Friday, July 20, 2007

I sort of wish the plural of "nemesis" were "nemesi"

Having a nemesis seems to be all the rage this year. -R- has one. Crazy Aunt Purl has one. And recently I learned that Jessica of the Fug Girls has one. I can be as surly as the next person (surlier, actually, depending on the day). I really ought to have a nemesis, don't you think? It might actually be good for me. I could channel all the aggravation that builds up in any given day towards my nemesis, compartmentalizing my annoyance in one spot and therefore freeing the rest of my mind up for a sunnier disposition. (What? It could happen...)

How does one choose a nemesis, however? I suspect that if I have to ask the question, I likely haven't found one yet. That or I just have too many to choose from. That's probably it, actually. So I'll have to think on this a bit longer. Meanwhile, though, here are five ongoing contenders for the position.

  1. The guy who I don't think even lives on my block and yet insists on parking his rusty and ginormous red truck directly in front of my house and then leaving it there for nine days or more in a row. I do not even typically park on the street; I park in my garage out back, and yet, this annoys me no end.

  2. The Taco Bell executive who decided that all drive-thru workers had to start greeting me with a meaningless and awkward "How are you?" instead of proceeding directly to the standard "Welcome to Taco Bell; may I take your order?" That kid with the headset really doesn't care how I am, and I'd rather not waste my time with an equally pointless "Fine thanks; how are you?" in reply. Let me just order my damn seven-layer burrito with nachos and move on, OK?

  3. The lady at my gym with the 100 rowdy and obnoxious children whom she insists on bringing into the locker room with her rather than dropping directly into the nursery. OK, in actuality, the number of children under her care is closer to three, but given how loud and annoying they are, it seems much higher than that. When they are not chattering at full volume or running around getting underfoot, they are standing and staring slack-jawed at me as I change, which frankly is every bit as unsettling. Furthermore, each week during kickboxing class, this woman insists on drifting out of position and getting all up in my jab-space, and one of these days I am going to lose the ongoing battle with my patience and decorum and send one of my left kicks directly to her skull. (No, I am not a Rockettes-worthy high kicker with tremendous strength and flexibility, but this woman is rather tiny. I could totally reach her head with my foot if I tried.)

  4. People who use supposedly cute shortened forms of words that really don't need to be shortened at all. Sammies instead of sandwiches. 'Zah instead of pizza. 'Sconnie instead of Wisconsin.* I'd even prefer we all forget the word hubby and just say husband instead, but I realize I'm very likely in the minority on that, so I suppose I can let that one slide.

    * This one is particularly loathsome to me, especially when used by Wisconsinites themselves. Strangely, I am significantly less averse to the more unique "Wiscoe" abbreviation I heard recently, but I'd still like to keep using all the syllables.

  5. The unnecessarily chipper and gregarious man at my office who insists on singing a ridiculous birthday song from a 1950s-era children's show whenever we gather for cake in the conference room. His overenthusiastic rendition comes complete with accompanying sweeping hand gestures and a dramatic falsetto in the finish. This same man also annoys me daily with outbursts like, "There she is!" upon passing me in the hall (not when he's been looking for me, mind you, and a "there she is" would make sense; he apparently just likes to announce his presence in some way). I must note that he is actually a perfectly nice man and so I feel a bit guilty proposing him as a potential nemesis, and yet, I can't help myself anyway.

The more I think about this, the more I realize I may need more than five slots, actually. After all, I haven't even mentioned the morning show DJs who ignite my ire, nor the neighbor who seems to think the entire alley is his personal dumping ground. I'd better stop now, though, I think. So tell me, who's your nemesis these days?


Anonymous said...

In regard to point number 4...I don't recommend you visit Australia any time soon...they abbreviate EVERYTHING. At first I thought it was funny, but then it was just annoying. Eek!!

My 'nemesis' of the moment is the man who lives down the road with two German Sheppards, whom he insists on taking for walks after 11pm, with out leashes. And then he yells at the top of his lungs "BEAR!!! BEAR!!! SHILOH COME BACK!!" because apparently Bear and Shiloh do not do well with out the leash. I would like to buy him two leashes and leave an annonymous note to shut the heck up. (I'd rather he didn't know he was nemesis)

Anonymous said...

