probably not all my peeves, but they probably all stem from just such things. It’s not an extensive list. But, know what? I think that having fewer peeves causes me to be the kind of person who annoys other people. Because I don’t obsess about all the ways people can be annoying, I rarely consider my own tendencies to bug people. There are times I try to care, but mostly I’m trying not to put a pen in my eye over a (part B derivative) dress code violation.
At my first high school, there was a man who deserves his own post, a teacher I knew only casually, since he taught senior college prep English, and I moved away mid-junior year. He once failed a friend’s essay because she used the word “yet” instead of “but” (or maybe the other way around), calling it a “gross grammatical error” – an automatic fail. My heart still races at the thought of such a hardnose.
After my grammar rant, I’m almost concerned enough about the effect of getting this word wrong to look this one up. Almost. But not quite.
 Really? REALLY? How can you take the last pop-tart, the one time a year when Mom bought pop-tarts, and ACCIDENTALLY leave the empty box? How, I ask you? HOW?