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Pet Peeves

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There’s a thread in the Trout Nation Forums called “Things you can’t justify being annoyed by,” and when I read it, I felt like I had come home. I get annoyed by so many things that I cannot justify in any way, including but not limited to:

  • People thinking a food is spicy when I do not think it is spicy
  • When people ask for prayers on Facebook and don’t elaborate what people are supposed to be praying for
  • Those photoshopped book ads where someone puts their cover into a picture of a billboard or a bus stop ad to make it look like they actually purchased major advertising and their book is a really big deal

so it was gratifying to read that other people have the same weird feelings about weird things that they can’t explain. But I also have three pet peeves that I feel like I can justify, and I would like to bitch about them now.

The cat double standard. In my life, I have lived in houses with cats more than I have not. Growing up, I had a cat named Panther. When I was high school, we got a second cat named Sherbert. My first live-in boyfriend and I had a cat named Jupiter. A roommate had a cat named Gabrielle. When we met, Mr. Jen had a cat called Smudge, who ate shoelaces out of your shoes and humped everything. And in 2006, I got a kitten I named Her Majesty. So this is a lot of cats, right? A pretty good sample size. All of these cats? Every single one of them? Peed on stuff.

This is the point where I’m sure some of you are going to rush to the comments and say, “My cat has never peed outside of the litterbox!” And I am going to tell you: you’re either lying to protect your a-hole cat, or you just haven’t found the spot your a-hole cat is peeing in yet.

Her Majesty is possibly the worst offender. No matter how clean her litter boxes are–litter boxes, plural, for one cat, in an attempt to correct this issue–she will pee on something. Piece of paper gets dropped on the floor? Better pee on it. Did Mr. Jen leave his work shoes poking just outside the cubby? Buy new shoes, dickhead. Jenny, I noticed you’re doing laundry! While you’re standing literally three feet away, I’ll just squat here in front of the washing machine and pee.

This is the point where I’m sure some of you are going to rush to the comments and say, “If your cat is peeing outside of the litterbox, it means she’s sick!” And I am going to tell you: this cat has been checked for numerous conditions, numerous times, by three different vets. This cat? Is not sick. This cat is an a-hole.

So, back in the day, I stupidly, stupidly turned to people on the internet for help. I joined a forum in which cat owners traded stories and concerns about their cats. There were videos posted of cats grieving for their canine companions who’d passed on, or cats greeting service members returning from deployment. People were telling stories that proved how human cats really are, how they think and feel as complexly as we do, and that, without any doubt, cats were capable of love and devotion to human companions on a scale far greater than any love the universe has ever known.

But the second you say, “My a-hole cat is peeing on stuff, how do I fix it?” suddenly cats have absolutely no emotions. “It’s just an animal! Cats don’t have feelings the way we do, they act on instinct alone! Get out of the dark ages, you cat-hating monster!”

Then I remembered that the internet has a very skewed ratio of dummies to sensible people, and called my friend Bronwyn Green, who at one time had nine cats or something totally berserk like that. And she said, “Sounds like Her Majesty is just an asshole.” But the point of this story is, for some reason people will ascribe human emotions to cats to make them seem like the most wonderful, perfect, easy to care for species in the entire pet kingdom, but are fully willing to paint them as wild idiots whose love of destroying human property with their foul urine is just an instinct nature gave them.

“You totally have to watch this show, even though you don’t like it!” I recommend shows all the time. I mean, I can’t hide that. This is my blog, you already know. But I feel like there is a distinct difference between telling someone that a show is cool and they should give it a shot (as people on Tumblr and Twitter often do for me, and which I appreciate!), and stopping just short of actual physical torture to get someone to like it.

i don't even like harry potter

No television show in the history of the medium has ever embodied this type of annoyance like Firefly. On the surface, I totally understand why people who knew me thought I would like it. It’s Joss Whedon. I love Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel and Toy Story. And I love Star Wars and Star Trek and Doctor Who, so this was obviously going to be a home run for me, right?

I didn’t like it. Maybe it was because I mistakenly watched Serenity first. It was on HBO or whatever, and I thought that was what people were telling me to watch, so I was like, “Sure, I’ve got a couple hours.” And while I had a good time watching the movie, it wasn’t OH MY GOD THE BEST MOVIE EVER. Then I found out that I’d basically watched the end of the story, and I was like, “Well, guess I don’t need to watch the entire series.”

Lots of people I knew disagreed with me, usually loudly and at parties. It would start out like, “Have you seen Firefly? You would love it.” Then I would say, “You know, I watched Serenity and I can see why people like it, but I’m just not into it.” And they would say, “But you watched it out of order! You have to start from the beginning!” Then I would go, “I don’t have to do anything, I’m a goddamn adult!” and take a swing at them, because like I said, this was usually happening at a party and I was still drinking back then.

Eventually, my brother-from-another-set-of-parents-entirely, Warnement, convinced me to watch the first episode. And you guys, it was soooooo boring. I think I suffered through like three episodes, all of which I found boring and offensive. Magical girl who needs constant male supervision to survive? Check. Joke at the expense of a person of color’s hair? Check. Mish-mash of cultures from Asia, but no Asian people anywhere? Check. I didn’t watch the rest of the series. Surely now that I’d watched some of it, I was off the hook, right?

No. I was not off the hook. I was not off the hook by a long shot. Now the conversations were going like, “Have you seen Firefly? You would love it.” And I’d be like, “You know, I watched some of it, and I just didn’t like it.” And they would be like, “Wait, you only watched some of it? Then how could you tell you didn’t like it?” I would then explain, “It’s boring, and I found some of the stuff pretty racist, colonialist, and misogynistic.” They would demand I elaborate on these points, then give me excuse after excuse as to why I was being too sensitive, why all of those problematic elements were okay, and why I really had to watch the entire show and Serenity all over again, because then I would get it. Then one or two other people in the vicinity would be like, “Are you guys talking about Firefly?” and the cycle would start all over again, until all the Firefly fans would veer off into quoting lines and singing about the man called Jane or something.