Wow. I totally though the parking lady could be my nemesis, except she was actually kind of pleasant to me the other day, and also, I quit, so I won't see her again.

I'm going to go with the old man substitute who insists on asking me 10,000 questions daily? He annoys me enough to be my nemesis...

I'll have to think about this one further.

Noelle said...

Was your headline an allusion to the Buffy episode where the three bad guys can't think of the plural of nemesis? I love that one. I think the Taco Bell executive works for Birmingham's company, because when he picks up the phone, he has to say, "Thank you for calling -the apartment complex I manage.- This is -Birmingham- I can help you." I laugh every time.

I know I have a nemesis out there, I just can't think of who it is. Some days it the landlesbian, but then her meds kick in, and she's okay. Some co-workers annoy me sometimes, but then they redeem themselves.

I'll get back to you if I think of one. In the meantime:

Harry Potter.

Whiskeymarie said...

1) Next door neighbor with obnoxious hyper-barky dogs. Two words: obedience training.
2) Mega-assy student of mine that thinks he is smarter than me, despite screwing up everything he touches. I'm glad you're leaving. If our paths should cross outside of school, expect to be kicked in the crotch.

3carnations said...

Ouch. I might be your nemesis. As you know, my husband's official blog name is hubby. I should go now...

Anonymous said...

Yeah, was that a Buffy reference? Oh, how I loved that show. I just re-watched the musical episode the other day because it was an old favorite.

I HATE shortened words like that: hubby, preggers, preggo, Frisco (as in San Francisco), DH (as in Dear Husband. I have no idea how that ever caught on, because it's dumb.) and all of Rachael Ray's cutsey sayings. EVOO my ass. How hard is it to just say the word?

Also, I had a parking nemesis at my old house, too! He lived across and down the street, yet he insisted on parking his car RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY HOUSE. He threw off the entire parking ecosystem! Every time I saw him, I'd grumble some variation of "Fucking motherfucker..."

Wait, I didn't know I was so crabby today!

-R- said...

It surprises me that people can function without nemeses. I must have a nemesis at all times.

Maybe H can be your nemesis because he uses the abbreviation "Sconnie" (or "Sconny"?) to refer to a person from Wisconsin in a disparaging manner.

Stefanie said...

Melissa--That sounds like an excellent plan. You could even put personalized tags on the leashes so he realizes he's been shouting their names so much. :-)

NPW--Pointless questions bother me no end, too. That totally sounds nemesis-worthy.

Noelle--I think I've seen only about four episodes of Buffy ever, so no, unfortunately, it was not an intentional reference. I just remembered trying to decide, when R first mentioned her nemesis, whether the plural was nemesises or nemeses or what. It's nemeses, but I still think nemesi is more fun. :-) Now go go away before I comment-ban you. I told you, this is a Potter-free zone!! (Kidding, of course. I would never actually comment-ban you. YOU might ban ME, though, once you realize I am not much of a Buffy fan OR a Harry Potter fan!)

WM--Yike; sounds like you are harboring more aggitation than I am!

3Cs--Oh no; not at all. I assure you, you are not my nemesis. Actually, after I wrote that, I remembered that you call your husband that, and I was hoping you wouldn't make some connection and be offended. Lots of people use that word, and lots of people are entirely unbothered by it. You can just call me the unreasonable and ridiculous one on that. :-) Now if you start calling pizza "Zah," though, THEN we'll have to talk!

Nabbalicious--Oh, I totally forgot "preggers" and "preggo." HATE that one, too! And I remembered you complaining about the parker on your street, so I figured you'd comment on that. I also figured, however, that you (or Darren) would say that the obvious solution to #2 would be just to stop going to Taco Bell. I really hope we can just respectfully agree to disagree on that one. :-)

R--Oh no! And H always seemed like such a decent guy... What a shame he and I can no longer be friends.

3carnations said...

I don't abbreviate food. That's just weird...Pizza is only a two syllable word, for crying out loud... OK, I guess I'm glad I'm not your nemesis...Although a small part of me may have been slightly excited about finally having a nemesis of my own...

Stefanie said...

