In no particular order, here are some things that are ranking quite high on my annoyance meter right about now.
1. Dog poop. Not my dog’s poop, though I wouldn’t go so far as to call hers delightful or fun or anything. However, what’s great about it is that it quickly ends up tied up in a plastic bag. Apparently there are a few people in my neighborhood who aren’t so vigilant with the bag situation, and it’s making me borderline homicidal. What is especially pushing me over the edge is that someone keeps letting their (potentially large, I would say) dog crap all over the snowbank directly out front, all along what would be the lawn of our building. It isn’t just that it’s unattractive to look at or that it creates a delicate obstacle course for me – it means that I have to constantly worry that people in the building think that *I* am the one neglecting to pick up after my dog.
There have been two times that I’ve run downstairs with Pearl, expecting her to just pee, only to discover – aww, crap (pun totally intended) – I should have brought that bag after all. In both of those situations, I ran right back upstairs, flew back down, and picked it up. I do not leave dog poop all over the damn place. In fact there was one time where I had already thrown the bag away on a walk only to have her go again a few blocks later. Luckily I was close to home/the dumpster, and I had a wad of tissue paper in my pocket. And that’s all I have to say about THAT experience.
But the point is, I own a dog and part of the responsibility of being a dog owner is that I need to clean up after her when I walk her. If people don’t want to bother with that, then they should bloody well make sure they have a private yard – they can let their dog crap to their heart’s content out there, as long as the general public, and all the decent dog owners don’t have to deal with it.
2. Hand-over child care. On Sunday I filled up an ice cube tray with water and a bit of red food coloring to make some ice jewels. This makes for some fun times out in the snow. On Monday we had a ped day, so we went outside with them and Hayley and Breanna pretended to be pirates digging for treasure:
And then they used them to build a little winter fairy house:
They were having a good time. Then all of a sudden, this car pulls up (we were near the side street), and a kid who was maybe five ran out, in a snowsuit, and started playing with them. No problem! The kids were ecstatic to have someone not related to them to play with for a bit.
Except no one else got out of the car. I waited, confused, and glanced over a few times, and through the tinted windows I could make out the outline of someone sitting in the front seat, talking on the phone.
The three kids played for – no kidding – 15 minutes while this girl’s mother sat in her car. She didn’t know me, couldn’t see the kids when they ran around to the courtyard, and clearly expected me to watch her daughter. And obviously I did, because what else was I going to do?
Eventually a school bus pulled up from one of the other schools in the area and a bunch of elementary school kids came out. It was only then that the mother got out of her car, pulled some grocery bags from the back and then called to one of the boys to come help her carry them in. Obviously she was just killing time between arriving home from errands and meeting her son at the bus stop – a lot of schools don’t allow kids below a certain age to get off the bus without someone there to greet them.
But the big kicker was that she never once acknowledged me – no thank you, and not even a friendly smile. She looked right at me, all of three feet away, and turned around and headed to the building behind ours. Well you’re welcome, beyotch!
I just don’t get people sometimes.
3. Scholastic. Andrea from The Fishbowl posted a link on Twitter about a group that is trying to petition Scholastic to return to selling books and nothing more. I couldn’t agree more. When I was a kid* our Scholastic catalogs each month contained books. We picked the ones we wanted, we got them, we read them, we were thrilled. Now at least half the books that Scholastic sells seem to come with some sort of tie-in toy, like they’re the Happy Meal of the literary world.
That’s not too bad. I don’t love it, but I can live with it. Last year Hayley got a Backyardigans book and it came with three little figurines. Last month she got a chapter book about unicorns and it came with a small stuffed unicorn. That’s borderline acceptable – at least she’s still reading.
But the problem is that they also sell JUST toys. Instead of ordering any book at all, you can get random things like handheld games, cars, rubber stamp kits, and so on. Scholastic is supposed to be for books, to promote reading. How does a package of toy cars promote reading? It doesn’t. I had to argue with Hayley because she wanted to get a little stationary set that came with all of six sheets of paper, a pencil, some stickers, and three stamps for something like $12. I told her if she wanted that sort of thing so badly we could get more of it for less at the dollar store but if she wanted to order something from Scholastic it had to be something to read, end of discussion.
I am ALL for returning to the books-only version of Scholastic, thank you very much.
*Every time I start saying “when I was a kid” I feel like I’m getting old. Any second I’m going to start screaming for people to get off my damn lawn. And stop letting your dog crap there, while you’re at it!
There are probably more things annoying me, but being hungry happens to be one of them so I guess I’ll go dig up some lunch now!