These occurrences have sharply declined now that Firefly isn’t shiny and new, and also I stopped going to parties. But it started up again a couple of years ago with Sherlock, a show whose popularity I cannot grasp on any level. I tried to watch it. A friend asked me where I was in the first season, and I was like, “Episode eight, I think.” She goes, “Jen, there are only three episodes in the first season,” and I realized that I was so bored while watching it, it literally had felt like an eight hour binge watch.

Men who take up too much space on airplanes. As I have previously mentioned, I recently travelled to Las Vegas, and since I live in Michigan, I had to get on a plane to go there. I hate flying. I used to think it was about crashing and dying, but for the most part, it’s about having to be around people. Many times, it’s about having to be around male people. On my flight home, the plane was full as fuck. They were asking people if they would take a later flight for three hundred dollars. And of course, nobody wanted to do that. Worse, everyone seemed to have one of those giant, wheeled carry-ons. The flight attendants at the gate asked for volunteers to check their rolling bags, which would be unloaded plane-side upon arrival. Basically, rather than sticking your carry-on in the overhead, they would stick it under the plane, and not charge you the $25.00 bag fee. And of course, nobody wanted to fucking do this.

It took almost an hour to complete the boarding process, because everybody was fighting for space in the overhead bins and we could physically not get on the plane. And the worst offender was a guy I can only describe as a “dude bro,” who had not only a fully expanded rolling carry-on that was clearly larger than the ones allowed in the cabin, but a giant backpack that protruded at least a foot from his back (I don’t know if this genius thought we were hiking to Michigan or what). And guess who refused to check either bag? Guess who also made a snide comment about the fact that a woman in front of him had a much smaller rolling bag she did not want to check?

On the flight to Las Vegas, I overheard a man grumble, “Great, I’ll probably end up next to some bitch who’s three hundred pounds,” to his traveling companion. Then this asshole sat with his leg fully in the aisle for the entire flight, and acted annoyed whenever anyone had to walk to the bathroom or the flight attendants had to bring the drink cart down the aisle.

A few years back, I made a torturous flight to New York next to a guy who set up an entire home office in our row. I was flying first class, so there was a lot of extra room, but the guy put down his tray table and got out his laptop and an accordion folder full of documents that he spread all over his lap. He spent the entire flight with his elbows in my personal space as he worked, and when the in-flight refreshments were served, he put his hot coffee on the corner of my tray table. Excuse me, dude? You didn’t ask if you could put that there, and if anyone is going to spill hot coffee in my lap, it’s going to be me.

Now, I’m not saying that a woman might not do the same thing, but seriously? Why do men take up so goddamn much space in the world? I know there has been a lot of derision over women’s vocal condemnation of “man-spreading” on public transportation, but it’s a symptom of a very real problem, and that problem is that a lot of men seem to truly believe they are entitled to as much space as they can fill, and everyone else just has to deal with it. I can’t imagine living my life that way, just walking around, blithely inconveniencing everyone because I’m simply not thinking of anyone but myself. I bumped into the arm of my own couch yesterday and said, “I’m sorry.” How do you just not care how your body is affecting other people?

So, there you have it. My three biggest pet peeves, which I can totally justify, unlike the spicy food thing, or the fact that I became irrationally angry at woman who repeatedly flip their hair in public. What are your totally justified pet peeves? Share in the comments, and hit the forums to share the annoyances you totally can’t explain.

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201 Comments

  1. AHHHHHHHHH I found out last week that my cat had been peeing on my spare bag for days EVEN THOUGH HIS LITTER TRAY WAS LIKE FIVE SECONDS’ WALK AWAY FROM IT. We thought the smell was coming from the tray! And the bag was under the table where we keep the snake tanks, so then we thought the snakes were just being extra musky SO WHO KNOWS HOW LONG HE’D BEEN PISSING THERE FOR NO REASON?

    I’m never going to get over this, by the way.

    April 13, 2015
    |Reply
    • My cat used to hang his butt over the edge of the litter box and poop outside it. So I got one with a lid.

      Then he hung his butt out the door and pooped on the floor anyway.

      My cat was kind of dumb.

      April 13, 2015
      |Reply
      • xebi
        xebi

        I used to have a cat who loved freshly laundered clothes. Or hated them. I’m not sure which. All I know is that she peed on the ironing pile at least once every couple of weeks. I once got a shiny new faux leather coat and I thought I was the nuts until that fucking cat decided to pee AND shit on it. I never fully managed to get the smell out.

        April 13, 2015
        |Reply
      • Crystal
        Crystal

        Our cat used to do that. We bought one of those huge clear storage bins that was taller then him to poop in. That stopped it going out on the floor. LOL

        April 14, 2015
        |Reply
    • watergirl
      watergirl

      He may be afraid of the snakes. Animals mark where they want to keep others away, he may be trying to scare off the snakes, not understanding tanks of course.

      April 13, 2015
      |Reply
  2. Jemmy
    Jemmy

    Does being annoyed by people who nag at me to drink alcohol after I’ve already said no 3 times very politely count as totally justified?

    I just don’t like alcohol much, I’m Australian and apparently you can’t actually enjoy yourself i you aren’t drinking alcohol. I sear, if I made that much fuss about everyone who tells me they don’t like coffee (I live on coffee), people would be irate at me.

    People have literally shoved jugs of beer in my face for over an hour refusing to accept no for an answer, and when I finally lost my temper and still fairly politely told them to leave me alone, they went and sulked and bitched about me to my mother. The guy was her age group.

    Sorry, that was a little ranty, I’m still super pissed about people being pricks about not drinking alcohol. I don’t tell others they can’t or look down on them, I make a perfect designated driver and I just don’t bother going out any more because people are obnoxious.

    April 13, 2015
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    • ViolettaD
      ViolettaD

      Tell them you’re on allergy meds and you can’t mix.

      April 13, 2015
      |Reply
      • Laina
        Laina

        Is that true? Can I also use that as an excuse??? (I’m not a drinker, but I do take allergy meds.)

        April 13, 2015
        |Reply
    • Right there with you.

      I’m apparently “old and boring” because I don’t get blotto more than once a decade. I don’t like being drunk or the taste of most alcohol and it isn’t a place I want to spend the very few calories I can eat without gaining 10 pounds overnight.

