(The following was originally posted on November 7, 2015 but I have collected a few more pet peeves and decided to do an update):

I know none of you have ever written and asked what my pet peeves are but I was making a double batch of crispy lemon cookies that are made with lemon cake mix—a couple cups of rice krispies which I happened to have on hand, and 2 sticks of butter or margarine, plus a couple eggs—well I dug through the pantry and found two boxes of the Betty Crocker “original” cake mix size that is something like 18 ounces. I made up the batch of cookies and the cookie dough was perfect. You roll the dough in balls and bake them in the oven—when the cookies had cooled, I also drizzled on lemon glaze because I had some of that on hand as well. My peeve? The sizes of all the cake mixes have been reduced by about three ounces.

Now, if you do a lot of cookie baking (and I know I am not alone in this pastime) and have gotten used to making ever-so-easy batches of cookies made with cake mix—the dilemma now is—how can we continue to make the easy cake mix cookies?
It crossed my mind that this was a two-fold manufacturer’s ploy to sell more cake mix but reduce the size of the product. They change the size of the cake contents and not only save money—every cook in America has to figure out how to change the original recipe.

Another pet peeve – I was reminded of this at the supermarket recently–to get the best price on a product – you have to buy 3 or 4 of this or that product. Well, it’s maddening. to get the best price on 2 liter ginger ale, I have to buy 4 of them. Well, I can tolerate this ploy with the ginger ale because I will use it – but to be REQUIRED to buy one of several dozen products to get the cheapest price? MADDENING! I have purchased far more 12-packs of soft drinks in order to buy two and get three free (no, I don’t do this anymore because the son who used to drink the most coca cola at my house no longer drinks it—so I no longer buy it).

For all the years I was raising four sons and buying a lot of groceries, it wouldn’t have be an issue to buy four boxes of mac and cheese – I knew it would get eaten. But NOW – I am a senior citizen on a fixed income—this is outrageously unfair. I think a 75 year old customer should be exempt from such requirements. Give senior customers an exemption card! The supermarkets I shop at should be used to seeing me by now – and they are liberal about sending me ads for their sales. Isn’t this biased against seniors???

Another pet peeve? Not knowing the difference between your and you’re:

The easiest rule of thumb is that you’re is a contraction of you are; plain old your is simple – your book, your dog, your house. Whereas you’re going to the parade (you ARE going to the parade). I don’t think any kid going to Catholic school (in my case, St Leo’s) in the 1950s would ever get passed to the next grade if you didn’t know these simple rules.

To, too, and two (should be apparent but… maybe not) –We are going TO the park; I have TOO many cookies on my plate; I can only eat TWO of those cookies. Another one is the difference between “there” and “their”. (“There” are four people. They lost “their” books.)

** my biggest pet peeve takes place on almost all of my favorite weekly television programs—invariably, they film at least one scene (or more) in the dark. NCIS does it. Recently, the opening scenes in NCIS Los Angeles was shot in the dark—if you were a new viewer to NCIS, how on earth would you know what was going on? NCIS does this all the time. So does Criminal Minds. (I think the latest Criminal Minds started out with three scenes in the dark). And if I spend a week keeping scores, I bet I would find many more. Actually, when I think about it, they could be doing some of those scenes in a dark set and just read their dialogue. Maddening. I think I will start making a list of all the scenes done in the dark. My most recent pet peeve are the words “I mean”–a lot of celebrities can’t complete a sentence without saying “I mean” –I was keeping count of the “I means” on the red carpet to the Grammys last week. Did “I mean” replace “you know”?

Another big pet peeve? People talking on their cell phones while they are driving. This activity is now illegal in most states—if you absolutely MUST talk to someone, get yourself a hands free cell phone.

Isn’t it amazing how dependent we have become of cell phones? One day (prior to our being able to wait for friends and relatives at their airport gates) I was waiting for my brother Jim to dis-embark and began counting all the people who were ON THEIR CELLPHONES as they came off the airplane.

This begs the question, why didn’t all those masses of people go rushing for pay phones when they came off the airplanes? You almost never see anyone WAITING for a pay phone to be available. (ARE there any pay phones any more?)

So, our cellphones, i-phones, tablets, etc. have become indispensable. I have finally joined the ranks—the kids got me an iphone for my birthday last year. Now, I have been a person NEVER TO GO BACK if we forgot something—even if I was only a block from home (I guess that was a pet peeve too)—and now with the i-phone? I turn around and go back home to get it. (it might be an important call. You never know). But cellphones and i-phones and tablets et al are still a pet peeve.

This morning I was reflecting on how much bowling has become a pet peeve. I came across some entries to a journal written in 1986 and noted how frequently I made mention of my good games of bowling when I was bowling two or three nights a week. Now, going on thirty years later, I am doing well to break a hundred. Very frustrating. And this is the same ball I was doing well with in 2010 when my brother Jim bought it for me, brand new, at one of the USBC bowling tournaments that he was bowling in. I mention this because it has turned into a major peeve.

Another pet peeve? People who end a sentence on a question mark even though the sentence ISN’T a question. I’ve heard grown men do this. Bad enough when kids and women end their sentences like this. I recently discovered this now has a NAME. I believe I saw it on Jeopardy! it’s called “UPSPEAK”.

