We're surrounded by them. The guy who drives 95 on the freeway, cutting in and out of traffic and being only a few seconds away from being a statistic. The woman who parks her shopping cart in the middle of the grocery store aisle so that you can't get by on either side. The commenter on your favorite blog who always misses the point. The parents who let their horrible demon-spawn children run around like banshees and then get upset at you when little Boris runs into your parked car and lets out with an ear-shattering shriek (True story. The father asked to see my insurance info. What I showed him was my finger.)
I have serious pet peeves, all of them caused by jerks. I hate people who don't use their turn signals, people who talk too loudly on their cell phones (although it does make for great eavesdropping), people who chew with their mouth open, and people who preach loudly about their close, personal relationship with God and yet seem to know nothing of compassion, tolerance, and love. These people are all jerks.
And since it's 3 am, I'm wide awake and facing another sleepless night and I've got my cranky pants on, I'm going to give you my "this makes you a jerk list."
- being rude to waiters, store clerks, or anyone else without a 401(k) and a Porsche
- thinking we're freaks that we consider our cat to be part of our family
- people who don't give their money or their time to charities
- idiots who won't make way for a car with their turn signal on that is obviously trying to get over one lane to make the next exit
- overpaid, overprivileged white guys trying to act like rappers
- thinking music is crap just because it's popular. Yeah, OK, a lot of it is. But there are a lot of mega-music-stars who can still deliver a few good songs. I hate it when people get so hung up on being hip that they don't care about what's good. Trust me Elvis Costello will always be better than 99% of indie-feminist-breakup-crap produced from some record label that's run out of the back of a printing shop.
- signing up to be on a reality TV show and then whining about how hard it is to live in the public eye
- dismissing a critic's opinion because you think he or she just "didn't get it." It's an opinion, not a true or false test.
- putting so much emphasis on getting married that you don't think about what it will mean to actually be married
- denying equal rights to those you don't agree with.
- thinking you can write when you've never tried. Do you think you can play the piano without a lesson?
- being oblivious to others. You can't wait an extra 10 seconds and hold the door for the woman pushing the stroller?
- not being grateful. If I hold the door for the woman with the stroller, she'd better say thank you.
- being a teenager and moseying across the street like a 95-year old retiree in Boca Raton with a walker and a bad hip replacement. Great, seven cars stopped at the intersection waiting for you to cross and you do it like you're running in slow motion from Chariots of Fire
- talking during the movie
- dropping your allegiance to a sports team when they're losing or it's no longer hip to go to the games. Hey. either you're a fan or not.
- making endless lists of pet peeves just because you're tired and cranky