      April 13, 2015
      |Reply
    • Honey
      Honey

      I get this same thing! I’m not a big alcohol drinker (and don’t drink socially at all) and people just cannot figure it out! I live in the UK, which, SURPRISE, has a big drinking culture. And if you don’t drink, something is wrong with you (at least, that’s been my experience in most cases). People don’g get it when you say ‘thanks, but no thanks.’ It can even get belligerent. It’s always nice to hear that someone else shares your pain!

      April 13, 2015
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      • xebi
        xebi

        TOTALLY justified. I hate it even more since people started guessing I was pregnant before I was comfortable telling them, all because they wouldn’t take no for an answer when I turned down alcohol and demanded to know why.

        April 13, 2015
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    • GS
      GS

      You’re so justified to be pissed about that I’d get it if you only went out with a flamethrower, just in case. Also amazing that grown-ass people are too stupid to get that it’s your choice if you drink, what you drink, and when you drink…

      April 13, 2015
      |Reply
    • Lieke
      Lieke

      Yes, yes, yes! A thousand times ‘yes.’
      I don’t drink either and people are constantly:
      1. trying to get me to have a drink anyway.
      2. acting like I’ve made a huge life style choice no matter how many times I explain that I simply don’t like the taste of alcohol.
      3. making some obnoxious argument about how alcohol is an acquired taste. I get the principle of that, but that doesn’t mean that I’m going to be drinking something I find gross to get to that sweet nirvana where I like drinking it. Why? Because I don’t see the point, that’s why.
      4. reacting to me not drinking as if that’s somehow affecting their lives. It’s not. Stop it.

      April 13, 2015
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      • Liz
        Liz

        This seems to be unique to alcohol. I don’t drink soda and I almost never drink coffee or tea, but people never freak out or try to push me when I tell them that. I guess it’s because everyone thinks alcohol = fun and friends so people who don’t drink must = sad, lonely losers? I’d much rather hang out with my cat than with people who think that I can’t have fun or relax without drinking (though it is true that being the only sober person around a bunch of really drunk people is rarely fun). This is not a knock against people who drink. Go for it, just don’t make a big deal out of it if I’d rather have water.

        April 13, 2015
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        • xebi
          xebi

          I do get it with coffee. I’ve never liked the taste of anything even remotely coffee flavoured, yet if I had a pound for every time someone told me it was an acquired taste that I’d appreciate once I’d tried REALLY GOOD coffee, then I’d be able to buy a cappuccino maker to shove up the arse of the next person who tried to convince me they knew more about my tastes than I do.

          Going off on a tangent, I have a phobia of dogs. Fairly straightforward concept. Yet sooooo many dog owners try to convince me I’ll actually love their dog, or try to get me to pet it after I’ve said I’m not comfortable within 5 metres of it, because their dog is somehow magically different from every other dog in the world. It’s always something along the lines of “don’t be silly, he’s the least scary dog ever, he’s never shown any signs of aggression, he’s SO FRIENDLY!!!”

          Firstly, phobias aren’t rational. What’s not scary to you because it won’t harm you might well terrify someone else. Plenty of people have phobias of spiders and harmless bugs or even stuff like cotton wool. Secondly, it’s actually the friendly dogs that are the worst for me because they get in your face and do all the stuff that pushes my buttons.

          April 15, 2015
          |Reply
    • watergirl
      watergirl

      I developed a personal rule that if I have to tell you no more than 2 times, I reserve the right to be rude, because at that point, I think you are being rude. I learned this while dieting. No one will try to sabotage you more than friends and family. It is amazing how much people will push food and not take no for an answer. I even ended up telling off a coworker once because they had a birthday and had cake and wanted me to have a piece. There are 125 people in my agency, it was always someone’s birthday and I would never lose weight eating all that cake. She even resorted to telling me it was bad luck.

      Drinking isn’t any different. In fact, people really should be aware of how awful they can be about this. When I was married, my husband was a recovering alcoholic. We went to a party at my coworker’s house. She wouldn’t stop pushing for him to drink. The real kicker was that this woman never had a drink in her life! But she couldn’t handle him not drinking. After about the 5th time of “come on!” I laid into her. I said it is extremely rude to push alcohol on someone who says no. You don’t know if it is interacting with their meds. You don’t know that they aren’t a recovering alcoholic. You don’t know that it may be religious beliefs. Stop pushing!”

      I don’t know why people think that pushing things you don’t want is socially acceptable. It isn’t. I have made it my personal mantra to teach people this. So when someone does push more than two times, I will tell them: “I have told you no two times now. I am sure you think you are being hospitable but you are actually disrespecting me by not respecting my boundaries and personal choices by insisting on pushing something that I have already told you no to you…twice.”

      Feel free to adopt. 🙂

      April 13, 2015
      |Reply
      • Spockchick
        Spockchick

        I really like your approach. People are odd. We have a major cake culture at work with a weekly baking rota. I’m not mad on cake (tunnocks candy and Jaffa cakes – yes). Some of the ‘cake cult’ have now restorted to saying I’m not sociable. ‘You should bake to join the people who bake.’ They imply they are the company movers and shakers (more like gossip miners). I said no. What part of that means ‘maybe’?

        April 15, 2015
        |Reply
    • pghbekka
      pghbekka

      YE! It counts – and it’s related to the behavior that mean you MUST like Firefly! To reduce humans to our evolutionary animal instincts, I think it’s something about how we must share things in common in order to bond and continue as a species. I drink alcohol, but not beer, because I don’t like it, and that becomes a battle – “Well, you just haven’t tried the right kind!” “How can you not like beer?” “Maybe you’ll like it this time!” – and etc.

      April 13, 2015
      |Reply
      • Jemmy
        Jemmy

        Thanks, all. I just came back and checked the comments and I’m so glad I’m not the only one that thinks it is incredibly rude.

        It must be particularly hard for the recovering alcoholics, drinking here is such a given.

        My mother gave me a lecture about respecting other people and being tolerant re people shoving drinks in my face. I told her I’d start showing tolerance to other people’s differences when they started tolerating mine. She said that was fair enough.

