Pet Peeves

Humans are odd creatures – we are a collaborative species that require each other, but simultaneously find little things that trigger disliking in one another.
When I was younger, I would call out people when they did stuff that bugged me, but with time, I’ve gained the “maturity” and “politeness” to keep my mouth shut.
But sometimes your girl just needs to vent – because these things drive me insane.

1. Not being present in the moment.

The irony of social media is that it creates a lack of real, powerful, and genuine social connection, creating a gap between the worlds of online versus real-time connections.
To me, I value personal connections much farther than screen-time.
I find it frustrating when family or friends are constantly checking phones when having a conversation and not being engaged in the presence of each other.
Although I have a passion for photography, I also recognize the importance of removing the barrier that is my smartphone, from my face, to enjoy what is in front of me.
This pet peeve irks me the most when I’m hanging out with a large group of pals for an event, and there’s that one friend who’s constantly retaking photos for their Snapchat story, when it’s going to go away within 24 hours (or less, because they’re so conscious about views that they remove their original post). Or when the obnoxious parents take 300 photos of their kids at the school play – I get it, you love your kid – but they don’t even take a moment to put their phone down and actually make eye contact with their kid throughout the performance.
We need to stop living through our phones, myself included, and pause, put our phones away, and enjoy the moment with our eyes.
Our eyes weren’t meant to stare at a screen all day, so why do we keep doing it?

2. Poor dinner manners.

Being Japanese, I was raised with very strict viewpoints of dinner etiquette. I still distinctly remember being scolded when I would practice poor chopsticks behavior or not hold my rice bowl the correct way. Or when I would get yelled at for speaking with my mouth full or from when I would spew out rice bits from my mouth upon sneezing without covering. As a kid, being silly at the table was funny and it was a great source of entertainment to kill time until That 70’s Show came on (yes, that was my childhood show – hence why cuss words were in my dictionary from a young age).
But today, I am horrified of people who chew with their mouth wide open or have poor posture when sitting at the dinner table. I find it disgusting, and hard to enjoy food, when the person you’re sitting across is displaying food inside their mouth.
Just because it looks pretty on the table, doesn’t mean it looks pretty once you start chewing – so close your freaking mouth when you eat.
Please. Or even when you chew gum. No one in your history class needs to hear you chewing on that wad of Extra gum.

3. Irresponsibility.

Oh boy, this one drives me mad. When people can’t own up to their decisions, choices, and behaviors that they’ve made, and the consequences that follow.
Not all choices are bad and need to be apologized for, but there are some that require second thought and in-depth internal reflection.
This is my inner grandma speaking, but people who are foolish, immature, and irresponsible make me question them so much.
Yes, I know that comes off as harsh and judgmental, but I’m human – I’m wired to create opinions about others.
We all make mistakes, that’s the beautiful lesson of life. But when the mistakes are not recognized or acknowledged, especially by the individual causing the mistake, it makes me confused about where their moral compass lies. Especially if the mistake causes pain for others – emotional, physical, or mental – and no apology or responsibility is taken for the issue at hand, I easily become a mixed bottle of sadness, frustration, and rage.
Adults make mistakes too, but when parents specifically, don’t demonstrate any form of responsibility for their actions, I find it incredibly hypocritical because they aren’t being a good example for their children. Many children look towards their parents, their life-long mentors, for their advice and experience.
But if there is a faulty source of responsibility from them, that affect will travel far.

Find the common sense within you – although common sense isn’t very common – and practice being a moral homo sapien. Put your phone down, chew with your mouth closed, and take responsibility for your actions. Don’t just say, but also do what you say.


The featured image for this blog post was taken at Discovery Park in the Magnolia neighborhood of Seattle. I captured the beauty of the colors in the plants surrounding the water, and then breathed in the irreplaceable senses of nature afterwards on an anthropology field visit.


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Instagram: @monet.kumazawa
E-mail: monet.kumazawa@gmail.com

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