Yep, triggers. We’ve all got them – those things that you see or hear that make you roll your eyes, shake your head in disdain, maybe get a little angry. As a voluntary member of both the grammar and punctuation ‘police’, I get triggered – a lot! Fortunately, those errors are so common nowadays that they do little more than make me roll my eyes or shake my head.
But there are a few things that tend to raise my emotions to include a bit of anger. I thought I’d share a few of mine with you, and encourage you to share yours with me.
Okay, I am seriously triggered by shopping carts left in store parking lots. I’m even more seriously triggered when they are left in parking spaces that prohibit a vehicle from using those spaces. Seriously, are people so lazy that they can walk from the parking lot to the store, stroll around the store, steer their cart full of assorted purchases to their car, unload them into the car, but don’t have the energy to return the empty cart to a cart bin or the front of the store? And, as much as I hate to say this, shoppers with handicapped placards are sometimes the worst! Listen, I’ve got one of those placards. I try not to use it unless it is pouring down rain or the only empty parking place besides a handicapped space seems like it’s in Timbucktoo. I have some hip issues that sometimes make it painful to walk, as well as times that it causes me a sense of imbalance. But the same idea applies – a handicapped person is obviously capable of walking into the store, shopping the store, exiting to the parking lot and unloading into their cars. Many folks will agree with this trigger because of the damage a loose cart ramming into a parked car can create. Me, I just think it is incredibly rude as well as lazy.
I cringe whenever I hear the word “axe” used incorrectly. We all know what an axe is, right? That tool that is used primarily to cut down trees or cut lumber into smaller pieces. So why do some people always want to “axe” me a question? Granted, this misuse is prominent in some cultures more than others. But it tends to irritate me and make me want to stop what I’m doing and give the person a lesson in pronunciation.
Drama queens and attention seeking posts on social media make me crazy. And although I’m sure there is a drama king or two out there, this is primarily done by females. Okay, I get it – your significant other cheated on you. Yes, it hurts like hell and makes you question what you lack to keep him (or her) from needing to cheat. And yes, you have every right to express your anger in an appropriate way. But when I see, for the fifth or sixth time, what an a**hole he is followed by how much you love him and want him back, well, that’s on you. I mean, if you want to be with an a**hole for the rest of your life, then face what the consequences of that choice will be and accept that you have no right to be angry, since it IS a choice. Oh, and then there are the posts that say something like, “I’m totally pissed off right now!” That’s it – that is the sum of the post. There is no reason why or tale of what happened. It’s so obvious to me that these people are craving attention from their social media ‘friends’ and so they create a reason to get them to rally ’round and show they care.
People who make judgements without knowing all the facts trigger me. I explained why that’s a bad idea in my blog article, “Is it what it is?” We tend to do that a lot as we see other people living out their lives as they choose. I tend, for example, to get a little testy in a restaurant when children nearby are behaving poorly and/or loudly and their parents (guardians) are ignoring it. On a deeper level, if we take the time to think about it, bad behavior is often a child’s way to get attention, probably much-needed attention, from the adults. Maybe the adults are just dog-tired after a long day and don’t have the energy to deal with the kids at the moment. Maybe their house was just destroyed by a fire and they are living out of a hotel, so eating out as a family is the only option to getting their kids fed. Probably not, but wouldn’t knowing those circumstances change our sense of judgement?
Traffic swervers and tailgaters make me vent my anger out loud (in the safety of my car, of course!). And I’ll admit that I do, on occasion, get spiteful with a tailgater by speeding up to pass the vehicle on my right before he/she can get in front of me, then deliberately slowing down while I pass that vehicle, forcing the tailgater to slow down. Swervers – people who jut in and out of lanes just to get one car length further ahead – make me nervous. A traffic accident caused by this action is going to not only slow down that driver, but the rest of us as well! How rude!
I’m sure I could keep going on this list, and as times change, new triggers could be added. I’ve got teeth marks on my tongue from the many times I’ve had to bite it to keep from saying something mean-spirited. It’s hard work remembering that everyone has a right to be who they are and act as they please and I have to also look at the situation and tell myself that, unless it could cause harm to themselves or others, it’s really none of my business.
So tell me – what triggers you and how do you handle it?