Oscar the Grouch and Me

Oscar the Grouch

Dirty, disgusting grocery carts. People who say “Let’s do lunch,” but don’t. Dropped phone calls. These are just a few of my pet peeves. But I’ve got a million of ‘em. Well, six of them. And did I mention Oscar the Grouch is my role model?

Here’s my list of middle-aged grouchies! Join me and get your grump on!

Grocery Cart Goop

1. Grocery carts littered with other people’s trash get my goat (and goat cheese). When supermarket employees collect carts from parking lots, why can’t they also take 30 seconds to pick up the rubbish shoppers so inconsiderately leave behind?

Better still, why can’t shoppers throw out their own coffee cups, soda cans, and unwanted coupons?

Let’s Do Lunch!

2. People who say “Let’s catch up,” “Let’s get together,” “Do lunch,” but never follow up with an invitation are high on my list of pet peeves.

What’s the deal? Why don’t they call? Are they insincere? Or just mean?  Are they waiting for me to call? Or would that be pushy?

Even as a grown woman, it makes me feel insecure and confused – just like I’m back in high school or, horrors, junior high school! Not knowing what’s what, I sit and stew, hurt and befuddled.

Renew or …

3. Magazine subscription reminders that start months and months AND MONTHS before your subscription is set to expire drive me insane!

Nowadays it seems the renewal reminders start one week after you first order a magazine! First, come the gentle reminders with offers of gifts if only you renew NOW. Next, the kindly tone shifts to dire warnings. Your subscription is ABOUT TO END! Then, you receive the dreaded FINAL NOTICE. Subscription Apocalypse looms!

These non-stop notices make me feel like a deadbeat. Don’t my publications trust me to make payments on time? Or do they think I’m too old to keep track of financial obligations with one simple reminder?

Ironically these multiple warnings awaken the rebel in me. Instead of rushing to re-up my subscriptions, I start living on the edge. I deliberately tempt fate to see how long I can go before renewing without incurring the dreaded “interruption of service.” And with each new expiration notice, I ponder deep existential questions such as “What would life – and my closets and pantry – be like if I missed one month of Real Simple Magazine?” and “Would life as I know it cease to exist?”

Bond, Adhesive Bond

4. Adhesive labels are the bane of the modern shopper.

Who among us has not ruined a manicure trying to remove a stubborn label from a new purchase? Who has not broken a nail, or the Golden Rule by cursing up a storm in this maddening pursuit?

One friend suggested using a hairdryer to release the adhesive bonds, but I only managed to fry my fingers. The label did not budge.

I am sure that many an inmate in bedlam is there because of a heartbreaking case of Adhesive Label Obsession Breakdown Syndrome! Whatever happened to strings and a tag on packages?

More Grouchies

5. And speaking of maddening labels, what about those CD anti-theft adhesive labels? ‘Nuff said.

Well, except for this: Given the diminishing sales of CDs, you’d think the music industry would do all it could to make it easier for us middle-aged muddlers to buy and play our old-timey CDs!

One Ringy Ding!

6. “All our representatives are busy assisting other callers. Please continue to hold for the next available representative.” Then, comes the music … the obnoxious music… the tinny music that hurts the ear and the soul. If we have to wait, can’t companies be kind and play nice music?

I can’t remember, but what happened in the good old days before automation and computers? Didn’t we just get busy signals and hang up? We probably hated it, but this noxious, ear-aching “music” is an improvement? I don’t think so!

And on the subject of phone waiting torture, can’t companies do something about the problem of dropped calls? The only thing worse than waiting forever to be connected is waiting forever and then getting disconnected. I’m old. My time on this planet is limited. Please don’t leave me hanging and then hang up on me!

Chins Up!

That’s it. That’s my list of gripes … at least for today. Enough with the kvetching and whining. Time to take some personal responsibility. Time go out there and make somebody else’s day miserable!

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