The Common Good

Things I Hate (But Shouldn't)

Grumpy kitty. Image via Tumblr.
Grumpy kitty. Image via Tumblr.

I know, Christians, love everyone and everything, right? Mister Bluebird on my shoulder and all that jazz.

Well, that ain’t me. Not that I don’t try, but I also don’t try to fake it when I’m not feeling the love.

My wife, Amy, told me that one reason she married me was because she knew she could trust me. It seemed to her that I lacked the capacity to lie. And while this is reassuring on one level, the stark honesty can sometimes be a little jarring, I expect.

What I have found is that naming things out loud is the best way to help you get over them. Some of these might seem like relatively trivial things to you, but trust me – for a quasi-Aspie like me, they are often the bane of my existence.

So without further adieu, here’s a list of things that I can’t seem to shake, they annoy me so incredibly much. God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change…

Misplaced apostrophes: I see this everywhere, but it’s particularly bad here in Pueblo. Most often, the spare apostrophes pop up in plural words, while remaining curiously absent from contractions and possessives. There’s a restaurant down the street called “Burrito’s Betty,” and for the life of me, I can’t figure out how or why a burrito owns a woman. How is that even legal?

Naked Muffin Tops: If your body has, um “evolved” since you were in high school 12-plus years ago, best not to try to stuff yourself into the same clothes you wore to algebra class. Cover the muffin or hit the gym. Please.

Ending every sentence as if it’s a question: People have this strange kind of apologetic habit of raising the tone of the last couple of words in every sentence so it sounds like they’re asking a question? Even though they’re not? Yaknow?

Overuse of the word “crazy”: I’m not talking here about referring to a person, like “He’s so crazy.” I’m talking about how people dismiss their perpetual flakiness by saying “It’s just been a crazy day.” You’ve said that three hundred forty six days in a row. Starts to lose its effect after a couple hundred.

Big heads in front of me: You know who you are. How is it that, no matter what movie or concert I go to, the Elephant Man sits right in front of me?

People who treat me like I’m an idiot when they don’t get my humor: I tend to be sarcastic sometimes. No, really. And sometimes the ironic quips or sarcasm falls short and the listener takes what I say literally, at which point they roll their eyes as if I’m some kind of doofus. Could be, but might I suggest, “Doofus physician, heal thyself?”

Weather wimps: There is about a three-degree window that seems to make most people happy. Other than that, the majority of the population will find something to complain about. Guess what? IT’S WEATHER. You want control over your environment? Stay inside and stop complaining. Oh, and while we’re at it, please eliminate the following phrase from your vocabulary: If you don’t like the weather in _______, wait five minutes (chuckle, chuckle) ’cause it’ll change.” Gag.

“The Bible Says” arguments: I know what the Bible says. It says a lot of things. Some are amazing, some are practical, and some are just plain nuts. I’ve heard it said that the Bible can be manipulated to make any point someone wants, so let’s not sling scripture at each other. How about trying one of those Biblical verses out and turn that sword into a plowshare? Whatever that is. Something useful anyway, instead of a tool to bludgeon others.

“Small Tent” Christianity: Note here that it’s the theology of narrow-minded, exclusive, country club Christians that I can’t stand, not the people who hold those ideas. Yes, the Christian tent is big enough even for them, though they don’t return the favor to others. As I recall, Jesus didn’t ask people if they were gay, poor, democrat, “right with God” or anything else before caring about them, reaching out to them and welcoming them. If God’s love is big enough for all of creation, how can ours be any different if we’re going to claim that same love.

Christian Piatt is the creator and editor of BANNED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE BIBLE and BANNED QUESTIONS ABOUT JESUS. He co-created and co-edits the “WTF: Where’s the Faith?” young adult series with Chalice Press, and he has a memoir on faith, family and parenting — PREGMANCY: A Dad, a Little Dude and a Due Date — set to hit book stores everywhere on April 1, 2012.

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