I find it annoying—perhaps a minor pet peeve—that some people talk over you, interrupting your sentence, wanting to be heard—without listening to what you have to say. I have even seen this happening on daytime TV shows where women talk about current issues—shows such as The View and The Talk are examples. It’s frustrating to be listening to what one person has to say—and doesn’t get to finish his or her sentences because someone talks OVER him or her—and sometimes you never find out what the first person was going to say. Now, no one can talk over me when I am writing a blog post—but you can certainly write TO me and tell me YOUR pet peeves!

Listen, I am a senior and retired. I usually drive to Palmdale to go to the Smart & final store because their prices are the lowest. I also shop at a Stater’s supermarket but I got into an argument with the store manager one time—because I didn’t get the lowest price. I didn’t GET the lowest price because the product required me to buy 4 of the product. Well, bite me if I am going to buy FOUR 5-liter boxes of wine that would last me over a year. The manager refunded the money because I didn’t understand the requirement – and I AM willing to buy 4 2-liter bottles of Vernor’s Gingerale….so I have taken to mixing some ice and gingerale with a spurt of whatever box of wine I am working on. A box lasts me months this way.

It seems to me that supermarkets would increase their sales if they catered more to seniors and retirees—just issue a little card giving seniors the discounted prices on everything. It’s bad enough that the cost of water and electricity and gas have all gone up—I do everything in my power to not use water unnecessarily and go around turning off lights – but FOOD? And don’t tell me to use coupons; I am the coupon queen of Quartz Hill—but even the manufacturers of hair coloring and toilet paper and a host of other things – require the shopper to buy 3 or 4 of the product on sale. Even Halloween candy! I have to buy THREE of a product to get the lowest price. If you ask me, this is supermarket gouging prices. Just saying…!

Another pet peeve that irks me every single time I see it on TV are the many crime-related shows with segments filmed in near-total darkness. I see this in almost every one of my favorite crime related weekly shows. Am I supposed to
second guess exactly what is happening? I saw this again one night on Criminal Minds and it reminded me to add it to my list of pet peeves. **

The greatest of my great pet peeves has to do with the English language. I went to preface this by saying that I attended 8 years of Catholic grade School and four years of Catholic high school. I don’t think any of us would have gotten OUT of grade school if we didn’t know the difference in synonyms and appropriately using there or their, to two or too, write or right, or a dozen other words. I was astonished to find the wrong there or their (it should have been “their) in a print-out of instructions for a test I am having at my cardiologist’s in a few weeks. I’m guessing that THEIR office staff did not know the difference between their and there—and everyone who has this test goes home with this incorrect print out of instructions. ARGH!!

–Sandra Lee Smith


5 responses to “SOME OF MY PET PEEVES

  1. Living here in the city, I have several pet peeves, most of them regarding a lack of respect and manners. However, I have another one I wish to write about, well, actually two. I do not like it when someone sets an appointment for me and then takes someone else just a couple minutes before my appointment. I’d set a 10 am appointment at the hairdresser the other day, her first one of the day, and walked in to find out that she had just taken two walk ins when their were four other beauticians working there. So, because one of my ways of letting go of bad feelings is to write them out, I posted on my FB page about my frustration that appointments are not honored which brings me to my second pet peeve. Someone who NEVER comments on any of the good positive things I write about had the nerve to write and criticize me about being a sourface. Totally from left field and uncalled for. That set me in a tizzy more than the disregard of my appointment. So I guess two of my pet peeves are people who set but do not honor appointments and overly critical people

    • Hi – these are really good and solid pet peeves – and I have been there & done that. Or more aptly, have had it done to me. I think– if you have already decided to let it go – give that person another chance – I think if it happened a second time I would say something. I don’t get my hair done but I do have a manicurist & generally ask for the 9 am appointment which is the earliest…and I have been going there since they first got started at the location so they do treat me well–and they take walkins – so I had a clear perspective of your experience. (BTW, it has been my life experience – that when I WRITE about a bad experience, then I am able to forget it). Thanks for writing. – Sandy

  2. Sandy, do you use 2 boxes for your double batch? I’m hoping using one box will make a regular batch, but I’m not certain from the above. Thanks!

    • Hi, Christina–I know this is an old inquiry–I have just begun (last night) deleting thousands of messages backed up in my Verizon account–I still have about 60 pages to go. (argh!) – RE the cake mix – what I DID for a cake was measured out the amount from a second box to get it up to 18.5 oz. then resealed the one bag until I needed a partial amount again. I know, this is a long way to go about it – but on a brighter note – I made a LOT of cookie recipes this past Christmas – using two boxes of the BC cake mix – a couple eggs – some oil or melted butter (I need to redo the recipe for the exact amounts and I WILL) – well, I was making the triple chocolate cake mix – and then added chocolate chips or whatever else – someone at bowling came up to me yesterday holding one of the triple choc cookies in his hand and said “THIS is the best cookie you have ever made yet!” (I take cookies to the other bowlers to get input as much as anything else…I have finiky family members who only like certain things baked a certain way. I baked five batches of their chocolate chip cookies over the holidays. just that. well I did change the recipe from the original recipe on the bag – I found another recipe somewhere – and now will have to find it again. it was ALMOST like the original recipe but with some changes – like a cup of brown sugar, packed, instead of 3/4 cup. it was a hit with the family. anyway. in my opinion – one cake mix is too hard to work with. they have reduced the amount so much – It really ANNOYS ME. am betting it annoys a lot of other bakers as well. Thanks for writing! – Sandy

    • Christina–I know you posted this a few months ago; I have been using two boxes of cake mix for some recipes and then recently–during the holidays and then for Valentine’s Day–I used three boxes of cake mix and played around with the ingredients; I will write another blog post when I get it figured out.

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