Little things that can cause big reactions, those are pet peeves. Pet peeves are generally developed over time of explicitly noticing something that bothers you and realizing how annoying it is. The strange part about pet peeves is that one person’s biggest annoyance could go completely unnoticed to someone else.
All of the five-year-olds sitting around the low rectangular tables are handed a napkin with a handful of goldfish, and a styrofoam cup filled with water. Finishing his snack later than the rest of his friends, one of the boys in the class slowly sips his water. Meanwhile, some of his buddies walk to the trashcan, crushing their styrofoam cups. freshman Nico Rodriguez’s face turns bright red, his eyes squint and his neck stiffens as he cringes. Rodriguez stands up and takes his cup to the trash, he pauses and then crushes it. His arms chilled with goosebumps and his eyes squinted in discomfort, driving him to quickly throw it in the trash and walk away.
Now sitting in Biology waiting for class to start, Rodriguez hears someone crushing their styrofoam cup from across the room.
“Oh my god why?!”
His face turns cherry red and his eyes shut as he clenches his teeth.
“There is no reason to crush the cup at all. Just throw it away,” Rodriguez said to the girl. Surprised by his unexpected reaction, the girl walks away with an eyebrow raised and chuckles, although it’s not so funny to Rodriguez.
One day in specific happens to surround Rodriguez with these annoying cups, the Fourth of July. He walks through what seems like a styrofoam landmine, stepping on carelessly dropped lemonade cups in the yard and driveway of the party. He can’t help but hear the noise, the dreaded crushing noise. The painful screeching noise it makes is the one thing that forces Rodriguez’s body shiver in disgust.
Breakfast… lunch… dinner…. snacks.
It is a constant cycle of smacking, crunching, mushing and sticky noises surrounding freshman Ava Renko. Her friend carries on and on about her weird weekend of running into numerous teachers she hadn’t seen in forever and something involving ice cream. Past that, Renko wouldn’t be able to recall a single detail. Her eyes sat fixed on the girl’s mouth jabbering away, chewing, talking and occasionally half swallowing her mouthful of food.
Goosebumps rise all up and down her arms as the urge to hit someone inflates inside her.
“Please.. please close your mouth,” Renko said. The girl talking laughs and apologizes, then continues her story. Less than two minutes later, chills are sent flying up Renko’s spine as she catches herself watching the girl’s mouth chomp and chew and talk and swallow all in one odd motion, yet again.
Ever since she was in first grade, it has bothered Renko to watch people who think it’s okay to eat with their mouth open. Unfortunately, it isn’t just one or two friends that this occurs with. She finds her brother, other friends, strangers and teachers that all struggle with the same talk n’ chew problem.
“I notice it probably more than normal because of how much I hate it,” Renko said.
Besides the fact that it is unattractive to watch the food be grinded down, she finds the noise repulsive.
When she was young, one of her closest friends would chew with their mouth wide open, spewing food occasionally. She often tried to correct her even just as a first grader, but at a recent dinner with the same friend, she sadly noticed there was no change.
“I can’t tell if she just thinks it’s funny because she knows how it bothers me,” Renko said. “Or if she really has never learned, and that just makes me sad for her. It’s very gross.”
“Style” by Taylor Swift blares in a beige 1995 Honda Accord. Two of the three girls in the car sing, belting out the lyrics in their own melody. One of them doesn’t.
Senior Bethany Wiles drives her two loud friends to a movie. She changes the station as soon as she realizes her friends are at it again, harmonizing.
Wiles doesn’t harmonize.
“It’s not a part of the song, so why are you singing it?” Wiles said. “Let Taylor Swift do her thing.”
Considering the radio practically plays the same ten songs all day, when Wiles changes the station, she is often stuck listening to one of the many songs the girls like to harmonize with.
It’s not that her friends don’t know how to harmonize. They do know how thanks to choir. The fact that the girls sing along to pop music is what bothers Wiles the most.
As bad as it is when she is driving, the real bad luck is when Wiles isn’t driving. As she listens to her friends singing, she stares at her feet in discomfort, completely annoyed at the fact she can’t do anything but listen. The fun of harmonizing for Wiles’ friends only really began when she told them how much she despised it. Lesson learned: not such a great idea to share the peeve.