As an author, I want my stories to have conflict, irritating little things that happen to a character, a reason to make the reader gasp a little and wonder what is going to happen next. As I was pondering potential conflicts to add to a story I’m working on I came up with a list of ten irritating things people do that drive me nuts, and while not all of them would make good conflicts for a story, they all give me that ‘nails on a chalkboard’ feeling whenever I’m exposed to them.
My ‘Nails on Chalkboard’ List
1. Parents who bribe their kids.
As a parent this drives me nuts. Quit rewarding you’re little darlings with candy when they throw a fit and take them home. When you give them candy after they destroy the store display all you’re teaching them is that the way to get what they want is to destroy something.
2. You’re Just Afraid of Change.
Of course we’re afraid of change. We’re afraid of changing something that doesn’t need to be changed.
3. Enjoy it while it lasts.
Like I was planning on going and sitting in the closet while something enjoyable was happening? Why not try telling me ‘congratulations’ or ‘that sounds wonderful’.
4. Typo’s on the major news sites.
Some people may not notice, but as someone who writes they stick out as glaring mistakes. Seriously, most of the world uses spell check, turn it back on, it’s irritating as hell when a professional journalist can’t spell.
I hear this irritating little word whenever I’m around teens, although I’ve heard it from adults too. Can’t you just confess that they’re your boyfriend or girlfriend.
6. Baby momma and baby daddy.
He or she may be your child’s biological mother or father, but don’t call them baby momma or baby daddy.
Mom’s don’t really want to be called baby momma. Show us some respect guys!
7. People who need to one up.
I had a brother-in-law who was like this. Thank God my sister finally woke up and moved on. It didn’t matter what you were talking about, he had to one up it. Flying to the Bahama’s for vacation? He’d tell you about how he had a pilot’s license and had found Amelia Earhart. Going to the football game? He was best friends with the owner. It was so bad that at family gatherings we took turns egging him on just to see what he could come up with next. It all ended when my cousins girlfriend called him out one Thanksgiving. He only paused for a moment before changing subjects and telling us that he flew a hundred orphans out of war torn Africa this time last year.
8. People who feel the need to point out things that need to be done to your house.
I have sister-in-law who is bad about doing this. When she asked about the yard at one of our holiday get togethers, my husband had finally had enough and fired the lawn mower up, telling her with a smile on his face, that she could eat with the rest of us when she was done mowing.
She didn’t talk to him for six months.
I gave him an extra special night after everybody went home!
9. People who repeatedly ask the same question.
Kids and husbands are bad about this sometimes. ‘What’s for dinner’ seems to be a favorite around my house. I think they keep asking because they think I’m going to change my mind.
I have news for you – I’m not. No matter how many times you ask, we’re still having baked chicken, and not pizza.
My husband got the hint fairly quickly and since he likes to cook, and don’t tell him this, but sometimes I tell him we’re having something I know he hates.
Thank God he’s a better cook than I am!
10. People who tell me how to raise my kids.
I have my own way, thank you very much. And all I hear is that you think I’m a bad mother. I’m not.
These are some of the irritating things that people do that drive me nuts. If one of your pet peeves isn’t on this list please leave a comment. Who knows? Maybe I’ll work it into my next story.
Nikki Caine writes spicy romances. Check her out on Amazon.