Maybe it’s an icebreaker during a youth event or something to ask a new friend. Maybe it comes up in random conversation. In any case, most of us at some point have put thought into what our pet peeves are.
Pet peeves are actually not specifically related to animals. They are defined as “something a person finds particularly annoying.” They can take on a variety of forms.
For years I’ve had a strong go-to answer when asked about my biggest pet peeve: People who chew loudly.
It’s not unheard of and a fairly common complaint, which helps me make friends with people who hate the same things I do.
The list goes on. Should the toilet paper roll go over or under? What’s the best room temperature, 68 or 72 degrees? Why does it cost your firstborn child to have food at a movie theater? Why can’t I get good customer service at this restaurant?
Recently, however, a new pet peeve has sneaked into my life to usurp the loud-eaters’s place in my disgust-filled heart.
It happened the other night when a small group of friends was gathered at my house to watch a movie. The movie playing at the time was “Seven Pounds,” which we all deemed was too dreary for our party’s current atmosphere. My boyfriend offered his copy of “La La Land” for us to watch instead, but he didn’t have it on him at the time so we’d have to run and get it.
As we were discussing the pros and cons of making the trip and putting the current movie on hold, my roommate’s cellphone rang.
Now, most people I know have their cellphones set to vibrate or silent for various reasons. It’s rare these days to hear people’s phones at full volume, but I understand it happens and it’s sometimes best for the phone to be on loud.
This was the case for my roommate’s phone. As it happened, the phone was on the table on the other side of the room. My roommate got up from the sofa, walked over to check her phone, said, “Oh I’m not answering that,” and then walked away to resume her place on the sofa.
All while the phone continued to ring on loud.
The party didn’t let it interrupt the ongoing discussion much, but I made a comment to my roommate about why she didn’t directly ignore the call, or switch her phone to vibrate or silent, and she said, “Is it bothering you?”
I didn’t say yes. I don’t know why I didn’t because obviously it did.
Is it just me? Or does having a loud noise you’re directly responsible for strike anyone else as rude?
I’ve been noticing when people do this more and more. A phone might go off here at the office and will continue to ring until it the call goes to voicemail. I’m left sitting here wondering why on earth the owner doesn’t silence their phone. Does he or she enjoy the sound of their ringtone? Does the owner suffer under the belief that the rest of us enjoy hearing their chosen ringtone?
Exceptions from this pet peeve are made if the person has a customized ring tone with an actual song that plays when the phone rings. However, this is more of a grace period than an altogether exception, because hearing the same snippet of a song again and again gets tiring for anyone.
While I’m venting, I’m also going to lump in the individuals who play games on their cellphones in public setting but leave their phone on loud. Every chime, every prize won, makes its own sound effect for all in the immediate range to hear. I can assure you that these sounds may bring the player joy, but they do very little for me.
There is something to be said for the sweet sound of silence. I hear complaints about cellphones all the time. My problem is not the amount of time people spend on them, but how much attention they call to themselves.
Movie theaters may have one thing right with their slogan:
“Please be quiet and courteous, and silence your cellphones now.”
Miranda Wilcox is the managing editor of the Anna-Melissa Tribune, the Prosper Press and the Van Alstyne Leader. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.