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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Life's Etiquette

When people hold a drink container, be it a glass, can, mug, stein, what have you (Why do we say “what have you”? That’s really odd to say something that way. First of all, who are we asking what they have, and secondly, proper use of the King’s English would be to place the transitive verb after the subject. So we’d say “colanders, flasks, bottles… what you have.” Then at least we’d know that whatever this mysterious person has would be included on the list.) ... where was I? ... oh, yeah. Isn’t it interesting how some people will hold the container with only the thumb and three fingers, while poking their pinky up in the air?

Does this bother anyone else like it does me? Some things are just wrong. It takes extra effort to point the pinky like that, and there’s no real utility to doing it, other than possibly to try to annoy someone. And it’s doing a very good job of it.

OK, I can understand if it's a cup, and the handle is too small to accommodate all your digits. And a shot glass isn't big enough (so I've heard!). But a pop can? That's sacrilegious.

The pinky in the air is the international symbol for “Not only am I better than you, but I’m also better at drinking things, and you smell.” And then they’re trying to show off that they can lift their oh-so-heavy beverage without having to use all of their fingers. That action suggests also that they’re waiting for us to applaud this superhuman talent they possess.

It would be bad enough if they just took their pinky slightly away from the container in question, but no, they have to make a writhing spectacle of it. If you can’t bend it, put a cast on that puppy. Let us sign it and give out dedications — go all out. None of this pinky-winky stuff.

The pinky salute grates on me even more than fingernails scraping on a chalkboard, and only somewhat less than when people on the phone say “mmm-bye.” Luckily for me, no one in our household carries any of these recessively mutative traits, or I’d have to wear eye patches and earplugs all day long.

I’m wondering if some people do it in an effort to balance their hand. (yeah, that’s really going to help as a counterweight) Do they have a bullet fragment in their pinky that is magnetically repelled by something? Is their pinky acting rebelliously and not wanting to hang out with the other fingers? The dreaded pinky rebel. They have a cure for that now.

Do any of you (all three of you) have any idiosyncratic things you notice in others that rub you the wrong way? (Sometimes they’re referred to as pet peeves, but I believe that only works if you have just a couple. After all, who’s going to have a whole bunch of things they think of as pets? The whole idea of having something as a pet is that you’ve reserved it for special consideration. It's your highly exclusive group of special peeves. Having lots of special things is an oxymoron, not to mention a misnomer and a malapropism. I reject the notion of multitudinous pet peeves. After the second or third one, they’re just regular peeves.)

So, any tendencies that bug you? When you’re walking toward someone and they look off to the side instead of making eye contact... Does that get under your skin? How about when someone puts so much milk in their cereal bowl that it drowns everything? Does that upset your mojo? Or when people hold their hands up in front of them in slicing motion while they're talking, as if they're about to break out into a karate demonstration... Does that weird anybody out? Or maybe false eyebrows. Do those give you the willies? (Maybe the 'willies' is too strong. But what would the difference be between the willies, the creeps, and the heebie-jeebies?)

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

People who lean against me without even asking if it is okay..........Well, really it is just some people who lean against me........obviously the category is "People I don't care for" Far, far worse though are the wonky smiles accompanied by some false sounding scmoozie words.......do I look stupid? That may very well be not a good question to ask myself but please don't pretend to like me to get an edge it is too disgusting.

Natasha said...

This made me laugh: "The pinky in the air is the international symbol for “Not only am I better than you, but I’m also better at drinking things, and you smell.” And then they’re trying to show off that they can lift their oh-so-heavy beverage without having to use all of their fingers. That action suggests also that they’re waiting for us to applaud this superhuman talent they possess.

It would be bad enough if they just took their pinky slightly away from the container in question, but no, they have to make a writhing spectacle of it. If you can’t bend it, put a cast on that puppy. Let us sign it and give out dedications — go all out. None of this pinky-winky stuff."

My pet peeve is when I'm in a store and the person working there WHO DOES NOT OWN THE STORE says something like, "I don't have that in right now." or "I'm all out of that." They want to make themselves sound soooo important. Like they just can't stand that they work retail so they try to make it sound like they do the ordering, or something. It's so transparent! I've never done that when working retail.

I can't stand it when parents want their non-listening kids to follow them out of a store, so they say, "I'm leaving! Bye!" and then they start walking away. I want to say, "Hey, dummy. Do you really see no potential lasting negative effects from this?"

I hate it when people say, "That's key." You mean THE key? The key to something. "Key" is a NOUN. I think it all started with Oprah. She was the first person I noticed saying it a long time ago, anyway.

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