Posts from the Irritants Category

Tiffani “chew with your mouth closed” Michele

I like to pretend nothing bothers me, so this month of annoyances is kind of a hard one for this girl. All the other O+U girls brainstormed an astounding number of things that piss them off, and it’s frankly one reason why I love them so much. These bitches are fierce, and while they each handle their anger/aggravation in different ways, each of them own that shit like bosses.

I do not own my shit like a boss. I pretend I don’t have shit that gets under my skin and carry on with a torturous smile plastered on my face until one day I find myself with an unbearable migraine level headache and an empty flask of whiskey before 9:30 am. Clearly, I need some help with accepting all emotions and not just “the good ones”.

So, I’ll own up to something that drives me completely psychotically nuts.

Loud chewers.

Don’t underestimate the intense feelings that loud chewers brings out of me.

I can filter out the high decibel temper tantrums of kids, annoying Kidz Bop songs, dudes yelling over the booming TV set during sports, and drunk people loud talking in my ear while I’m trying to enjoy a beer at the local bar. But heaven help you if I’m sitting in a movie theatre and you are smacking your way through a bag of popcorn. I don’t even know why they sell popcorn in movies…is there any louder more obnoxious food to eat while in a theatre?

I don’t know if this is nature or nuture…as a kid I heard “chew with your mouth closed” at least 23432 times a day, so I’m led to believe my mom had this particular sensitivity. Except I was young and misunderstood her directive. There was a long span of time when I attempted to eat my food with my mouth closed and without chewing. It was tough. In any case, I don’t know if my hyperawareness of my own chewing made me pay more attention to other people’s chewing or if I just have a genetic predisposition to want to bind and gag anyone who is eating food at an unnecessarily loud audible level.

Even if you are chewing with your mouth closed, you can be a loud chewer, and I can hear that shit too. I can hear if you are chewing with a jaw pop. I can hear you if you are chewing with a teeth grind or click. I can hear you if you are chewing softly but are breathing loudly after every masticated food particle is swallowed. I can hear every lip smack and grunt. I hear all, and I judge all.

Often I can’t focus on movies because everyone around me is destroying my experience through distracting popcorn/peanut M&M chewing. Sometimes at restaurants I have to change seats to get away from the noise of other people’s thoughtless chews. I’ll slide down the bar to distance myself from a loud eater. Always I look at the person/people with a glare until I have to look away in disgust.

I know, it’s not their problem, it’s mine.

But seriously, it’s like noise pollution.

So keep this in mind when eating:

take small bites!
chew with your mouth closed!
never eat popcorn unless it’s heavily softened with butter!
avoid loud chewing foods like nachos in favor of chew friendly foods like pasta.
if your breathing changes while eating, you’re eating too fast.
eat slower!

I, and all the other sensitively well meaning and yet possibly insane loud chewer haters will love you for it. If you can’t change your chewing behavior, then at least offer me a couple shots before dinner. That may take the edge off.


-Erika Ray

I feel like this entire month, I should start my posts off with “I’m sorry if this makes you angry.”  But let’s be adult here, people.  I love a lot of stuff you probably hate.  I hate a lot of stuff you probably love.  And for one month, I get to spew the stuff I hate.  If I hate on something you truly love, it is what it is.  I don’t think you’re awful or a demon, I just hate that one thing you love.  So this is my very last apology for possibly offending or hurting your feelings.  We can still be friends.  I hope anyways…

So I’m going to say it: I hate when people who use the term Furbabies.  That’s quite possibly the worst term ever.  Isn’t it?  Wanna see my furbabies?  Hell no I don’t.  Get that shit taken care of.  Oh you mean your dogs…  I guess.

When I first had Coop, our good friends didn’t have children.  I had lots of discussions about him and I’d hear, “Not that I’m comparing my dog to your kid.”  And I waved it off.  It wasn’t offensive to me in the least because for a short period, their dog was like my baby.  We had our dog, Charlie, for almost 2 years prior to having Coop.  She prepared us for parenting better than any book I pretended to read.  I’d nod agree and we’d compare parenting notes.  I believe it was Charlie Harper on Two and Half Men who said, “Having a kid is like raising a dog who slowly begins to talk.”  It’s true.  You praise the same way.  Gently steer out of trouble the same way.  Half laugh when you get pee’d on.  Fall hopelessly in love with those big goo-goo eyes.  But then my kid started to talk.  He started to interact.  He started to have opinions that I couldn’t gentle steer against.  We had to meet in our house as humans. And that’s when having a dog isn’t comparable to a kid.  My dog is my dog and my children are my children.  And it’s 110% different.  If you disagree, you don’t have human children.

