- Clip your nails in a public place. Whether it's on the Metro or in a conference (I've witnessed both), it is completely unacceptable for you to snip pieces of yourself and let the chips . . . err . . . clips fall where they may. Are you seriously so important and busy that you don't have time to groom yourself in the privacy of your own home? I don't want to see you filing your nails (ugh, nail dust entering the atmosphere and into my nose and lungs!), trimming your cuticles (blech, bits of skin discarded on the floor right in front of me), or cutting your fingernails (each clip clip clip successively louder than the last until I want to jam an emery board into my ear to stop the sound . . . or better yet, into YOUR ear).
- Position yourself directly in front of the elevator doors and just assume that it will be empty upon opening. It's not that difficult to stand to the side, wait a beat, and then enter. Sometimes these folks plant themselves in front of the doors while people (i.e., me) try to exit and they either don't move aside or, even worse, try to board before everyone has disembarked. For those people, I utilize my "what to do if a mountain lion attacks" skills and try to make myself appear as large as possible to make them back up or go around.
- Stand in line at the store with only some of your items while your partner-in-crime continues shopping and dropping off items at her leisure. This happened to me at the ghetto CVS up the street one day and when you have a cranky two-year old and a hungry baby waiting patiently but just barely, the last thing you want to deal with is waiting for Shaniqwa to saunter back with some detergent she just saw was on sale while Latisha holds up the entire line and disregards the anxious teller's comments about moving it along.
- Board the Metro while I'm on it. This may seem like an overbroad and vague activity but invariably, I am annoyed by someone doing it. It's not that I want to deny anyone the opportunity to use and support public transportation. It's just that so many people do it in such a head-banging, foot-stomping, loud-voiced, stankonia way. They sit right next to you when the car clearly has other open seats. They cough and sneeze directly onto your head and don't bother with the niceties of covering their mouths or wiping their hands before they grasp the handrails. They try to take up more than their allotted seat. They try to talk to you when you are clearly reading and don't want to be disturbed. They open up the newspaper to its full wingspan despite the fact that you are blanketed by it in the process. Occassionally, they fall on you. For more information, please visit this site.
- Ignore me and my attempts to give you cuddles and smootches but wait until the precise moment that I'm getting someone else to drink her milk and go to sleep and then pounce and demand something (attention, your own milk, an episode of "Sunny Day," anything) and start this new version of communication called "screaming" that you have developed an unnatural fondess for and try to use at every inopportune opportunity.
- Wait until the last second to ask me to review and edit something you've written and demand a response ASAP even though you have known about your deadline for days, weeks, months.
- Ask me if I'm pregnant when I'm already toting an infant around. Or toting nothing at all. I am well aware of the leftover baby fat encircling the girth of my belly. I just want to purchase my groceries and/or enjoy the dinner party and then go home. The next time someone asks me that, I'm going to punch them in the face and/or never visit again.
Get Off My Lawn or I Will Commence With The Fist-Shaking!
In my youth, I was pretty easy-going and not much disturbed me. The image in my head of the young me is that I sort of floated through life, oblivious to much, pleased by the little things. I find that as I get older, I am more easily annoyed. Granted, I don't have the bottomless well of rage and sense of indignity to which some have easy access and upon which some seem to delight in drawing (*sidelong glance at TP*). But, there are certain actions, statements, behaviors, whatnot that get my dander up and I can actually feel the red indicator in my crotchety meter rising. Here is a "How to annoy Baji" primer for those of you who like to live dangerously: