As a master of both the obvious and the understatement, I present the following: a parent's influence over his/her child is amazingly powerful. It seems self-evident that shaping a kid's moral compass is paramount to proper parenting. Of course, teaching etiquette and manners must rank pretty high on the list, too. And don't forget about reinforcing the important lessons like "sharing is caring," "being a team player," "lending a hand to those in need," and other seemingly cliche but truly important values. Okay. I know. I sound like Charlie Brown's teacher. Moving on.
All of those child rearing fundamentals are clearly elementary, but I feel like one of the coolest areas of influence that a parent has over a child is the ability to brainwash them into co-hating mom's or dad's pet peeves. Granted not all parents are on the same page as me, but I guarantee there are a handful out there reading this that are quietly nodding in agreement.
I can tell you right now that I certainly plan on administering my own form of KGB propaganda in baby t's early years. Here's just a short list, in no particular order, of those pet peeves that boil my blood:
1.) the interrupter = if you speak over me while I'm in mid-sentence, you might as well just hock a loogie in my face.
2.) the crop duster = why oh why must you fart during your walk to the water bubbler while I'm on the treadmill? (side note - ever notice that gym farts are especially horrid?)
3.) the tailgaiter = I don't enjoy feeling like O.J.'s Bronco just came up from behind while I'm freeway driving.
4.) the "can't be bothered" = it's pretty much a miracle if the cashier at CVS near Downtown Crossing isn't on her cell phone when you're waiting to be rung up;
5.) mr. cool = radio D.J. teachers seriously need to teach their students that speaking over a song before the lyrics kick in is NEVER COOL - please, just stop doing this;
6.) the fast forwarder = usually a caffeine buzzed car operator who FF's a song when it's only halfway through - you know who you are;
7.) the contrarian = it doesn't matter if you suggest that a human needs air to breath, this person will find a way to disagree;
8.) Ron Jaworski/Troy Aikman = really, it's okay to say NFL instead of National Football League, even just once during a game - a strangely disturbing trend;
9.) the shameless introvert = is it really that difficult to ask just one question about what's happening in my neck of the woods?
10.) the odd urinator = it makes no sense to me when dudes pee on toilet seats in male-only bathrooms when urinals are also available - i beg you, please stop the madness for those of us who have the unfortunate need to use a public throne - it just prolongs the nest making process;
Wow, that was therapeutic. I feel better already. We could go on forever because God knows I'm perfect and I never breach such reprehensible mores. Rather than end here, I'd like to hear from you all. Leave me a comment about your pet peeves (or feedback on those aforementioned) and I'll post an uber-list next week...