        April 14, 2015
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    • Julianne
      Julianne

      If you don’t care about making people uncomfortable, tell them you’re in recovery and maybe it is worth breaking 3 years of sobriety for a cold beer…..

      April 14, 2015
      |Reply
      • xebi
        xebi

        Lots of people say that, or tell me to “tell them you’re on meds.” No. I don’t go round lying to people. Why should I violate my principles because someone refuses to respect my boundaries? Also, how will they ever learn how rude they’re being of nobody calls them out?

        April 15, 2015
        |Reply
    • meg
      meg

      I drink a bit, but go directly from tipsy to sick, so I drink lightly or am the designated driver. People usually are pretty chill about that.

      BUT when I do drink, I like wine or hard liquor (scotch, cognac, etc.). I hate beer. It just tastes nasty to me. So many people try to convince me I just haven’t tried the right beer, so please try this kind, you’ll learn you love beer. I hate it all. I’ve probably tried enough to know because these people usually won’t leave me alone til I taste what ever it is that they are drinking…so leave me alone!

      April 14, 2015
      |Reply
    • Siobhan
      Siobhan

      I have been driven to out myself as a recovering alcoholic just to get people to shut up about me having a drink. I didn’t really need my boss to know that*, no matter how much I like him, but at a department team-building office he was pushing me to join the wine-tasting SO HARD, that I finally just said “I DON’T DRINK BECAUSE I’M AN ALCOHOLIC.”

      Jim Gaffigan the comedian has a fabulous bit on this, how it’s ONLY ALCOHOL. No one ever says “oh, you don’t eat mayonnaise? Do you have a PROBLEM with mayonnaise?”

      *Still friends with that boss, and I think HE actually learned a big lesson about not pushing that night.

      April 16, 2015
      |Reply
    • Snow
      Snow

      Haha, I always have the same thing happening to me with coffee!
      I just don’t like it. But whenever someone finds out about that, it gets SO annoying! “What? You don’t like coffee? That’s impossible. EVERYBODY likes coffee!” is how it usually begins. Then of course everyone tries to justify why coffee is great as if I attacked their personal life style as coffee drinkers by saying that I don’t like the taste. Of course it goes on to the famous: “Have you even tried REAL coffee? I bet the one you drank was just a weird blend, had no milk, etc.”, and then they try to shove their favorite one in my face.
      One time, someone got so seriously offended by my dislike, he actually shouted at me that I HAVE to like coffee because what am I going to drink otherwise if I ever travel to a country where they only drink coffee?! And that was of course not the only non-sensical totally made-up reason to drink something I don’t like, it’s just the one which stuck in my head the most for being utterly ridiculous.
      Even my mom joined in lately when I went to a family visit: “No coffee? Don’t worry sweetie, it’s normal that children and teenagers don’t like it. But when you get older, you’ll learn to apprechiate the taste!” I’m nearly 30, I’d hardly consider myself a child now. So it’s ‘not normal’ for an adult woman to dislike a certain taste? It’s not an illness to disklike coffee, okay?!

      Sorry, I’m just SO frustrated with this topic by now.

      May 1, 2015
      |Reply
  3. Cats — I have had (between parents’ cats and my own) around 30 cats. Some were assholes who peed on things and some weren’t. Right now, one of my cats mostly won’t pee on things, but every time a new animal comes into the house, he does. He has one spot, though, and I think it’s where the previous inhabitants’ dog peed. Thankfully, I can close the door to that room and it fixes the issue. My other two cats don’t generally pee outside the litter boxes, but there was a short period where one of them thought our bed was a proper place to pee (even while we were sleeping in it). I put a litter box upstairs and she stopped. Small price to pay. But, yeah, some are just assholes. There’s probably a reason behind it, but it could be any one of a million things.

    Firefly — I could not get into that show. I tried. I love all things Joss, but not that. I also don’t like Doctor Who all that much. I’m not a sci-fi person. I do think you need to give it more than one episode for anything because it takes a but to establish characters and history. But if you don’t like it after two or three, you probably aren’t going to like it.

    Airplanes — I have sat next to obese people and had no space issues. But sit next to a super skinny man and somehow, he manages to take up three seats on his own. How do they do that?

    April 13, 2015
    |Reply
    • Promise
      Promise

      The two cats I am currently owned by don’t pee in random places, instead they vomit, on the bed (while we’re in it), on the furniture, on the carpet, anywhere except the tiled floor. They’ll vomit on carpet one inch away from the tiled floor.

      We’re currently saving up to replace all the carpet in the house with wood flooring.

      April 13, 2015
      |Reply
      • OMG! Both my cats do that too! I swear they never pee outside the litter box (although I know plenty of cats who do), but they will vomit with some spectacular splatter right down the (carpeted) stairs and walk away all smug looking. Sometimes I swear my smallest cat wolfs down his kibble just so he can vomit somewhere really inconvenient, like underneath the couch.

        April 13, 2015
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      • pghbekka
        pghbekka

        THIS! Best Girl LOVES to throw up on clean laundry and in shoes. If she can get clean laundry AND shoes in one go, she’s in heaven.

        April 13, 2015
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      • Crystal
        Crystal

        Our cat throws up because he keeps eating the ribbon that you tie to balloons. He finds my stash, eats it and then either craps it out or throws it up. Drives me nuts.

        April 14, 2015
        |Reply
    • zeee
      zeee

      FINALLY PEOPLE WHO DIDN’T LIKE FIREFLY. like jenny i watched a few eps and found it boring a little gross. the whole “asian stuff but all white people” squicked me (partly due to my deep-seated issues with being a white-looking asian), and then the rest was just a little “meh”.

      i’ve had cats that pee on stuff and some that don’t, too. i have two now, one who wouldn’t pee outside of the litterbox if you made her, and one who only pees on things if they’re not mine/my husband’s/my kid’s. my guess is that he thinks “oh this isn’t mama’s and dad’s or that yelling small one’s? MINE! *pee*”

      my two also vomit quite a bit. the one who won’t pee outside a litterbox won’t vomit off tile or the tub (thanks?) so awesome, but the other? just wherever. bed, his own water dish, right back on their food dishes, tile, carpet, you, the dog.