When my kid destroys the couch, I can get angry and say some form of “Bad Kid.”  But I have to adjust my parenting because I can’t put him in the backyard to ignore him.  I have to forgive, move on, and teach respect.  And prepare for the next action that tests my patience.  My dog does it and I say some form of “Bad Dog.”  But loving her is easy because she’s a dog and probably didn’t know any better.  And let’s be honest, if we’re starving in my house.  All of us are hallucinating from starvation.  If I was watching my children twist in pain, I would cook up my dog and give us a couple more days.  I can’t cook up my kids.  We’d all die.  Hungry and alone.  I can say this because I doubt it would ever happen, but it could…  And I would.  I’ve watched people treat their pet horribly because they’re just animals.  That’s not right, they do deserve respect.  But I’ve also heard non-kid parents give their discipline advice to a kid-parent because they’ve had to correct Sparky.  That’s not right.  Until you’ve had to deal with a screaming four-year-old while reminding yourself that walking out the door isn’t an option, keep your discipline advice to yourself.  Telling Sparky to not jump on the couch is completely different from trying to stop an irrational kid’s need to throw books.  And you have to stick around.  You can’t bail.  I’ve never wanted to jump in the car and drive for hours because of something my dog did.  But I’ve had those moments with my children.  I’d probably take the dog with me.

I’m not saying that someone’s love for their pet isn’t strong.  I will cry like a baby when our dog goes.  She was our first “kid”.  But the minute Coop moved beyond his “Dog Phase”, she became an actual dog: a much-loved dog, but a dog.  When you’re pregnant, people always laugh and say “I can’t wait for the cat to become a cat.”  You tell them with all your heart, “That won’t happen.  I love her like a kid.”  I honestly believe you do.  But she becomes a cat.  Trust me.

Tiffani “99% Sure She’s Addicted to Facebook” Michele

It’s hard for me to speak ill of facebook, considering how obsessed I am with it. Say what you will…love or hate it…you can’t deny it’s been the biggest leap forward for stay at home moms since dishwashers, washer/dryers, and wine in juice boxes were invented. Now, when I’m neck deep in laundry and quarantined with a sick kid, I can still interact with friends (without talking on my phone…an activity that brings kids running from miles around to interrupt and start begging for random things). Because let’s face it. My social life kind of stopped when I popped my kids out. Especially when they were under 3. Breastfeeding is a short leash, as is a kid who is co sleeping, as is all the housework involved in maintaining a crew of stinky, rambunctious, enthusiastic, curious, demanding kids. Kids who act like little drunk people without actually being drunk. I’m the the designated driver in charge of driving this clown car…staying sober(ish), cleaning up urine and vomit, trying to push clear fluids and healthy food, keeping them from harming themselves or others (my sister’s 2 year old totally slapped another 2 year old girl the other day, for getting too close to his assorted “Cars” trucks), and trying to figure out what they’re saying from slurred words. All that on a normal day. After doing all that, I lack the energy and motivation to do anything else.

This is not what annoys me, though. So let me try to get back on track. The combination of moving a lot and having kids the last 15 years is the perfect storm of not having super close friends around. A lot of my friends are either in other states or in their own homes trying to counterbalance anarchy on the homefront. This isn’t even what annoys me, though, ever since Facebook came along. Now I have 24/7 access to friends and family near and far. I have a variety of ‘mom’s night out’ equivalent get togethers in the fancy facebook groups options. I can see who else is struggling to come up with a good dinner based on leftovers, who is stuck waiting with their sick kid in the doctors office, who is celebrating a quick nap and quicker shower while the kids are self entertained and happy.

And this, ironically, is what annoys me. People on Facebook. Especially people who fall for this:

Everything about this is pointedly annoying and makes me feel like Facebook is made up of an army of bitter divorced females. Actually, I am a bitter divorced female and I’m still not dead enough inside to form a page called “Being Alone Is Better Than Being Hurt In Love”. What the fuck?! If a picture like this pops up in my feed because someone I know has actually liked it, it’s grounds for friend removal. Unfortunately, two of the people who liked this one are actually family members, so sometimes I’m stuck with it. This is one of the worst facebook offenses. Sad pictures of animals or kids in all manner of terrible conditions, with the crappy tagline, “like if you want to see them healed! Don’t like if you are a heartless bitch and a terrible human being!” It’s like those terrible forwarded emails (forward this within 5 seconds if you want to live a happy life! Ignore if you want to be poor and sad!) except worse because there are just so many of these in circulation.

I know some people complain about “The Bore”…people who post about anything and everything under the sun–usually mundane shit like “I’m going grocery shopping for milk”. I actually don’t mind this. I feel solidarity with those kinds of updates. Listen, life isn’t all raves and panty raids and drunken shenanigans. When someone posts about their boring life, I feel good about the days when I’m doing more upkeep (groceries, laundry, cleaning) than anything else exciting. I realize that even my boringest days are a carnival compared to other people’s.

