5. 9 things I just can’t handle.

I had to really think about this one. There are a couple of things that annoy me.. but nine?  Thankfully, my sister is visiting me at the moment and she knows me better than anyone else. Like a good lil’ sis, she was quick to help me pinpoint my flaws.


1. Bad mornings

I have tried and tried and tried to be a morning person. I just can’t do it. It’s not the earliness of it that I can’t handle. It’s the abrupt jolt of being transported into my day. I need to ease into being awake. I like silence while I nurse a cup of tea and read. Soft music with no words. No one talking to me is preferable. What I really can’t handle is being woken up suddenly, having kicking, playfighting kids under my covers, hard rock music and/or guitars being played with distortion, three people talking to me at once (all of which happens on a regular basis).

2. Dog ears

The other day I was helping in my son’s classroom and I spotted their bookshelf out of the corner of my eye. Books were shoved in sideways, spilling out on the floor. Every day after that my eyes found those books every time I walked past, until one day I couldn’t handle it anymore and I started sorting it out. There were wrinkled covers with creases and pages bent back. The teacher saw me make a face. He stopped my tidying, because the children needed to “take ownership” over the bookshelf and tidy it themselves. He promised me gently that it would be fixed by the end of the day. It was. I still cringe when I remember those dog ears.

3. Last minute requests.

Yesterday my day went like this:

  • I’ve lost my hat.
  • I need money for the East Timor fundraiser.
  • I forgot my art project, can you bring it to me?
  • Sorry, I know it’s three days before the event, but we don’t have a billy kart now. Can you make one and bring it to school so that we can use it too?

Enough said.

4. There house was so nice and quite.

Okay. I know. I know. Some people just aren’t great spellers. I get it. But if we could all just learn the difference between their/they’re/there and quite/quiet I think there would be a lot of us in the world who would be very grateful. That’s all I’m saying.

5. Too many words.

This is similar to bad mornings, but it’s all day. I’m a writer and I’m obsessed with words. My brain seeks them out. If I’m listening to a song, I couldn’t tell you what the melody is or what instruments are used, but I will be able to repeat the lyrics word for word. I listen to conversations when I’m in cafes and restaurants. Because of this, I get flustered if there are too many words at the same time. If I’m listening to music in the car and my husband is talking to me and the kids are having their own conversation in the back, I can hear all of the words all at once and I’m paying attention to them all. My husband says, just block it out. Quiet + words is perfection. Background noise + words + words + words is a nightmare.

6. Not again.

I read Stephen King’s book On Writing a while ago, and it’s helped me as a writer and ruined me as a reader. There are some words that should be on a naughty list, or at least used very sparingly (and in the right context!). Smirk is the no. 1 offender. If characters never smirked again I think we’d all be fine. I don’t even think we’d miss it. I know the crooked half-smile is sexy for the male lead (this is not a smirk, by the way, a smirk is mean). I know how hard it is to portray all of those facial expressions in a way that translates to your reader. I do get it. But please:

no smirking

7. Driving out of the zone.

I learned to drive in New Zealand and now I live in Sydney. Here, there are three or four lane highways with monstrous trucks and manic lane changing. I have a designated driving zone and when I’m forced to venture out of it for a hospital appointment or .. (really, only a hospital appointment would make me do it).. I really can’t handle it.

8. Any kind of stomach upset or hint at feeling sick or anything remotely connected to feeling sick.

In our family, you’re not allowed to say “I feel sick” unless you need a bowl or a toilet in the next sixty seconds. If I think someone is going to be sick I will be awake all night fretting. I will track your every move and quarantine you to the germ zone and cover you in antibacterial gel. I’m emetophobic. I have an irrational fear of vomiting. Actually, it’s the possibility of vomiting. I don’t even like writing the words.

9. Someone being mean to my kid.

I’m a pretty measured person in all aspects of my life except for when it comes to my kids. I’m horrified at my reaction sometimes when one of my children tells me that someone teased them or left them out. I usually plaster on a patient smile and offer advice. But believe me, it’s not always what I want to do.

Leave me a comment with one or more of your flaws. Don’t leave me hanging out here all on my own!

1 Comment

  1. Mine would be chomping, eating gum with an open mouth or any general bad table manners. I’ve got a high sensitivity to food/eating noises. In fact I nearly quit a job once because the person on the desk next to me ate an apple, loudly, EVERY afternoon at her desk….. That was in the days before iPods or i anything so I would have looked a little odd blocking out the noise with giant Walkman headphones!

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