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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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?