      April 13, 2015
      |Reply
  4. So with you on TV shows (and the other two, but I don’t have anecdotes for those)! Years ago I expressed my love for the anime Cowboy Bebop on Facebook and a friend was like “Why watch that when you can watch Firefly?” I had no idea how to answer, so I didn’t.

    April 13, 2015
    |Reply
  5. Flo
    Flo

    The cat thing-oh, I can so relate. I grew up having cats in the house and for the first several years of my marriage we had only cats. Then I got my first dog. Let’s just say that after the cats passed on, we didn’t replace them. NOTHING smells as bad as cat pee, and yes, some cats can be assholes. I owned one.

    I don’t understand why the airlines have those nifty little “will your bag fit” things when they don’t enforce it! Drives me bananas. I darned near got whacked in the head with an oversized bag when some jerk decided he needed to get it out of the overhead mid-flight. I packed for an entire week in Ireland (and New Mexico, and…)in a fully legal sized carry-on bag, why people feel the need to drag their entire lives with them everywhere mystifies me. Perhaps they should make ALL of those people fly on a plane where about all that will fit in the overhead compartments is a lunch bag and you have no choice but to check your crap. I hate flying-not because of the flight itself, but I hate having to deal with the other idiots.

    April 13, 2015
    |Reply
  6. Chris
    Chris

    I’ve had my cat for 16 years. He doesn’t routinely pee wherever he wants. He’s done it in front me every time he’s had a bladder infection. Just walked up as bold as u pls & let loose. Then I knew he was sick & would takw him to the vet. Other than that he only pees outside the litter box if he gets locked in a room with no litter box in it for hours on end. Because he’s a sneaky bastard who’s always ninja stalking after you in rooms & then hiding so you don’t know he followed u this has happened more than I care to think about. We literally now do a cat check before closing any doors. Lol

    April 13, 2015
    |Reply
    • One of my poor cats did that once and ended up spending two full days in a closet because we went out of town. *sigh*

      I’m very careful now before leaving town, but two of my cats run and hide in my walk-in closet ALL THE TIME and spend a few hours in there because I don’t see or hear them. Luckily, they can hold their “movements” for that long.

      April 13, 2015
      |Reply
  7. Tracy
    Tracy

    The spouse isn’t a Firefly fan and my son gets annoyed and goes off on a rant about how he watched maybe 30 seconds of it. We had a friend, who upon learning of this, gasped as if he’d said he liked killing puppies in front of small children. I liked it, but don’t have the rampant “you *have* to like it” that so many do.

    And I’ve had some cats that pee inappropriately and some not. You’ve had a run that do it seems.

    April 13, 2015
    |Reply
  8. Megan M.
    Megan M.

    I hate when people ask me whether I pronounce my name MEG-an or MAY-gun, and when I tell them I don’t care because it’s still my name either way, they insist that I must have a preference and demand that I choose one. This has happened more than once. I literally don’t care which way someone says my name. It’s still the same name. The only alternate pronunciation that I find strange is MEE-gan, but you know what? If I was in a part of the world where that was the dominant pronunciation, I would roll with it.

    April 13, 2015
    |Reply
    • Laughing Giraffe
      Laughing Giraffe

      Oh man, this. Yes, there’s a difference I can hear; no, I don’t care which one you use. I have students from every corner of the globe and it’s enough of a hassle to get them to call me by my name at all without getting too fussed about pronunciation.

      April 13, 2015
      |Reply
    • Sonjah
      Sonjah

      Man, this. My name is Sonya. Sewn-yuh. The southern way seems to be sahwn-ya. When asked I usually say that I call myself sewn-yuh, but there are accent differences everywhere and I don’t care. At work my name tag says Psōnya. P as in psychiatrist. One coworker calls me cookie. All through high school i was Sonjah. Unless it’s insulting, I don’t care what name you call me as long as I know it’s my name. People get really worked up about it though.

      April 13, 2015
      |Reply
    • Zélie
      Zélie

      And on the other side of that coin, when you tell people REPEATEDLY how your name is to be pronounced and they REPEATEDLY pronounce it wrong after all the reminders. How hard is it to pay attention!?

      April 16, 2015
      |Reply
      • mimijones
        mimijones

        Ike? I had to anglicanize my name because hearing it pronounced Tuh-REE-suh is like nails on chalkboard. It’s Teh-deh-sah.

        April 18, 2015
        |Reply
    • Rhiannon
      Rhiannon

      The original Welsh pronunciation of your name is MEG-an, by the way 🙂

      April 17, 2015
      |Reply
  9. Molly
    Molly

    MEN ON PLANES ARE THE WORST. Not literally all of them, blah blah blah, #notallmen, but so many of them think they’re the Most Important Person. And why do people object to gate-checking? Honestly, it’s free, it’s quick, it’s easy–just do it.

    Don’t gate-check valuables, though. Keep the laptop with you.

    And re: cats–I lean the other way (let’s not anthropomorphize them in either direction–they’re not expressing human emotions when they pee on stuff OR when they try to rub their scent onto you, however adorable the latter is), but YES, so many of them pee on things. I love my cats, but when they come to the end of their lives, I’m not sure I’m getting any more. At least when my dog pees in the house, I know exactly what I did wrong: didn’t take her out soon enough, or left her alone too long. The cats? Could be any of a thousand things. There’s no predicting or preventing. I think they just like to mark certain kinds of things (like MY DUVET COVER AND MY NICE LEATHER BOOTS DAMMIT) and if those things are in the house, well …

    April 13, 2015
    |Reply
    • Lieke
      Lieke

      I feel like we should use #notallmen all the time. Just to be safe. Seriously. Whatever the discussion is about, #notallmen is a useful tag. Let’s keep whiny men-defenders from doing their favourite thing: defending what doesn’t need defending.

      April 13, 2015
      |Reply
      • Brian
        Brian

        Not all men are whiny men-defenders!

