Things that irritate.
1) The Serenity Prayer. As a child, any time I got angry or upset over something (often – I wasn’t very serene), my mother would recite this prayer to me. I’m sure she had good intentions. However, the idea that there was something in the universe I couldn’t control just made me angrier, as did the implication that I was lacking in wisdom because I didn’t “know the difference.” I suppose today I can appreciate the wisdom and grace of this little prayer, but I experience residual annoyance whenever I encounter it.
2) “They” as a gender-neutral singular pronoun: “I got mad at someone and they recited The Serenity Prayer at me.” I admit I’m guilty of this, too. (Misuse of “they,” not reciting The Serenity Prayer at people). But, still, I hate it.
3) Men who argue their stances abortion. Men: it’s fine to have an opinion and even to engage in an open-minded discussion. But whenever I witness one of you trying forcefully to argue your point – whatever it is – especially with a woman, I want to scream. Unless you’re Arnold, you’re not going through it and never will.
4) Women who declare they hate math. I don’t care if women say they hate science. I hate science, too. But when women on tv say things like, “I hate math!” or “I’m just no good with numbers,” they sound really dumb. Most every day math is on the order of 2+2. Balancing the checkbook or figuring out the tip is really not that hard. If you have to declare your hatred for math, say, “I hate multivariable calculus” or “I’m just no good at differential equations!”
5) Bathroom talkers. Why do people insist on having conversations on the toilet?
6) Sidewalk blockers. Sidewalk groups have several options: momentarily form single file, walk in the grass, pause and move to the side until others pass, jump down a manhole. But so many just keep on and force me off the cemented path. It makes me really, really, really road-rage angry. (Sidebar: I seriously think we should hand signal while walking.)