“The Sopranos”: family members that you just can’t get rid of and unfriend or else the rest of the family will be all over your ass. This is what the custom filter feature is for. Yes, you can be friends. No, they don’t have to see anything you update. It’s not natural for extended family to be so closely up in each others business. It’s the equivalent of letting your mom read your journal every day in high school. No good can come of it. Boundaries!

“The Whiner”: You get the feeling everywhere these people go, they carry a black cloud of doom and sorrow with them. According to their updates, nothing goes right, nothing works out, and living in the world is a chore. One day I read this on a friends update: “Want to see a movie. No one to go with. Alone, again. :(” What annoys me the most about this isn’t that they’re “the glass is so empty there’s no more liquid in it for to even be half empty” people, but that it makes me laugh so hard. At them. And I try to be a nice person, so when this happens I feel like a real asshole.

“The Eraser”: They post something. They erase it. Half a day to a week later, what you knew was there is suddenly gone. It’s like they are erasing their tracks so no one can follow them. If people can’t commit to a facebook update and stick with it, I don’t trust them. That’s shifty and self censoring. I don’t care how drunken and compromising or boring and pointless your updates were, you have to own that shit. If you can’t face and accept the reality of your own facebook updates, what else are you hiding?

“The Vaguebooker”: These people have obvious issues, but you’re never sure about what. Specific enough that you understand they’re pissed off/done wrong/annoyed/exasperated/disappointed, but vague enough that you don’t know the who/what/when/where/why. Listen. If you’re going to take the time to update, make it count. Tag people in your post. Call douchey people out by name. Give me something to work with, otherwise your whole facebook page reads like the lyrics of a generic and terribly written song in the country western genre. Plus, it makes me paranoid. I assume everyone is thinking and talking about me constantly and this just feeds into my paranoia.

“The Bizarro You”: They’re exactly like you in everything they post and like…if you were exactly opposite of who you are. They’re the Christian Right to your Liberal Left (or vice versa). Everything they post is an offensive smack against human decency and common sense. It’s so off track of everything you believe in and how you think the world works, you wonder how it is you even know them. In fact, the only reason you remain friends with them is because you can’t quite take them seriously…maybe they’re writing “ironically” or will eventually put a “just kidding!” post up.

“The Oversharer”: one word. TMI.

“The ‘Ville Requesters”: I want to call up everyone who game requests me with these crazy games and offer to give them something to do that actually benefits society. Like, doing my laundry and cleaning my bathrooms.

“The Life Coach”: I love all the inspirational quotes on facebook. I do not love an entire feed of them, all shared and posted every 10 seconds. Stop cluttering up my news feed with Rumi, it makes it hard for me to get to the meat of facebook: gossip and drunken updates.

Facebookers that don’t annoy me:

The Drunkbooker

What about you? How do you feel about Facebook? Does anything in particular annoy you?

For as many things that we love and make us all dewy and glowing from the inside, there’s probably an exponential amount of things that drive us bat shit crazy. That chap our asses. That make our teeth itch. That could drive us to drink at the drop of a hat. That just about causes steam to blow out of our ears. Why is that? Why do we love some things so passionately but then counter them with a bazillion things that annoy us to the point of blinding rage? OK . . . maybe I exaggerated a bit on that last bit but not by much. And in the spirit of the collaboration that is O + U, here’s a list of the things – small and not so small – that annoy us just a tiny, tiny bit.

People who stop over unannounced and stay forever. Door slammers. Allowing the door to slam instead of holding it for the next person. Texting drivers. Circulars that get thrown on the front porch. Balloons. Smacking gum. Slow drivers in the fast lane. Floaters in the toilet, especially in the public bathroom. People who try to push their religious beliefs on your kids. The smell of Resolve carpet cleaner. Grammar errors. The smell of roof tar. Dogs with eye boogers. Stains. Children with too short shirts and pants. Fundraising. Fanatical parents at children’s sporting events. Gender stereotyping. Outdoor dogs. People who don’t “appreciate” our cooking. People who chew with their mouths open. Well done steaks. Being short one ingredient in a recipe. Someone not waving ‘thank you’ when you let them in during traffic. Vague Facebook status updates. Outdoor dogs. Capitalization and punctuation. Living on a busy street with people who leave their pets out. Window clings that have happy families all in a row. Netflix streaming that locks up mid-movie. A gun on the hip in a craft store. Lurkers. Seen instead of saw.

See what we mean? That’s a pretty long list, and that’s just a discussion that occurred among ourselves in two days. And trust us, most of those things are trivial and won’t get in the way of us having a drink with you or loving you as one of our own. But a couple are deal breakers. Because who orders a well done steak?

Join us this month as we explore the things we love to hate. Anything you want to get off of your chest?