        April 14, 2015
        |Reply
  10. Kayla
    Kayla

    All cats are assholes, they just express it differently. I’ve had three cats over the course of my life, and while none of them have been pee-ers, they’ve all made extra sure to toss their hairballs on the carpet or rug, despite the fact that the wood/tile/linoleum is literally two inches away. My current cat also enjoys sticking her butt in my face at every opportunity, usually while making herself comfortable on my lap. She’s lucky she’s adorable.

    April 13, 2015
    |Reply
    • GS
      GS

      Well, she obviously adores you too… “butt-in-face-sticking” means “I like you, I trust you, you are allowed to sniff my butt to find out how I feel right now” in cattese (is that even a word?). No, I am not doing the polite cat thing when one of mine does that 😉

      April 13, 2015
      |Reply
      • Kayla
        Kayla

        She’s a ball of love, and likes to groom and play “tag” with me (she’ll attack a toy I’m dragging for her, then run away and want me to chase her, before attacking the toy again). She’s a sweetheart, she’s just also a cat.

        April 14, 2015
        |Reply
  11. Ilex
    Ilex

    This post reminds me of a quiz I saw last year: http://www.buzzfeed.com/joannaborns/how-much-do-you-hate-people#.xpwOEL9AW

    I’ve been less annoyed by manspreading lately and more annoyed by everyone using their devices on public transportation, which seems to require sticking their elbows out and taking up more space than anyone did back in the days before we all had cell phones and tablets. Grrrr.

    April 13, 2015
    |Reply
    • mimijones
      mimijones

      Heh I got 6 out of 65. I’m a people person.
      Actually I’m not, I hate people, but I’m pretty good at mentally shrugging off things like that.

      April 18, 2015
      |Reply
  12. Tracy
    Tracy

    I had a cat that got really annoyed when I started making a quilt, because it meant I was holding the quilt squares on my lap instead of him. So he peed on the squares.

    April 13, 2015
    |Reply
  13. I am getting my life from this post, Jenny. The TV one is totally me, except not with Firefly but with BBC Sherlock. For a while my Dad would not stfu about the show trying to make me watch it even though I said numerous times I wasn’t interested. He kept making it sound like it was the greatest shit since ever, and I kind of highly doubt that. I already have so many TV shows I need an app to keep track of them all, so getting me to watch a new one is already going to be a hard sell, and coming at me that persistently pretty much has the opposite effect.

    I watched Firefly shortly after it aired and I liked it, but haven’t watched it since, so I’m not sure if I still would. I never knew any rabid stans of it (I was introduced to it by a casual fan) and from the sound of things, I dodged a bullet.

    April 13, 2015
    |Reply
  14. Cats: It’s true. And not only that, when you try to figure out the reason why they “eliminate out of the litter box” it’s always your fault. “How often do you change the box?” “Is it a health issue?” “Is your cat under stress?” And when all else fails try Feliway or cat Prozac. At that point I’m sure it’s not me. It’s totally the cat being a dick.

    April 13, 2015
    |Reply
    • GS
      GS

      Honestly? I’m giving out a lot of advice on cat boards, and those ARE, in fact, the most probable reasons for cats not peeing into their litter box (in addition to “not enough litteboxes” or “doesn’t like those close things with the lid” or “litterboxes not in the right place” or “wrong type of litter”). That doesn’t mean it’s your fault your cat is peeing all around the place(except when your cat is in visible and obvious pain, and you don’t go to the vet’s even though you can afford it – then it definitely is your fault and you’re an asshole), only that the current situation and the cat don’t fit very well together. Some of them are, unfortunately, waaaaay more picky than others, where their sanitary situation is concerned, but trying out the standard stuff often solves the problem.

      If it doesn’t, things get complicated because it can be one of about a gazillion things, and sometimes you even do find out what the problem is, and, well, you can’t do a damned thing about it. And if you’ve tried, and if you found nothing, or if you can’t change it, and if you love your cat so much that you’re literally cleaning up after them, then nobody should judge you.

      April 13, 2015
      |Reply
  15. I HATE FIREFLY SO MUCH IT’S OFFENSIVE AND POORLY CONSTRUCTED AND TREATS ITS CHARACTERS HORRIBLY AND ITS FANS WILL KILL YOU FOR POINTING OUT ALL THE DEEPLY PROBLEMATIC CONTENT.

    I’m mostly very annoyed by Sherlock. But I just hate Firefly so much that I had to clog up your blog with capslock.

    (Also I’ve encountered that double standard with dog owners as well.)

    April 13, 2015
    |Reply
    • Sonjah
      Sonjah

      Your vitriol had been noted and I will be filling a grievance with the gorram authorities. I swear by my pretty floral bonnet that such anti Firefly (oh holy of holies, creation pure and unblemished, word of our lord Joss) hate will not be tolerated!

      You’re allowed to not like it, but I’m allowed to think you are tragically wrong. 🙂
      I can actually totally understand the Firefly (may it live forever in our hearts, blessed be the name of Joss, his will be done) annoyance, but why hate Sherlock?

      April 13, 2015
      |Reply
      • Personally, I find that Sherlock thinks it’s a lot more cleverly written than it is. I’ve seen very little, but in what I did see the “clues” were often things that meant a specific thing because the plot needed them to, not actually because it was the only conclusion that made sense. Plot twists were MEANT to be the results of brilliant thinking but were often actually the results of luck or thinking that, on reflection, was kind of dumb. The whole thing came across to me as having a self-congratulatory tone that I found very grating (and not remotely justified).

        I also happen to agree with critics who point out that placing such big emphasis on Sherlock vs. Moriarty fundamentally takes Sherlock out of the real world, which robs both the stories and the character of a great deal of their potential.

        (Also Cumberbatch is a wet piece of cloth on a stick compared to Jeremy Brett.)

        April 14, 2015
        |Reply
        • Rhiannon
          Rhiannon

          Agreed, Jeremy Brett was THE BEST SHERLOCK.

          April 17, 2015
          |Reply
      • Xenophile
        Xenophile

        Sherlock has huge plot holes, is not as smart as it thinks it is, is massively racist, and dear glob, has Moffat ever spoken to an actual, live woman? I love Benedict Cumberbatch as much as the next person but the whole moody genius anti-hero shtick is so tedious. I enjoy Sherlock a lot but can’t watch it more than once.

