In The Great Gatsby, Nick Carraway says that we all suspect ourselves of at least one of the cardinal virtues. He says that his is honesty, but a quick look at Wikipedia tells you that the cardinal virtues are prudence, temperance, fortitude, and justice. But since Nick has set a precedent here, I'm going to go on my own and say that my cardinal virtue is tolerance. I put up with a lot--I do teach high school, you know--before I lose it. But there are some things that I simply cannot tolerate, and since I've spent the last week or so generating lists of stuff I like (not guilty pleasures, top 100 songs, etc.), I've decided that I need to vent a little bit. I absolutely, positively cannot tolerate...
...white hot chocolate. Roughly once a month, I stop by Dunkin' Donuts for a bagel and a hot chocolate, and they'll give me white hot chocolate instead. And since I like to wait until I get to school before I dip into my hot beverage, I never realize it until it's too late. And white hot chocolate is to regular hot chocolate as regular white chocolate is to regular chocolate. And everybody hates white chocolate. So there.
...Dress Barn. You could barely fill a thimble with my knowledge of women, but one thing I know is that if I were marketing clothing for them, I would steer clear of obvious comparisons to livestock. Whomever made the decision to call this place Dress Barn had better have lost his job immediately. What other gems did he unearth? The Coffee Trough? Horse Shoes? The Fat Women's Ice Cream Shoppe?
...people who host parties, order a veggie pizza, then eat my pepperoni. I need to make sure that the problem here is clear. I have no problem with someone ordering a veggie. If you like veggie--and especially if it's your party--you can get whatever garbage you want on your pizza. But the operative word here is your. If I head over to the table and find three empty boxes where there had formerly been normal pizzas (for the purposes of this discussion, "normal" means pepperoni, sausage, or cheese) but there are still 6 slices of the thing you got with pineapples on it, you will get an earful.
...kids that cry in the hallways. Learn to deal with your problems. I wish I could give kids detentions for this.
..."A Different World," by Bucky Covington. If you aren't familiar with this song (by an ex-American Idol contestant, by the by), count yourself among the lucky ones. It's this ludicrous song about how people are too concerned with things like making their kids safe and happy. (At least that's what it seems like to me.) It begins with this line: "We were born to mothers who smoked and drank. Our cribs were covered in lead-based paint. No childproof lids, no seatbelts in cars. Rode bikes with no helmets and still here we are." That's right, Bucky, except for those of us who died of lead poisoning or were paralyzed in car accidents because we weren't wearing seatbelts.
...when you aren't paying attention at breakfast, and you reach for your milk glass, but you grab the orange juice instead, and you don't realize it until it hits your tongue. I know that's kind of specific, but it happened to me the other day. Quite a shock.
...Romy & Michele's High School Reunion. Stupid movie.
...women who have a "birth plan" or insist on "natural childbirth." I am certain that this will offend part of my readership because surely someone has done this, but I just don't understand it. You know what your "birth plan" should be? Have a baby as safely and painlessly as possible. That's a good plan. And don't get me started on those who don't use drugs. (Incidentally, this doesn't apply to people who have babies under weird circumstances--only those who bring up the fact that they don't intend to use them at dinner parties and such.) They remind me of waiters who take your order without writing it down--that's another thing I won't tolerate. Do you somehow believe that I think less of waiters who write down my order and get it right? I'm here to tell you, I don't. I applaud them for doing their jobs well. Meanwhile, you're bringing me biscuits and gravy when I ordered a waffle, but hey, you didn't have to write it down! Bravo! Oh really? You had that baby without an epidural? Well, it looks the same to me. Sorry.
Thanks for listening. I feel much better.