I told Brett last night that today's post was about my top three pet peeves but I could only think of one.
He laughed, then proceeded to list several things that annoy me, most of which I would argue are not "peeves" but simply situations I've been in. I'm not really that peevish, am I? However, his comments did provide a needed paradigm shift to set me on the right direction.
First, my Cardinal Pet Peeve: Unsolicited advice
Yes, anytime someone posts on social media they have a cold, everyone says, "So sorry you're sick. Get some rest," or generic advice like that. I guess I consider that something of an "I'm showing my concern" statement rather than actual advice.
No, for me, the unsolicited advice is when my best friend - yes, ironically enough my BFF does this to me All. The. Time - says things like, "Oh! You should buy a car in Beijing and be a kind of uber driver for the expats," because she's trying to solve my problem of getting around. Fortunately, with a BFF it's okay to snarkily respond with, "oh sure, if I wanted the expense of a car, or knew my way around the city well enough to drive it, or even WANTED to drive in this hellish traffic!" and she can laugh it off.
One time, I said I was looking for an apartment in the city with a rent of about $XXX, and my brother-in-law, who doesn't live there, has never lived there, and doesn't know anyone in that city, said, "You'll never find that! You need to be looking in XXX range!" WTF? I stuck to my guns and got what I wanted. Suck it, B-I-L!
I think this peeve rankles so, because as the youngest girl in a large family, I have been subjected to TONS of advice from those older and wiser, throughout my life. I'm a grown adult now - have been for decades! - so just shut it. Please.
Second, surprise events. (at least, those directed at me)
I don't mind surprises like my husband making the bed, or a gift of flowers, but I am a planner. DO NOT deny me the ability to plan what I'm going to wear, whether to bring a gift, how to get there, or any errands that can be planned in conjunction with said event. How do you know I didn't have things that I need to get done at that precise time? Nope. Count me out.
Finally, I give you a knew one: Lack of information
This one I would never have considered before moving to China.
Not lack of general information. You can keep your child's potty-training progress to yourself. But if it pertains to me, TELL ME! Who knew this wasn't an obvious concept?
Case in point: Qing Ming festival was a couple weeks ago. This is a Chinese holiday to respect your ancestors. While in the office of a private school where I help with their English printed materials, I heard talk of having Monday off. I mentioned this to Brett, asking if he had the day off. He hadn't heard about it. So on Thursday, he asked the head of his school's English department, "Is there a holiday Monday?" and was told, "Of course! We have off for Qing Ming Jie!" Great. Was anyone going to tell him? No. But it gets better. They make up Monday classes on Saturday! If he hadn't asked, they would have expected him to be there on Saturday, but he would not have known about it!
Tell me what I need to know. Or even, just answer my question! Our leasing agent has ignored our pleas for a mailbox key. We've lived here for 6 months, and know there is mail in the box downstairs. He insists: "Key is useless. No one uses." Most mail here is sent by courier. But news flash! We didn't ask your opinion! We asked how we can get a key!
It's vastly annoying, but hopefully just a China thing. I won't be here forever.
...I have to say, this was an annoying post to write. I think next time this writing challenge list has an idea that focuses on the negative, I will skip it and come up with my own subject. Now I'm all angry about these things!