        April 14, 2015
        |Reply
  16. Ellie
    Ellie

    THANK YOU for the “watch this show you don’t like” example – ESPECIALLY for using Firefly. When I learned about the Unfortunate Implications of some of the female characters years ago I knew it would be something I’d never be comfortable watching, yet friends went on and on and ON about how great it was. Over time I realized these were the same dudes who were blissfully ignorant of the misogyny thanks to their own privileges, the same people who borderline fetishized the Asian cultures (mis)represented; trying to bring up Whedon’s well-meaning but messed up feminism wasn’t worth the arguments.

    Years later all my friends latched onto The Walking Dead, which I found too boring and grim to enjoy (comic and show alike).

    April 13, 2015
    |Reply
  17. Carolina West
    Carolina West

    I’m dealing with the cat thing right now. My sister’s kitten pees in my room sometimes and it only ever happens in my room. Even though the litter boxes are literally right next to both our doors. I haven’t had a cat do this since my mom brought me home from the hospital when I was born. Except then it was in my crib and poo was involved.
    We have another cat that scratches at closed doors, usually when we’re all asleep. And he does not stop until you let him in. Of course when you do you have to leave the door open, otherwise a minute later he’s scratching again. Ugh.

    And what about reclining seats on airplanes? Seriously, what idiot thought those were a good idea? Especially since planes are having more and more seats crammed into them every freaking year. Or at least that’s what it’s feeling like.

    April 13, 2015
    |Reply
    • Kayla
      Kayla

      For the scratching thing, get some pieces of foam board and cover them in strips of double-stick tape, and put them on the doors at cat-level. Cats don’t like the feeling of sticky on their paws, and the scratching will stop. I had to do this last year when mine decided that 5 AM needed to be breakfast time.

      April 13, 2015
      |Reply
      • Carolina West
        Carolina West

        I’ll have to tell my mom about that. Her door is where all the scratching happens. Also the bathroom door occasionally.

        April 13, 2015
        |Reply
        • GS
          GS

          You can also try tinfoil or only just a layer of double sticky stuff, because some cats are, unfortunately, foam fetishists. But the most important thing: ignore, ignore, ignore. Never give in. Only leave the rooms when he stops, even if just for a moment. I know that is hard (I have an ex-screamer myself) and you might have to use earplugs to drown him out, but when he realizes that he doesn’t get a reaction, there is a good chance he will (eventually – may be a few weeks or months) stop.

          Good luck being more stubborn than the most stubborn creature on the planet!

          April 14, 2015
          |Reply
  18. Jenn
    Jenn

    1. When people find out I’ve never seen Star Wars and then harass me about. I’ve never seen the movies. I had plenty of opportunities to, but it never appealed to me and now I don’t want to be the 31-year-old asshole who sees them for the first time and then wants to talk about it. So I just, don’t. But no one can just let that go. They often offer to host a “viewing party” for me to watch them all in succession. No, but thank you. I will totally nerd out on plenty of other topics however. LOTR, anyone?

    2. People commenting on my food that I’m eating. If I bake a huge batch of brownies or make a pot of chili, then yes, please tell me how great I am and that it tastes wonderful. However, if I’m eating a salad, don’t walk by me and remark on how good that salad looks because it’s always delivered with the same tone you’d take with a picky 3 year old. “Num num, doesn’t that look gooooood? Oh I wish I were eating that!” Shut. Up. I especially hate it when people tell me how much sugar or calories are in something I’m eating or, the very worst offenders, offer “healthier ideas” for what I’m eating.

    Look, I have Crohn’s Disease so my food situation is already a dire landmine-filled desert of despair. If I’m eating something, it’s most likely either because my doctor told me to, or I’m already so sick that eating ice cream won’t make anything better but dammit I’ll get some ice cream out of it. I have noticed that the heavier I am the more comments I get on whatever, and if it isn’t comments, it’s a dirty look from people.

    3. People who don’t wait for you to get off the elevator before getting on. It should be legal to full on NFL-style tackle them.

    4. People who get on an elevator, are going to the top floor, but stand directly in front of the doors and are unaware that people need to get by (these are usually men I’ve noticed).

    5. This is stupid but I get annoyed when my sandwiches are assembled “wrong”: it should go (bottom to top) bread, meats, cheeses, lettuce, tomato (other veggies), condiments, bread.

    April 13, 2015
    |Reply
    • Carolina West
      Carolina West

      I totally get you on the Star Wars thing. Not everyone has to like them.

      April 13, 2015
      |Reply
    • xebi
      xebi

      The food thing. Oh my god, the food thing. I have massive social anxiety around eating in public because of how people behave around food, to the point where I’ll usually politely turn down invitations to dine en masse. People stare at what you’re eating, comment on it as you eat so you feel bad if they aren’t eating too; they demand to know exactly what you’re eating and the whole thing makes me feel massively awkward and uncomfortable. Eating is a necessary bodily function that I’d rather be allowed to do in peace. These guys don’t come up when I’m on the toilet and ask about the colour of my pee or the texture of my turds. I’d have a few words to say if they did.

      I used to get snacks when I went to watch my football team but I don’t bother any more because of the sheer number of people who’d make offensive comments because I’d committed the terrible crime of being female while eating. “That looks healthy!” (delivered sarcastically and as if I have any fucking influence over what the burger and hot dog van sells). “Don’t you want to be watching your figure?” (Fuck off, dick). The guy who called me a pig for eating the exact same thing he’d had earlier himself. And my favourite: “Eating AGAIN are we?”, as I was tucking into the first solid food I’d eaten in THREE DAYS.

      April 13, 2015
      |Reply
      • Kayla
        Kayla

        “Don’t you want to be watching your figure?”

        And you’re not in prison for assault with a deadly? I am impressed at your patience.

        Seriously, what a douchecanoe.

        April 13, 2015
        |Reply
        • xebi
          xebi

          I know, right? It’s always delivered with a smirk and overtones of “tch, you women” even though obviously it’s them expressing that opinion not me. Gaaaaah.

