We all have our pet peeves, our idiosyncrasies, our little quirks.
Those little things that annoy, delight or otherwise garner what many consider an unusual response.
For me (and my mom), it’s when characters on a television show or movie brush their teeth. EeYew. I do not need to see that lather, the foam someone is about to spit out. They’ve been doing it for decades, too. In the 1943 film, The More the Merrier, Jean Arthur can be seen at one point vigorously brushing her teeth. I put my head in my hands. It’s a good movie, but I cannot bear that brief scene.
For a woman I used to work with, it was needles. She could watch just about any gruesome scene in a hospital show, but pull out a needle for an IV or vaccination, and she shot out of the room (pun intended). As a news producer, she had a strict policy: no needles in the news stories. The entire station complied. It wasn’t worth not doing so.
Pet peeves are one aspect of our personality, quirks are another that make us unique. I make a few bucks every few months ironing pillowcases for a friend. It bothers her to have wrinkled cases (and now it bothers me). There are more dramatic quirks that might set others apart from the crowd, and I won’t describe them here lest I offend.
As children, anything that made anyone different was something to snicker about. As adults, we know better. Children, however, do have a wonderful capacity for acceptance when things are explained to them. Open up their world and they open up their hearts.
I’ve found adults are often less forgiving. They tend to try to temper their snobbery or bigotry by saying things that start with the phrase, “can’t she at least…?” implying that it’s okay to do whatever it is they find objectionable, just do it in the privacy of your own home. Or say it to others of like mind.
Yes, there are public and private behaviors, but not everyone is graced with the same sense of decorum, or even the ability to control their actions.
If I saw someone brushing their teeth in the Walmart parking lot, it would probably disgust me. But I’d have to wonder what brought them to do such a bizarre thing. Okay, in today’s day and age, odd behavior is fairly routine in some places, and we walk by without giving it a second thought.
I say to Hollywood: please think before you have your actors and actresses brush their teeth onscreen. And for the love of everything good and holy, keep them off the toilet. I mean, do I need to justify that pet peeve?
We all have them. Feel free to share yours!
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