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Archive for Monday, May 4, 1998

SOME THINGS ARE WORTH HATING

May 4, 1998

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I hate to watch a young woman jog and notice that the only things moving on her body are her legs and her hair. I hate it mainly because I'm acutely aware that -- when I'm merely strolling -- my hair is the only thing on me that's not bouncy!

I hate spending a couple of weeks in Mexico and discovering that what I remember from two years of Spanish language classes will barely get me through a Spaghetti Western. I never dreamed that "No habla Espanol" would become the staple of my conversation ... or that my husband -- without a single Spanish speech lesson -- would in his first few minutes at the Cancun airport pick up enough Spanish survival phrases to hail a cab, order a meal and ask for directions to the nearest bathroom (pretty much in that order).

I hate it when I say no for the third time to a telemarketer and she/he says, also for the third time, ``I understand your thinking, Mrs. Goff, but ...'' If they really understood, they'd know I wasn't buying.

I hate being known by my first name at fast-food restaurants. And I hate it more when they know me by name and still remind me that the coffee is hot so don't put it in my lap. So what if I am the first and probably only person to assign a five-star rating to fast-food chains. That doesn't mean I'm both stupid and litigious!

I hate it when someone pulls their auto out in front of me, causing me to slam on my brakes, only to drive below the speed limit and make a left-hand turn a half-block later. I also hate it when motorists sneak through a four-way stop when it's not their turn. And I really hate it when I allow drivers to slip in front of me in traffic and they don't even acknowledge my courtesy with a wave.

I hate it when a machine asks me to leave a message and then its owner does not return my call. My rule is that I will leave a second message and if I still don't get a return call, I figure I'm the one who got the message.

I hate info-mercials because they give me mostly -mercial and little info-.

I hate it when I ask a ``what-if'' medical question and a doctor says, ``Why don't you let me worry about that?'' I fantasize about not paying my bill and -- when the doctor asks why my account is in arrears -- saying, ``Why don't you let me worry about that?''

I hate esoteric language. The other day I heard a teacher say a 5-year-old boy ``engages in perseveration.'' Translation: The kid repeats himself. Give me a break! I also hate it when children are regarded as miniature adults. One parent complained to me that her 3-year-old ``lacked maturity.'' I certainly wasn't mature at 3. Sometimes I'm still not.

I hate it when people yell at someone whose fault it's not. A sales clerk does not make store policy; a ticket agent can't help it if the flight is full; a waiter didn't blow on the soup to make it cold.

I hate it that my kids were surprised to learn my folks had a television set before I reached puberty. I hate it more that I had to explain to them that those flat, round black things in the attic are the precursors of compact discs, not prehistoric Frisbees.

I hate it when anyone blessed with curly hair complains about how difficult it is to manage.

For decades, I hated that my sister, a year younger than I, was allowed to date at age 14 when our parents had made me wait until I was 15. But my adult resentment of that adolescent injustice was erased a few years ago when -- while on a shopping spree with that same sister (she of the beautiful prematurely silver hair) -- a sales clerk mistook her for my mother. I love that sales clerk. All the more so because she is first on my sister's list of the things she hates!

-- Marsha Henry Goff is a free-lance writer in Lawrence. Her e-mail address is mhgink@ljworld.com.

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