We all have things we love to hate. I know this because when I wrote a column several years ago about some of the things I hate, many readers wrote to share their own aversions. One gentleman said he hated it when his neighbor had one of her frequent garage sales and bargain hunters blocked his driveway. You certainly can't blame him for hating that.
But I must admit that some of my antipathies are the result of my own personality flaws. For example, a male acquaintance once told me I was "too impatient." What can I say except ... guilty as charged! And my impatience is never more evident than when I'm around people who can't get off the dime. I hate fence straddlers and have to restrain myself from shouting at them: "DO something. ANYTHING! Even if it's WRONG."
While I'm confessing that I abhor certain types of actions by my fellow humans, I'll go on record that I also hate weak sisters: individuals who know the right thing to do, but won't do it for fear they'll suffer adverse repercussions by taking a position. I can't understand why they won't stand up for their beliefs. But because they won't, there's another word for weak sisters: GUTLESS!
I grew up in a house full of daughters not a weak sister among 'em so I can state unequivocally that gender has nothing to do with intestinal fortitude. But while weak sisters come in both sexes, those who are male seem worse to me because - although I know it's an unfair burden to place on men - my male role models have taught me to expect a lot from them with regard to integrity and courage.
Indeed, I so value those qualities in my men that I have tried to emulate them and apparently once succeeded because I have preserved a note from my friend Don which affirms: "You're a real man, Sister!"
Husband Ray and I profess a similar abhorrence for drivers who poke along 20 miles below the speed limit, but accelerate when we try to pass them.
What competitive impulse makes them want to become drag racers the minute our vehicle pulls even with theirs? The odd thing is that when those drivers are overtaken, they resume their turtle pace until they're lost in our rearview mirror. Go figure!
I thoroughly detest political ads that instruct me to call candidates and give them a message. Here's a message for the creators of those ads: What makes you believe voters are so dumb they need to be told what to think? (Exception is made, of course, for voters in Dade County, Florida.)
Speaking of ads, Ray and I also hate automobile TV advertisements where the driver and passengers are singing and bouncing their heads like those wobble-headed dogs some people have in their back car windows. I want a second DWI law on the books: Driving While Idiotic.
And how about advertisements for perfumes? Do you comprehend those? I don't. What does selling perfume have to do with a man and woman walking toward each other in a pool? Beats me! I guess it might work if " when the couple meets in the middle " he asks, "What's that smell?"
"No, the good smell."
"Oh, that must be my perfume."
I hate it when people stop to visit in a grocery store and block the entire aisle with their carts. And I hate it more when they push a loaded cart into my heel while chatting on a cell phone. That piece of technology is far too ubiquitous, if you ask me.
Speaking of technology, don't you just hate it that newly purchased electronic equipment is obsolete before the ink on your check is dry? I am an expert on technological obsolescence because I once insisted on buying an 8-track player for a long-ago Buick even though the salesman tried to talk me into a cassette. "Why would I buy that," I asked in amazement, "when I have dozens of 8-track tapes?"
It could have been worse. A member of Ray's family bought a Beta instead of a VHS VCR. But you know what I really hate? I hate it that kids who have grown up with CDs and DVDs won't have a clue what 8-tracks and VCRs are. Let's just let them wonder, shall we? They'll hate that.
Marsha Henry Goff is a free-lance writer in Lawrence. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.