Lee Wochner: Writer. Director. Writing instructor. Thinker about things.


Hidden agenda

Last night over dinner, my girlfriend asked me what my biggest pet peeve is.

I rolled around in my head vocalizing the first to come to mind: always seeing the shoes of my 21-year-old son scattered around the house. There’s always a pair of his shoes resting beneath the island in the kitchen, always a couple of his slides inside the back door, and sometimes another pair of his footwear cast about in the living room or the family room, and frequently accompanied by damp-looking black socks that prohibit me from touching any of it myself.

But then I reflected further and my true greatest pet peeve swam into view: people who drive in the passing lane without any intention of ever passing. These people just roll along blissfully unaware of the long chain of us trapped behind them in a slow centipede of automotive slowdown. It’s the law that they should pass and then get the Hell out of that lane, but they never do. They simply toodle along, rapturously unthinking. In a better world, they would be pulled over and ticketed for this nonsense, and then only if they couldn’t just be tossed into some gulag and their cars trash-compacted into neat little cubes.

I shared that with my girlfriend, who listened sympathetically, and then I added the one about my son with his shoes. Both of those peeves have to do with the ignorance of others; it’s not willfully bad behavior, it’s just ignorant behavior. And then, because I do my best to be a communicator, I asked her what biggest pet peeve is.

She said, “People who don’t make the bed.”


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