3Cs--"Husband" is only two syllables, too (the same number as "Hubby")! Just teasing. Obviously it is not the same thing. I realize "Hubby" is meant to be an endearing version of a more formal title. I will try to be unbothered by it. :-)

As for wanting a nemesis of your own, maybe I am still YOUR nemesis, even if you are not mine. (I hope I haven't made myself your nemesis, but hell, you never know.)

Paisley said...

Oh, I HATE it when they ask you how you are at the drive through. OR that prerecorded WOULD YOU LIKE TO TRY OUR NEW FIVE LAYER HUMDINGER BURRITO when the person on the other end doesn't even realize that it asked you that and you just wait there awkwardly and say NO and then are not sure when you should start your order. How's that for a run-on?

At my bank last Friday I did the drive thru teller and the guy asked me if I had the day off, blah blah blah and I wanted to shout DO NOT TALK TO ME THAT IS WHY I CAME THROUGH THE DRIVE THRU!

any-hoo. Rambly bambly. sorry.


The Other Girl said...

My parking nemesis lives across the street from me. He's some stupid kid who parked a non-running car in front of my house and when I told him to move it, he said, "oh, I don't drive it anymore," thus failing to grasp the fact that that was my damned point.

The King said...

Dang gone, all five of those idiots would be a nemisis of mine. Especially the "There she is!" guy. Of course, I'm sure that I must be on a few lists myself.

Mair said...

A couple of my friends and I have terms for our specific enemies -- a wenemy is a work enemy, and a jenemy is an enemy within our profession (which begins with a J) who does not work in our place of business. Comes in handy.

metalia said...

People say "zah"? Like, seriously? I'm scared. I used to have a nemesis, and sort of loved it. That all changed last Sunday. I'd love to write about it, because it's totally juicy, but alas, I think she secretly reads my blog. RATS. What am I supposed to do now?!

L Sass said...

Oooh, I haaaaate loud kids in the locker room! My gym has a pool, so we somewhat frequently have "wet, naked kids in the locker room."

I've been known to say "Sconny" (sorry)... but I've only ever heard UW-Madison referred to as Wiscoe.

Red said...

I think you're on the right track! You may have scored yourself several nemeseses... nemesi?

There's a woman that I work with who, every bloody time that I see her, breaks out into a dance and starts singing "Go Red, go Red!" (yes, to the tune of "Go Ricki, go Ricki!") because we had a kid who used to do that to me. Last year.

Stefanie said...

Paisley--Clearly I hit a nerve there. ;-) I can totally relate (obviously). I prefer to complete most of my financial and commercial transactions without talking to people, too.

TOG--Ack. Rage. I think my head would have exploded when he said that.

King--Can you believe that less than an hour after I posted that, I saw that guy in the kitchen at work and he said, "THERE she is!"? He is totally staying on the list. Ugh.

Malia--I thought a Jenemy was going to be an enemy named Jen. There are plenty of Jens to choose from, after all. Surely SOME of them probably hit a nerve... Also, your whole comment reminded me of that "Frenemies" episode of Sex & The City.

Metalia--Would you like to guest post it on MY blog? :-) Obviously I'm not doing so well with the clever or frequent posts around here myself lately... And yes, I have heard "Zah." Often from the morning show DJ who only very narrowly escaped my nemesis list. Thinking about it really makes me rethink not including him.

L Sass--Just don't say "Sconny" around me, and I guess we'll be OK. :-)

Red--Does that dance involve sadly outdated arm gestures? Because that's the way I'm picturing it.

Anonymous said...

I do, too. (Wish the plural of "nemesis" was "nemesi" that is.)

Anonymous said...

I had an honest to God nemesis in college. This was back in Indiana. We both moved to New York and ended up getting jobs in the same company where we sat about fifteen feet apart from one another. talk about awkward.

Poppy said...

4. mozzie mozzie mozzie mozzie


Anonymous said...

Ooh, I have a nemesis too. His name is Karl and he is in New Jersey. GRRRR. Perhaps I will post about him one day. Also, I am thankful that the use of the word "sammies" has not caught on in Philadelphia. We have hoagies here, but no sammies. AND - I abhor the word "hubby". In a pinch, I will refer to Wilman as "The Hubbo", but very rarely.

Anyhoo. Be glad you have no nemesis! DOWN WITH KARL! UP WITH GG!