          April 13, 2015
          |Reply
      • goddesstio
        goddesstio

        I have Selective Eating Disorder, which is not very well known or understood and doesn’t affect many people overall, and I get comments like, “Why do you eat like that?’ “Just eat it like a normal person” (from my 1st grade teacher, at a class pizza party, because I took the cheese off my pizza. I was so upset and I never went back for seconds like everyone else because I was so ashamed) or even “Don’t you eat any NORMAL foods?” (from my dear wonderful grandmother *sarcasm alert*)

        Lately I was eating a bag of chips for lunch and one of my coworkers, who was new, said “Oh I wish I could eat like that”. I just smiled and nodded but in my head I’m like, “Oh really? You wish trying to eat meat made you at best gag and at worst vomit? You want to eat like a toddler who never grew up? You want to take multivitamins twice a day because you’re afraid you don’t get enough nutrition from your foods? You want to have to repeat a dinner at least once a week because you just eat that few different kinds of meals? You want people to stare and make comments when you eat things in a strange manner, like removing the cheese from pizza or eating only the outer part of the onion ring? That’s what you want out of life?”

        I feel kind of crazy and sad now ._.

        April 13, 2015
        |Reply
        • Toffeemama
          Toffeemama

          I’m almost certain that my 6-year-old daughter has Selective Eating Disorder. I try so very hard to make the few foods that she’ll eat available to her, and give her free-range of the pantry, even when she makes a mess.

          I try even harder to not make comments about what she’s eating at the dinner table, because I know that it will only give her more anxiety about food. It’s incredibly hard to keep my mouth shut, and I’m the person who loves her more than anyone. It makes me worry about how others are going to treat her, especially as she gets older. Do you have any advice that you could give me for how to deal with her food issues?

          April 13, 2015
          |Reply
          • She might just be a picky eater. I was and I grew out of it. I used to take the cheese off my pizza and eat it separately. When I was 7, I threw a temper tantrum when my mother said she was making linguine for dinner because it sounded gross and I didn’t know it was just pasta.

            The list of foods I wouldn’t even try at that age is as long as five arms laid out in a row. My daughter was much the same and she grew out of it, too.

            It’s actually pretty normal at that age. I wouldn’t be concerned unless her doctor is.

            April 13, 2015
          • goddesstio
            goddesstio

            My mother tried bribery, rewards, punishment, and withholdings to get me to eat foods, and even if I could get them down, it never “fixed” me. The problem with kids is that there’s some natural pickiness, and some people like me. If she gets upset when you try to make her eat new things, she might just be being a normal kid. But when I was forced to eat things, I would sometimes become physically ill and throw them up, particularly with red meat. That was always the worst.

            Try and get her to taste new things, and if she starts trying more things, encourage it. but if she’s getting physically ill when she tries things, she might have a real problem.

            It’s a really hard, weird line between normal picky child and SED. SED is not common and SED is all in the brain – basically a ridiculous anxiety reaction to certain foods. Texture seems to play a role in it, at least for me – I can eat fried chicken, but not grilled chicken, because it feels “slimy” in my mouth. Find what textures and flavors work for her and try to adjust her diet in that direction, but including or “hiding” new foods. Try having her cook with you as well. I am able to eat certain things I can’t eat on my own – like sour cream – if they’re used to make something I can eat, like cakes/breads.

            April 13, 2015
          • Neurite
            Neurite

            Not so much advice as maybe reassurance… I don’t know much about SED per se, but it’s also possible that your daughter is simply an extremely picky eater, and I suspect my point here applies to both.

            I was an amazingly picky eater from age 3 to 13. So was my husband, around the same age. In both our cases, it would have been simpler to list what we would eat rather than what we wouldn’t.

            In my case, my mom was extremely accommodating – cooking only the foods I would eat for me, allowing me to pick anything out of my food that I found “icky,” explaining to restaurants or friends who were hosting us so I could get “safe” foods (like plain pasta) there, etc.

            My husband’s mom was the opposite – if my he didn’t eat what she made, well, he wasn’t eating dinner that day. And the next day, and the day after, until she’d finished the leftovers and had cooked something new. They were both extremely stubborn, so he sometimes went for frighteningly long periods without eating dinner.

            My mom got all sorts of criticism about being too soft on me, “spoiling” me, “making it worse,” “enabling” my pickiness, etc. My husband’s mom would probably be called cruel or abusive today for trying to fix his issues with her approach.

            And in the end? It made no difference. My husband and I had almost identical outcomes. We both broadened the range of food we will eat significantly starting at puberty, though we’re still noticeably picky as 30-somethings today.

            So the doomsday prophets telling my mom she was making it so much worse by being kind to me and making me comfortable as a child? Wrong. I literally had the same outcome as someone with the harshest possible opposite approach. I just didn’t wind up with a starvation metabolism like my husband, who to this day can gain weight on the tiniest amount of calories.

            Long story just to say: I’m sure some people are telling you you are being “too nice” and “not strict enough” with your daughter. Please don’t let them worry you. Chances are, if your daughter is going to “grow out of it” eventually, she will do so even if you’re being accommodating to her right now. And if she isn’t, chances are it’s not because you were “too nice”.

            April 14, 2015
          • I so agree with Neurite! For me, not eating foods I didn’t like was not about being stubborn. I just couldn’t do it. I didn’t mind feeling hungry, but a bad taste in my mouth wasn’t something I could handle to stand, ever.

            But as I said above, both my daughter and I went through that and both grew out of it. My mother would make me buttered noodles or a PB&J sandwich for dinner if she was making something I didn’t like. It was easy and didn’t create a lot of dishes or anything, and I didn’t starve to death. lol

            April 14, 2015
          • Vivi
            Vivi

            Yeah, don’t panic just yet, unless your kid refuses to eat whole food groups (like ALL vegetables). Try working with those that she will eat, and maybe try to raise her curiosity about new things by making them for yourself first and then letting her taste if she wants to. But don’t try to make her taste it – if she doesn’t want to, she probably has a reason, like it smells wrong to her.

            Also remember that kids have a much better sense of smell / taste than adults, and some stuff – like bitter or spicy flavours – actually come from chemicals that are very mildly toxic, same with alcoholic beverages and other things that rely on